Thursday, October 06, 2005
STREET FIGHTER: THE MUSICAL DC Comics, 1995
Honestly, I Bought It For A Quarter Week continues with a look at a Truly Awful Comic Book.
This is going to be a short post. There are three reasons why:
1) I watched Ong Bak last night. After that beautiful symphony of knee-strikes and elbow slams, any martial arts material is going to seem weak by comparison – particularly a comic book.
2) This comic book is so awful that writing a long post about it merely prolongs its existence in our collective pop cultural landscape. Talking about it is like watering an ugly, ugly flower.
3) I went to bed late. Then two raccoons got in a fight outside last night, and I had a hard time getting back to sleep after that. Have you ever heard raccoons fight? They fight to the death, man. It sounded like somebody was butchering a tauntaun outside my bedroom window. I broke it up, and the little fuckers scrambled up some fir trees, but I could hear them talking shit to each other in their native tongue – Hamburglar - for an hour after the fight.
So anyway, short post.
Has there ever been a comic book adaptation of a film that was actually better than the film itself? You would think that an adaptation of Street Fighter, that shittiest of movies, that sad coda to Raul Julia’s career, would have a chance at surpassing the source material in terms of quality – but you’d be wrong. Impossibly, this comic suffers in comparison with the film.
It’s got to be tough, writing and drawing a comic based on a movie. I should do a whole week on comic books based on movies – God knows I have enough of the damn things. I don’t envy anyone who has to put together a movie adaptation – it sounds like joyless drudge work to me.
Having said that, this comic sucks. It tries to pack all the witty dialogue and plot points of Street Fighter: The Motion Picture, which has a pretty big cast and a storyline that is more complicated than the original source material, the Street Fighter video game. So let’s see: this is a comic produced in 1995, adapting a Jean Claude Van Damme film, which was in turn based on a video game.
How could it not suck?
The art – oh, Christ help me, the art. Everyone in this comic book looks like they’re taking a shit, or they’ve been dosed with Smilex*, or they’re turning into hideous Dr. Moreau pig-men. I’m not an expert, but I think the goal in movie adaptations is to have the characters actually resemble the actors in the film. Unless there was another Street Fighter movie made with ugly Muppets, I’d say the artist failed bitterly in that regard.
Who wrote this thing? Who was the artist? Does it matter? I don’t want to beat anybody up here – I just want to get a few cheap gags in. It is the way of my people.
Anyway, the art. Here’s General Bison, who was portrayed in the film by the fine actor Raul Julia. I don’t remember any scenes in the movie where Raul Julia passes a kidney stone, but then I think I saw the edited-for-TV version on TBS:
And here are two really ugly guys looking surprised or aroused or something. What is up with the guy on the left’s neck? I’m hoping that’s a coloring mistake and he’s supposed to be wearing a scarf or something, because that is one freaky-ass neck he’s got there:
Next up, here’s um, Howie Long? I think maybe this is supposed to be Jean Claude, the Muscles from Brussels, but I only know that because I read the comic:
Here we have a Gallery of Grimaces, Street Fighter style. The artist on this comic has the unique talent of making the same character look different from panel to panel. Here are three images of Jean Claude Van Damme’s character, Guile:
Okay, I’m just messing around. The guy in the middle is No-Eyed Pig Man, not Jean Claude.
I’m fading fast; let’s wrap this up with another quality panel of Raul Julia:
This comic book is so bad that I want to burn it, but I’m afraid that the toxic smoke from the fire will ruin a sunset or poison something beautiful, like a butterfly. There should be a special airless chamber at the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal site where comics this bad can be safely interred until we find a way to dispose of them.
Street Fighter: so bad it gets a special Blindfolded Pain Award.
Hey, that was a longer post than I thought! Take that, you fucking raccoons!
* I think I may have used the Smilex joke before. Sorry.