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RazorsEdge701Posted: 12/06/2008 08:33 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

Well...MKSF references, Jax is wearing the metal arms in MK2...and he has a technoportal a full 2 games before he canonically invented it.

Interesting choices.

Y'know, to be honest, the only reason I'm so hard on you is you're the only one doing this sort of thing and that makes it disappointing to me when it doesn't turn out the way I'd like. I wish there were more people adapting the material, is all. I'd be a lot more forgiving of creative license if there were. The narrower the field, the higher my expectations that someone out there would get it "right" and the higher my disappointment when nobody does.

There's so many damn people on Newgrounds and ]{ombat's site, making MK comics and flash animations, and all they do is comedy or crossovers with Street Fighter or come up with their own weak, fan fiction-y stories. (And half of them seem to not speak English and are using an internet translator to do their dialogue)

I love the material Tobias and Vogel wrote. To me, it's perfect the way it is. Why can't someone just...do that? No "improvements", no adaptation decay, just a legitimate attempt to stick to the canon. Just ONCE in my life I'd like to see someone pull that off, instead of forcing me to relive the way the movies made me feel again and again.

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Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/06/2008 09:19 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
Y'know, to be honest, the only reason I'm so hard on you is you're the only one doing this sort of thing and that makes it disappointing to me when it doesn't turn out the way I'd like. I wish there were more people adapting the material, is all. I'd be a lot more forgiving of creative license if there were. The narrower the field, the higher my expectations that someone out there would get it "right" and the higher my disappointment when nobody does.

Looking at it through a broader lens than just nitpicking, it's definitely an interesting, and very valid perspective you put forward.

I was a pretty big fan of the potential MKSF showed, so I was quite happy to make the necessary concessions and acceptances of what it tells us (ie; pre-MK3 prototype cyber-arms and MKSF experimental portal-tech). I would argue things like these are only incremental shifts in what we knew before that, and slide relatively seemlessly into the MK canon. I'd like to think the strip will propose that plausibility (it's inadvertently been plotted well through MK3/MK4 and beyond, to say nothing of all the MKII to come)

I'm doing my best to maintain a more cohesive narrative that fills in gaps and embellishes what we know, rather than flat-out reinventing it.
That said, I fully submit that I'm adding and subtracting as I see fit. I'm certainly mostly ignoring structural details like the "official" comics, which I don't think were particularly good conceptually, or as contributions to that medium. I'm also making little nods to things though, as much as I am telling story throughout each strip.
If someone is lucky enough to catch certain subtle details, hopefully the acknowledgment of deviation is some sort of consolation. [ie; Cage teleported to Earth, by the water; Jax joining Johnny via his film work]

I was a huge fan right there in 1992, so I have a similar affection.
I can understand that frustration, even if I disagree creatively with the specifics of complaints.

If I hadn't turned you around later into the story, (at least on some points), I was going to suggest you try doing your own version at some point. Why not? It's the only way you'll get your version. A version that might slavishly suffer the cumbersome negatives of a fractured narrative, but your version, none the less. (lulz )

I don't think the deviations or embellishments betray any hard fact, but I acknowledge there are differences and more connective tissue here. To that end, it isn't canon, but then, I don't fancy a presentation that breaks to offer disjointed footnotes of text in between flowing scenes.

I enjoy shifting the dotpoints into order with the benefit of knowing what comes later. You'll almost certainly go cross-eyed after the next strip, however, that reveals an almost basless possible origin for a key character. Oh yes! Set your phasers to kill!

Better The Devil you know...
MK Online Forums: Share your interests, broaden your horizons and support the kommunity with discussion forums for every topic. No whining!
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RazorsEdge701Posted: 12/06/2008 09:51 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

I've thought of doing it myself a time or two, but the limitations of the medium are too frustrating. For instance, I'd need Bo' Rai Cho sprites and there simply is no such thing. And I don't have the skill to create my own, at least not to my satisfaction. I'm too much of a perfectionist.

Plus, who would read it? I'd be just another face in the crowd on Kombat Pavilion, and look like I'm just copying you if I posted it here.

Regarding your Jax/Special Forces choices...what bothers me about giving him the arms NOW is, when he got them in MK3, it felt like development in some small way, to see the character admit his own strength wasn't enough. You could even say it implied that he'd experienced failure or weakness of some sort during MK2 and learned from the mistake or vowed not to let it happen again. And character development isn't something Jax ever saw again in the series until possibly Deception/Armageddon. So basically, you're stripping out the poor guy's one and only moment of depth (or at least the illusion of it).

Sure, you could say "well I'm going to write him with an interesting personality, he'll have plenty of development", but come on, it's Jax. There's really no new ways to depict a military commander-type character. It's a boring archetype.

Plus, the big thing in Sonya and Jax's bios in MK3 is that they tried to warn the government about the existence of Outworld and nobody believed them, and as a result were caught completely unprepared by the merger. If Jax has hard, scientific data proving the existence of other realms, as he would if technoportals had already been invented, well...*poof* bye bye plot point.

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Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/06/2008 10:29 AMStatus ::


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Visits::19577
RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
I've thought of doing it myself a time or two, but the limitations of the medium are too frustrating. For instance, I'd need Bo' Rai Cho sprites and there simply is no such thing. And I don't have the skill to create my own, at least not to my satisfaction. I'm too much of a perfectionist.

Regarding your Jax/Special Forces choices...what bothers me about giving him the arms NOW is, when he got them in MK3, it felt like character development in some small way, to see the character admit his own strength wasn't enough. You could even say it implied that he'd experienced failure or weakness in some small way during MK2 and learned from the mistake or vowed not to let it happen again. And character development isn't something Jax ever saw again in the series until possibly Deception/Armageddon. So basically, you're stripping out the poor guy's one and only moment of depth.

Plus, the big thing in Sonya and Jax's bios in MK3 is that they tried to warn the government about the existence of Outworld and nobody believed them, and as a result were caught completely unprepared by the merger. If Jax has hard, scientific data proving the existence of other realms, as he would if technoportals had already been invented, well...*poof* bye bye plot point.

I had a similar dilemma over wanting sprites of characters, but decided just to forego that. When looking at MK1 I wanted to do something similar (including Bo Rai Cho, as it happens), which led to the more tongue-in-cheek play around with MK1. Reptile is me coming to grips with editing to some level, but at the end of the day, it seemed stupid to me to dwell on any ideals of perfection for sprites.

Eh... There's nothing canonical about that interpretation of character development for Jax... For me, it dangles a little too closely to the after-school-special about having confidence issues when using the metal arms as any communication of his character. I'd like to think we've already seen a more specific template of character for Jax in "Kang," which will develop, secondary to plot. Part of Kang's embellishment is to give a lot of characters more credit than they might have otherwise had. I would argue most characters have had their chance to appear as competent as possible through the various four panel scenarios. For me, arming himself for MK3 is more about Jax following up on available technologies with a military competence, than dealing with daddy issues. (Although, I'm not spilling all the beans before the sprites are done...)

Also, presumably you're interpreting prototype as a meaningless distinction, which very specifically is not the case for Kang. The inclusion of the arms is really a non-issue for Kang, the way I see it (RE: ACT I).

I don't know if there are other sources you're referring to, but my recollection of the MK3 bios was that Jax and Sonya struggled to convince anyone of the 'looming threat from Outworld.'
In a world where the Special Forces are pursuing super-cyborg criminals and presumably other elements shown to populate this universe; it just seems implausible that Jax going to Outworld to find Sonya is the crux of that argument. In that respect, MKSF betrays little, going out of it's way to describe most things as experimental or prototypes, while establishing the kind of experience seen in Kang. It takes nothing away.

So, as you might imagine, that post-MKII plot point remains quite intact in Kang. More literally interpreted from the text of the bios, because it's not at all difficult to imagine personalities getting in the way of forecasting a supposed invasion. That can be a symptom of ignorance, or if they've been gathering intelligence, would be counter-intuitive to the victory of the Mortal Kombat tournament.
Preventing a fullscale invasion is probably not especially easy, either.

Without entering in to a tit-for-tat situation of antagonism, the obvious underlying point of your previous post is that your interpretation is not nearly as rock solid as you want it to be. Your interpretation isn't necessarily without it's merits, but my point is really about plausible alternates. Which I think Kang almost certainly is, even if along with the embelishment of details, we lose things like Jax' ship sidling up next to a floating Johnny Cage, or surprise attacks by the major MKII villains on Jax and Cage after a time lapse.

Better The Devil you know...
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RazorsEdge701Posted: 12/06/2008 10:44 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

While there may be room for more than one interpretation with the way some bios are worded, you don't find it a little hypocritical to have used both the phrases "more literal" and "embellishment" to describe your method?

Especially since I would say "The US army doesn't believe in Outworld" and "Jax doesn't build the first portal until after MK3" IS more literal of a take on Sonya and Jax's in-game text than "they know about other planes, they just aren't threatened by them" and "We have a prototype portal right now".

Not to mention the phrase "Super-cyborg criminals". Fighting one guy with a prosthetic eye that shoots lasers is hardly proof that the Special Forces encountered and acknowledged the supernatural regularly pre-MK3.

At least, that's the conclusion a "literal" take on the canon arrives at.

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]{0MBATPosted: 12/06/2008 11:57 AMStatus ::


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Nationality::United States
RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
I've thought of doing it myself a time or two, but the limitations of the medium are too frustrating. For instance, I'd need Bo' Rai Cho sprites and there simply is no such thing. And I don't have the skill to create my own, at least not to my satisfaction. I'm too much of a perfectionist.

I would also recommend doing your own series. It's not without its challenges, to be sure, but I think you would find the experience rewarding. I'd be interested in seeing your take on the MK story as well, as the storyline has always been (and remains) one of my favorite parts of the game, and it translates well to comics.

Plus, for things like sprites, etc., you can ask for help right here on the Fan Submission forum. We've got many talented spriters here who I'm sure would jump on the chance to help you.

Plus, who would read it? I'd be just another face in the crowd on Kombat Pavilion, and look like I'm just copying you if I posted it here.

I'd read it I would highly encourage you to think about it, at any rate.

Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/06/2008 11:17 PMStatus ::


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Visits::19577
RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
While there may be room for more than one interpretation with the way some bios are worded, you don't find it a little hypocritical to have used both the phrases "more literal" and "embellishment" to describe your method?

No. I have a grasp of context. I can also reinterpret after an initial reading.
It's a very rare skill I picked up whilst travelling through the mysterious East.

RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
Especially since I would say "The US army doesn't believe in Outworld" and "Jax doesn't build the first portal until after MK3" IS more literal of a take on Sonya and Jax's in-game text than "they know about other planes, they just aren't threatened by them" and "We have a prototype portal right now".

It strikes me that endings are the most elastic part of the story. I'm certainly not comfortable with the theory Jax invented interdimensional travel, assuming you aren't just using Jax as a representative of MKSF/OIA.

One of the least admirable portions of the MK story, I think, has always been the connective tissue between events. Like I already said, that's obviously one of the most deliberate structural shifts I've made, and that should hopefully benefit more than just the flow of story. Jax should appear immediately competent for his independent entry into MKII.

What we know from MKII suggests that Jax did indeed pursue Sonya without Raiden or any other abbreviated entry methods. I wonder what you're suggesting the alternative was. Perhaps some other magic?

Like I said, I enjoyed MKSF for the potential it showed, and am not inclined to ignore it because of sub-average gameplay or the fact that it forces a little bit of a rethink (a sticking point, I'm sure).
For me, it gave an implicit Tobias-influenced reference for the context of Jax' entry into MKII. It by no means undermines the full development of the OIA. The way I see it, it simply gave us a reference base for the internal heirarchal gestation of how invention and facility could be in place to specifically form the OIA and/or allow two lonely agents to prepare for an invasion.

This status is implied throughout Jax' initial appearances in Kang and will continue to be so. I don't want to dwell on it, because, like the art of kori, it's a bit of a non-issue, to me. It's ACT I still, there's plenty to go in the story, but it shouldn't be a focal point.

Lord knows what's coming next is the real outrage!

Better The Devil you know...
MK Online Forums: Share your interests, broaden your horizons and support the kommunity with discussion forums for every topic. No whining!
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Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/07/2008 12:06 AMStatus ::


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Visits::19577
RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)


Better The Devil you know...
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RazorsEdge701Posted: 12/07/2008 12:36 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

A two-armed Shokan raised by Tarkatans.

Lovely.

I've decided not to bother pointing out the continuity errors anymore, that's kinda gotten redundant. I'm just gonna ask where you got the idea.

Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/07/2008 01:06 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
Didn't Deception hint that Kahn created the Tarkatans? I guess it doesn't matter. Every single "maybe" there is, you take the opposite stance from me.

For me, the 20-20 error was using language that suggests this particular "what if" has crucial value to the story.
_Crow_ prefers a version that says Kahn himself is a Tarkata, you prefer Kahn creating the Tarkata, and then there's those other versions that say he's something more specific.

I'm satisfied to leave it completely uncertain, but liked the idea of looking at a concept with some pathos. There are a lot of spinning plates and I like keeping that classic, big and cheesy MK mythological asthetic spinning.
Boy is exiled by society for negligible defect. Boy finds refuge with fellow outcasts. Boy returns to dominate them all.

It's the kind of contrast of worlds that gives characters like Jax, Sonya, and Stryker an immediately interesting counter-perspective, I think.
Magic/science, familiarity/uncertainty, immortal/mortal, etc etc.

#82 really just deviates to invest further in the Tarkata/Baraka, Kung Lao and the mythic quality of Shao Kahn. The wording let it down, but I don't think I'll be convinced either way until much later, with retrospect.

Suffice to say, again, your claim to "fact" is tenuous, at best.
Can't fault your consistency, though. Narrow sightedness, maybe.
To that end , I'd be interested to see opinions about the ideas and underlying pacing, perhaps from some of the less obessive readers that popped in earlier in the series.
Personal interpretation is definitely an interesting topic, but only so long, and not so exclusively. Particularly when it's rigidly personal.

It strikes me that sizeable chunks of the MK canon itself are a testament to the development and acceptance of new interpretations and ideas.

Better The Devil you know...
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Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/08/2008 12:35 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)


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Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/09/2008 12:19 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)


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PrincessMetaPosted: 12/09/2008 08:34 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

Let me be the first to say that I like the Reiko sprite. Who did you make him from?

Turn on your light and they'll see you. Make a sound and they'll hear you. If you think it's scary being lost... Just wait till you're found
]{0MBATPosted: 12/09/2008 09:09 AMStatus ::


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Visits::13777
Nationality::United States
RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

Mick-Lucifer Wrote:
Personal interpretation is definitely an interesting topic, but only so long, and not so exclusively. Particularly when it's rigidly personal.

It strikes me that sizeable chunks of the MK canon itself are a testament to the development and acceptance of new interpretations and ideas.


That's one thing that your comics and the debates they spawned have made me aware of - that a lot of the MK story is slightly ambiguous in a lot of places. It's open to interpretation, and things can happen that don't necessarily contradict what's already been established. The government not taking Jax's threat seriously, when they should already KNOW about such places as other realms doesn't make much sense -- until Mick's interpretation is applied.

One of my favorite examples of this, prior to this comic, was when people thought that Sub-Zero's MK3 scar was him being "marked for death" (lol). Another example is in MK4, how he reforms the Lin Kuei clan -- do they mean reform as in "improve" and change for good, or as in "to form again"? Are they even the same clan members as prior to MK3 or not?

Also it's hard to be 100% true to the MK story when it's been retconned, for example, I used to get the impression that in MKII, Liu Kang and Kung Lao were the ONLY survivors of Baraka's attack on the temple, but judging from the story modes in MKSM, MKvsDC, etc., it seems that many of them had survived after all.

Good job with the latest, I like the little details like Shao Kahn standing up in the background in his kave.

Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/09/2008 11:33 PMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

PrincessMeta Wrote:
Let me be the first to say that I like the Reiko sprite. Who did you make him from?

Cheers! He's a really simple Shao Kahn/MKII Scorpion/MK3 Sub hybrid, with just a little bit of extra DIY. In a perfect world I'd edit every character, but that's more work than I'm willing to put in, and I'm no kind of edit wizard.

Learning more about Photoshop is a great byproduct of this kind of thing.

]{0MBAT Wrote:
That's one thing that your comics and the debates they spawned have made me aware of - that a lot of the MK story is slightly ambiguous in a lot of places. It's open to interpretation, and things can happen that don't necessarily contradict what's already been established. The government not taking Jax's threat seriously, when they should already KNOW about such places as other realms doesn't make much sense -- until Mick's interpretation is applied.

That's definitely the throughline of any point I've been trying to make.
I inferred the point earlier, but to be specific, I really doubt anyone could derive a consistent narrative without creating or embellishing connective tissue. Anything slavishly adhering to the explicit facts will be a vague collection of dotpoints. Deductions are not fact, and certainly, Kang has no greater claim to them than anyone else. Hopefully at the end the interpretations remain cohesive, and most importantly, interesting.

We should all know where Kang ends, but if we can be interested and surprised along the way, that's a good thing, I think. It's a great way to enjoy the brand and characters that we all love.

]{0MBAT Wrote:
Good job with the latest, I like the little details like Shao Kahn standing up in the background in his kave.

Cheers! Retroactively, I wish I spent some more time working on the colours!

Hopefully some of the people reading will be able to enjoy some of the details on that level. There are little cues like that throughout various strips that are connected to story, and in some cases, just a bit of a treasure hunt. Part of the plate spinning of this exercise is offering different planes of reading for anyone inclined. The implications are there for more invested readers (ie; the green light behind Sonya's hand in #80), the flat point-to-point story is there, and the little easter eggs are there for the real diehards, sometimes hidden in plain sight (ie; the last episode).

Fun!

Better The Devil you know...
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Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/10/2008 12:07 AMStatus ::


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Visits::19577
RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)


Better The Devil you know...
MK Online Forums: Share your interests, broaden your horizons and support the kommunity with discussion forums for every topic. No whining!
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]{0MBATPosted: 12/10/2008 12:27 AMStatus ::


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Visits::13777
Nationality::United States
RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

Mick-Lucifer Wrote:
The implications are there for more invested readers (ie; the green light behind Sonya's hand in #80), the flat point-to-point story is there, and the little easter eggs are there for the real diehards, sometimes hidden in plain sight (ie; the last episode).


Oh, I didn't notice that before but it's interesting -- obviously it's the homing beacon signal that Jax follows. Nice job with that

Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/10/2008 12:38 AMStatus ::


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Visits::19577
RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

]{0MBAT Wrote:
Oh, I didn't notice that before but it's interesting -- obviously it's the homing beacon signal that Jax follows. Nice job with that

Yeah, there are a few little story-driven details like that.
I don't know if anyone noticed some timeline establishment revealed through #76 and #78. (I just noticed a mistake, lulz)

In obssessing about interpretation of "the canon," little story beats have probably gone unnoticed. I imagine the whole thing reads pretty well in one-sitting, but like I've said, hopefully there are enough layers to enjoy it as instalments in a variety of ways, also.

EDIT: I almost forgot. I had a quick scan through the many sprite strips on Kombat Pavilion, and if I'm not mistaken, Kang is now the longest running strip (cumulative tally), surpassing Scorpion's Tale #84. Yays!

Better The Devil you know...
MK Online Forums: Share your interests, broaden your horizons and support the kommunity with discussion forums for every topic. No whining!
Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/11/2008 12:07 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)


Better The Devil you know...
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Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/12/2008 01:15 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)


Better The Devil you know...
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Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/13/2008 12:22 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)


Better The Devil you know...
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Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/14/2008 12:07 AMStatus ::


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Visits::19577
RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)


Better The Devil you know...
MK Online Forums: Share your interests, broaden your horizons and support the kommunity with discussion forums for every topic. No whining!
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]{0MBATPosted: 12/14/2008 12:14 AMStatus ::


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Visits::13777
Nationality::United States
RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

Wow, sex and MK! Two great tastes that taste great together?

Seriously, the only time "they" did this was with MK Conquest, and by the time you were talking old psychic lesbians who existed 500 years ago who also happened to be raptors, it was pretty far removed from the MK we're familiar with.

Now, I think you handled the issue tastefully (unlike the MK community in times past... I'm looking at you, Sexuality.) Again, another interesting approach taken in regards to the story we know and adding something new to it. Kitana's subtle manipulations of turning Baraka against the emperor seems very appropriate... and perhaps a nod to the Malibu storyline, of the Kitana/Kung Lao/Sub-Zero/Baraka alliance? Or is that just a coincidence?

RazorsEdge701Posted: 12/14/2008 12:23 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

I'm not completely against the idea of this whole "turning Baraka against Kahn" thing either, to be honest. I've always thought the fact that almost every single person who works for Kahn wanting to overthrow him should play heavily into the explanation for how he lost in MK3...

But that's MK3 and we're still in MK2 here so I guess what I'm saying is, I'm curious to see where the butterfly effect from all these changes and additions takes us.

Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/14/2008 12:43 AMStatus ::


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RE: Kang Kontinues! (Sprite Strip Second Series!)

]{0MBAT Wrote:
Now, I think you handled the issue tastefully (unlike the MK community in times past... I'm looking at you, Sexuality.) Again, another interesting approach taken in regards to the story we know and adding something new to it. Kitana's subtle manipulations of turning Baraka against the emperor seems very appropriate... and perhaps a nod to the Malibu storyline, of the Kitana/Kung Lao/Sub-Zero/Baraka alliance? Or is that just a coincidence?

Hah! I was a big Conquest fan, maybe for more admirable reasons than the rate of employment for Playboy models!
[All Shao Kahn lines in "Kang" can be read as Jeff Meek!]

I was definitely aware of the Baraka situation in the comics, but I imagine their direction came from a similar place mine does - the MKII ending.

I'm trying my darndest to use the space afforded by four panels to explore and develop the characters and part of that is trying to show Baraka as a bit more motivated than a mindless pawn.
#89 is about juggling the different agendas of characters, while also trying to infer a bit more complexity in the Baraka/Mileena relationship.

I'm writing Mileena very specifically and that's sort of encapsulated in this scene. She holds the illusion of her importance far more overtly than Kitana ever would, and there's that sense of hypocrisy that also lends significance to her future roles, post-MKII.

Ending #88 with a reference to Baraka as a "king" is a real nod to that MKII ending, though. Which was also referenced vaguely in #60, which #88 specifically bounces off of.

RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
I'm not completely against the idea of this whole "turning Baraka against Kahn" thing either, to be honest. I've always thought the fact that almost every single person who works for Kahn wanting to overthrow him should play heavily into the explanation for how he lost in MK3...

But that's MK3 and we're still in MK2 here so I guess what I'm saying is, I'm curious to see how soon the butterfly effect gets us there.

That's definitely a factor. That's what the embellishment 'with the benefit of hindsight' is all about.
I don't know if it's just inevitable, or the comics writer coming out, but I've already referenced details well into MK4 and beyond. I imagine Kang will, and already does (Series 2, at least), read better in one continuous hit.

In trying to maintain/restore Kahn's credibility as a villain I think those other agendas become increasingly important. That's probably true of a lot of elements, though. I think if you look through any of the fights in Kang so far, victory comes from strategic elements and/or circumstances. Everyone has a pro wrestling style sense of credibility, even in defeat.
That's a throughline for some of the character work, I think.

I tend to think the two major underlying themes of MKII were death (as a motivation) and deception. I don't think anyone can be trusted during this period, which is where the knowledge/power continuously factors in. That, and hindsight gives us better perspective of MKII as set-up for MK3.

Appreciate the positive acknowledgment!

Better The Devil you know...
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