Street Fighter vs. Darkstalkers Review

So after a few issues of build up we get the “big crossover”, which given the frequency the two franchises have crossed over already in games makes this feel less special, but there you go. How does the comic fair? Well it falls into the most basic crossover cliché of “people from different worlds suddenly arrive in a weird place and learn to work together to face the big threat behind it”. Does it at least pull it off well and mix some lore from the games in for good measure?! Let’s find out!

(Really crap official publisher) Synopsis:

When the World Warriors meet the Night Warriors — they’ll raise Hell! These time-tested combatants have met many times in the arcades, but nothing can prepare you for their first action-packed, fan service-fueled comic crossover! Villains will unite, friends will become foes, and the worlds of Street Fighter and Darkstalkers will be changed forever!

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

Werewolf with nunchucks vs. zombies would have perhaps been more of an attention grabbing comic title…

Although there are a few scenes with other characters the main focus of the story is on Chun-Li, Ken, Sagat and Elena from Street Fighter teaming with Felicia, Jon Talbain and Victor from Darkstalkers in the realm known as Majigen thanks to Morrigan’s evil doppelganger / half of her power Lilith while the top villain duo of Jedah and Gill team up in the Makai (demon realm) in order to bring about the resurrection of the “Fetus of God”, which would then consume everything and fuse all life into one ultimate being. The whole Fetus of God thing is all Jedah’s story from Darkstalkers but in this crossover he uses Gill’s unique powers to stablise and bring about the Fetus’ birth, all the while planning for Gill to be the first served up to the large baby-like thing.

The Majigen group are soon fighting Lord Raptor, his zombie army and eventually the return of Bishamon with side-plots including Chun-Li receiving a power up by being taught the killing blows from her former mentor Gen (who yes is dead in the UDON universe but the Majigen exists in between life and death so he appeared Force Ghost style…) and Ken being infused with wicked energy after being cut by a zombie and becoming Violent Ken for a while. Eventually Morrigan meets and defeats Street Fighter V’s Necalli in swift fashion before confronting Lilith, who she eventually brings to her side. The duo then meet Donovan and Anita and while do initially fight the quartet realise the bigger threat and head off to convince Akuma to join them in the Makai to take on Jedah, which he does in hopes it will bring back the Godlike form Gill took from him.

Jedah is blasé about being impaled six times. Slightly worrying?

This leads to a big final showdown with Jedah and the Fetus (great band name!) where they manage to slay him but Gill then takes control of the demon baby and sets it loose on everyone, only for it to be destroyed by Morrigan after she fuses with Lilith and gains her full power. Everyone is sent back to their respective worlds and we end with a cliffhanger of Ken becoming Violent Ken again and attacking Ryu…

The art is fine throughout, never blows you away but doesn’t let you down either … I like some of the mashups of both franchises in the form of old 30s movie posters that I assume was collectable covers originally. They’re a good laugh.

The Bad:

Street Fighters and Darkstalkers unite to kill a newborn baby!

While nothing was terrible or anything (though some of the brief one-shots in between chapters were pretty naff) the whole thing was really flat and honestly just had the Jedah storyline from Dartkstalkers / the Project X Zone series but threw Gill and a few Street Fighter characters in for the hell of it via a really “safe” method of everyone appearing in a strange new world and allying sharpish. It was fine but it wasn’t anything particularly amazing, and frankly if I hadn’t gotten all these UDON comics in a single Humble Bundle for a great price I’d be peeved that the miniseries was split across two trade paperbacks. Some of the “filler” stories would not have been worth the extra cost.

Overall Thoughts:

Violent Ken is the only part of this crossover to have any effect on later issues… I mean Issue, actually…

For a big crossover event Street Fighter vs. Darkstalkers was a bit plain. It was the Jedah / Fetus of God storyline with added Street Fighter character roaming about, but it didn’t even have SF vs. DS that often (especially if you ignore the brief, mostly comedic one-shots in between the main chapters), and Ryu was entirely absent from the main story. I appreciate the few plot threads that were left over from the Darkstalkers comics being settled but overall it was just… fine. Nothing to write home about, which for a big crossover event is a real shame…

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