Before we hit the next longer run of Street Fighter comics (which were released under the title “Street Fighter Unlimited”) we get Super Street Fighter, which serves a prelude to Unlimited as well as an introduction to characters and themes from SFIII (plus a bit more SFIV, given that game’s story hasn’t happened in this timeline, seemingly) I thought I’d throw in Legends: Ibuki as well because she too was a SFIII character and I normally package two “omnibus” releases together for these reviews, so… Yeah. Let’s take a look!
Official Synopsis (of Super Street Fighter):
Sakura is tempted by power of the Dark Hado, Juri makes her vicious presence known for the first time, and Akuma transforms into the all-powerful Oni! All that plus Ryu, Chun-li, Guile, Cammy, Dan, M. Bison, and many more of your favorite World Warriors clash in the complete Super Street Fighter
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Good old nearly naked God-like being Gill… Seriously, put some damn clothes on!
I really enjoyed Super Street Fighter, if only because I’ve felt in recent years that SFIII has been given the shaft by CAPCOM setting IV and V before III. I also liked how they weave some SFIV lore into the narrative as well as take it in original directions. Made for a more unpredictable read.
So Guile had brought a retired agent named Tom back into the fold to go undercover and spy on “The Society” and he went missing, his only clue is that the Society were targeting Ryu so Guile heads to Japan to search for him. There he finds Sakura possessed by the Dark Hado before she runs away, so he asks E. Honda and Dan what was going on and the latter tells him: Ryu was training Sakura when an apparently resurrected M. Bison and Urien arrived and kidnap Ryu (who is having his own Dark Hado issues), an incident that caused Sakura to blame herself for not protecting her master and embrace the same Dark Hado.
At the same time Juri betrays Seth and joins up with Shadaloo and Alex, the protégé of Tom, arrives and demands Guile tell him what happened to his father figure, then agrees to help Guile fight the Society. This all comes to a head when Akuma tracks down Sakura and tries to bring out the Dark Hado in her more which gains the attention of Urien and M. Bison, and soon Guile and Juri all arrive at the same place as well. Guile and Alex fight M. Bison and Urien, then Juri joins in and attacks Bison (who turns out to be Twelve, a Society experiment), and Ryu breaks free and absorbs all of Sakura’s Dark Hado, causing him to turn into Evil Ryu. His power is great enough that Akuma turns into Oni and we have a full-on Street Fighter IV unlockable alts showdown. The power is so great that Gill, the leader of The Society, arrives and uses his limitless power to revert Ryu and Akuma to their previous selves and dispatch them with ease along with Alex, who Gill brushes aside and claims he has a bigger role to play later. We then get an epilogue where characters are licking their wounds and planning their next move, plus Cammy and her new Delta Blue team discover Necro and his shapeshifting abilities have actually replaced a British cabinet member, and wonder who else has been replaced as Gill… well, reveals he’s made a clone of the secretary of state…
They’re certainly getting plenty of use out of the Street Fighter IV roster WITHOUT actually adapting the game…
Legends: Ibuki was… fine. At four issues it told her backstory of being both a member of a secret ninja society and a regular high school girl well enough. She meets fellow SFIII students Makoto and Elena (who is on an exchange program from Africa) and fight Oro (who we see a flashback of when he decided to fight with one hand hidden) before the trio end up caught in a war between Ibuki’s clan and the Geki ninjas (which is a fun callback to the original Street Fighter). Like I said, for a little origin story it worked fine, but was obviously much more small-scale than the book I ended up pairing it with!
A lot of the core Super Street Fighter issues had this weird plastic-y feel to the artwork, especially the backgrounds… Not too pleasing to my eye, anyway…
Not much, beyond occasionally shaky artwork and some odd choices for quick bonus mini-stories, which I won’t be too hard on due to their… well, bonus nature. Obviously as I always say if you’re not a fan of the franchise to begin with I doubt you’ll get much out of what is an action-heavy series that relies heavily on “Yay! It’s that character!”.
I will say though that Dan being pathetic and getting knocked about is way overused by UDON now, after all the Legends: Sakura stuff last time and now this… Way to run a funny gag into the ground!
You didn’t think I’d go through the whole review without putting a shot from Legends: Ibuki in, did you?
I really enjoyed Super Street Fighter, after the disappointment that was Street Fighter Classic Vol. 5’s closing story arc it was nice to see them begin to sort-of adapt Street Fighter III but go in their own direction a bit, hopefully giving them more of a chance to plan the story arc to have a proper and satisfying ending. Legends Ibuki was decent enough, though again I can’t help feel it wouldn’t have been worth the full TPB price… Different scores, but a fun double bill nonetheless.
Super Street Fighter:
Street Fighter Legends: Ibuki: