Street Fighter Unlimited – Volumes 1 and 2 Review

Street Fighter Unlimited is actually a loose adaptation of Street Fighter III, or I guess the UDON comic universe’s equivalent. The main antagonist is Gill and his Secret Society and a fair bit of focus is given to some of the SFII cast as well as yet more focus on Ryu trying to contain the Dark Hado / Satsui no Hado (whichever you prefer) power and face Akuma. Does this blend work? Let’s take a look!

Synopsis:

As Ryu sets out on a dangerous journey to control the dark energies within him, Guile, Cammy and Chun-li confront the remnants of Shadaloo to reveal the truth about Gill’s mysterious Secret Society.

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

True fact: get old enough and your pupils and chin vanish!

Gill, the Secret Society and his brother Urien are all well represented here, with the latter upset that Gill was chosen to lead the faction over him, and the former happy to bring about a fated apocalypse and “start the world again” with just the members of the Society. In order to achieve this Gill needs the Dark Hado so he announces a tournament in order to attract Ryu to his location. Meanwhile Guile, Chun-Li, Cammy and Alex are all on the hunt for clues on the Society’s whereabouts and decide to use the former Shadaloo agents Balrog and Vega to see if there is any connection between them, leading to Guile and Alex, along with Ken, fighting Balrog and nearly knocking him out of his skyscraper window and Chun-Li to have yet another rematch with Vega (got to get in the Animated Movie love!)

Meanwhile Ryu continues his travels and meets Sagat’s student Adon before fighting Sagat himself. Ryu, still without answers, eventually finds Retsu, an old friend of his Master’s, and then finally get confirmation that his Master Gouken is alive after all. Sadly he STILL doesn’t get the answer he seeks so he travels to meet Oro, the stupidly powerful character who fights with one arm behind his back at over a 100 years old but still beats everyone (always loved his crazy story). Oro is finally the one who tells Ryu how best to fight the Dark Hado and that’s to balance it along with the light within himself, so actually different to the game timeline where Ryu just learns a new form of “Perfect Stillness”. Ryu is sent to Gill’s tournament as further training and arrives alongside all the usual suspects.

It’s like a more violent version of “Where’s Wally” …. except not at all. Sorry. Nice splash page though!

Gill shows off his power by beating up some Mad Gear fighters, then the tournament begins… sort of. Behind the scenes Alex is shown an odd painting that seems to depict him with wings and finds out that only a certain few humans have the potential to gain Gill’s Godlike power and that he is descended from them. Gill meanwhile is annoyed that Ryu refuses to unleash the Dark Hado so reveals his opponent: Akuma. This turns out to be a trick using one of the “Twelve” organisms and so Ryu attacks Gill but he’s frozen solid for his troubles. Gill revels in his victory until Alex puts on some sort of ancient headpiece that gives him enough power to destroy the red and blue God and does so but then much like he does in SFIII Gill resurrects himself, in this case via Alex’s body. The new Gill is the attacked by as many Street Fighter characters as you can name in a bunch of fun splash pages until Ryu breaks free of his ice prison and finishes off the new Gill, saving Alex in the process. The final chapter is then reserved for Ryu finally defeating Akuma and being in control of the Dark power that corrupted his Master’s brother. Then in what feels like a “post credit scene” we see Gill has arrived in the Makai, or demon realm, and meets Jedah from DarkStalkers who purposes an alliance, setting up the Street Figther vs. DarkStalkers comic crossover, which I’ll be getting to after looking at the DarkStalkers comics themselves (and one more set of SF spin-offs before that!)

The art was mostly on point thankfully, after the Super Street Fighter plastic weirdness.

The Bad:

“Forgot you were on the top floor” my arse, you murderous bastard!

Not a lot, the pacing was fine this time, unlike the rushed end to the original Street Fighter run. That being said some SFIII parts, specifically the Twelves and their fellow experiment Necro, I wasn’t happy with. Admittedly the Twelves are disposable clone… things so it’s not the end of the world to see them as throwaway thugs, but Necro was reduced to some weird Joker parody with his own Harley Quin in the form of Alfie. Now she did appear in his SFIII ending, so I’m not saying UDON made her up, but boy their relationship just screams “Let’s do a Harley Quin thing!”

There were also mostly jokey one-offs that often had a weird artstyle included as extras, which is fine as extras, but some of them weren’t really my thing. I did enjoy a weird sort-of adaptation of Street Fighter 2010 though, to be fair…

Overall Thoughts:

It’s about damn time…

Street Fighter Unlimited was a twelve issue run that finally… and I mean FINALLY tied up the Ryu vs. Akuma / Dark Hado storyline plus did a decent enough job adapting the Gill / Secret Society SFIII plot as well. It also sets up the big crossover well, so I’m looking forward to that when I get round to it. A good effort all round then!

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