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Cowboy Bebop: Shooting Star, Book 1

Cain Kuga, Author
Cain Kuga, Author , story by Hajime Yatate. Tokyopop $9.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-59182-297-4
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-1-59182-298-1
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The Cowboy Bebop franchise is an undisputed mega-hit in Japan, boasting a popular television show and a blockbuster film. An alternate series to the original manga, Shooting Star is a space noir set at the end of the 21st century. The Bebop is a ship with an unusual crew of renegade space cowboys (or more accurately, interplanetary bounty hunters). This what-if story introduces Kai Lucas, who hires the Bebop 's crew to track down his doppelg™nger. The crew, led by the reckless Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, a former member of the Inter Solar Systems Police, gradually grows to include its trademark ragtag assortment of eccentrics, like conniving con dame Faye Valentine, hacker Edward IV and Ein the hyper-intelligent dog. Through a convergence of fate and technology gone awry, Spike becomes one of space's Most Wanted, and the tables are turned: hunter becomes hunted as the crew get caught in space-mafia intrigue with Scorpion, the teenage leader of the Dragon Head family. Kai's decoy wreaks havoc, and mistaken identity, bait-and-switches and double-crosses ensue. It's one wild goose chase after another for the perpetually impoverished group. This volume is the second manga spin-off from the original anime series and is the same Cowboy Bebop in spirit but with a different story line; many characters are familiar, though they have modified origins and subtle personality differences (e.g., Spike's trademark unruly hairdo has been tamed). But it still continues the potent postmodern mix of sci-fi, wit, action and film noir that made the original series so outrageously popular. (2003)

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