By Oriol Estrada

Sometimes manga authors have a great idea, they carry it out, they succeed and they go down in history. But it's not always like this. Even some of the greatest works published in Japan have a whole history behind, trial and error, polishing, and polishing until you begin to glimpse the rough diamond. There have been cases in which the author has rehearsed before with a short story to begin to become familiar with certain aesthetics and styles of characters, as was the case of Akira Toriyama with "Dragon Ball", which had a dress rehearsal called "Dragon Boy" . Then there is the case of "The fist of the North Star", which starts from a failed idea and ends up being reconverted thanks to an interesting mixture of many and several influences, which arises from the collective work between Buronson and Tetsuo Hara, to which also it would be necessary to add to the then editor Nobuko Horie, who was the one who suggested to Hara the technique of martial arts that the protagonist of the manga was going to use.

So, the story of the creation of one of the most popular titles of the eighties (and we would say that of all time) begins a year before its release. Tetsuo Hara debuts in the magazine Shonen Jump with a titled manga (hold on tight): "The Iron Don Quixote" (Tetsu no Don Kihote). Although everything points to a kind of adventure of knights in armor or a merger of Tony Stark and the crazy friend of Sancho Panza, the truth is that it is a sport-themed manga, more specifically on motocross.

How could it be otherwise, being a real spokon, everything is very exaggerated and very beast. The competitions are very violent, with some participants who have no qualms about pouncing on their competitors to knock them down and run over them. More than an official motocross competition, this seems like something out of Mad Max … do we start to see where the thing is going?

Already on the cover of the first volume is striking the aspect that spends the protagonist and who is their main rival. The first is a boy with dark hair and short, bushy eyebrows and a cold and penetrating look. His name: Gen. The second is blond, with long hair and very bad milk, and is called Shun'ichi. In short, they are two clear prototypes of what would later become Ken and Shin, the protagonist and the first great rival that appears in "The fist of the North Star".

We have some very familiar protagonists, an aesthetic and behaviors in the style of Mad Max that give us a certain post-apocalyptic air, if we add that within the motocross competition there are certain teams that behave like bands, it is clear that we have a prototype of what was to be the future work of Tetsuo Hara.

This iron Don Quixote did not have the desired success and hardly lasted a year in the magazine. But for once, we can be happy about the failure of a manga, because thanks to their limited success Hara and Horie got down to work with the following work, taking advantage of many ideas and, above all, the designs of the previous one. The creative team was joined by the screenwriter Buronson, who would finish shaping the ideas of the artist and his editor. So, with the mixture of what had been "Tetsu no Don Kihote", plus a protagonist who was aesthetically inspired by Bruce Lee and Sylvester Stallone, in an environment that was pure "Mad Max" mixed with techniques and stories from China millennial, "The fist of the North Star" was born.

Second volume of EL PUÑO DE LA ESTRELLA DEL NORTE, available on June 6.

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