Cowboy Bebop is widely regarded as one of the most influential anime series of all time, a classic with an almost universal reputation for quality that is beloved by a staggeringly large audience, which is remarkable how divisive the anime fandom has a tendency to be. Regardless of any other tastes and inclinations, practically all fans of anime can agree: Cowboy Bebop is top tier. The new graphic novel released by Titan, Cowboy Bebop: Supernova Swing managed to capture the tone and style of the original show and tell an all new tale that is fun, engrossing, and should more than satisfy fans of the anime.
Penned by Dan Watters and drawn by Lamar Mathurin, Cowboy Bebop: Supernova Swing tells a stylish, action-heavy, moody story that while aesthetically different from the original anime, is dead accurate tonally. The bulk of that accuracy lies with Watters and his ability to comfortably replicate the voices of the characters from the original series. Spike Spiegel reads like Spike, Faye and Jet “sound” like they’re supposed to. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the kinetic, dynamic compositions created by Mathurin in their page layouts and action sequences that are a lot of fun and guide the reader around the page at a solid clip. The colorists here are also integral (much as they are with any comic), with the tones and textures created by Roman Titov and Emilio Lecce really driving home the visual connection to the animated version of Cowboy Bebop.
The story that unfolds across the pages of Cowboy Bebop: Supernova Swing reads like something that could have been an animated episode and pays equal service to levity and seriousness, Watters deftly employing the acerbic wit of the Bebop’s crew to create truly humorous moments that are balanced by more quiet, pensive moments that creep close to tragedy. It goes a long way towards replicating the feel of the show, and creates an immersive experience that ultimately pays off in its believability.
For readers who have never experienced Cowboy Bebop: Supernova Swing is a fun, rollicking space caper jam packed with interesting characters and edge of your seat action that’s sure to satisfy. But if you are a fan of the original, I think there’s something truly special here, something that opens up the fascinating world and tells a whole new story in it that is just as captivating and worth investing in. Cowboy Bebop: Supernova Swing is a fantastic story for old fans and newcomers alike, a solid four stars that left me very much wanting more.
See you, space cowboy.