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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Street Fighter Legends: Ibuki #4 Review

I was pretty stoked when UDON sent me a PDF copy of Street Fighter Legends: Ibuki #4 to review. I’ve been enjoying the heck out of this series, and I've been itching to see what happens next. Now the final issue is set to hit comic shops today. Is this Ibuki’s finest hour? Read on to find out!

Last issue, Ibuki and the gang are ambushed by a rival ninja clan, and now it all comes to a head as the Geki invades the Glade of Ninjas! It’s up to Ibuki, Makoto, Elena, Sarai and some unexpected allies to stop the invasion and finish this war once and for all!

Writer Jim Zubkavich ends the series in a pretty high note as he ties up the underlying plot of the series in a flurry of kunai throws and ninja strikes. The book races on a fast clip, with every panel counting down to an epic temple showdown between Ibuki’s clan and the Geki. It's a pretty intense issue, with Zubkavich laying the action thick in every page. I especially liked the face-off between Ibuki’s master and the head of the Geki clan, with their lines cheesy but surprisingly epic. When lines of dialogue give me chills up my spine and put a smile on my face, you’re onto something good.

If there’s anything I could fault this book, it’s that it feels a bit too fast. Ibuki doesn’t get much of a chance to really shine on her own in this ish, with our ninja sharing the spotlight with the awesomeness of Makoto and Elena. Which is a shame, as I think this could have been UDON’s last chance to show how much of a badass Ibuki is, even in this rookie state. Also, most of the book feels like just an excuse to get Omar Dogan to draw some wicked fight scenes.

But then again, it’s as good an excuse as any! Dogan is fast becoming my favorite penciller. His style is pretty accessible and just fits the mood and theme of the series. And though some panels lack the excitement and clarity I expected from Dogan, it’s a minor quibble at best and you’ll be lost in the eye candy in no time.

Street Fighter Legends: Ibuki #4 is a satisfying end to Ibuki’s own miniseries and a perfect introduction to a really fun character. I’ve grown to like Ibuki thanks to Zubkavich and Dogan, which to a non-video gamer like me is a feat in and of itself. And with the last few moments of the book promising more adventures for our favorite ninja, you can be sure I’ll be there to read more about it. The book is available now, so pick it up! You won’t regret it.

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