Street Fighter V – Volumes 1 and 2 Review

I really wanted to finish off my look at the UDON Street Fighter comics before the end of the year and I’ve now done it, just. Sadly these last two volumes are all over the place: full to the brim with one-off stories that either tie up a bit of continuity, hint at but not actually adapt the Street Fighter V game storyline or just exist to try and make you laugh. It’s basically a short story collection, which would be fine if it had a subtitle other that “Street Fighter V” on it, as that implies something a bit more substantial. Oh well, let’s take a last look at some Street Fighter UDON comics! (Well, for now. They haven’t lost the license or anything, these are just the one I got in that Humble Bundle ages ago…)

(Extremely Generic) Official Synopsis:

The saga continues! A new generation of fighters takes to the streets, joined by fan favorites like Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and Charlie Nash, in this action-packed series based on CAPCOM’s hit video game, Street Fighter V!

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

I forgot to mention beardy Ryu is in the comic as well! It’s a shame he shaves it off before his appearances in Street Fighter III (game timeline-wise…)

The main cliffhanger left to sort from the Street Fighter vs. Darkstalkers event was Ken attacking Ryu in his “Violent Ken” persona and I’m happy to say that is at least addressed in one of the Street Fighter V issues. Ryu manages to tame Ken in battle and take him back to his dojo, where Sakura and Dan are now training. He tries to teach Ken how to control the evil within much like he had to (for nearly the whole run of UDON comics…) but it fails as Violent Ken attacks his students. Ryu tells him he needs to find the “one thing” that drives him, something to anchor him to reality and upon returning home and brutally beating up Rufus he snaps out of it when his wife and child appear at the door, soon claiming that his family is his one thing that will forever keep him sane. It solves that lingering story point in a single issue, which is at least a change of pace over Ryu’s long journey to find the same inner peace!

Another fun issue focused on Street Fighter V DLC character Meant and her fellow student Maggio. The two were trained by Rose but sadly for UDON they had already killed off Rose in their timeline so the story turns into two students maturing after the death of their mentor before ending with Meant using forbidden magic to bring Rose back to life so they can tease the SFV game storyline more without actually doing it still…

If nothing else this is a very Street Fighter V looking comic panel!

The only other story that stood out was the very first one, which took a look at Charlie Nash’s whole life leading up to him being rebuilt as a Frankenstein’s monster zombie… thing. I mean it didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know but at least it felt like it had a purpose: explaining why Nash is both alive again and working for Gil’s Society (which is now mostly ran by Kolin in her Street Fighter V look)

The Bad:

I do find it odd that nobody mentions people like Ryu and Akuma somehow being put in a computer game…

Basically all the other stories, though they do vary in degrees of averageness or straight up being bad. For example there was a story where Sakura and Karin had another “argument leads to a showdown on a stage doing something that isn’t fighting” thing, though this time it was playing Puzzle Fighter, which while funny also broke the fourth wall a tad too much for me, which added on top of the repeated story meant I checked out after a few amusing panels. A story showing how Balrog and Vega got re-recruited to Shadaloo by FENG after finding out M. Bison had been successfully brought back to life was quite fun, though very brief and again was all about setting up the SFV storyline. I can only assume UDON were supposed to push the game but weren’t allowed to actually “spoil” the story…

There were a couple of stories dedicated to the wrestler characters jumping into the ring to fighting each other, neither had any impact or were that interesting, though the second one had frankly amazing artwork, weirdly. A story focusing on Necro and his girl just reinforced how much the UDON writers really want to make them a Joker / Harley Quinn tribute act and so I disliked that story quite a bit! The rest were just random showdowns between a few characters or just quick seven-page gag stories. Overall there were far more pages of average or uninteresting stories than there were something of substance.

Overall Thoughts:

Hey look! New characters! Shame they didn’t have a flowing storyline to be apart of…

Street Fighter V (the comic) was a disappointment overall. A few good stories pushed a little bit of the UDON timeline forward but for the most part it was all one-off stories that were either pointless, not very interesting or teased the game story mode story without actually adapting any of it. After all these reviews it’s a bit of a sour note to go out on, but there you go!

I’ll be covering a few different comic series next year, so stay tuned for that! (can you stay tuned to a website? Better yet, does anyone use the phrase “Stay tuned” any more? …. Whatever).

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