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Street Fighter X GI Joe Scribe Explains How World Warriors Meet Real American Heroes

by Luke Walaszek on Feb 18, 2016 at 06:45 AM

When publisher IDW asked wrestling aficionado and podcaster Aubrey Sitterson to pen a crossover between GI Joe and Street Fighter, the first thing he thought about was what makes the two franchises tick.

"It comes down to one thing," Sitterson says. "Fights."

Sure, the scale of the fights are different. Street Fighter is about two super-powered competitors duking it out one-on-one, while GI Joe is all about large-scale military combat, but the core values, according to Sitterson, are the same.

"The meat of it, what people really want, isn't a lot of jibber jabber and a lot of yammering. They want fights," he says. 

That's why the upcoming six-part miniseries is structured as a tournament set up by the all-star pairing of Destro and M. Bison, who have some sinister plans in store for the competitors. After a brief introduction, the fights kick off on page two and don't stop until the back cover.

Crimson Viper battles Snake Eyes in the first fight of the series. 

"It's all killer, no filler," Sitterson says.

According to Sitterson, the fun of watching two larger-than-life characters clash doesn't have to come at the expense of storytelling. It's not about paring characters down to power levels and stat sheets and just debating who would come out on top. Instead, Sitterson tells us, it's about watching two huge personalities meet in the ring and fleshing out the conflict through combat and competition rather than dialogue and dramatics.

"Whether we're talking about comics, or movies, or video games, whatever, fights too often come down to something that's kind of boring and uninteresting," Sitterson says. "That's two people just hitting each other until one of them hits the hardest. To me, what makes these fights interesting is the same thing that makes wrestling interesting, the same thing that makes Dragonball Z fights interesting, the same thing that makes kung-fu movies interesting. These characters are not just a list of stats and abilities. They have personalities. That comes through in the actual fights themselves."

Sitterson told us he has a "soft spot" for Rufus. 

With so much of the storytelling in Street Fighter X GI Joe based on physicality, a large portion of the work falls on the artist's shoulders. Sitterson is confident series' penciler Emilio Laso is up to the task. "He's not just positioning action figures," Sitterson says. "It feels real and it feels visceral, which was something I wanted going into it. He's able to imbue every panel with not just what's happening, but why it's happening, what the combatants are thinking about when they're throwing that punch."

"One of the most amazing things about old Capcom games is their aesthetic," Sitterson says. "Emilo has really captured that Capcom feel without ever feeling derivative."

Each battle begins with this Street Fighter-style text, the handiwork of series letterer Robbie Robbins.

IDW’s Street Fighter X GI Joe #1 of 6 hits comic book stores next week on Feburary 24. You can check out a sneak peek at some of the series' cover art in the gallery below.