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The Life And Times Of M. Bison

M. BisonM. Bison is best known as the ultimate villain of the Street Fighter franchise, but there's more to this snappily-dressed warlord's place in history than just as the final challenge at the end of a handful of games.  Gavin Jasper at Den Of Geek takes a look back at the many versions of M. Bison to grace the series from series boss to film star to animated ham.  It's not all Psycho Drive and Tuesdays for this fearsome force.

See, despite Street Fighter’s rather thick storyline (which not only includes the main series, but also Saturday Night Slam Masters, Final Fight, and Rival Schools), they never did explain who won Street Fighter II’s tournament. All we know is that at some point, Akuma showed up and vanquished Bison with his powerful and unfathomable Raging Demon attack. Considering the attack supposedly kills the soul of the victim based on the severity of their sins, that meant Bison was toast.

Funny thing is, before Street Fighter II was re-released into oblivion and we only had twelve characters to play with, they attempted to make various Street Fighter comics in both America and Japan and only had so much to go on. In the Street Fighter II manga by Masaomi Kanzaki, he tried to make sense of the game’s sparse story by putting Bison in charge of some kind of decrepit island called SHAD where fighting tournaments are constantly taking place. Since Akuma hadn’t been created yet, Masaomi had Bison be the one responsible for Ryu and Ken’s master Gouki’s death.

I thought I knew Bison's backstory, but I was surprised at the comic and manga interpretations.  I was unfamiliar with all of the strange ways that writers shoehorned him into the expanded narrative, and there are some confusing but intriguing ideas going on in his past.  While the character doesn't have the intimidation factor today that he once did, he's still an important part of the lore and a Street Fighter game just isn't the same without him.

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