Who will be the King of the Iron Fist? I’ve always been a Christie Monteiro main, but either way, your Major Spoilers Retro Review of Tekken Forever #1 awaits!
Writer: Dave Chi
Penciler: Paco Diaz
Inker: Paco Diaz
Colorist: Hermes Tadeu
Letterer: Roberto Miranda
Editor: Darren G. Davis
Publisher: Image Comics/TidalWave Productions
Cover Price: $2.95
Current Near-Mint Pricing:
Release Date: December 1, 2001
Previously in Tekken Forever: It all began with a tournament, sponsored by the Mishima conglomerate, offering a massive fortune to anyone who can make their way to the top of a single-elimination battle series… and then, defeat Heihachi Mishima, the CEO! Heihachi’s defeat at the hands of the son whom he left for dead years before sets off a massive series of spiraling storylines, involving a virtual army of characters, nine games, four movies, and a truckload of spinoffs.
So how did they only get ONE issue into print?
We kick off with one of the most 2001 moments I can recall, as Drowning Pool’s Bodies is sung from offscreen, while Kazuya Mishema (the son I mentioned earlier) lords his victory over Paul Phoenix, Ling Xiaoyu, Forrest Law, King, and a host of others, including Heihachi’s pet/bodyguard/bear, Kuma. It’s honestly overwhelming to try and figure out who everybody is, but the lineup is enough to place this squarely between Tekken 3 and Tekken 4. Since 4 came out in 2001, this book may have been conceived as a tie-in or lead-up to that game, but regardless, Kazuya’s son Jin awakens and is thrown into battle with some of his father’s mooks.
Suddenly, the focus shifts to Egypt!
That’s where Detective Lei Wulong is facing a horde of cyborg Jacks, only to get waylaid by old enemy Bryan Fury, then saved by another fighter, and, honestly, I don’t have enough room to identify everybody. This segment is, however, the point where it becomes utterly clear that the dialogue is going to be just abysmal throughout the issue. We not only get to witness Lei announcing, “It’ll be more fun just to beat the crap out of you,” but also ninja warrior Yoshimitsu asking “How many quarters do you got?” That’s verbatim, I might add. Not only that, the size and font of the lettering change wildly from panel to panel. Back in the… wherever they are, Paul Phoenix has awakened long enough to join Jin’s fight (“Come now, jerkchicken, and I’ll show ya how a REAL MAN fights!”) and turn the tide on his evil dad.
With Kazuya seemingly defeated, we spend some time in the afterlife with Kazuya’s mom, who is secretly the weird shadow warrior, Unknown, then smash-cut back to the temple, where several more fighters have awakened to bond and tell each other their names. Props must be given to the writer for including both pigtailed warrior Ling and masked wrestler King which, given the lettering problems, makes things even more difficult to parse.
Impetuous warrior Hwoarang picks a fight, which causes Jin’s unusual “devil gene” to kick in in defense of his ladylove, Xiaoyu.
It also calls his father out of the pit in a burst of arcane hellfire!
As the issue ends, Jin is left unconscious at his father’s feet, while papa Kazuya promises to
rip open Ultra Magnus, and every other Autobot, until the Matrix has been destroyed murder everyone he ever loved until he joins him on the dark side. The story ends there, with the promise of a next issue that never came, but I can’t imagine that it was much of a surprise in a book where the best part is the slightly overbright digital coloring. Tekken Forever #1 is overstuffed with characters, short on plot, and while it’s remarkably true to certain characters’ fighting moves, it makes it hard to tell who is who and has inane, juvenile dialogue throughout, earning 1 out of 5 stars overall. I can’t find any announcement or reasoning for the cancellation, but art from the unpublished issue two can be found online, making me suspect that the licensors of the Tekken series actually read this issue.
I suspect they regret it as much as I do.
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TEKKEN FOREVER #1
This comic is just plain bad, structurally, narratively and visually, and even if you know the legion of Tekken warriors within, you won't have any fun with it.