Loot Crate, Once a Way to Raise Comic Sales
Loot Crate was very well known in fandom, and by anyone who has been reading articles on Bleeding Cool for a while, as the best known and longest-running subscription service for geek stuff since its founding in 2012. Simple idea, take a bunch of geeky items, throw them in a box, charge $20 to $25 to subscribers, rinse, repeat monthly. However, also well known was the quality and oddness of items included: the Infinity Gauntlet oven mitt, lots of figures, and so many comics. Loot Crate began including comics in many of the boxes, commissioning them from retailers, having them go through Diamond, and then put in the boxes, it increased sales for certain titles massively. Then this time last year, Loot Crate went bankrupt. Since then, there has been restructuring, and it was all supposed to be re-branded as the Loot Company, but on their site once again, Loot Crate is operating very similarly with a brand new monthly box for about $25.
In terms of comics, Loot Crate had a large impact for a time having a lot of comic book variant covers created. With comics from Valiant, Boom, Marvel, DC, Image, Loot Crate had variant covers created to be put in their subscription boxes. However, Loot Crate only had four exclusive comics created for themselves, exclusive in the sense that they were not just variant cover copies, the inside story was brand new, exclusive, and not reprinted material. Of those four books, the most notable was the Harley Quinn comic created for Loot Crate by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, and Chad Harlin in 2016, and at the time of its release, it was quite the feat, except that DC did reprint it in a trade-in 2016, and then expand it in 2018.
Of the remaining three books, Star Wars Adventures Destroyer Down has also been collected and reprinted, but that leaves two books that Loot Crate had as exclusive issues that have not been reprinted, or reissued, in another form. The first of those Obscure Comics was Street Fighter Hyper Looting.
Street Fighter Hyper Looting from Udon Entertainment
November 2015's Loot Crate box brought the very first exclusive comic to its subscribers, and as comics go, it was likely either greatly enjoyed or ignored. Street Fighter Hyper Looting makes perfect sense as Loot Crate's first exclusive book, as it stars not just the Street Fighter characters but also members of Loot Crate's staff at the time. Produced by Udon Entertainment, featuring 13 different Loot Crate employees, and 42 different Street Fighters, the entire plot of the 21-page comic revolves around Guile trying to find a Shadaloo superweapon that is being smuggled through one of the many Loot Crate subscription boxes that are to be sent out.
Written by Udon mainstay Matt Moylan, it is one of the few Street Fighter comics not written by the main Street Fighter comic writer Ken Siu-Chong. The art is mostly handled by Jeffery "Chamba" Cruz, with additional art by Hanzo Steinbach, Edwin Huang, Gonzalo Ordonez Arias, and Long Vo, who also draws the cover.
It features five different two-page splash fight scenes in the comic; the story is a simple but fun showing off all the different Street Fighter characters, leading up to, the then soon to be released, Street Fighter V game. The quick dialogue gives a small view of many different characters in the Street Fighter universe and their personalities. Still, in the end, the main conflict comes down to Guile versus M. Bison and whether Guile can keep the weapon out of Bison's hands.
Not Hard to Find, but so far Never Reprinted
The comic book was printed and included in all November Loot Crate boxes in 2015, meaning there should be a lot of copies out there, but most of those who received them didn't likely care about the comic, and most Street Fighter fans are not widely aware the book exists. It's a fun read that can be gotten for around $4 to $10 easily, but it is an obscure point in the Loot Crate history with comic books as their first original comic book. The comic is a fun, quick read, and for those who enjoy Street Fighter, it is a great book to own.