More than just a popular 1996 action blockbuster: Independence Day is the commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. A surprising number of global nations celebrate equivalent days in the month of July, but since Mortal Kombat is an American institution: we're firing up the barbecue, lighting some roman candles, and saluting the US Special Forces' All-American hero: Major. Jackson Briggs!

Jax has been a steadfast presence since his introduction in Mortal Kombat II -- fighting twenty years (as of last month) for truth, justice & the American way! John Parrish was the man with the massive muscles who first brought the character to life. He was one of the guests of honor attending a reunion of digitized sprites at Galloping Ghost Arcade (last weekend) [full story].

Jax has inspired some outstanding artwork housed in the Mortal Kombat Online Fan Submission Archive! Join us as we cast a spotlight on just some of the standouts this Fourth of July! Be a part of future Art of Kombat instalments by registering to submit your work for future consideration!

We found ourselves with more Jax than we could fit into a single feature! Site favourite gave us several memorable pieces to consider! To start us off, we've chosen an action-charged image called "BringIt". The vibrant tribute is simple in nature, but expert in execution. It combines multiple disciplines of pens, markers & paint to draw the eye to the point of impact. This is Jax in his raw, definitive form. The arms strike a balance between casting the illusion of function, and popping with the right comic book sensibility. The face may seem a little glum, but we prefer a stern Jax. A wonderful, comic-styled drawing!

From flowing streams of pop ink, to obsessive micro-detail! MIDWOOD is an artist who needs no introduction to long time fans of fan-art! His hyper-stylized, hyper-detailed manga infusions have reinvented most of the cast as bulky, ornately armored human-tanks! Never is this more welcomed than when it comes to "JAX"! MIDWOOD gives stern new meaning - his upright, uptight Jax imbued with the no nonsense stare of a true manga military hardnut!

His implausibly stacked munitions recall American comic book artist Rob Liefeld, but where the 90s Image artist is notorious for his shortcuts - MIDWOOD fills every space with wrinkles, rivets and a Geoff Darrow level of detail! Whether you love or hate the stark contrast to the game's simpler designs - we advise you enlarge the image to the get the full effect. Scaled down, the many lines run the risk of becoming noise. At any size, the thought of seeing these imaginative alternates alive and rumbling in an anthology comic is pretty thrilling! Not for everyone, we must admit.

TOKYO51zombie has a very different take on Jax. His "Second Try" is no less minimalist in its style, but offers a more dramatic and complete impression of the design. Taken from 2010's Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe - it was a more utility oriented approach to the character. His usually shirtless chest received light, protective sci-fi uniforming and a simplified design to the cybernetic arms that was both simple, yet plausible. These details are all boiled down to their basic elements in this image. Jax' human strength is retained, but a certain aesthetic chic shows the character in a cool light. For its graphic pop, we love this different take to the usual pseudo-realism MK delivers!

The re-emergence of John Parrish at a live cast reunion has us feeling all nostalgic! Artists kastohro and belzebbub come to our aid with two MK3 inspired pics that harken back to simpler times! As much as we strive for MK to continue to get better, we look back fondly on those formative years. Under the right hand, the comic book simplicity of chrome arms, brightly colored pants, and impressive super-human anatomy is still enough to get us enthusiastic about the classics. Of course, the lycra-spandex look also had a function to help capture clean pixels for digitization. We're not ready to surrender the complexity of modern designs, but it's nice to know the old favourites are still there.

dismisses the classic and the conventional to try something completely new with his Jax [above]! As a response to urban culture absorbed by the character at the turn of the millennium -- it taps into a Wu-Tang sense of fusion. Rather than go the flat-flooted backwards cap and giant medallion of Deadly Alliance: this work reinvents Jax as a street militant with a kung fu sensibility. His modified arms and pants by Kang feel like a character evolving to fit the martial arts world he lives in. With Mortal Kombat X taking the series 25 years into the future -- we're a bit more inclined to have fun with these kinds of playful departures.

Rounding out our Fourth of July parade are three very interesting, very mixed approaches to Jax. Check out these works by
, & by clicking the thumbnails below!

Art of Kombat is fast becoming a monthly regular feature for Mortal Kombat Online! We take great pride and pleasure in showcasing the talented artists within the community, whose works are found in our Fan Submission Archive! Register to submit your own works for future consideration! Check out the artists featured in these previous installments:

So far we've taken inspiration from monthly holidays and occasions, but we aren't married to seasonal festivities. Looking ahead, we wonder what new works might inspired our next feature. Help steer us by submitting new works. We want all your wild and wonderful pieces, based on classic characters, obscure favourites and the new fighters introducing themselves in MKX!

By submitting work to Mortal Kombat Online you become part of an archive of thousands and will be automatically featured in the Fan Submission forum upon submission approval! Fans can discuss each of the featured MKO submitted Art of Kombat works by clicking the piece to enter the forum. We hope you'll wave the flag for MKO and the individual artists whose work we enjoy!