Let’s talk about Space Cowboys this week. That brings me to Captain of Serenity Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly) and bounty hunter Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop). Both are space cowboys dealing in a harsh reality where people are traveling from town to town looking for work. Looking at them side by side, let’s discuss Reynolds first.
Reynolds is the Captain of the Firefly class vessel Serenity. He is an Unification War veteran from the losing side of the conflict, he was for the Independents rising to the rank of Sergeant. He was the highest ranking member of the Independents to survive the Battle of Serenity Valley. He is incredibly good with a firearm and decent in hand to hand combat, holding his own against some fairly powerful opponents. He is passable with a sword, as seen in the episode Shindig. He is snarky, clever, and finds a way to keep himself in control of each situation. He travels for jobs, taking odd jobs including smuggling wherever he gets them.
Spike Spiegel is a bounty hunter who flies on the spaceship called Bebop. He is a former member of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate and accomplished in martial arts. He primarily fights in the style of Jeet Kune Do, a variant of Kung Fu developed by Bruce Lee. He has one prosthetic eye, but has exceptional vision in the one eye he has. He’s an excellent mark with a firearm. Spiegel is generally laid back and relaxed in most circumstances – even when life can be on the line.
How would a battle between these two space cowboys play out? Here’s how I see it happening.
This is the furthest Spike had traveled in a long time. But, the bounty was just too high to pass up. A beautiful redheaded woman who said her name was Jasmine approached him personally while he was sitting in a bar. She told him about her enemy, smuggler Malcolm Reynolds. 5 million if he was brought in dead or alive. Seemed reasonable enough. He was given coordinates and a faster ship. She had prepared for everything. Spike traveled to the planet Haven, touching down outside of a small mining town. Reynolds was supposedly here. If he was, Spike would find him.
Mal had ventured off by himself to a local bar. He needed some time away from everyone. Things had gotten tense lately and he didn’t want to hear anything else from Shepherd Book complaining about him hiding out here. He just wanted peace and quiet for a few days before heading back out on another job. He had heard of some work that put you weirdly close to Earth-that-Was, but he didn’t believe the rumors. He finished his drink when he saw a tall, lanky gentleman walk into the bar.
Spike nodded at Mal. “You here for me?” Mal said.
“You guessed it.”
“Well, it’s always nice to be wanted,” Mal said with a smirk. The two drew their guns, shooting at one another. The other patrons of the bar scrambled to exit with the bartender hiding beneath the bar. Mal finds himself behind the bar as well running from the gunfire. He downed a shot and looked up. Spike was reloading in the doorway. Mal got a shot off and ducked back down. He missed.
Spike just shook his head, “I don’t have time for this.” He charged toward the bar and shot into it directly in front of himself. As he got closer, he slid and kicked into the portion he had shot, plowing himself through it. He swiftly arose with his gun pointed at Mal, Mal’s at him.
“How many bullets you have left in there?” Mal said with a smirk.
“You sure, I counted about 10 fired on this here bar and I’m not sure your clip is that big.”
Spike stared at Mal with a puzzled look on his face, but maintaining his gun pointed directly at Mal. He’s getting in my head, Spike thought. Can’t let that happen.
“Who put you up to this?”
“Jasmine. She seems to really hate you.”
“Jasmine?” Mal says questioningly. He thinks for a moment with his gun still drawn on Spike. “Red hair, beautiful, bitter, really nice set of…teeth?”
“Yea, that sounds about right,” Spike replied with a snicker.
“She was Saffron when I first met her. Then Yolanda. Then…I don’t even remember anymore. She’s a liar and a cheat, I tell you.”
“Eh, she did offer 5 million.”
“Well ain’t that shiny,” Mal shot Spike’s gun out of his hand and pointed the gun at Spike’s head, “Now, you go back to Yo-saf-bridge-jas and tell her I ain’t going to die tonight.”
Spike quickly kicked the gun out of Mal’s hand, spinning back around after with a swift punch to the head. “You can tell her yourself when I bring you to her alive.” Spike and Mal begin to fight bare handed.
He is a better fighter than me, Mal thinks, how can I get the upper…hand. Mal sees a candle lit on the counter. After blocking a few hard hits from Spike, and getting a few landed on his gut and head, Mal grabs the lit candle and throws it at the booze behind the counter. He jumps over the counter as the candle breaks a larger bottle of vodka and catches fire. The fire spreads quickly and the entire back of the bar is on fire. Spike’s coat catches fire too. This gives Mal the distraction he needs to run.
Mal escapes quickly back to Serenity. “Wash! We’re leaving. Now. Everyone on board?”
“Everyone’s here. What’s the matter?”
By the time Spike catches up and finds Serenity, Mal is gone. Guess that reward is gone too, he thought. Eh, it wasn’t worth it…
So, that’s who I see winning the battle. How about you? Vote now.
And comment below.