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Monday, February 20, 2023 

Street Fighter vs. Ninja Turtles in a new crossover comic

Event Hubs has news of yet another crossover project in comicdom, but with some very questionable writers involved, and it's coming from IDW:
The cast of Street Fighter has seen cameos in so many other video games and media over the years, with major collaborations happening with the likes of Fornite, SNK through the King of Fighters Allstar mobile game, and even a trek into Monster Hunter. In similar fashion, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have also made numerous appearances in outside media themselves, teaming up with the Ghostbusters, Batman, and most importantly to us, making a playable appearance in NetherRealm Studios' Injustice 2 back in 2018.

At this point, I'm unsure which of these franchises has seen more crossovers, but the fates are bringing Street Fighter and the TMNT together (surprisingly not for the first time) for a brand new, upcoming comic book series. Comic book publisher IDW has announced a fresh miniseries entitled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs. Street Fighter in which iconic characters like Chun-Li, Ryu, Guile, Leonardo, Raphael, and more will be gearing up to lock horns.

Gizmodo was given a first look at the upcoming series, which will be penned by Paul Allor, have art by Ariel Medel, and colors by Sarah Myer. The first issue in the five-issues miniseries is expected to drop this May, and in this initial preview we get to see the cover art for issue #1, as well as a handful of inked pages.
I seem to recall assigned scriptwriter Allor has a history of political statements, explaining why it's hard to feel enthusiastic about this new licensed merchandise, when it could end up becoming another casualty of political correctness, and there's no telling if Allor's ceased his previous errors. Let's also recall TMNT fell victim to PC when a masculine-looking "woman" was introduced, and turned into a turtle herself. With that kind of wokeness affecting the franchise, who knows if they'll refrain this time?

Since we're on the topic of SF, Noisy Pixel announced there's a prequel comic for the 6th game being prepared by Udon, which has been the main licensee for adapting the famous video game series to comics for many years. Let's hope they, by contrast, avoid any PC mentality, though at the same time, let's also recall Capcom may have sold out to that very problem. Exactly why it's vital to be cautiously optimistic.

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I can confirm that Udon's Street Fighter series, or at least what I've read, is very good. Even when a story just focuses on female fighters they feel like characters instead of representing every (alleged) positive female trait. They struggle, learn, and have their own interesting personalities. Plus the artwork is beautiful.

I have read enough on Allor's TMNT work, and he can be pretty good (Utrom Empire, which addressed more of Krang's backstory) and not so good (the end of Turtles in Time, which was one BAD FUTURE cliche after another). Politically, I'm sure he wants to go there, but it doesn't always go there beyond a handful of things. Lindsay Baker suddenly being gay without any foreshadowing would be one in the 2015 Mutanimals mini, and we meet Lindsay Baker's ex-girlfriend, Jillian Amante, who was an antagonist. Supposedly, he said online that Sally Pride, the lioness mutant, is supposed to be gay -- hence the Pride in her name -- but that really hasn't come up in the books. Lastly, the main reason he didn't want to adapt Null from the Archie Comics straight was more he really didn't want to deal with the character's canon misogyny, hence the sex/gender lift to Madame Null. The politics are there, sometimes, but other times, he does a decent job telling a story, albeit done bleakly at times. He's more restrained than say, Sophie Campbell, to be sure. (And compared to what Peter Laird, Steve Murphy and others did with the Mirage comics, 20 years ago, this is small time stuff, Mirage Vol 4 was proto-woke, to be sure.)

As for this mini, I'm game, but it is the first time Jennika has shown up in a full crossover, so I don't know how it will go. I'm actually not against a fifth female Turtle, but the execution with Jennika could have been much much better, which gets weirder now that Venus, her inspiration, is now in IDW. Anyway, the current second crossover with the Power Rangers is very good, so fans have options.

That said, I didn't know about these prior Tweets from Allor, so your concern is quite justified. Yikes.

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