Street Fighter will blow your mind once again with its recently released hardcover graphic novel series by UDON Entertainment. Super Street Fighter Volume 1: New Generation is printed in art-book size - 8.25 by 11.75 inches - and you've gotta see it to believe how clear the quality of the art has become for the largest-size novel yet from UDON. Can someone say "perfect"?
Also included is a sketch gallery, allowing fans to peek at rare and never-before-seen character artwork. Ah, the Akuma art... beauty.
Now, let's "Focus Attack" our way through. The graphic novel incorporates the stories and match-ups from Street Fighter IV - but insiders know these events were actually between SFII and SFIII.
The prologue starts out with a secret society and its lord, Gill, who's praised for his power to conquer death. From there, the real adventure begins. Col. Guile learns about a secret society, which leads him to Japan to find Ryu. Having no contact with an agent, he sent for more intel. Guile reminisces about his last visit to Japan when he searched for the infamous M. Bison and the past tournament along with the fighters he has faced. From here, is where the story gets wild.
Not once during my read was I lost on the characters' stories and how they are intertwined.
The impressive attention to detail will have you immersed into their world and wanting more. UDON and the artists make this read visually stunning. Their style is nothing like the typical Japanese animation one may recognize. This is smooth. Not "cartoon" smooth, but something you may see in cut scenes from actual video games but better than cell-shaded images.
This Bonus Stage is absolutely hilarious!
As I read, I've noticed that the writers added a few enjoyable - and some hysterical -mini stories to keep you intrigued, cleverly titled "Bonus Stages." One in particular is a match-up between the Japanese sumo E. Honda and the oiled Turkish wrestler Hakan. Seeing Hakan pull off his ultra move "The Oil Coaster" on big ol' Honda had me howlin'. The Bonus Stages are truly a worthy effort from UDON that cannot be overlooked.
The fights? Epic. The storyline? Amazing. The UDON crew has really nailed the spirit of Street Fighter. I have been a Street Fighter fan since Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, and I can proudly say this will make you smile from ear to ear. And just let me say this (and no spoilers here): Sakura and Dudley are BADASSES! And if you've ever wondered why Juri, the sexy tae kwon do vixen, has a yin and yang as her left eye, be excited to know that you will learn the brutal truth. You will also find cameos that will make you chuckle - Thrasher? From Final Fight?? Now that is awesome.
Needless to say, I can go on and on, but you need to pick this up. It is worth the read and will want you begging for a "Run Back." Be salty no more my friends; UDON has got your back!
Super Street Fighter Volume 1: New Generation, a four-issue comic book miniseries in one graphic novel, sells for $34.95 and is available now.