Bean Bandit (Gunsmith Cats manga)

Bean Bandit


Gunsmith Cats (ガンスミス キャッツ) is a well-regarded young adult manga  that run 1991-1997.

This profile is based on this run and doesn’t include elements from the anime  adaptation, the later Burst material, or some similar elements in the previous Riding Bean manga. Howbeit the story appended to Book 4 of the Revised Edition of Gunsmith Cats is taken into account when describing his abilities.

It is a crime/action story with 1970s US thriller movies aesthetics and a bit of a fixation on Cars™ and Guns™. And pædophilia, because of course.

This profile has a number of S P O I L E R S.



  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Other Aliases: Road Buster.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Chicago.
  • Height: 6’5” Weight: 240 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black

Powers & Abilities

Bean is a towering wall of muscle, with at least peak human strength and durability.

This level of robustness is practically unheard of in the story’s genre. Thus, he’ll often leave his opponents aghast by enduring assaults (such as high-powered stun guns) that would taken out any other person.

Bean Bandit can kill with a single punch, and his endurance and pain tolerance are amazing. He has been described as “a gorilla in a flak jacket”, and is nearly invincible in Gunsmith Cats stories.



With his immense strength, Bean eschews firearms. Instead he uses bladed weapons – usually a sheath knife and a few single-piece throwing knives, but he owns an arsenal of knives and swords. At common combat ranges, he can throw knives with such force that they are the equivalent of a .44 magnum round.

He once threw a dagger right through a windshield to have it embed itself in the driver’s seat.

His strength also allows him to throw random objects as lethal projectiles, though an actual weapon is much better. He is precise enough to throw multiple knives in one volley and do called shots with all of them, or take out a gun by hitting it with a knife

Bean is a superior knife fighter and hand-to-hand expert. He can defeat pretty much anyone in melee. Like his strength and constitution, his reflexes seem at least peak human. He could even catch Gray’s deadly blade by clapping his bare hands, while badly wounded and heavily bleeding – and was strong enough to break its CV-34 steel.

Bulletproof heart, part 1

Bandit uses his immense strength to wear his signature jacket. It is made of moose leather and heavily reinforced by high-end ballistic plates *and* chain mail. When worn by Bean it can endure pretty much anything short of assault rifle fire.

He can protect his head by putting his crooked arm in front of it. Furthermore his jeans, boots and gloves are all lined with multiple layers of ballistic fabric. His headband is also made of Kevlar, and has saved him from several headshots already.

One of Bean Bandit's cars

With this equipment, Bean Bandit can essentially walk into gunfire and remain mostly unarmed – and he only needs a few seconds of exposure to close in. The sheer amount of body armour also does a great job against crashes and collisions.

It is apparently better for Bandit not to wear his seatbelt. Being ejected from a car and skidding and bouncing at high speed on the asphalt is very survivable if he can protect his head with his armoured arms and hands.

Bulletproof heart, part 2

The Road Buster has been known to throw himself at speeding cars, using his great weight and strength to demolish the windshield and roof and kill the driver. He also once took a smoke grenade from a M-79 right in the head and was just stunned.

These and other stunts should be impossible with normal human bones, even with body armour on. Several bits of dialogue lampshade  Bean’s seemingly superhuman robustness. In DC Heroes terms this is handled by the borderline-superhuman BODY score (nobody else in the story has a 06), and ample Hero Points  that are chiefly used for Last Ditch Defense.

If his special jacket needs to be repaired, he’ll wear a commercial armoured jacket (looking like a business casual vest or a leather jacket) in the meanwhile. He might even wear ordinary clothing if he’s between jobs.

It’s a car ! Get in the lion ! (part 1)

Bean’s primary skillset is to be the best underworld driver money can hire. He can perform driving that would normally require a stunt crew and extensive preparation. Catching or intercepting him is nearly impossible, and he is extensively knowledgeable about cars.

Bean Bandit in one of his Corvettes

He can do his own common repairs, but doesn’t appear to be a professional car mechanic himself. He contracts reputed specialists to do the high-end technical work.

Bean is very familiar with combat driving tactics, and can generally anticipate the reactions of lesser drivers. For instance, when chased by multiple police cruisers on a highway, he did an extraordinary U-turn, accelerated all out and weaved between the incoming cars at 150 mph, leaving them unable to pursue after this essentially superhuman feat of driving.

The Road Buster is very experienced at losing pursuers, and that includes planning as well as raw driving skill. He will often drive in the wrong direction to trick pursuers as to his destination, then find a way to covertly switch to his actual route.

He also once arranged for a specific container to be carried by two different trucks after a covert cargo switch, thus tricking the FBI into assuming that the container couldn’t possibly hold his clients.

It’s a car ! Get in the lion ! (part 2)

Bean normally operates by stealing a suitable car for the job, and ditching it afterwards. However, he has a marked preference for 1970s and late 1960s American muscle cars, and will drive one unless it is inappropriate for the job.

Bean Bandit with his body armor

He has a small collection of classic muscle cars with various customisations and improvements. It includes a Corvette C3  with the LS7 V-8 engine, and an extensively overhauled first generation Ford Mustang Boss 302  with a blueprinted engine and Formula One-grade transmission.

The 302 could easily race a 1998 Viper RT/10 and a blueprinted competition Shelby Cobra 427, which means that its top speed must be close to 190 or even 200 mph.

This is sufficient to outpace most police helicopters if the road is relatively straight. A typical model (a Bell 206 Jet Ranger ) usually does 140.

Bandit also drove a Mustang Mach One  with a supercharger, to rush an escaping prisoner from Chicago to New York City despite heavy pursuit from the police and the mob. Larry Vincent described it as “super-tuned”, and transporter Riff-Raff used similar terms to describe the Boss 302.

It’s a car ! Get in the lion ! (part 3)

Near the end of the story, Bean obtains what he spent years and hundreds of thousands of dollars for. This is his one-of-a-kind dream car built to his specifications from the chassis up by hand-picked specialists. Called the Buff (short for “Cape Buffalo ”), it is heavily armoured all over yet retains extremely high performance.

Special features include :

  • Air brakes.
  • Blades popping from the hubcaps to shred the tyres of other vehicles.
  • Speakers to communicate with persons just outside without rolling down the windows.
  • A yoke that can rotate the wheels to drive sideways.

The engine is a blueprinted 427 block with a supercharger, dyno’d to 500 BHP.


Bean Bandit, aka the Road Buster, is a legendary transporter (mercenary driver) operating out of Chicago. He’s acknowledged as being the best in the business, and well-known among Illinois mobsters and ganevs . Nothing can stop or intercept Bean, and he always gets the job done.

Typical jobs include being the getaway driver for a VIP, or high-speed transportation of extremely sensitive cargo while evading the police. His minimum fee is $40K.

Part of Bandit’s mystique is his stringent professionalism, and that he’ll destroy anybody who breaks a contract with him. He reputedly wiped out several gangs that tried to defraud him.

Heeeeere’s Rally

During the Gunsmith Cats story, Bean repeatedly runs into Larry Vincent, a young woman reputed as the best bounty hunter in Chicago.

Though they are initially on opposing sides (particularly when the Road Buster is hired as the getaway wheelman for Vincent’s nemesis, Mafia boss Iron Goldie), a sort of friendship gradually emerges.

Band Bandit's blades arsenal

Vincent later wins a bet against Bandit, after she swears that she will stop him from delivering a shipment of particularly devastating narcotics in New York City. Honouring the terms of their bet, Bean promises that he will never transport drugs again.

Bean is eventually hired by Vincent and her allies during the final showdown with Iron Goldie, and is an integral part of their victory.

All about that horsepower

A month later, one of the very young women associating with Larry Vincent, Misty Brown, accidentally steals Bandit’s designer car. She then gets captured by a criminal crew looking for the cargo therein. Bean agrees to help to recover Misty, his car and his cargo.

He saves Ms. Brown’s life from a volley of bullets, though that temporarily paralyses his arm. To compensate for this wound, Larry gets into his car to work the shift stick during the subsequent chase.

In the wake of this later case, the Bandit half-jokingly offers Vincent to become his partner, though she turns him down. Howbeit, Brown expresses an interest in dating the Road Buster.


Bean is huge, and has an enormous jaw. He usually dresses in cowboy boots, slim jeans and a heavy leather jacket. His headband and unruly hair evoke John Rambo. He has a distinctive, X-shaped scar on his forehead and on each side of his nose, but it is usually covered by his headband and his shades. His musculature is extremely developed.

Though his skin is relatively light, the Road Buster is of unspecified heavily mixed heritages. The art giving the impression that he’s part-Japanese. He occasionally smokes a cigarette.


Bean Bandit is super-professional. He has an extremely strict code of honour about carrying out his contract to the letter, no matter what. He is one of the most reliable shady types you could possibly hire.

On the other hand, attempting to double-cross him will probably have fatal consequences. The Road Buster demands the same level of reliability and honour from his employers. Insulting him is or loudly doubting his abilities also an exceedingly bad idea.

Bean Bandits and bodyguards

Bean normally refuses to drive or fight unless he’s paid and has a proper contract. However, he can bend the rules a bit for friends or a beautiful woman. A vague spoken promise might be enough and the details will be hashed out later.

He is punctilious with anybody whom he recognises as being a pro. He will never rat them out, always compensate them for any damage they may have incurred for his actions, etc. Of course, he expects similar respect in return.

His definition of professionalism means that he will even work for people who previously tried to kill him, as long as he’s paid extra to compensate for this history. Apparently it’s $30K just to talk, plus a multiplier on the job itself.

Other traits

Bean knows that he’s the best driver around. He knows that he’s able to survive and overcome against odds that would kill anybody else. That gives him a confidence that borders on smugness, but at the same time he will not underestimate professionals. If their skills are respectable, he will respect them.

This is doubly true if they have the same tastes in cars as he does and/or behave with a stringent code of honour.

Bean is protective of children and young women, for what seem to be undisclosed personal reasons. He will normally intervene if he sees one in danger. Thus, Larry hit all of his buttons — young, female, professional, super-competent, highly honourable and crazy about classic American muscle cars — and soon become a friend despite the unfavourable circumstances.

Bean Bandit gets out of his car

Though in Riding Bean the Road Buster is a smooth womaniser, in Gunsmith Cats Bean doesn’t develop an on-panel romantic interest. He did flirt a bit with Larry, but that was friendly banter to acknowledge her attractiveness.

Bean Bandit doesn’t go out of his way to kill opponents. But unlike Larry and Minnie he doesn’t have a problem with occasionally murdering some hapless schmuck.

Bean goes for simple things — beer, jumbo plates of ribs, strip bars, etc. — and is familiar with truck stop life given how much time he spends on the road.


“So it was actually a bomb, huh ? There’s a penalty for faking a cargo, so you owe me. I charge 100 grands for breaking a contract, Gray. Hope you got it on ya.”

“We didn’t agree to any hostage shit ! Lemme tell ya something pal — my jobs NEVER need insurance !”

Client, observing the truck chasing them: “Holy shit ! That motherfucker’s got a supercharger too !”
Bean Bandit: “Yee-HAW ! This is gettin’ kinda fun !”

“A 90mph speed differential ? Buddy, get ready for a 150mph slalom run ! Fasten your seat belts, kiddies !”

Bean Bandit smirking

Larry: “Looks like we owe you one, Bean. If you hadn’t come back with that hook, I’d have more than a bruise on my skull.”
Bean: “Hey, thank *you* for the loan of the car, girl.”

“Sorry kid, but I always play by the rules. And my car’s a safe zone.”

“Took the job, took the dough, took the receipt. No way I’m gonna miss the transaction now.”

(Grinning despite his wounds) “Someone who’d stick their neck into a drugs deal like this, *and* can shoot out a gun’s safety at that range… ? Yeah, Larry Vincent’s still alive.”

“Mess with the girl… and you’re dead meat. I’ll roast your balls on a stick, over a fire of your own bills !”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Bean Bandit

Dex: 05 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation: Driver
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 020 HP: 060

EV: 05, Projectile weapons: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • EV is Contingent Upon STR, and can only be subbed for the EV of throwing knives.
  • Projectile weapons requires an object of opportunity.

Charisma (Intimidation): 06, Gadgetry: 05, Martial Artist: 06, Thief (Security systems – Specialised in automobiles): 06, Vehicles (Land): 10, Weaponry (Knives): 08

Bonuses and Limitations:
Gadgetry only for realistic auto mechanics work.

Expertise (Cars nut), Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes.

Underworld (Low), Street (Low), Larry Vincent and crew (Low).

Creepy Appearance (Size, huge jaw – and distinctive X-shaped facial scars, though it’s usually hidden by his headband and shades).


  • Fighting knives (x2) [BODY 06, EV 03 (06 w/STR, 07 w/Martial Artist), Sharpness (EV): 01].
  • Throwing knives (x6) [BODY 02, EV 02 (05 w/Projectile Weapons), Dart Bonus].
  • SIGNATURE JACKET AND HEADBAND [BODY 08, Blunting: 05, Skin armour: 02, Recommended STR 04, Partial Coverage (Long coat)].
  • Driving sunglasses [BODY 01, Shade: 01]. Bean being Bean, it is entirely possible that these are actually armoured – raise the BODY to 04.
  • Most cars driven by Bean will be muscle cars with [STR 05 BODY 06, Running: 07, R#02], though he might steal or otherwise procure something different if the job calls for it. He’ll have some basic equipment inside, such as a first aid kit.
  • Possible stats for his custom car are : BUFF [STR 05 BODY (Hardened Defenses): 08, Claws: 05, Running: 05, Limitation: Claws can only be used on something right next to the BUFF – normally the tyres of a vehicle the BUFF is sideswiping].

Cheap the bullet, easy the gun

Gunsmith Cats features far greater granularity in bullet damage than DC Heroes does.

Being hit by one of Larry’s holdout guns (EV 03) is very different than being hit by one of her 9mm (EV 04). A .44 Magnum bullet (EV 05) is likewise far more threatening than a medium-calibre round, etc.

This is particularly visible for Bean Bandit and his special jacket. Automatic 9mm fire (EV 05) is very unlikely to achieve anything against him, but a .50 AE FMJ round (EV 05, Sharpness: 01] will inflict a telling wound given its much greater power of penetration. So will rifle bullets (EV 06 or more), unless they are soft-tipped (such as a HP round used for hunting).

As usual, the two main tables can be tweaked to have but one AP per line and per column, so each AP plays a greater marginal role. It is also possible to go long on the APs of Sharpness given to armour-defeating ammunition – 1 AP for ordinary (FMJ) military ball ammunition, and up to an unrealistic 4 APs for high-end armour-piercing ammo. See our firearms articles on for more.

Thus, Mr. Jones with his AR-15 (Projectile Weapons: 06) loaded with AP rounds (Sharpness: 03) can represent a genuine threat for Bean (RV 08 with his jacket on) — though Bean still has an ample stock of Hero Points allowing to LDD and stay alive against all odds.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Gunsmith Cats manga.

Writeup completed on the 9th of April, 2014.