Joe, Jō Shimamura in Japanese version, aka 009 is from Japan, although he is actually half-Japanese. A delinquent youth, he escaped from a juvenile detention facility before being captured by Black Ghost. In the 2001 anime, after his father disappeared and his mother died on the steps at his childbirth, he was an orphan taken in by a Catholic priest from Kanazawa along with their street friends (Mary Onodera ( perhaps a tribute to Shotaro Ishinomori, his birth name being Shotaro Onodera), Shin'ichi Ibaraki and Masaru Oyamada), then when he turned 18 his mentor was killed by Black Ghost members after they used a group of children that he raised in the church as guinea pigs for the Cyborg project; Joe was wrongfully blamed, then captured by the priest's killers and made into cyborg.
In the 1960s film versions, Joe was a famous racer, nicknamed "Hurricane Joe", who gets into a crash and is recovered by Black Ghost (similar to 004's origin). Although Joe received several body enhancements during the process of being turned into a cyborg, his most prominent ability is the power to move at a speed so fast that everything else looks like a statue to him (because of an advanced version of 002's acceleration module); this is triggered by a switch embedded in his teeth. However, he cannot touch any normal creatures such as humans in this state; the high speeds would kill or otherwise cause serious injury to the creature through air friction. Joe's trademark aesthetic feature is his flowing, spiked hair, of which a single large lock always covers one of his eyes. During each of the series, he acts as the leader of 009 Cyborgs. He and his girlfriend in the group, 003 (Franoise Arnoul), who fell in love with him, later form a romantic relationship that is more explicit in the manga (where they were shown having sex, something quite uncommon in the '70s ) and the earlier series, and only implied at in the 2001 series. Also, other girls have shown some degree of romantic interest in him, like Lady Tamara in the 1979 movie, Helen the Pu'Awak princess in the 2001 series, and Princess Ishuki in both manga and the 2001 series. Arguably, Artemis the Greek Goddess of the 2001 series may have had some feelings for him, though those also fit as non-romantic bonding because of their origins.