Review: Super Street Fighter Vol. 1 – New Generation / Author: Multiple / Artist: Multiple / Publisher: Udon Entertainment / Release Date: July 9th 2013
If you weren’t around during the '90s, you may not be familiar with the Street Fighter franchise. It’s a series of video games where brightly-coloured characters beat the tar out of each other, using something that bears a passing resemblance to real-world martial arts with the addition of comic book-style super powers.
The Street Fighter comic books are pretty straightforward in what they deliver: light, cartoonish violence with a thin plot that strings together a sequence of larger-than-life action scenes. (Much like the game, in fact.) The plot, such as it is, involves a new threat, a secret society imaginatively called … drum roll … The Secret Society, who are bent on world domination. Government agent Guile is tasked with getting to the bottom of everything and he persuades a team of good guy street fighters to take on the villains. However, it’s hard to criticise something like Super Street Fighter Volume 1 on plot; we come for big overblown artwork and people flinging fireballs at each other, and that’s exactly what we get.
On the plus side, the book is rounded out with a series of short strips which are stuffed with personality and silliness; for example, one of the shorts has a sumo wrestler fighting a man covered in olive oil in order to get a slot in the Olympics. This is where Vol. 1 really shines; these are entertaining and fun, and deeply dumb. The art is OTT, nicely cartoon-like and loyal to the design of the video game, bringing the fun of the classic arcade to the page.
A shame, then, that the book is also padded with too much sketch art. These are scrappy pictures from various artists, and although they give a nice insight into the process required to make Super Street Fighter Volume 1 , almost quarter of the book is filled with this sort of thing and it really lets it down. These aren’t posters, they are simple sketches, and don’t really add any quality to the book.