Cowboy Bebop #4 concludes our tale with an important lesson: true space cowboys make their own luck without needing a magic luck vest to do it for them.

Cowboy Bebop #4: Details

"Cowboy Bebop #4" main cover art by Guillaume Martinez.
That is the most “See you space cowboy” art I’ve ever seen. Cover A artist: Guillaume Martinez.

Cowboy Bebop #4 is the 4th and final issue of the Cowboy Bebop comic book series (you can read reviews for #1, #2, and #3 here) based on the Netflix live-action sci-fi series, which is itself the live-action adaptation of the anime of the same name by Hajime Yatate (composed of director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno) of Sunrise (now Bandai Namco Filmworks). Dan Watters remains the writer, with Lamar Mathurin continuing to be the artist with Emilio Lecce as the colorist. Guillaume Martinez is the main cover artist, with Netflix and Claudia Ianniciello responsible for the variant covers. Lastly, Titan Comics continues to publish this comic book series.

"Cowboy Bebop #4" variant cover A art by Netflix.
When in doubt, just use screenshots from your own cancelled series. Cover B artist: Netflix.

Cowboy Bebop #4 will launch on June 22, 2022 for a retail price of $3.99. You can preorder it in either physical or digital right now at Titan Comics.

"Cowboy Bebop #4" variant cover B art by Claudia Ianniciello.
Ironically, Vicious only appeared once in this comic as a cameo. Cover C artist: Claudia Ianniciello.

Warning: spoilers for Cowboy Bebop #4 below. If you want to read how this run of luck ends for yourself, then stop here, and come back once the last shot has been fired.

Cowboy Bebop #4: Plot Summary

"Cowboy Bebop #4" preview page 1.
Is there something philosophical about this story beginning with the end? Nah, can’t be.

Cowboy Bebop #4 begins at the end, with Jet (plus Ein along as an emotional support dog) recounting the tale of how the whole debacle ended to Abigail: that woman he’d been talking to in issue #2. To start off, they talked about how they found the old man who invented the luck vest (Ishmael) dead on the floor of his lab. They quickly deduce that it was Fusao (Jet’s police contact) who murdered him, and was responsible for all the ruckus they went through in the previous issue. Spike swears vengeance against Fusao, but he’s got one of the luck vests on his side. They need something to even the odds, and Melville’s luck vest is it.

Thus, the Bebop crew hatch a plan to corner Melville. After deducing that Melville is pulling these heists off for the funsies rather than for profit, they then stake out the casino he hit last. Their suspicions pay off when explosions rock the casino, right in front of the distraught owner to boot. Spike is in fact right there in person when Melville rappels down from the ceiling, with Jet dealing with his crew outside. Unfortunately, Melville uses an exploding wall against Spike yet again, and makes a run for it. But not before Faye finds him though, and reveals the secret of the luck vest.

Out of Luck?

"Cowboy Bebop #4" preview page 2.
Fusao did this when he was completely stoned. Keep that in mind.

As it turns out: there is no luck vest. There never was. The whole thing was a con Melville and Ishmael pulled on the Syndicate using smoke and mirrors. Melville seems genuinely depressed when he realized it got Ishmael killed, but tries to convince Faye to let him go anyways. Unfortunately, Fusao shows up and decided his fate for him with a bullet to the chest. After all, the bounty for Melville is “Dead or Alive”, and Fusao didn’t want any loose ends. Spike tries to snipe Fusao, but Jet talks him out of it. The cops were arriving, and Jet didn’t want Spike going to jail for life for this.

After saying finishing his story to Abigail and saying goodbye, Jet and Ein head to a nearby bar to cool down. However, Fusao tails them and ruins the moment. He not only brags about how he’s scoring with his luck vest to Jet, but he also reveals to have murdered a stray dog named Zeezee that Abigail was taking care of, simply to get one of her puppies to sell on the black market. That was the last straw for Jet, who tails him and murders him in an alley. He leaves the puppy behind for Abigail, and returns to the Bebop with his makeshift family as they’re all sharing the Firecracker noodles they still have. I guess all is well again in Cowboy Bebop #4.

Cowboy Bebop #4: The Good

"Cowboy Bebop #4" preview page 3.
The anime was at its best during its somber moments, just like this.

Cowboy Bebop #4‘s story is the best part about it. Dan Watters absolutely nailed the story, from the plot twist about the luck vest to the somberly bittersweet ending. The entire plot of this comic book honestly felt like it could’ve been an episode straight out of the original anime, penned by Hajime Yatate themselves. I’m honestly just shocked that this story never made it into the Netflix live action series. If this had been one of the episodes, I’m sure the critical reception would’ve been just that bit better.

The art of Cowboy Bebop #4 is also one of the good points, surprisingly enough. I feel like Lamar Mathurin’s art has steadily improved throughout this comic book series, culminating in this epic conclusion. The colors, the tone, and the design all feel perfect for the story. Especially that last detail where apparently, the Bebop crew fed Ein some Firecracker noodles. It’s a priceless comedy scene for that bittersweet ending. If Dan Watters and Lamar Mathurin ever decide to do another Cowboy Bebop comic one of these days, then I’d gladly line up to read it.

Cowboy Bebop #4: The Bad

"Cowboy Bebop #4" preview page 4.
The only bad thing is that there isn’t any more of this.

My only complaint about this comic is why isn’t it the plot of one of the Netflix series episodes? Seriously Netflix, if you ever decide to listen to fans, change your mind, and do a second season of Cowboy Bebop; then use the plot of this comic book series as the basis for an episode. It will improve the reception score. Honest. With that said, until next time there’s a Cowboy Bebop comic:

See you, space cowboy…

Source: Titan Comics