By Steven ‘Dreamking23’ Chavez
Maika “SOZOMAIKA” Sozo is a digital artist that we’ve just learned about who we wish we had known about sooner. Her work doesn’t just include fantastic depictions of some of fighting game’s most popular female fighters, but her resume has official work for DC Comics, Riot Games, Image Comics, and Under Armour on it.
That’s one hell of an introduction to live up to, but this artist’s work absolutely does just that. Today we’re looking at some of Sozo’s art pieces featuring Street Fighter’s Chun-Li and Cammy, Morrigan from Darkstalkers, and more.
This digital illustrator is a self-proclaimed “femme fatale specialist,” and once again, that description is entirely on point. Her work featuring some of the best and most badass females in not only fighting games, but other media as well, is truly remarkable.
What makes Sozo’s art stand out even more is not just the attention to detail, but her emphasis on fashion design. Every piece looks as though it belongs inside of a fashion magazine, with each character’s beauty being fully on display and shining bright.
First up, we have none other than Sozo’s sexy portrayal of Darkstalker’s Morrigan. The succubus looks better than ever in this piece as she stares down the camera with a sultry look on her face.
Sozo’s style resonates so much here thanks to its resemblance to classic Capcom artist Shinkiro’s work. Her Darkstalkers art continues on with a realistic-looking depiction of fellow succubus, Lilith, who looks off to the side as if she’s daydreaming.
We can’t have a discussion about femme fatales without mentioning the likes of Street Fighter’s Chun-Li, Cammy, and Poison. These three world warriors are among the most iconic in the series and video games in general, and Sozo’s illustrations featuring them are exactly as good as you’d hope.
Cammy White made her fighting game debut in Capcom’s Super Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers, which was released on September 10, 1993. She joined the cast alongside fellow newcomers (at the time) Dee Jay, T. Hawk, and Fei Long, and has gone on to become one of the most popular combatants Street Fighter has to offer.
Going further back, Chun-Li is considered the first female of fighting games, making her debut on February 6, 1991 with the Japanese arcade release of Street Fighter 2. She has been a playable character in every main series Street Fighter title and most spinoffs, and she makes her return as one of the legacy fighters in Capcom’s upcoming title Street Fighter 6.
As far as Poison goes, she wasn’t initially a Street Fighter character. She actually debuted as a common enemy in the original Final Fight back in 1989, but went on to make a non-playable appearance alongside Hugo in the Street Fighter 3 series until she became a full-fledged fighting game character in 2012’s crossover with Bandai Namco, Street Fighter X Tekken.
Sozo’s work with these legendary characters begins with a shoe-less Chun-Li in her Street Fighter Alpha costume sitting down for a rest seemingly after a workout. The rest are beautiful portraits done in a style that feels like they’d be hanging up in a salon.
Some femme fatales, like Poison, didn’t start out as fighting game characters, but eventually ended up in some of the biggest fighting titles we know and love today. Coincidentally, these last two both happen to be sassy and leather clad, and we’re talking about none other than Bayonetta and DC Comics’ own Catwoman.
Bayonetta took some time away from her titular series to join the fight in Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS as a DLC character, while Catwoman was featured as a launch roster character in both Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2 from NetherRealm Studios.
Perfectly in character, Sozo’s Catwoman crawls on all fours on top of a pile of shining diamonds, while Bayonetta gets a glamorous portrait just like the Street Fighter gals.
If you find yourself a fan of Maika Sozo’s beautiful fan art, make sure to head over to her website and other social media channels. There, you will find more fighting game illustrations, as well as pieces featuring popular characters from other media such as Marvel Comics’ Scarlet Witch, Spider Gwen, Vampirella, Mona from Genshin Impact, and so much more.
Source: Event Hubs