UDON’s Super Street Fighter: New Generation Fights Like Gentlemen

February 17th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

That title isn’t even grammatically– you know what? Forget it.

The Street Fighter franchise has always given us interesting comics to work with. When the second game hit the scene and became an early-90’s phenomenon, we got both a terrible series in America that got canceled by the third issue and a manga that made enough sense out of the few existing story beats and created something entertaining. Various manga would appear throughout the years, becoming so beloved by Capcom that they’d introduce characters and concepts as being canon in the games, such as Sagat’s adopted children and Sakura’s rival Karin.

Starting in 2003, UDON – known mainly for that badass redesign of the Taskmaster back in the day that nearly every artist has chosen to foolishly ignore – began a Street Fighter series. While the constantly-changing and cropping titles makes it a headache at times to keep track of, it’s a fun narrative that tries to streamline the many characters and happenings in the game’s universe. Mainly written by Ken Siu-Chong, the comics have told the stories of Street Fighter, the Street Fighter Alpha games and Street Fighter II while doing side stories to build on the cast of Street Fighter III and Street Fighter IV. All that and miniseries based on Chun-Li, Sakura and Ibuki. Sadly, Adon is yet to get his own series.

The end of the Street Fighter II: Turbo series doesn’t quite stick the landing due to the reveal in Street Fighter IV that Gouken – Ryu and Ken’s master – isn’t so dead after all. Incorporating him into the final issue is not unlike having Thomas Wayne show up to punch out the Joker in the climax of a lengthy Batman story. Once that was done, UDON stayed silent for a while until announcing that their Street Fighter comics would no longer be monthlies, but released in graphic novel format. The first of which is Super Street Fighter: New Generation.

More than the format, what really makes this new story different for Siu-Chong is the pre-existing definition. Capcom has defined much of the events of the earlier Street Fighter games and what became of who, so the previous comics were Siu-Chong connecting the dots with his own little touch. New Generation is based on the Street Fighter III games (which storywise is comprised of Street Fighter III: Second Impact and Street Fighter III: Third Strike), which lack all that narrative detail. The games introduced an overwhelmingly new cast with only Ryu and Ken returning, eventually bringing in Akuma and Chun-Li for familiarity. Capcom never went out and came up with too many canon descriptions of what went on in the storyline.

The book tells its own version of the events of Street Fighter III, but with the inclusions of characters from previous games. Heck, Guile is our main character and he wasn’t even in any version of Street Fighter III. It’s neat to see explanations of what became of certain people from the pre-III games. For instance, after Bison’s death and Sagat’s refusal to have anything to do with the criminal enterprise, Shadaloo’s resources were divvied up by Balrog and Vega, who each went legit. Sakura graduated high school and became Ryu’s student, all while wearing an even more gratuitously fanservicey outfit (she’s now Ryu without pants). Zangief, Mike Haggar and Rainbow Mika became members of the Olympic council, making the recent real world situation with wrestling being dropped kind of hilarious in the timing.

The main story deals with the Secret Society, a cult run by the ever-powerful, thong-wearing, two-toned nutjob Gill. Guile – who has spent the last four years at a desk job since the fall of Shadaloo – is investigating the situation, but is alarmed when his inside man has gone missing. Even worse, he finds out of an unfinished list of targets that the cult is after and everyone’s favorite karate Jedi Ryu is on top of the list. Worser than that, Guile’s already too late and he discovers that Ryu’s already been taken. Worse-worsier, he finds this out through Sakura, who’s been driven insane from the experience and demands that Guile stay out of her way. To uncover the mystery, Guile is joined by angry military grappler Alex and another world warrior who I won’t spoil.

That’s not the whole package. Scattered throughout are chapters that tell side-stories. Wrestler Mania with art by Gonzalo Ordonez Arias shows how an argument between E. Honda and Hakan over which wrestling style should be added into the Olympics becomes a full-on fight. Target. Dhalsim. with art from Andres S. Blanco has Twelve attack Dhalsim in the Himalayas while morphing into various characters from the first game. Final Forest Fighter II by Jim Zub and Sean Galloway shows a sparring match between ninjas Guy and Ibuki. There’s also origin stories for Alex (Long Vo on art) and Juri (Zub on words, Omar Dogan on art) with the latter one being especially good. At the very least, it explains why Juri could be so vengeful against Bison/Shadaloo while being a full-on villain with no redeeming values.

Oh, I almost forgot. America’s sweetheart Chris Sims teams up with Edwin Huang to write School in the Summertime, a six-page story where brash, powerhouse boxer Balrog crosses paths with refined fisticuffs gentleman Dudley. It definitely hits its potential and as luck would have it, UDON released the full thing on Facebook. That keeps my conscious clean enough to post them here.

“…gutter trash.”

The hardcover also features a bunch of pages of character art. It retails at $34.95, but you’re better off hitting Amazon or BN.com for a better deal. If you’ve enjoyed the previous comics or have always wanted to read a story about an overly-happy Turkish man who loves oiling himself up more than anyone ever should, it’s worth checking out. Just not at list price.

Now if only UDON would allow me to write an Adon backup. He’s basically just Chris Jericho, but with more kicking. What’s not to love?

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Dictator vs. Wrestler: Vega and the Vegan

March 29th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Wrestlemania 28 is a couple days away and I feel the need to write up something on it. So let’s see… wrestling… wrestling… I could always talk about—no, I did that already. Um… Oh! I can talk about my favorite wrestler, right? Sure! Right now my favorite would probably be current World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. Second favorite, actually, but I’ve already written at length about Mark Henry, so I’ll go with the American Dragon.

Daniel Bryan’s really come into his own as Smackdown’s top heel. He’s also garnered quite a smark following to his recent heel catchphrase. Whenever he wins, survives a match with the title or even stands in the corner during an AJ victory, he begins to loudly celebrate and scream, “YES! YES! YES! YES!”

It didn’t take long for the internet to put 2 and SF2 together by merging it with a meme about M. Bison during the Street Fighter Saturday morning cartoon from the 90’s. In a scene, Bison reacted a little too happily to seeing Guile get beaten up by a mutant and the show went to commercial on a dramatic cliffhanger of him screaming, “YES! YEEEEESSSS!” Maffew from Botchamania had his own version, but here it is simplified.

That got me thinking. The similarities between M. Bison and D-Bryan go further than that. You just have to dig deeper and see that the villain of Street Fighter and the villain of Smackdown exist more as counterparts than you’d think. For the hell of it, here are some comparisons between the two.

M. Bison was originally named Vega, but when Street Fighter 2 came to America, they had to change him to M. Bison due to legal reasons.

Daniel Bryan was born Bryan Danielson and wrestled under that name until coming to WWE. Then they changed his name so they could hold onto the marketing of his image. According to Pro Wrestling Guerrilla canon, Bryan’s true name is John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, which happened to be the same real name of opponent Kenny Omega.

M. Bison claims that, “This place will become your grave!”

Daniel Bryan got buried for 90% of his WWE tenure.

In Street Fighter x Tekken, M. Bison is accompanied by Juri, a pandering minx of a fighter who should by every reason want to kill him for all the abuse he’s put her through.

Daniel Bryan is accompanied by his GIRLFRIEND AJ, a pandering minx of a wrestler who should by every reason want to kill him for all the abuse he’s put her through.

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The Top 15 Best Fighting Game Storylines: Part 3 (5-1)

March 21st, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Part 1!
Part 2!

Before I finish off the list, I want to point out an honorary mention of sorts. When they came out with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, they changed a lot of the endings. For some, the art was altered to feature different characters. For many, the dialogue was changed and made half as long as in the previous game. Still don’t understand that one. A couple guys from the first game got new endings because the previous ones were pointless. For instance, Ryu’s ending in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 features him facing off against Iron Fist in a Madripoor fighting tournament. Considering Iron Fist is in the upgraded game, there’s nothing special about his surprise reveal. So instead, Ryu’s ending has him discover a new role in the world.

Huge smile on my face when I saw that. Coincidentally, Iron Fist’s ending involves him starting up a new Heroes for Hire with Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Ryu, Chun-Li and Rival Schools’ Batsu. I’d easily pay the $3.99 every month for that comic.

5) Jinpache’s Emotional Deaths

Jinpachi Mishima was a good man who opposed his evil son Heihachi, but due to some convoluted storytelling, he became imprisoned underground for decades, infected by a gene that’s driving him to destroy everything. He becomes released during the conclusion of Tekken 4 and sets up the tournament for Tekken 5. Part of Jinpachi wants to get all the great fighters out of the way so he can lay waste to the planet. Part of him wants someone to stop him before he goes too far.

The elderly Wang Jinrei has been in the Tekken cast since the beginning, but he’s also been boring as hell while adding nothing of interest. One thing established is that he and Jinpachi were good friends back in the day and that’s one of the reasons Wang is out to stop Heihachi. Throughout the fifth tournament, he gets this strong feeling that something unbearably terrible will happen at the end. When he faces Jinpachi, seeing him in his demonic form, he outright refuses to fight his best friend. Jinpachi begs him, saying that his human consciousness is weakening by the moment and he needs to die soon or else. Wishing there was another way, Wang reluctantly goes to town.

What follows is one of the saddest video game moments, thanks to some fine voice acting (even though one guy is speaking Chinese and the other Japanese) and captivatingly realistic CGI work. Jinpachi lay on the ground, back in his human form. Wang tries to comfort him, saying he shouldn’t have to apologize for what he’s done. Weakly, Jinpachi wishes that they could have one last drink, but then he dies and instantly melts into sand.

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The Top 15 Best Fighting Game Storylines: Part 2 (10-6)

March 17th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Click here for Part 1!

To answer a question from yesterday’s comments section, I never did get around to playing Blazblue. I really need to rectify that. So if there’s anything on the list you completely disagree with, pretend that if I were to get around to playing through Blazblue, I’d put it in that spot instead. Everybody’s happy.

Now back to the list.

10) Lee Chaolan: The Good Son

Tekken’s core storyline is about the world’s most dysfunctional family. Four generations of the Mishima clan beating the shit out of each other. It mainly started with Heihachi Mishima throwing his son Kazuya off a cliff as a training exercise. Kazuya survived by allowing his body to become host to a demonic entity and returned years later to exact his revenge. While the CGI endings for the first Tekken are hilariously dated in appearance, I always enjoyed the big twist in Kazuya’s. By all means, he should be the hero in this situation. He’s a pretty generic design and his father is evil and wronged him, so he should in response be a good guy. So he picks up his father, carries him in his arms while walking forward… then drops him off a cliff before giving an evil smile to the camera. Love it.

At the same time, if Kazuya was to come off as a hero on paper, Lee Chaolan should have been a villain (and he was in the anime, but that’s neither here nor there). Lee was adopted by Heihachi for the intent purpose of making Kazuya jealous and driving him to be better. After the first game, Kazuya takes over Heihachi’s criminal organization, the Tekken Zaibatsu, and makes Lee his underling. Lee hates what his life had become, forced to work for his despised brother and realizes that all his life, he’s been used as nothing but a pawn. After Heihachi comes back to retake the throne, Lee slips away and lays low for several decades. During this time, it’s speculated that the Tekken 3 boss Ogre found and killed him. Luckily, that wasn’t the case.

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The Top 15 Best Fighting Game Storylines: Part 1 (15-11)

March 16th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

I’ve always been a big fan of the fighting game genre in video games. Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters, Soul Calibur, what have you. I can get into nearly any fighter. These days, the games are held under a microscope due to the high-profile competitive nature of tournaments and online gaming. I don’t do tournaments, I don’t play online and I can’t do an infinite combo to save my life. A lot of the time, I mainly care about sitting back and playing it one-player.

I guess it’s the way I grew up. I had Street Fighter 2 for SNES and while it was fun to play against my friends every week or so for an hour or so, there were more hours on lazy afternoons where I had to fly solo. It was about having to play through the game and defeat M. Bison with every single character and see their endings, then try at a harder level. When I rented a new fighter, I had to see every ending. It was the ritual. It was fun.

Behind the gameplay, it’s the characters and the backstory that make it for me. They add the flavor to it all. That’s why I could never bring myself to care about any Virtua Fighter. I know the whole game is deeper than the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, it’s so bland that I can’t bring myself to invest in it. I want one-player campaign modes like in Soul Calibur or the Challenge Tower from the new Mortal Kombat. I want new shit to unlock and I want it to last. I want special introduction animations before matches that happen because both fighters are siblings. And when one of those guys wins, I want them to say something specific about the loser.

As cheesy as they are, I love the characters and storylines in fighting games. Sure, there are only so many ways you can set up “bunch of dudes fight each other one-on-one”, but there’s some creativity and personality in there. It makes me want to play and learn characters who come off as cool, funny and/or dynamic. I don’t care if they aren’t top tier, I never let go of my Venom/Juggernaut/Morrigan team in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 or my Chang/Iori/Rock team in Capcom vs. SNK 2.

Recently, I picked up Street Fighter x Tekken and Soul Calibur 5. SFxT is a crossover that features counterparts from different companies playing off each other while they all reenact It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, only with more punching. Soul Calibur 5 has a weak story mode and an arcade mode that has you play several matches before congratulating you and asking if you want to try again. Guess which one I’ve been playing more.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve played a lot of these babies. Some good, some bad, some ugly. While many fighting game storylines don’t really hold up as anything exceptional on their own, there are some aspects that I still think are awesome. Here are fifteen of them.

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This Year in Panels: Year 1

September 20th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

A year ago I talked to David Brothers about an idea I had for the site. I had tried writing reviews of weekly releases before, but I never got into it. There were a couple reasons and they’re both about redundancies. I can tell you about how great the latest issue of Captain America is, but so will every other site. There are so many other comic sites that will give better reviews of new stuff that I don’t know why anyone would give a damn what I have to say among all that. Then there’s the fact that comic quality doesn’t change so often within the series’ run. If I tell you that Captain America is great one month, chances are it’s going to be just as good the next. Why waste my breath? If I want to give you my opinions, I want it to at least be interesting and hopefully unique.

I thought back to the first issue of the Agents of Atlas miniseries from several years back. The general response of people who read it and tried to push it was to point out that there’s a scene where a 1950’s robot runs down a hallway while carrying a talking gorilla and that gorilla is firing four uzis with his hands and feet. I figured that maybe that could be the unique way to cover the comics of the week. I’d settle on one panel that really pushes what the comic is about, more than often more than the cover does. It’s no longer so much a review as it is giving you a gist on what we all read. At the same time, I would make sure not to have any major spoilers. If the comic has Wolverine beat up Daken in the climax, then I won’t show it. I will, on the other hand, show them about to fight it out.

If anything, it was also an excuse to keep me from straying from doing anything for the site too long at a time. I’d have a deadline of some point every Sunday and I’ve been pretty good on that. I’ve only delayed two weeks and those were because of a lengthy power outage and the loss of my computer.

I didn’t know if it would work, but David said to go for it. Now it’s been a year and I thought it would be fun to do an extra installment in a retrospective form. The idea was to pick one of my favorite panels from the previous 52 weeks, but with the challenge of not double-dipping from the same title at any point. Here we go!

Adventure Comics #4
Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates and Jerry Ordway

Amazing Spider-Man #617
Joe Kelly, Max Fiumara and Javier Pulido

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Deadpool vs. BB Hood is One Step Closer and There was Much Rejoicing!

April 20th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Who wants a Marvel vs. Capcom 3 trailer?

[MEDIA not found]

Okay, I see Deadpool’s there during the Marvel silhouette. Bring in Cage and Iron Fist and we’re all good.

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This Week in Panels: Week 13

December 20th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

It’s a special Christmas edition of TWiP! I’m not just talking about Guy Gardner’s festive new Lantern color scheme, but at the end of this week’s entry, we have a little extra surprise from guest panel guy David Uzumeri!

Anti-Venom New Ways to Live #3
Zeb Wells, Paulo Siqueira and Marco Checchetto

Authority: The Lost Year #4
Grant Morrison, Keith Giffen and Darick Robertson

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Fun with Street Fighter 4 Mods

July 27th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Recently, Street Fighter 4 came out for the PC. Because of that, people have been able to hack into the game and change the character appearances. For some it means giving Akuma a pink gi and Dan’s moveset. For some it means nuding up the female cast. For one awesome guy, it means making Zangief into Mr. T. But for now, check these out.

I also saw Sagat as John Stewart GL (when we all know Sagat would be a Red Lantern) and Cammy as Psylocke, Arachne and Harley Quinn.

On a similar note, hopefully sometime tonight I should have a new article up that’s also about comics and videogames. No, not Street Fighter or any of its ilk. Rather, it’s something more mainstream and yet far more out of left field.

Plus Ultimatum #5 comes out this week. We all know what that leads to.

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My Review of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Oh God, Why?

February 28th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

“You killed my—“
“Yes, yes, I killed your father. What is it with you women? I killed my father and you don’t hear me complaining about it.”

— Chun-Li and M. Bison from the Street Fighter animated series.

Years ago, I went and saw Street Fighter: The Movie in theaters. It was, as we all know, a bad movie. It’s infamous for being a bad movie. I hated it. As time went on, I learned to forgive it and even enjoy it for its ridiculousness. More than that, I understood the movie.

At least, I understood why it came to be. Street Fighter II was all the rage and a movie was a natural follow up. With so many characters to choose from, the best they could do was create a GI Joe setting where the then-most popular character in the US leads his fellow good guys against the main villain and his cronies. It was there to sell action figures. It was stupid, but I understand why it was.

Last night I watched Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Most fighting games have the habit of having a crappy first attempt and a beautiful second attempt. Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Fatal Fury, Guilty Gear, the Marvel games and so on. By all means, it should be the same with the movies, considering what a turkey the first movie was. They HAD to improve. The studio pressure was lessened this time. We didn’t need Guile and his kung-fu commandos taking on M. Bison’s armies. They were free to tell a more fitting story. They were allowed to do better! They WOULD do better!


The real question isn’t whether or not Legend of Chun-Li is worse than the first Street Fighter movie. Because it really is. It really, really is. The real question is whether Legend of Chun-Li is worse than the Happening. I honestly can’t figure out a good answer for that right now. It’s that close. It’s definitely worse than Mortal Kombat: Annihilation if that means anything to you.

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