Sunday, June 7, 2015


Last summer I decided to fill my time with what I called "...the comic book equivalent of a big, dumb summer popcorn blockbuster" in the form of DANGER GIRL. This year I'm doing much the same, taking a look at the STREET FIGHTER comics from UDON Studios.

UDON picked up the license to produce American comic books based on the STREET FIGHTER video game franchise (and a few other Capcom properties) way back in 2003. I didn't bother with the ongoing series at the time, but when it was released in a very large trade paperback called STREET FIGHTER: THE ULTIMATE EDITION, I picked it up. I had been a fan of the video games in the nineties and was somewhat familiar with the characters' backstories and world thanks to various adaptations into other media over the years (most notably the animated film which, it seemed, literally everyone on Earth had somehow seen when I was in high school). It was safe to say I was a fan of STREET FIGHTER, but more of the characters than of the video games, which I was never particularly adept at playing.

I read the ULTIMATE EDITION in 2006 and decided that, as far as I was concerned, this was the only definitive STREET FIGHTER continuity I needed to worry about. UDON borrowed elements from the games and various other media interpretations to create a unified storyline. It was a bit rough in places, but it was usually beautifully drawn and colored, and almost always entertaining.

That first ULTIMATE EDITION was followed up in 2010 by STREET FIGHTER II: THE ULTIMATE EDITION (UDON's comics were extremely sporadic, leading to collected editions appearing years apart), and then eventually a third ULTIMATE EDITION appeared in 2011, collecting a trio of STREET FIGHTER LEGENDS limited series. Around this time, UDON published a mini-series based on the then-current STREET FIGHTER IV, but for several years it wasn't collected in anything bigger than a digest-size book (a format I refuse to support if it doesn't represent the originally intended printing dimensions).

Finally, after taking some time off from their ongoing STREET FIGHTER saga, in 2013 UDON switched to an original graphic novel format to continue the series. Since then we've seen three OGNs released (STREET FIGHTER ORIGINS: AKUMA and SUPER STREET FIGHTER vol. 1 and 2). Oh, and STREET FIGHTER IV finally received a proper collection in the form of an oversized hardcover.

So here's what's about to happen: For the next twelve or so Fridays, I'm going to cover all of the above. The order and review copies will be:
I've read the ULTIMATE EDITIONS each once or twice, but I haven't touched the more recent stuff yet, so some of this is going to be new to me.

Note: For those who wish to follow along, links are provided above to the books currently available. The earlier ULTIMATE EDITIONS are out of print these days, but the good news is that they've been replaced by a series of three hardcover collections called STREET FIGHTER CLASSIC, which can be found here:
STREET FIGHTER CLASSIC volume 1 | volume 2 | volume 3


  1. I forget exactly when I stopped, but I'm pretty sure I picked up the single issues of this at least through the Turbo series. I'm a moderate fan of the games (and a big fan of the terrible Van Damme/Julia movie) and really liked the way this series fleshed out and merged the backstories of the characters and the world, which always intrigued me in the games but was never actually the focus.

    Also, I was a big UDON fan at the time (I'm pretty sure this came pretty close after their DEADPOOL run, the first time I'd ever bought and read the DEADPOOL regular series), so I was pretty much buying anything they did. Whatever happened to them?

    All that said, I remember next to nothing about these issues, so I'm excited to get a refresher from your posts.

    1. Yeah, I love UDON. They did some good stuff for Marvel around this time, with the DEADPOOL run and a lengthy period coloring SPIDER-GIRL. They're still around; they have a booth at Comic-Con every year. I don't think they do as much sequential comic book stuff as they used to, though. Looks like they put out a lot art books and such.

      Though they just did a STREET FIGHTER issue for Free Comic Book Day '15 and their last SF "comic" before that was the second SUPER STREET FIGHTER OGN this past March. But that was ridiculously delayed, as volume 1 came out in early 2013 and 2 was originally advertised as coming later that year.

      So it seems they're still in the comic book game to some extent, but I get the impression they really have trouble with deadlines (which is not surprising in this day and age), and/or they devote more time and energy to the art books and, I would assume, things like artwork for licensing purposes.