Comics Club: Street Fighter vs. Final Fight #1

UDON’s first take on the Final Fight license is a punch to the face—in a good way!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 05/17/2024 12:52 Comment on this     ShareThis

Comics Club is where we take a look at video game manga and comics to offer our impressions and insights. Part review, part reflection, Comics Club is a great way to find something new to read based on all of our favorite pastime: video games! Warning: mild spoilers ahead!

I’ve made no secret that I’m a huge fan of UDON Entertainment. The publisher has been producing comics based on Capcom’s Street Fighter series for over 20 years, dating all the way back to Street Fighter #0 back in 2003. When I heard that UDON would next be tackling the Final Fight series, I was thrilled and very enthusiastically asked my local comic shop to hold a copy of Street Fighter vs. Final Fight #1 when it released on Free Comic Book Day earlier this month. I’m happy to say that this debut did not disappoint, and should have fans excited for the upcoming four-issue miniseries that will be launching this July.

It sucks because FCBD issues can sometimes be really hard to get a hold of, meaning there’s a good chance many of you didn’t have a chance to read this one. I almost wish UDON would do like a deluxe version of this book, maybe with some extra art or story (or both), and sell it in comic shops so that everyone can have a fair shake at getting in on the ground floor of this new endeavor. Make no mistake, I love UDON’s Street Fighter comics, but the output is sporadic and infrequent. Having Final Fight added into the mix hopefully means more books from UDON on a regular basis.


All right, but what about the story, you’re probably asking. This issue revolves around Cody Travers. Cody was a mainstay of the Final Fight series, but as time wore on, he went from street vigilante to a prisoner behind bars. From there, Cody has been exonerated of his crimes and is now mayor of Metro City, tackling his fight against the Mad Gear Gang in a different way. Street Fighter vs. Final Fight takes these events, which have occurred across various games across multiple decades, and has condensed them into a single narrative.

While the basics of the story are the same as the games, where Cody transitions from vigilante to convict to exonerated, the comic takes some liberties to help facilitate the Street Fighter part of the crossover. In this version of events, Cody is being hunted by Guile and Chun-Li because his vigilantism has gone too far, resulting in an undercover Interpol agent being beaten nearly to death. Cody, when given a shot at one year in prison versus five, gets in touch with Jessica Haggar, his ex-girlfriend and the daughter of Mike Haggar, the mayor. He realizes that there’s no shot of rekindling their relationship and decides that there’s nothing worth fighting for on the streets anymore, taking the one-year deal in prison.


This is where things start to get a little odd with the narrative. Cody ends up spending multiple years in jail because he keeps escaping… and then turning himself in. Because when he’s in jail he thinks he wants to be out, and then once he’s out he realizes that he has nothing there for him, so he wants to go back in. There’s something unsatisfying about this setup that never landed for me. I can buy into everything up to the point that Cody is just flip flopping in and out of jail. I get that Jessica rejecting him has left him listless, but this seems a bit much. Still, it does set up a nice encounter with Balrog, who ultimately gets Cody out of his funk and back on track. It was a nice character moment, so I’ll take it even if getting there was a tad rough.

The ending, though, is where I was left genuinely curious about what to expect from the upcoming Final Fight miniseries that starts in July. At the end of the issue, Cody is standing in front of a statue of Haggar that suggests, along with Cody’s remark about not being able to show the proper appreciation to the former mayor, that he’s… dead?! The solicitation material for Final Fight #1 says that the story is about Mike, Cody, and their ninja ally Guy going off to rescue Jessica from the Mad Gear Gang. Now the question is, do the events of the Final Fight miniseries take place before Street Fighter vs. Final Fight? I suppose if Mike is mayor then it does, but that means fans might have to wait a while before finding out the fate of Haggar. I can’t take the suspense!


Now, don’t get me wrong, the stories in UDON’s comics are always fun and competently written, but it’s the art where this publisher shines. For Street Fighter vs. Final Fight we got the tag team combo of Joe Ng, Edwin Huang, Panzer, and Jeffrey Chamba Cruz. Although their styles are fairly distinct, in particular Huang, they all suit both franchises perfectly. Also, they did a good job of splitting up story sections so that each artist tackled the bit of the tale that matched their tone the best. UDON remains one of the best publishers for eyeing artistic talent, and for this FCBD effort they remain at the top of their game. It’s a gorgeous book, full of electric energy and dynamic shots that show off just how cool looking all these characters are.

Overall, Street Fighter vs. Final Fight was a solid introduction of the Final Fight characters into UDON’s Capcom universe, a publishing initiative that’s been growing and evolving for decades. Although the midpoint of the story was a little shaky in terms of character actions, I enjoyed seeing Cody grow from raging street brawler to a more thoughtful man now ready to take on the role of his mentor. Hopefully if the Final Fight series does well, it might lead to more regular projects featuring the characters. And who knows, maybe we’ll even start to see more Capcom properties pop up at UDON as time goes on.

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