UDON Comics takes yet another crack at the Street Fighter franchise with the gorgeous Super Street Fighter Volume 1: New Generation ($24.35). The graphic novel features characters from both Street Fighter III and Street Fighter IV, but it focuses on Guile returning to military action in order to track down The Secret Society. This clandestine organization has plans for world domination (shockingly) and it’s up to Guile to stop them. It’s a personal mission for Guile as the field agent he sent in as a mole (Tom) has yet to report back, making the Street Fighter II star feel responsible. Guile encounters many familiar Street Fighter faces as he hunts for the missing agent, and gains a few partners in his mission — almost delightfully akin to an RPG.
Super Street Fighter Vol 1: A New Generation is an engaging comic, especially if you’re a Street Fighter fan. The story moves from chapter to chapter in an identical fashion as two players choosing their characters at a “select your fighter” screen. There are even chapters that serve as “bonus stages” for secondary characters to have a bit of light shed onto them who don’t directly impact the main story.
Although these “bonus stages” are hilarious and serve as a chance for readers to see beloved characters pair up in some sweet fan-servicing dream fights, they appear too frequently and take away from the story. In addition, almost every time one fighter meets another fighter, the pair engage in an attacking frenzy without explanation. It’s understandable that fights will break out in almost every chapter, since this is a comic based on a fighting game, but the battles don’t happen fluidly as an act of story progression. They tend to happen more-so because of the lack of fighting in a particular chapter. The fight sequences in these chapters stay true to the Street Fighter lore, so you’ll see some classic signature moves on display such as Guile’s Flash Kick that sends opponents chin-first into the air.
The UDON team’s art is as gorgeous as ever with artists such as Long Vo, Joe Ng, Jeff “Chamba’ Cruz, Omar Dogan, and Genzoman taking chapters and pairing off with a different writer. Every chapter is more beautiful than the last, but the characters’ design styles don’t drastically change. As a result, there aren’t any severe visual differences between chapters despite being drawn by different people. However, when there is a noticeable difference, the art matches perfectly to the narrative in that particular chapter. Inker Marshall Dillon gives each page a lush and rich appearance, including Ken’s bleach blonde hair to Hakan’s overly oiled and bronzed body. There’s even some great concept art located at the end of the book. However, it takes up an excessive 46 pages of the 144 page novel.
Super Street Fighter Vol 1: A New Generation is a great and earnest book of what’s to come from the rest of this series. It takes everything you love from the video games — like signature moves and lovable characters — and pairs them with breathtaking art and a worthwhile story. The $34.95 MSRP is a little steep, but there are deals all over the interwebs (such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble) that will let you pick up this beaut for as little as $20. There’s no reason a fan of Street Fighter, a fan of UDON, or a fan of terrific art should not pick up this graphic novel.
- Price: $34.95
- ISBN-10: 1926778545
- ISBN-13: 978-1926778549
- Format: Hardcover
- Page Count: 144 pages, color
- Size: 8.3 x 0.6 x 11.3 inches