Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Aubrey Sitterson
Artist: Emilio Laiso
Release Date: 30th March, 2016
Round two… FIGHT!
After a strong opening issue which fully embraced the awesome potential of its premise, Aubrey Sitterson’s Street Fighter X G.I. Joe returns this week with the next batch of eighth-finals as the tournament field continues to gradually narrow. Once again, the first thing that strikes you about the series is just how much fun Sitterson is clearly having as he writes it, packing his pages with crisp ‘action movie’ dialogue, twists, turns and special moves aplenty.
However, rather than just a series of fights (which wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing in the world), Sitterson is also weaving a wider story into the proceedings, with this issue seeing Guile, Chun Li and Cammy presenting a united front in their attempt to take down M. Bison, whose alliance with Destro poses a significant threat to all. Once again, each of the fights has its own unique style and psychology, and of the four bouts featured here, it’s Chun Li versus Dan which proves to be the most entertaining, with lifelong wrestling fan Sitterson wearing his influences on his sleeve with one mother of a swerve.
The artwork, provided by Emilio Laiso, is suitably bold and solid, with some marvelous choreography featuring instantly recognizable recreations of these iconic characters. As with the story itself, there isn’t much call for subtlety here, nor are there any particularly nuanced facial expressions besides pain, shock or triumph. That said, Laiso keeps things lively and energetic, giving the swerves and shock defeats the emphasis they truly deserve while staying true to the video game origins with some wonderful ‘graphics’ along the way, including the trademark “KO!” David Garcia Cruz’s colours are the cherry on the Flash kicking sundae, keeping things bright and stylized throughout.
Overall, while it isn’t necessarily all that refined and doesn’t perhaps feature too much in the way of subtle character development or nuanced storytelling, for a wonderfully entertaining bout of air-punching, grin-raising escapism, you really couldn’t ask for anything more than this. The quarter finals are next, and with the “undercard” effectively out of the way, each of the upcoming bouts is going to be given a larger page count to develop, meaning more action, better psychology and storytelling, and – hopefully – that Snake Eyes versus M. Bison matchup that everyone really wants to see. You can count me in for the rest of the way, that’s for damn sure.
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