I’ve mentioned this before, but fighting games all have these weirdly detailed plotlines that go in all sorts of weird directions and have supremely strange character arcs. The bad guy in Street Fighter is a death-powered demi-god who pushes drugs and whose ultimate form is a cloned woman who escaped his grasp and now works for British Intelligence. Darkstalkers features a vampire god stalking a succubus who is also a god and her younger sister, who is actually a repository of her full power that was taken away from her and became sentient. Mortal Kombat is a mish-mash of classic martial arts tropes taken to their logical extreme.
Even given all of that, Tekken is fucking batshit lunacy.
The CEO of a multinational corporation that pretty much rules the world holds a one-on-one fighting tournament every year where he puts control of his company on the line. His son, who he threw off a cliff to try and toughen up, shows up one year and throws him off the cliff because apparently the devil is in his genes. The CEO returns to depose his son, but not before his evil son has a child with someone who is wholly good, so now there’s a grandkid running around who sometimes grows wings and shoots lasers out of his eyes.
Did we mention there’s a Bruce Lee stand-in? Or one for Jackie Chan? How about the street boxer whose kick buttons are replaced by dodges? That’s all fairly standard… okay, how about the cyborg bounty-hunting samurai who fights with a laser sword that he sometimes uses as a pogo stick or helicopter and who might be immortal?
We haven’t touched the insane military cyborg on the run, the luchador who died and whose guilt-stricken rival trained his replacement, either of the rich deletants who’re dancing their way through a murder investigation, the Aztec Demon who sometimes shows up for shits and giggles… it’s all kind of insane.
Handling the insanity is writer Cavan Scott, who has worked on much simpler fare in the past… things like Doctor Who and Vikings, so when we say simpler we do not mean by very much. Titan Books has also put Andie Tong on art, and he’s very much the sort of artist who can bring the technical skill that these fighters display to life while capturing the odd mosaic of emotions and motivations that drive everyone here.
There’s more than enough material and character here for this to be something truly special. We’ll see if Titan can pull it off… fingers crossed.