A Real World Warrior – Street Fighter x G.I. Joe #1 Review

As much as I suck at it, the Street Fighter franchise has been quite the mainstay of my life, having been one of my first video games I ever played. And although I’ve only gotten into G.I. Joe the past few years or so, it quickly became one of my favorite franchises. When the news broke that these two great franchises with decades of history would cross over, I, along with I’m sure a lot of fans all over the world, rejoiced.

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Aubrey Sitterson (Former Marvel editor, host of wrestling podcast Straight Shoot), Emilio Laiso (Hack/Slash), David Garcia Cruz (G.I. Joe), and Robbie Robbins (The Authority) bring us Street Fighter X G.I. Joe, a fight comic crossover between the World Warriors and the Real American Heroes. The central concept is simple enough, a fight tournament between the characters of both franchises. As simple as the concept was, it’s the execution that shines through.

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The secret art of Arashikage Limbo in action

The fight-based storytelling that Sitterson has talked about in his interviews regarding the series is put in full effect in the comic, which almost exclusively consists of fight scenes. As cool as these fight scenes are, they also serve to deliver the main meat of the plot. Fans of either (or both) franchises will love seeing the characters’ voices (or lack thereof) being nailed perfectly by Sitterson, despite some of them having a very limited screentime. The brisk pacing that throws us from fight to fight sometimes with less than a page between KO’s happening and the next fight recalls the format of Street Fighter’s Arcade modes, being thrown from one fight to the next with only a little breather. Despite the tournament bracket being shown at the start, get ready to have your predictions thrown out the window as Sitterson isn’t afraid to have the underdogs win (as this issue has demonstrated).

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Talk about no holds barred

Of course, these fights won’t be any fun without Laiso’s art, combined with Cruz’s colors. The kinetic flow of actions from panel to panel is like watching a Street Fighter match unfold, with no dull moments to be found. The cartoony style also meshes well with both sides of the crossover, looking almost like as if Capcom made an actual Street Fighter X G.I. Joe game (Get on it, Capcom!). The colors especially shine at the special attacks. Seeing Ryu pull out the Hadouken dropped my jaw at how awesome it looked. Robbins’ letters also deserves a special mention here, especially whenever the fight starts and ends. You can just hear the announcer yelling ‘FIGHT!’ and the ‘K O!’ at the end, along with the loser’s echoing screams. Art-wise, this series cannot get any better.

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Jinx is a shoto confirmed?

The extra stuff for readers didn’t disappoint either. This issue featured a short recap of what happened in the qualifying rounds and could be an explanation for why some of your favorites didn’t make it into the tournament. Reading some of these, I’d read the hell out of a spinoff one-shot that shows the qualifying rounds. The Street Fighter characters featured in this issue also received Joe-style filecards, which is a nice bonus.

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And knowing is half the battle!

For fans of either (or both) franchises, this is a must-read. Despite a few issues, like the absence of several mainstays like Duke and Scarlett even in the qualifiers (I know, nitpicking), this is a great start to a great tournament, and I can’t wait to see the next issue.

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The Good, The Funny, and The Butt-Fuck Ugly (A Deadpool Movie Non-Spoiler Review)

It’s surreal. If you told me there would be a proper Deadpool movie that is completely comic-faithful and is actually good, I’d probably laugh your ass out of the room. But it happened, and as of this writing, I’ve watched it three times. I enjoyed every single second of it.

After years of languishing in development hell and flip-flopping announcements, we finally get a Wade Wilson worthy of the big screen. No, the steaming pile of mutant shit that was Barakapool doesn’t count. At its core, Deadpool is a pure fun romp filled wall-to-wall with action and gags at every turn.

We all know the Regeneratin’ Degenerate is one of /the/ hottest character in comics these days, thanks in no small part to his popularity in Internet memes. The movie seems to know and embrace the fact as well, feeling closest to the Daniel Way incarnation of the character, filled to the brim with dick jokes and immature humor.

Not unlike Way’s run in the comics, Tim Miller’s Deadpool sometimes feel like it emphasizes style over substance. While there are flashes of depth and emotion in the movie, it’s overshadowed by the metric fuckton of jokes coming at you relentlessly. Not that I mind. I mean, did buy a ticket to see a Deadpool movie for the heartwrenching drama of a tragic clown using humor to hide his inner pain? Of course not. I came for the jokes, and boy, did I get my money’s worth.

Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson is the clear highlight of the movie. The work he’s put in to get this movie made and the passion he has for the character is second to none, and it shows. Deadpool is endlessly quotable and side-splittingly funny. Morena Baccarin as Vanessa has her funny moments at times, and at least manages to not become the screaming damsel in distress. Ed Skrein’s Ajax is menacing enough as a villain, but it’s pretty obvious that the star of this show is Deadpool. He did have his moments, though. Gina Carano’s Angel Dust is the typical strong, silent, henchman-who-happens-to-be-a-woman, who also has her moments, namely one great extended fight sequence near the end. Stefan Kapicic’s Colossus is the most we’ve seen of any Colossus in the X-Franchise, and certainly the funniest, best-looking, and most Russian. Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, cool-ass name aside, manages to be a high point in almost every scene she’s in with her inexhaustible snark. Wade’s ‘inner circle’, so to speak, with T.J. Miller as Weasel and Leslie Uggams as Blind Al are the perfect foils for Wade. Their banter and interplay are easily some of the movie’s best moments.

The action is where this movie also shines. While some of the scenes were slightly lessened in impact by the stupid-ass censorship over here, they still manage to look awesome as hell. No PG-13 regular gunplay and bloodless sword fighting here. No, sir. You’ll see limbs chopped off, people turned into mulch, heads kicked around like footballs, bullet holes actually being holes, and a host of other gruesome fates befalling unfortunate mooks. Prepare for balls-to-the-wall action.

Easter eggs, where do I even start? This movie is LOADED with references. Tiny nods that would go over the heads of not-diehard comic fans, pop culture references that will probably show your age if you get it, to silly in-jokes about the movie and its surrounding production, there’s everything. Seriously, blink and you’ll miss it. Even on the third viewing, I still feel like I’m missing something.

As a fan, Deadpool was even more than I expected. From the get-go, their marketing campaign caught my eye and set the tone for the movie to come. It delivered what I expected, and then some. Given who got this movie made, you can even say this is a movie by fans, for the fans. It’s almost all fanservice.

Plot-wise, however, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. It’s pretty much the almost played-out quest for revenge plot we’ve seen in countless action movies. But show of hands, who here watched it for the plot? Yeah, I thought so. It’s the jokes that put butts in seats, and that’s what kept my butt glued on that seat. Granted, some of these jokes are very topical and might fall flat when viewed 5-10 years later, but let’s just live in the present for now.

Bottom line, Deadpool is fun. If you like fun, watch it.