Tekken 7 is finally due to release on consoles, over two years since its arcade release, and has promised to tie-up the series’ Mishima Clan saga that has been running throughout the series over the past 23 years. As it has been over six years since the last canonical game (Tekken Tag Tournament is non-canon), Tekken: Blood Feud is a 4-issue comic arc that will bridge the gap between games 6 and 7.
The first couple of pages are dedicated to newcomers, offering a ‘Story So Far’ recap and small paragraphs on each of the main characters featured, all with the same underlying Tekken humour that fans have come to love, as absurdist as it is. The following page then features a really clever introduction to the people behind the comic, but designed like a Character Select screen synonymous with fighting games; the bottom half being dedicated to all the characters available, or in this case, the backroom staff of Titan Comics.
The actual issue starts with Nina Williams on the lookout for Ling Xiaoyu. Each character is again recapped on when they first appear throughout the comic, but this may be due to them looking so different from their CGI counterpart. Obviously the artist Andie Tong has done his representation of the characters, but their name next to them is certainly welcome.
Whilst Ling Xiaoyu is running along the street to a party she is already late for, she bumps into Nina’s sister, Anna Williams. Anna believes Ling Xiaoyu knows the whereabouts of Jin Kazama; son of Kazuya Mishima and grandson of Heihachi Mishima, the three main characters at the heart of the Tekken franchise. Jin disappeared after trying to rid himself of the Devil Gene that was passed down to him through his bloodline by defeating Azazel, the source of the Devil Gene. However, in doing so Jin has plunged the world into chaos, and as such, (and not ridding himself of the gene) disappears without a trace, leaving Heihachi to once again take charge of the Mishima Zaibatsu. This may sound very confusing (and it is), but thankfully this short miniseries acts as a standalone narrative where prior knowledge is not necessary
Ling Xiaoyu does not know where Jin is, which Anna obviously doesn’t believe. What follows is a brawl in the alleyway between the two of them, before which Panda, Paul Phoenix, and Nina all join in to aid Ling Xiaoyu. Their behaviour is very typical of Tekken and if the rest of the miniseries continues down this vein then fans of the games will certainly enjoy the comics as well.
This first issue also features cameos from other characters from the Tekken rosters and it’s a joy to think who could be appearing next.
The artwork style is okay, with it growing as the issue goes on – in fact, I feel that it is much better in the latter pages than at the start I. The variant covers though are all excellent, with one being the game cover art and another featuring Heichachi separating Jin and Kazuya from fighting, all whilst stood on top of a pile of the entire Tekken roster brawling. A third features Nina squaring off against Yoshimitsu, which does not occur once during the issue but is still a great cover.
As with many ‘first’ issues, aside from the alleyway brawl not much else happens action-wise as it is more about setting up the premise for the issues to come. This is a very promising start though. The plot is basic and uninspired, but seeing these characters interact in different ways is more than enough for a series fan to want to invest in the remaining issues.