Spinning off from the main line of UDON Street Fighter comics, we take a look at both a prequel in Chun-Li, and a side-story in the case of Sakura (specifically taking place roughly around the end of the Street Fighter Classic run, which is why I’ve put it here) Along with different time periods they’re also completely different story types, with one telling a basic but enjoyable cop story and the other being pure comedy. How well does either work? Let’s find out!
Synopsis (of Legends: Chun-Li):
Before Chun-li was a no-nonsense Interpol officer she was a fresh recruit in the Hong Kong Police. Street Fighter Legends: Chun-li explores a young Chun-li’s first encounter with the criminal Shadaloo organization and her first, and only time working alongside her father…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Chun-Li in police gear rather than blue silk… odd, though it shouldn’t be given her career!
Legends: Chun-Li, as mentioned, takes place before the on-going comic line and focuses on Chun-Li and her friend Po-Lin who are still rookies on the Hong Kong force but desperate to prove themselves. When Chun-Li’s father starts looking into Shadaloo, even getting in contact with his old friend Gen, the duo worm their way onto the case with him. Shadaloo heavy Sagat begins to move in Hong Kong and gets into a fight with Dan’s father, whom he kills after he loses an eye in the fight. It was nice seeing this moment that was added retroactively to the games, and adds some actual backstory to Dan’s “Fatherrrr!” repeated gag if nothing else…
The case takes them to a large ship where a firefight breaks out and Sagat is eventually defeated by Chun-Li and her father. Po-Lin is critically injured and renounces her decision to join the force as she originally did it to get revenge for the death of her father. Chun-Li looks on as Po-Lin cries at her father’s grave, she hopes she never has to go through something like that herself, then we see “Killer Bee” in a nearby alley waiting to put her through just that! It was a good little story, with fun lore nods and some enjoyable action and artwork.
Hooray for Rival Schools! Bring the series back already, CAPCOM!
The only good bit of Legends: Sakura is seeing a bunch of the Rival Schools characters appear. I loved the PS1 game (that featured Sakura as a playable character) so it was great to see them again in some form, and to be fair to it the artwork was similarly good. Honestly if it was told via bonus chapters in other material I wouldn’t have had a problem with it…
This is actually an example of Legends: Sakura getting the humour right, but there were more bad than good, for the record…
Sakura’s story was rather poor for a stand-alone series. It was focused more on comedy than anything else, and a lot of that comedy didn’t land. She talks to Ryu and he tells her to find as many different teachers and styles as she can because there is always something to learn, and so she goes to a local pro-wrestling show and geeks out over Rainbow Mika as she beats Zangief. At a post-show autograph session Sakura and Mika team up to take down the Red Cyclone as he attacks in a rage, and… well, that’s that. She then gets challenged by her old rival Karin, but Sakura turns it around and makes the challenge a hotdog eating contest, for… some reason. Lots of cheating antics and over-eating gags later and the contest ends without either winning, but Karin tries to attack Sakura anyway now she’s so full she can barely defend herself. With a little help from her allies in the audience Sakura comes out on top and … that’s that. Throw in some “Dan thinks he’s Sakura’s master / thinks she got lucky when she beat him last time” gags and that’s your lot. It’s all fluff and filler, if I didn’t get this as part of a large bundle for a good price I’d be annoyed at paying TPB money for such a non-event of a story.
Dan’s Dad making more of an impact in one appearance than his son does… ever.
These two Legends stories are polar opposites of each other. One is well written, fun and adds something to the overall comic canon and the other is the comic equivalent of a comedy filler episode of an anime, just fluff which is sort of entertaining here and there but doesn’t leave you with any satisfaction, except unlike an anime this would’ve cost you a fair amount back when it was released! So… separate scores then!