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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Tekken Forever #1

Well, I’ve gotten to Martial Arts Month, the month dedicated to almost everything related to martial arts. I’ve decided to start it off with a look at a comic book that’s spun off  from one of my favorite video game franchises: Tekken. When I did my look at the live-action Tekken movie, I said that Tekken itself has issues with being adapted. Even animated adaptions are not that good. Then, I find out about this comic and… you’ll find out below.

Tekken Forever #1 was released by Image Comics in 2001. It was supposed to start off a mini-series that delved into most of its characters from the franchise. It centered on the Mishima family and a weird character named Unknown. It looks like it was supposed to be a bridge between Tekken Tag Tournament (TTT) and Tekken 4. That fact is weird because TTT was made non-canon by Namco from the beginning. The game itself was an excuse to bring every fighter back for one romping fight and had no bearing on Tekken’s continuity. The book also lasted this one issue and I can’t find out why it didn’t go further.  It was written by David Chi with art by Paco Diaz. It’s colored by Hermes T., lettered by Roberto Miranda, and has graphics by Darren G. Davis.

Tekken Forever #1
Writer: David Chi
Artist: Paco Diaz
Colors: Hermes T.
Letters: Roberto Miranda
Graphics: Darren G. Davis

“What’s This Life For?”
We start out in a temple in Egypt. The comic doesn’t tell you this, so I might as well tell you now. We find various fighters on the ground. Jin Kazama is left standing holding a character named Unknown. Apparently, the fighters were knocked out by his father, Kazuya Mishima (in his “Purple Rain” costume), and his bodyguards, Bruce and Ganryu. Jin sets the really, really scantily clad Unknown down and fights the three combatants. He beats the bodyguards but is unable to defeat his butthead for a father. Luckily, Jin gets help from former Kid ‘N’ Play groupie, Paul Phoenix. Paul decimates Kazuya and literally knocks him through the floor. I guess he pulled that move that can end a match in two seconds or something.
Paul, are you still groggy? "You don't fight to win, you fight not to lose?" That doesn't make sense!

Outside, Lei Wulong leads a team of agents to find out what Kazuya is doing. While most agents get attacked by robots called Jacks, Lei heads into the temple. He then finds more agents dead at the hands of Bryan Fury, a psychotic cyborg. After some really crappy dialogue, the two fight. Fury is about to end Lei when Yoshismitsu (one of the only fighters in Tekken that has sense to have a weapon) shows up to help Lei.  Then we get a weird scene involving Jun Kazama (Jin’s mom) and a character called Angel who’s an angel. Great, original name by the way! It looks like Angel’s trying to bring Jun back to life, but I really don’t know what’s going on.

Yoshismitsu: possibly the only good thing in this comic.

In the temple, other fighters have recuperated and most of them have disappeared for no reason. Hworang then takes the time to fight Jin since he’s a redhead with a grudge or something. When Ling Xiayou, Jin’s friend, gets hurt, Jin unleashes his Devil Gene and tries to kill the redheaded idiot. Hworang is even into it which might make some slash fan fiction writers happy. Luckily, the other fighters don’t want a guy with demonic powers out of control, so they stop the fight. All seems quiet for a moment when Kazuya (in his Tekken 4 garb) returns with an explosive boom. Everyone except for Jin get knocked out again. Kazuya knocks out Jin and exclaims that he now knows how to unleash Jin’s Devil Gene. The issue ends with the next part going to be named “My Own Prison,” and that makes me wonder if the writer was a fan of Creed’s first album.
Huh… are we sure Hworang isn’t possessed?

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So… this wasn’t a good read. I know that things that tie into video games aren’t always going to be good, but come on! This was lacking in a lot of places. The story didn’t make much sense. I’m even saying this as a fan of Tekken. We get thrown into an issue that really doesn’t make any sense. We don’t get any semblance of a backstory about the tournaments or the characters. It expects you to know everything beforehand by playing the game and that’s just bad story telling. Heck, I’ve played the games and I even can’t even explain what’s going on in it!

We also get some pretty bad dialogue coming from the characters, characters acting stupid, and disappearing characters. What happened to Unknown and other characters after the fight? We don’t get anything telling us about them. The lettering in the book was also pretty bad at places. I even saw some grammar errors and that’s a shock to me. You know it’s not good when even I can see the errors. I can kind of see why this was cancelled. Not only did it tie into something that wasn’t canon, it also was pure crap to read. Maybe Namco read it and got the Tekken license as far away from Image as they could, I don’t know.

Is there anything good about the issue? Well, some of the art was decent. Everyone looked on model for the most part. It also looked like there were some inklings of a decent story. It was supposed to be spread out through the mini-series, but this first part killed the idea of that happening. Maybe if it was a few pages longer and actually gave backstory, I could say it would be at least decent. Unfortunately, I can’t say that. Overall, the issue’s a dud.

Maybe Tekken is something that just shouldn’t be adapted into anything since they tend to suck. Oh well, at least I have Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist. If you’re wondering what that is, you’ll find out next time. Peace, God Bless, and “I don’t fight to win, I fight not to lose!” Seriously, who the heck wrote that crap?

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