23rd Jun2017

‘Tekken #2′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Cavan Scott | Art by Andie Tong | Pubished by Titan Comics

Tekken_2_Cover-A

Tekken #1 ran the entire gauntlet of expectations and missed opportunities. There was a whole ton of nifty ideas floating around, but very little focus and very little flow to the story. A pretty complicated back story (good) gave way to many pages of mostly fighting (bad) which, to be fair, may be what we should expect from Tekken anyway. Last issue was essentially a long set up for the return of Jin Kazama, who had been missing, and his recruiting of several top fighters to help him to retrieve an artifact currently held in the Zaibatsu Corporation archives. Just to complicate matters, he is also trying to avoid both his father Kazuya, head of G Corporation, and his grandfather Heihachi Mishima, neither of whom are going to win any Fathers Day awards.

This issue kicks off with a serious, deep discussion about philoso…..nah, of course it doesn’t. It kicks off with kicks. And punches. Lots of them. Kazua Mishima and his followers have found Jin’s base, and Nina Williams, Paul Phoenix, Ling Xiaoyu, Yoshimitsu and Panda are doing their best to fight them off. The only one not fighting is Jin, which is confusing to everyone. Even when provoked he refuses. On the outside that is, as he is most definitely fighting inside and trying to suppress the demonic part of himself. Nina decides better to retreat for now, and Jin is taken to a helicopter where the team narrowly escape. Nina blowing up the base as they leave obviously helps.

As the team escape, anger focuses on Jin. Why did he not fight? why did he not help? He finally breaks down and admits that every time he uses his abilities the demonic side of him gets stronger, and he is worried it will take him over completely. Not good for him, and certainly not good for the world. While Jin struggles on, the team arrive at Usiyi Island, ready to infiltrate the archive. Infiltration may be too generous a word, as pretty quickly the strike team are discovered and in rather a spot of bother.

Tekken #2 again a pretty speedy read, but definitely a fun one. The expected fisticuffs were in there, but so was a bit more character depth than last issue. Cavan Scott touched on the themes of family, hinting there was not just a connection of hatred from Kazua towards his son Jin, but something bordering on caring, or at least worry. We got a feel for what it must be like to be Jin. A family constantly at war, and himself a psyche at war, his human self permanently in conflict with his demon self. There was some fun dialogue in there too, Paul Phoenix is always good value.

The visuals are again very good, giving you the feel of the game and characters. The art is a little less brash this issue than last, though the fighting panels have a real sense of energy and movement about them. The art in general gives the impression of motion, of characters and events constantly moving. Some very nice splash pages and wonky panels add to that feeling too, as does the characters poses and movement. At times it does feel like a fighting game, though not one too worried about letting over writing spoil anything. The art channels the spirit of the game, and you can’t ask for more than that.

Another solid issue, building on the moderate success of last issue and ensuring a more coherent plot is to the fore too. The creative folks seems to be having a great time. So it’s Game Over for this month, but more than happy to press Continue and seeing what develops next month. (Thank God I don’t need a stack of shiny 50 pence pieces any more).

***½  3.5/5

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