A lot of bad stuff happened in 1993 — the Buffalo Bills lost their third consecutive Super Bowl, The Nanny premiered on TV, and I was in kindergarten. The worst disaster of 1993, however, is unarguably the publication and distribution of Malibu’s first Street Fighter comic.
A few weeks ago, I went to a flea market, hoping to find cheap retro games. I keep waiting on the day when I find a copy of Chrono Trigger that doesn’t cost a grand, but it hasn’t happened yet. Unfortunately, it seems like my local peddlers have done their homework and aren’t as easily duped as I would like.
Nevertheless, I did find the “fightin'” first issue of Malibu’s Street Fighter, for $0.50. This, you must realize, is tantamount to finding a copy of E.T., or Daikatana, or Superman 64. I was actually able to buy, with dimes and nickels, a physical manifestation of the game industry’s shame.
Hit the jump for some more information about what might be worst comic I’ve ever read.
According to the foreword by writer Len Strazewski, the comic was officially licensed by Capcom (who pulled the plug after 3 issues) and the plot details were hammered out in a couple of hours one afternoon. I’ll admit that I don’t know much about comics, but I’m pretty sure it takes more than one afternoon to create a successful narrative. Keep in mind that Capcom gave the green light to the Street Fighter movie, but I still can’t believe that they approved this gem.
The plot itself isn’t particularly interesting, and basically gives some background information, probably cribbed from the game manual. However, where the game really
shines fails takes a shit on my face is the artwork. You guys may have your panties in a twist over Street Fighter IV‘s questionable art direction, but it looks exponentially better than Malibu’s attempt. Just pay attention to their facial expressions. Balrog looks like a crack fiend with Down’s, and Ryu appears as though he was hit in the face with a shovel. Classy stuff.
The series does have one redeeming quality, though: In the second issue, Balrog and Sagat beat Ken to death and send his bloody scalp to Ryu, in order to goad him into fighting again. That’s fucking metal.
Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, hit the gallery for some scans. You should be able to read the entire thing cover to cover. And if your retro goggles aren’t foggy enough, check out those sweet ads for Clay Fighters and Prototype. And, for a more in depth look at the series check out 4th Letter’s thorough synopsis.