Cowboy Bebop #1 Review: A Jazzy Interpretation of an Iconic Anime

Cowboy Bebop is considered a classic, and you don't have to dig deep to find the reason. Director Shinichiro Watanabe and writer Keiko Nobumoto created a truly expansive universe for the Bebop crew to explore, and fans were sucked in by its genre-bending style. Last year Netflix gave its own take on the franchise, and Titan Comics is now doing the same. This week Cowboy Bebop #1 goes live and delivers a jazzy interpretation of the iconic anime that's easy for fans to enjoy.

Written by Dan Watters, this limited-run series brings the Bebop crew together for a new mission known as "Supernova Swing." The pacing is as brisk as you'd expect from the title, and Watters nails the crew's dynamics in the first few pages. Readers begin at the start of a job where things quickly go belly up. Faye's sardonic tone is met easily by Spike's unwavering sarcasm, but both of the pair are toned down by Jet Black. Even Ein manages to weasel in some cute asides, but these light moments are sandwiched into a lengthy mission brief.

(Photo: Titan Comics)

This original Cowboy Bebop narrative puts the Bebop in line for a bounty after a scientist known as Melville pulls off a truly incredible heist. Things get messy when a massive bounty is placed on the man, and the Syndicate's involvement ends up hastening the gig. But as this first issue unfolds, fans are given reason to believe that this target isn't as bad as we may initially believe.

Watters' story doesn't rewrite the tone of Cowboy Bebop; it feels like a faithful interpretation of Nobumoto's original work. It is unpredictable, irreverent, and quiet when called upon. The issue is simple enough to appease longtime fans, but artist Lamar Mathurin and colorist Roman Titov take this debut to new heights.

Cowboy Bebop's art is celebrated to this day for its use of color and detail to make its universe feel big. Mathurin aand Titov honed into that fact while adding their own distinct style to the Bebop crew. The fights are inked bloody, and each member of the team is given tiny tics which make them feel real. This issue succeeds in making the Cowboy Bebop-world lived in where Netflix failed. And with more issues on the way, it's safe to say fans will want to jam with this Titan miniseries a bit longer.

Published by Titan Comics

On January 26, 2022

Written by Dan Watters

Art by Lamar Mathurin

Colors by Roman Titov

Letters by Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

Cover by Stanley Lau