Tag Archive: Cowboy Bebop


Review by C.J. Bunce

A new series of graphic novels begins this week Abrams ComicArts.  Phenomena (available at comic shops and here at Amazon) begins with the first volume The Golden City of Eyes, a hardcover graphic novel about a pair of Littles who become a part of another traveler’s epic “hero’s journey.”  But first the hero must reclaim his sword.  Continuing the mash-up sci-fi and fantasy adventure stories found in Jean-Claude Mézières’ Valerian and Laureline, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Cowboy Bebop, writer Brian Michael Bendis and Portuguese artist André Limr Araújo create a future Earth where a kid named Boldon from Borzubo (which used to be Toronto) arrives in the metropolis of Versalani.  On his way to the City of Golden Eyes he meets a sleeping Comedor and foils a Borcus…

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The seventh Firefly novel has arrived at last, this time from a newer voice in the sci-fi genre, M.K. England, author of the great Guardians of the Galaxy: No Guts, No Glory (reviewed here), one of the more humorous and faithful tie-ins we’ve covered lately.  England’s latest is Firefly: What Makes Us Mighty, the latest episode in novel form of the short-lived Firefly series, which takes the crew of Serenity on another job, another cargo run, to another planet with quirky folk whose lifestyle mirrors something from Earth of the Past.  As with some of the better novels in the series, this story revisits the best of what Browncoats loved about the show.  It also does something much needed after all these years: It finally allows characters some room for expansion and growth.  England delivers a steady, slower paced journey, but it has all that space Western charm of Joss Whedon’s series, with Whedon back as consulting editor.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

When I previewed Cowboy Bebop: Making the Netflix Series last month I’d hoped writers Jeff Bond and Gene Kozicki (a visual effects artist on the series) would dig deep into the unique style of the very futuristic series.  I am happy to say I was not only not disappointed but dazzled by the level of work completed for what could have been the next major science fiction franchise.  What does the future look like?  Going back to Syd Mead’s future-defining work on films like Blade Runner, you must count as the next futurism visionaries production designers Grant Major and Gary Mackay.  Cowboy Bebop: Making the Netflix Series delivers photographs of props and sets that viewers didn’t get to see in the series, providing another level of behind-the-scenes production design not ordinarily seen in this kind of “making of” book.

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Just because Netflix canceled after only one season 2021’s best sci-fi TV series, best western TV series, best space fantasy series, best retro fix, with the best TV soundtrack, best costumes, best actors and guest stars, and best borg on TV, doesn’t mean we can’t keep reliving the fantastic live-action reboot/homage series Cowboy Bebop One more way we’re going to do that is with Cowboy Bebop: Making the Netflix Series, coming next month from Titan Books.  It’s the official companion book to the Netflix TV series featuring concept art, sketches, behind-the-scenes photography and interviews with the cast and production crew.  Check out a preview below, courtesy of the publisher.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Along with a comic book limited series, a new novel is the best bet for an additional space Western fix for anyone saddened by the cancellation of Netflix’s fantastic sci-fi series, Cowboy Bebop.  Cowboy Bebop: A Syndicate Story–Red Planet Requiem provides the full space mobster origin story for both lead hero Spike Spiegel aka Fearless and his one-time friend and partner, Vicious.  As a bonus, this novel, now available in paperback here at Amazon, is written by a member of the writing staff for the series.

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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.

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It’s been another long year of great entertainment.  It’s time for the ninth annual round of new honorees for the borg Hall of Fame.  We have several inductees from 2021 films and television – 16 in all, new borgs or updated variants of past members, bringing the borg Hall of Fame total to 281.

You can always check out the updated borg Hall of Fame on our home page under “Know your borg.”

Some reminders about criteria.  Borgs have technology integrated with biology Wearing a technology-powered suit alone doesn’t qualify.  Tony Stark aka Iron Man was named an honoree because the Arc Reactor kept him alive, not because of his incredible tech armor.  The Spider-Man suit worn by Tom Holland is similar to Tony’s, but it’s not integrated with Peter Parker’s biology.

Also, if the creators tell us the characters are merely robots, automatons, or androids (as in Westworld, and as in the Synths of Star Trek: Picard, and the new Dark Troopers of The Mandalorian), we take their word for it.  Again, integration is key, but in the Hall, once a member, always a member.  

So let’s get on with it.  Who’s in for 2021?

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Today we’re continuing our annual year-end round-up with the Best TV Series of 2021.  If you missed it, check out our review of the best Kick-Ass Heroines of 2021 here.  We watch a lot of television, and probably love a good series even more than a great movie.  We preview hundreds of series, but outside big franchise content you want to know about, we only review what we recommend–the best genre content we’re watching. The theory?  If we like it, we think you may like it.  The best shows have a compelling story, great characters, tremendous action, a sharp use of humor, and all kinds of well-executed genre elements that satisfy and leave viewers feeling inspired.  It’s even better if we see richly detailed sets and costumes.  And the very best series get usually get canceled at the end of their first season because network execs will never figure out what we genre fans love.

Without further ado, this year’s Best in Television:

Best Borg Series, Best TV BorgCowboy Bebop (Netflix).  Mustafa Shakir’s Jet Black expanded on the anime series to create a space pilot and bounty hunter as cool and real as anyone from the Star Wars universe.  His cyborg implants made him incredibly powerful–necessary in his dealings on behalf of Spike and his family.

Best Sci-Fi TV SeriesBest Western TV Series, Best Space Fantasy Series, Best Retro Fix, Best TV Soundtrack, Best TV Costumes – Cowboy Bebop (Netflix).  Only one science fiction series really knocked our socks off this year.  The stylish look and music, and the fun of the crew of the spaceship Bebop made us want to speed through this series.  For viewers looking for the next Firefly, this is it.  For fans looking for the best futurism, space realism, and the next Altered Carbon, this is it.  Its writing, direction, cast, and overall production values made the series this year’s series to talk aboutRunner-up for Best Sci-fi TV Series: Blade Runner: Black Lotus (Adult Swim), great sci-fi, faithful to the source material.  Honorable mention for Best Sci-fi TV Series: Resident Alien (Syfy) Alan Tudyk’s fish-out-of-water story and his alien story pulled us back to the roots of classic sci-fi with humor and drama as a bonus.

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Once a year at borg we ask: What makes a great screen heroine? It’s time for borg′s annual look at the Best Kick-Ass Genre Heroines in film and television.  We’re highlighting the very best from a slate of fantastic heroines, with characteristics to learn from and root for.  Determined, decisive, loyal, brave, smart, fierce, strong, you’ll find no one here timid or weepy, but all rely on their individual skills to beat the odds and overcome any obstacle that comes their way.  Over the years we have expanded the list to include any tough, savvy, gritty character played by a woman, so villains are welcome here, too.  (Want to see previous years’ kickass genre heroines to see how 2021 compares?  Here are 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015). Some may be frazzled, put-upon, war-weary, or human, but all have fought, some against difficult circumstances, others against personal demons (literally, figuratively, or both), and some against gun and laser fire.  And they all showed what a tough, kick-ass, and often badass, character is about.

This year we add three superheroines, an amnesiac bounty hunter, four police detectives, a thief, a grifter, a hacker, 13 martial arts experts, three soldiers, a god, a duchess, two college students, three Russian assassins, a spy, an actress, a cyborg, a bartender, a forensics expert, a hitman, and a helicopter pilot, with eight characters we’ve seen in past years and 13 all-new characters we’ve never seen in any medium before–all in a roster split between 21 television and 13 movie characters. Credit goes to both the writers, costumers, and other creators of the characters and the actors and performers that brought them all to life.

These are the Best Kick-Ass Genre Heroines of 2021:

Antonia Dreykov aka Taskmaster (Black Widow).  Was there a more intriguing, surprising, gut-wrenching character this year than Olga Kurylenko’s super-powered cyborg?  She was one of the best costumed villains this year and certainly the most sympathetic, leaving the question: Where does she go from here? (Disney)

Faye Valentine (Cowboy Bebop).  Daniella Pineda’s spin on this classic sci-fi character couldn’t have been better.  Always eager, always excitable, always refreshing, as she pursued the dramatic journey to discover who she really is. (Netflix)

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Review by C.J. Bunce

I’d wager even story creator Philip K. Dick would be impressed with the futurism and dark beauty of Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s new Japanese and American half-hour animated series Blade Runner: Black Lotus Is the mysterious drifter Elle a young woman with amnesia or a new type of replicant that can fool the Voight-Kampff test?  What does it mean to be an android or cyborg with feelings and memories?  Those are the questions asked in the first five episodes of the excellent new series, now streaming on Adult Swim and the Adult Swim app.

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