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Street Fighter IV Volume 1: Wages of Sin Hardcover – July 29, 2014
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There really isn’t much of a story here. Number fifteen (Seth) is trying to collect fighters with high levels of Satsui No Hado, the dark energy that lay within fighters like Ryu, Sakura and Dan!?!? I assume this would also include Ken, Akuma and maybe Sean. He wants to harvest their Ki energy to power his Blece Machine. This is all very similar to the plot of Street Fighter Classic just replacing M. Bison with Seth. There is the revelation that Abel is also a product of Bison’s genetic engineering just like Seth and some mystery behind Crimson Viper’s loyalties but the story is definitely not the main strength of the book.
The strength of the book is the art and the fun of seeing the Street Fighter characters interact. Udon’s visuals are always spectacular and this volume is no exception. If you see the cover it’s basically an homage to Crimson Viper’s breasts and her breasts are the center of attention in every frame she appears in. This, by the way, is not a criticism. My one actual criticism is with the Abel. He doesn’t have a particularly distinctive face but I still felt like he didn’t look quite right. Everyone else looked fine to me. I was very pleased that the focus was on the SF IV with the one notable absence of Hakan. Besides Abel and C. Viper there is also significant appearances by El Fuerte and Rufus. In addition to the main storyline there are 5 bonus stories which really don’t amount to much. I’ll give four stars for some great art and a mediocre story.
The first few issues introduce some of the new characters. The main character is Crimson Viper and she's pretty interesting, but I liked El Fuerte too, who is a Hispanic cook/Lucha Libre fan. All the character's call out the names of their move as they do them, but El Fuerte's are named things like Tostada Press. I digress. Crimson Viper is hired by the bad guys to collect the best street fighters for a nefarious project. She does this and delivers them, but is she a hero or a villain? We do find out, but I won't spoil it here.
The characters are all larger than life and over the top, just like you'd find them in the video game. There's lots of fighting, some pretty good humor and the art is pretty good. I liked it, but let's call it a guilty pleasure.
I received a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
The bonus stories were a nice kick and I am dying to read more on Crimson Viper, she's so super spy / bad guy / double agent; she was my favorite in the book.
Street Fighter fans will enjoy this book and so will action comic book fans. The only thing I didn't like was that I felt it ended too soon and I need more on Number 15, the baddy in the book.