Street Fighter #0 FCBD 2014 (Comics Review)

I remember playing Street Fighter back when I was a kid. Had a PC version for the game on my big desktop machine and it was one of those games that I could play for hours on end without rest, same with Mortal Kombat II and a bunch of other fighting sims. Those were good days. Playing these games, I was always interested in the various backhistories of all these characters, but never really thought to turn to the vast storehouse of knowledge that is the internet for help in that regard. I learned about all these characters slowly over the years as I played more of the games and became more familiar with them. And of course, there was the ridiculous movie(s) too.

This past Free Comic Book Day, UDON Entertainment and Capcom came together to put out Street Fighter #0, which is meant to be a preview of UDON’s upcoming line of Street Fighter graphic novels. And suddenly, I have before me a way to get in touch with all these characters like Ken and Ryu and Akuma and Chun-Li and others in a format that I absolutely love, so how can I really say no to all that? There are three issues in this free offering and they are all good in terms of both writing and art. The first one is definitely my favourite though, although the third is the more introspective of the bunch with the middle story falling, well, in the middle of both those other two stories.

Street Fighter 00 FCBD 2014The first story in this issue is by Jim Zub with art by Hanzo Steinbach and Marshall Dillon. This is quite a straightforward story about Ken and his pupil as they train in Hong Kong and the former meets up with an old friend. Pure action story, and I loved every scene of it. Jim is one of my favourite writers in comics right now, thanks to all his work on Samurai Jack from IDW and some of his other work that I’ve read so far, and he delivers another ass-kicking story in this issue. Short and to the point, this story got me really excited for what’s coming up from UDON later this year. And in the bargain, Hanzo’s art is just magnificent. A very American style of manga, I’d have to say, with lots of bright and loud colours. Amazing really.

The second story is by Ken Sui-Chong with art by Takeshi Miyazawa, Espen Grundetjern and Marshall Dillon. This one focuses on Juri and Seth, two characters I’m unfamiliar with, but I enjoyed the mystery and intrigue of this one in the sense that it goes back to the “villain” of the games, Bison himself. A couple nice twists here and the characters are built up quite nicely. This was a fun story too but not as much as the previous one. Takeshi’s art is good but is a bit heavy on the inks and sometimes the details are all smudged. Espen’s colours don’t vary too much and seem to be using a very fixed palette, so that was a bit off-putting.

The final story here is by Chris Sarracini with art by Joe Ng, Rob Armstrong, Espen Grundetjern and Marshal Dillon. This one seems to be a part of Akuma’s origin story and I loved that since I loved the character in the games. Quite an intense story too, and certainly not what I was expecting, and I was expecting something much different after reading the first two stories. Chris Sarracini develops Akuma’s character pretty well, and provides some fun twists to the story that are kind of expected but are executed well and so get a pass in that regard. The real star of this issue though is the art I think with Joe, Rob, Espen and Marshall all doing a fantastic job from start to finish. It has a very gritty, realistic feel to it and I appreciated that.

What it comes down to is the fact that UDON has provided a variety of stories here by entirely different creative teams and, to be frank, I doubt the overall effort could have been that much better in any way. Each story is fun to read and the art is damn good too, and all it has done is get me really, really excited for what the publisher has coming up later this year.

Rating: 8.5/10

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Posted on May 20, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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