What! A fighting game has a story line ????? Yep! There will be SPOILERS!
The graphic novels really do justice to the franchise. In the first and second volume we meet the protagonist of the story, Ryu. He is now ready to begin his journey to find and become the greatest warrior. Along the way he is faced with his ultimate adversary…himself. There is a dark side to the Shotokan arts and that is the “Dark Hadou”. He has had a taste of its power but is constantly struggling from being consumed by it. Ryu swore that he would never lose to this killing intent. His master, Gouken was murdered by Akuma. Akuma is Gouken’s brother and he fully embraced the Dark Hadou. Now Ryu is on his way to find Ken, his best friend, to inform him of the death that fell upon their beloved master.
Meanwhile in Chinatown, San Francisco, we meet commander Guile and Interpol agent Chun-Li. The two share a common pain: the loss of a loved one. Guile has lost contact with his best friend and mentor Charlie Nash and it’s been 2 months since he went missing from his last mission. Chun-Li is worried about her father, not knowing if he is alive or not. Oone thing is clear M.Bison is behind it and now they have teamed up in order to bring down the organization Shadaloo. Shadaloo has shown a great deal of interest in Ryu. M.Bison sends Vega to track down Ryu since his “dolls” seem to be failing. Vega weasels his way to Ryu by tracking down Ken and his fiancée Eliza.
Now we come to one of the most energetic characters of the series, Sakura. Sakura makes her way to Shibuya, Japan in order to find Japan’s greatest warrior. She is tipped off on the whereabouts of Ryu’s dojo and during her travels she finds a “master” of the Shotokan arts, Dan Hibiki. Dan makes a deal with Sakura: she can train for free at his dojo if she can defeat him. Sakura gladly accepts and defeats Dan in a matter of minutes. Feeling awful, she helps Dan to the hospital and then continues her personal journey on finding Ryu.
Guile and Chun-Li are hot on Ryu’s trail. They still don’t know why Shadaloo wants Ryu but they are about to find out. After a long day of work, both of them decide to grab a quick bite and call it a day. This is when Guile sees Charlie but something is off, he doesn’t seem himself. Charlie then proceeds to attack both Chun-Li and Guile but he is no longer Charlie, he is now “Agent Shadow”, a henchman for M.Bison. Agent Shadow defeats Guile but as Guile is recovering he throws Charlie his dog tags. At this moment Charlie’s mind is thrown into chaos and he runs off into the night. The duo realizes that M.Bison has some sort of mind controlling power and that is why Ryu has become the next target. With their new objective in mind, they both proceed to find Ryu in order to warn him. The next logical step for them is to reach Ken whose fiancée happens to be the sister of Guile’s wife.
Ken and Ryu make their way to their training dojo to pay their respects to Gouken. The trip had been long and exhausting so they decide to stay the night and leave in the morning. Ryu is haunted by the death of his master and while in a deep sleep, the Dark Hadou creeps its way into Ryu. Ken, now challenged with finding a way to break Ryu free, is successful after several launched attacks from Dark Ryu. Now they both have a much larger problem at hand: Akuma, the one that murdered their master, has challenged Ryu. Consumed by hate, Ryu jumps into battle. As he struggles constantly with himself, Ryu realizes that he is not match for Akuma. In the midst of battle Sakura shows up and sees this as a perfect opportunity to prove to Ryu that she is ready to be trained and has what it takes. Akuma does not hesitate in defeating Sakura; he then disappears into the woods.
M.Bison decides to take matters into his own hands and ambushes Guile and Chun-Li. During their battle an old friend shows up. Charlie breaks free of Bison’s hold on him and joins the fight against him. Charlie is able to inform Chun-Li about the death of her father and how he witnessed his valiant fight and even though her father was out numbered, he fought until his death. Bison then proceeds to take down Charlie on his own. Referring to him as a “failed experiment” he darts towards his opponent to make a quick kill. This angers Charlie and he is able to tap into the power he once possessed through Bison. Knowing that the odds are against him, Charlie makes a bold move and decides self-sacrifice is the only way. Charlie then uses his signature move Flash Kick to take out the side of a mountain. Both Bison and Charlie fall into the abyss of darkness never to see the light of day or life again. Guile and Chun-Li are left in silence, for once again they have truly lost their loved ones.
The next day Ryu, Ken, and Sakura have fully recovered from the battle they had with Akuma. Sakura is more determined than ever to become Ryu’s apprentice. He is reluctant at first but then sees the heart that she has for the fight. From student to master, Ryu decides to train Sakura as a tribute to his master Gouken. Ken is eager to join them are there training but he realizes that he cannot join the two because Eliza delivers the news that she now is carrying his child. Sad to miss out on the fu,n Ken sees that he needs to be by his wife and that their journey is a different one.
After being informed that her father is truly dead, Chun-Li cannot seem to find a reason to continue her job as an Interpol agent. She decides to quit and takes her travels elsewhere. Meanwhile we meet Rose, a gypsy that is about to give a new life to a woman that is in Bison’s hold, Killer Bee.
Killer Bee begins her new life as Cammy. She is now a member of the elite group known as Delta Red and has no recollection of her past. Delta Red found Cammy right outside their doorstep, after interviewing her, they noticed she had an extremely lethal fighting skill. She then became valuable asset to the organization. On a routine mission in Germany, Delta Red is backed up into a corner. The situation seems almost impossible to overcome but suddenly Cammy reacts on instinct and charges into the gunfire. Her fighting skill along with her ability to analyze the situation pays off tremendously. Now Delta Red has a suspect, but during their interrogation the team realizes that their efforts are useless, the suspect does not spill a word. Cammy decides to interrogate her herself. The second Cammy enters the room, she notices that the woman gives her a look, almost like she knows Cammy. During the questioning it is revealed that the woman is actually one of Bison’s “dolls”. The doll gives an insight to Cammy’s past life as Killer Bee.The following weeks are filled with non stop nightmares that haunt Cammy, who is not aware that the nightmares are actually memories of her past and she decides to keep it to herself.
Chun-Li is now enjoying life on her leave when all of a sudden danger finds her. She runs into Birdie, a gang member for Shadaloo. Chun-Li handles the situation and realizes that her days as an Interpol agent are not over. She then makes her way back to HQ to get her old job back. Her boss is thrilled that she came to her senses and immediately assigns her a new mission. Her new objectives are track down Fei Long, a martial arts movie star, and investigate whether or not he is part of the Shadaloo organization. Upon arrival she is greeted with hostility from Fei Long. The fight heats up between the two, but in the midst of battle Fei Long comes to his senses and realizes that Chun-Li is only there to help. The two join forces to track down the ones responsible for the recent waves of crime, Fei long is aware of who they are but does not know where to find them. Chun-Li decides to visit her old master Gen hoping that he will have the answers they are looking for. Fei Long and Chun-Li make their way to the Genhanten restaurant to meet Gen. Gen is reluctant at first but gives in eventually. They track down the secret hideout and uncover the bandits but walk straight into a trap. Surrounded by countless enemies the trio must remain focused at the task at hand. The enemies make a deadly mistake in underestimating their opponents and now they must suffer the excruciating pain from each blow of these highly skilled heroes. After the battle Gen begins coughing up blood and it is then revealed that his days are numbered.
Meanwhile in Thailand we come across Ryu and Sakura. Ryu is in search of Sagat, a fighter he scarred at the previous Street Fighter tournament. While in Thailand we also meet Adon, a Muay Thai fighter with a grudge against Ryu. Sagat is Adon’s master and once he was defeated, Sagat lost his way and abandoned his pupil. When Adon comes across Ryu he sees this as the perfect opportunity to regain the honor of his master. The two begin to spar while Sakura watches in awe. In the fury of Adon’s Jaguar kicks and Jaguar Tooth, Ryu finds an opening and finishes the match with his Hadoken. Adon then reveals the whereabouts of Sagat; he is headed towards India in search of Dhalsim, the one that can complete his training. Ryu then sets course to India! Before he can leave, makes a stop to check his email but does not know how, but with the help of Sakura he is able to login to his email that Ken created for him. Sakura sees that his inbox is full of urgent messages from Ken. Ryu immediately calls Ken only to find that the huge emergency is Eliza’s wedding photos. Since Ryu in Ken’s best man he now has to make a detour for Ken’s wedding.
Ken and Eliza are enjoying Las Vegas together. The two are at a boxing event when Balrog spots him. Balrog then proceeds to contact Vega knowing that he has been eager for a rematch.
Chun-Li, Gen, and Fei long are investigating the secret hideout of Shadaloo when they come across Delta Red. The second that Chun-Li spots Cammy she darts to her to avenge her father’s death. Cammy is the one that killed Chun-Li’s father but she has no memory of it or her life as Killer Bee. During the fight Chun-Li notices that Cammy does not have the eyes of a killer and begins to believe that she is mistaken. Delta Red then proceeds into the hideout only to uncover a laboratory filled with failed experiments. This is where Cammy fights her clone and finds out that she is also clone made from the cells of Bison. We also meet Blanka who begins to attack out of rage and then runs like a puppy dog when he spots Cammy. The laboratory reveals more details on the mind controlling power that Bison once used.
Cut to Ryu and Sakura on a train to Las Vegas. Just when Sakura thought she could relax, Ryu surprises her with more training. The two begin their training on top of the train and Ryu decides to teach Sakura how to harness the power within to create Hadoken. Sakura finds this extremely difficult but is determined to prevail!
The rehearsal dinner is under way and everyone is having a great time, when all of a sudden members of Shadaloo ambush the party. Guile begins escorting everyone out while Ken, Ryu, and Sakura handle the fight. Vega is out for revenge and is brutally fighting Ken. Once Vega spots an opening, he takes out Ken with a swift slice to his chest. Guile jumps in and helps Ken to safety, but unfortunately Ken winds up in the hospital. One of the gang members sneaks up behind Ryu, pulls out a gun and aims directly at his head. Sakura sees this and begins to panic; reacting on instinct she is able to successfully perform a Hadoken that saves Ryu’s life. Balrog enters the fight and begins pounding the shit of Ryu. Ryu is overwhelmed by Balrog’s raw power and is able to take him out with his Shoryuken. The cops show up and handle everything from there.
Ken ends up in the hospital and is able to get fully recovered and Ryu is relieved and apologies to Ken about having to leave. Ryu then makes his way to the airport to see Sakura off. Sakura’s summer break is over and has to return to school. Sakura assures Ryu that the next time they meet she will have her Sho-u-ken perfect, Ryu corrects her on the name and the two share a laugh. Ryu’s last comment to Sakura is that he is proud to call her a student. The volume ends with a shot of Bison returning from the grave!
Overall I highly enjoyed the series and give it 4 “Rox” stars! After reading the comics I found myself eagerly wanting to play the games! So make your way over to your local comic stores and pick up a copy for yourself! Be on the look for the next review where I will be covering the next two volumes!
You can also buy a copy and check out other titles that Udon has to offer at: udoncomics.com!