Review by C.J. Bunce

Last year’s best television series in seven categories finds its sequel this week in the comics pages.  Adapted from the 1999-2001 anime series considered to be the best of the genre, Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop was the ultimate mix of the space life of Firefly, the dark future Earth noir of Altered Carbon and Blade Runner, and the lived-in future realism of Alien and Outland.  Unfortunately Netflix unthinkably canceled the series after only one season.  How could 74 million viewing hours in one week not justify a second season?  Your guess is as good as ours.  Lucky for the series’ fan base, Titan Comics is introducing new stories in a limited monthly comic beginning this week with Cowboy Bebop #1.

The comics tell an original story set in the year 2171, during the series like the expanded stories of novels and comics for the Firefly franchise (also similar to the expanded Blade Runner stories).  The bounty hunter crew of the spaceship Bebop chase an ex-gang member who holds a vest which gives the wearer unlimited luck.  The story by Dan Watters and the artwork by Lamar Mathurin, especially combined with Roman Titov’s brilliant color work, are entirely faithful to the TV series and the original anime characters.

 

Mathurin’s inks are a magic blend of hard-boiled futurism and vintage comic book layouts and drawing styles.  It looks like a book written decades ago, which adds to the visual spectacle of this series.  Watters knows these characters well.  Faye Valentine’s dialogue comes right off the page, as does Spike’s disinterest in everything and Jet’s desire to lead.  And bonus:  Who doesn’t want to see more Ein the corgi?

Here is a look at Cowboy Bebop, Issue #1, and several of the variant covers for the first issues:

Add Cowboy Bebop to your pull list at Elite Comics or your local comic shop.  It arrives from Titan Comics this week.