Cowboy Bebop #1 will likely leave you wondering one thing: this plot should’ve been part of the Netflix show. Yes, this comic book really is that good, and it’s only getting started. It is the first issue, after all.

"Cowboy Bebop #1" main cover.
Why does this cover make Faye look like a villain? Cover A artist: Stanley “Artgerm” Lau.

Cowboy Bebop #1 is the first issue of this comic book adaptation of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop, which is itself the live-action adaptation of the anime of the same name by director Shinichirō Watanabe and Sunrise. This comic book series specifically is by writer Dan Watters, and artist Lamar Mathurin. Stanley “Artgerm” Lau, Claudia Ianniciello, Afu Chan, Yishan Li, and Yoshi Yoshitani drew the variant covers. And lastly, Titan Comics is the publisher of this latest adventure of the crew of the Bebop.

"Cowboy Bebop #1" variant cover 1.
Nothing like a photo of the actors and actresses themselves to make this feel real.

Cowboy Bebop #1 will launch on January 26, 2022. You can preorder print copies at your local comic book shop. If you don’t feel like going outside though, then you can preorder the comics, with your choice of cover, straight from Titan Comics themselves or from Amazon.

Warning: spoilers for Cowboy Bebop #1 below. If you want to find out how the Bebop’s crew’s comic book adventures start, stop here, and come back once your luck runs out.

Cowboy Bebop #1: Plot Summary

"Cowboy Bebop #1" preview page 1.
Kudos to that casino for accidentally winning the “Most Ironic Name of the Year” award.

Cowboy Bebop #1 starts us off in a rather seedy-looking casino on Mars, where the Bebop crew are hanging out in. The reason for this quickly becomes apparent when bombs go off in the walls and allow some snappily dressed thugs to get in and hold the customers up at gunpoint. Spike and Jet fight the gunmen and protect the crowd, but Faye notices one of them sneak off in the chaos. Turns out, the whole setup was a cover for that one guy to perform a heist on the casino’s safe upstairs.

Fortunately, Faye is on the job. Unfortunately, things seem to go horribly wrong in quick succession. The safe’s lock just happens to be faulty so he already has the goods in a bag and is ready to go. Faye’s gun just happens to jam, and the perp just throws himself out the window without looking and survives. Faye manages to get a tracker on him but then finds out the tracker failed when she and the rest of the Bebop crew get back home. As it turns out, the answer lies in the broadcasted episode of Big Shot, where Punch and Judy reveal that there’s a rumor going around that their bounty might have a vest that gives him unlimited good luck. That, and the bounty getting upped to 80 million.

The Stakes Get Higher

"Cowboy Bebop #1" preview page 2.
Nice reference to the original opening there.

Thus, the Bebop crew set out to hunt this guy once more, especially when the tracker turns back on. They find nothing but the tracker, but Jet and Ein find an old lady and her dog. The dog has nothing to tell (at least, not one Jet can understand), but the old lady actually knew their bounty. Jet gets her to tell her story, and she reveals that the guy has a hideout on the local apparently-deserted moon.

Meanwhile, the said guy finds his hideout with Syndicate goons already lying in wait for him. It seems they funded the development of that luck vest, but he doesn’t want to hand it over. He gets away thanks to said vest, but the Syndicate put out their own bounty on the guy. Double what the police are offering, actually. Apparently, it’s enough to even tempt some of the more corrupt officers themselves. Will the Bebop crew get to him first? Well, that’s what we’ll find out in the next issue of Cowboy Bebop.

Cowboy Bebop #1: The Good

"Cowboy Bebop #1" preview page 3.
Complete with musicians playing the appropriate instruments to boot.

The story of Cowboy Bebop #1 is its biggest selling point. That whole plotline with that luck vest feels like something right out of the original anime, and said plotline is only getting started. In fact, it would’ve been a great original plotline for Netflix’s live-action adaptation. It’s a shame that Netflix canceled it after a single season. It would’ve been nice to see this on the small screen.

Spike, Jet, and Faye also feel very much in character here, which is a nice touch. Especially after seeing the last episode of the Netflix show, but that’s another argument for later. We also see Ein in full adorable glory here, so that’s a great touch.

Cowboy Bebop #1: The Bad

"Cowboy Bebop #1" preview page 4.
Smoking is bad for your health. But then again, so is interrupting Spike when he’s about to smoke.

I would say that my only complaint about Cowboy Bebop #1 is the art. Most of the time, the art and characters look rather nice. Sometimes though, they don’t. This isn’t really a criticism of the art quality though. It’s more a reflection of my personal tastes. It might have something to do with the way Lamar Mathurin draws lips, but otherwise, this is most definitely a nitpick.

Source: Titan Comics, Amazon