News Archive - January, 2015
Submit Questions for DC Comics Writer Shawn Kittelsen!
Submit your questions for Mortal Kombat X comics writer Shawn Kittelsen!

Mortal Kombat X may be the hotly anticipated tenth installment of the klassic video game series - but it's also currently the name of a top selling serial from DC Comics!

The comic book story bridges the gap between 2011 reboot Mortal Kombat and April home console release: Mortal Kombat X. Steering this sprawling saga through panels and page is writer Shawn Kittelsen.

Fans met Kittelsen at last year's New York Comic Con, where he talked to various major outlets about the then-newly announced video game tie-in. Now's your chance to ask the questions as Mortal Kombat Online gears up for an upcoming interview!

Register to submit your questions about the Mortal Kombat comic series on the forum. Mortal Kombat Online will gather the best queries for Shawn Kittelsen to be answered in a future feature!

Catch up on all the DC Comics MKX news, previews and purchase info in the Media & Merchandise forum! [Related Article: EXCLUSIVE: Mortal Kombat X #5 Cover Art Reveal]

Conan Clueless Gamer Mortal Kombat X Super Bowl Showdown
Conan Hosts The Ultimate Super Bowl Preview in Mortal Kombat X!

Before they do battle in Super Bowl XLIX: Seattle Seahawks Running Back Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch and New England Patriors' Tight End Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski would face each other in another gruelling contest. The game: Mortal Kombat X. The home field: Conan's Clueless Gamer segment. The result - embedded below:

There was button mashing, gruesome fatalities, a half-time live performance, ball grabbing, ball kissing, ball cradling, ball nap time, and questionable use of a severed head Super Bowl trophy. It may be the finest demonstration of Mortal Kombat X we've had the pleasure of reporting on over the past 8 months.

Super Bowl XLIX kicks off February 1, 2015 at the University of Phoenix Stadium, Arizona. Mortal Kombat X kicks body parts off April 14, 2015 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & PC.

Register to get find and discuss hardcore gaming stories like this one on the Mortal Kombat X forum. Missed the developer's live demo? Catch up with the stream archive to witness the return of Ermac. Warning: It contains 95% less ball handling than Clueless Gamer.

Kommunity: Raiden Joins Oklahoma City in NBA Logo Mash-Up
What happens when iconic video game mascots join NBA teams? Thunder!

Graphic designer cum sports fanatic ak47_studios has been mashing together logos from the top NBA franchises and their iconic video game counterparts. Viral sharing hub has 12 of their favourites, but it's the Oklahoma City Thunder logo that we're interested in:

A fitting match - no? Find more of ak47_studio's work on Instagram!

Found something cool or interesting? We want to hear about it! Submit a newslead to share the link, or if you've created your own, use the Fan Submission! Special thanks to MKOmmunity User VenoMark for sharing this slam dunk!

NetherRealm Studios Mortal Kombat X Live Stream - Ermac
Character Variation spotlight & character reveal on developer stream!

Mortal Kombat X will be in action later today when NetherRealm Studios go live on Twitch! The stream is scheduled to begin at 3:00PM CST and will reveal another character new to the 2015 fighter! Be on Mortal Kombat Online to immortalize all your reactions on the forum:

Watch the stream archive embedded above or on Twitch.

The spotlight demonstration will include In depth previews of Character Variations, expected to follow up on recently revealed characters like; Kitana & Kung Lao. For a clue concerning the new character, check out the live stream teaser!

[Related Article: MKX: Clueless Gamer Big Game Showdown - Thursday on Conan]

Register to watch [above] and discuss each moment on the forum. Before the show begins, direct your stream predictions & speculation to the link provided. Find many more topics on the Mortal Kombat X forum!

MKX Comics: Hey! That Special Forces Agent Kinda Looks Like...!
Did Artist Dexter Soy Sneak a WWE Wrestler into the MKX Comics?

Early last year, Mortal Kombat Online had fun comparing Triple H's Wrestlemania XXX entrance with legendary Outworld Emperor Shao Kahn. It looks like Chapter 4 of DC Comics' new series has turned the tables, showing us a Special Forces line-up with Sonya Blade and a large redheaded fellow who looks awfully familiar!

Malibu Comics fans might be a little disappointed if they're looking for Lieutenant Lance among the MKSF, but that large fellow at the back does bear a striking resemblance to former WWE Champion: Sheamus!

When asked about the resemblance via Twitter, he agreed, "Only missing me @leinsterrugby shirt".

"The Celtic Warrior" lives up to his ring moniker as one of the exaggerated cast appearing in NetherRealm Studios' hugely successful app: WWE Immortals! Before you get too excited about crossover prospects, Creative Director Ed Boon shut down a question about the subject with a pretty definitive: "No." Hats off to artist Dexter Soy, all the same.

Looking for more wrestling/Mortal Kombat connections? Dive into the archives to revisit the legacy of Glacier & Rob Van Dam's close call with the concept [full story]. See what happens when inspiration goes the opposite way in MK: Federation of Martial Arts. Then hit the Fan Koliseum to see who fans voted the winner of the 2015 Mortal Kombat Royal Rumble!

Preview Mortal Kombat X Chapter 4 before catching up on news & reviews from previous issues in the Media & Merchandise forum! Support the site by liking & sharing stories via @MK_Online & Facebook.

Live Stream Teaser Previews New Fatality Audio
Fwoo! Ahhh! Schlop! Trailer audio teases live stream character reveal!

Fwoo! Ahhh! Schlop!Floshlosh! Any excuse for a little onomatopoeia, right? NetherRealm Studios have dropped an audible teaser for their Thursday Live Stream - and it reveals a new character's fatality!... Sort of...

There's certainly a lot of shouting, wooshing, slushing and announcer cackling! Ever wondered how they make those wonderful sounds? Brian Goodman discussed the process back in August. For the full reveal, you'll have to tune in to Twitch on Thursday!

[Related Article: MKX: Clueless Gamer Big Game Showdown - Thursday on Conan]

Got an idea about what's happening in the clip? Register to share your craziest theories on the Mortal Kombat X forum!

MKX: Clueless Gamer Big Game Showdown - Thursday on Conan
Mortal Kombat X to feature on Conan's Clueless Gamer Big Game Showdown

For many months, fans have pondered who will fight in the ultimate battle between good and evil. Some struggles go beyond the mortal precepts of morality - such is the nature of the Clueless Gamer Big Game Showdown!

Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch and Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski will enter the Clueless Gamer arena during the Conan of Thursday, January 29th. Their choice of arms will be the fighters of Mortal Kombat X! Overseeing the 2-man tournament will be show host and ancient sorcerer maintaining his youth with the consumption of unsuspecting souls, Conan O'Brien.

There may be blood. There may be tears. If the 2013 appearance by Injustice: Gods Among Us was any indication -- there may even be an unexpected character or two. Above all else, there will be male bonding achieved through the mutual understanding of the frailty of human existence. Mostly there'll be blood, though.

[Related Article: Surprising MK Anniversary Reference on The Tonight Show]

Make sure you're tuned to TBS 11/10c to see it all go down! Visit for more.

Mortal Kombat X arrives for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & PC on April 14th. Register to discuss the post-match breakdown on the Mortal Kombat X forum. Team CoCo employees should direct all anonymous libel to the aforementioned Tonight Show topic.

Reptile Battles Kung Lao in IGN First Reveal Trailer
Reptile Returns in IGN Character Reveal!

As promised, IGN have delivered the next big character reveal for Mortal Kombat X. Series stalwart Ed Boon clued fans to look to la luna. Somebody must've done an uppercut fatality - because it's Reptile!

The original secret character is back in force, looking just a little more rugged than his last appearance in Mortal Kombat (2011). Likewise, many of the old favourite moves are back, with some interesting new embellishments like a tongue held tree of woe!

No new information about the circumstances of either character, or the world around them, but it does seem as if Kung Lao has developed a sense of humor during his time among the dead. Assuming that is where he's been since having his head adjusted.

Earlier this month, an Australian retail chain included Reptile in promo banners for the game [full story]. If the trend continues when NetherRealm Studios reveal the next character via livestream later this week, we might expect Shang Tsung or Mileena via Gamestop [full story].

Mortal Kombat X arrives for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & PC on April 14. Register to join the mounting hype on the forum!

Who's Next? The Forgotten Warriors Who Came to Rumble
Who's that entering the Royal Rumble? Not everybody knew!

On Sunday, Mortal Kombat Online invited fans to participate in a social media experiment called the Mortal Kombat: Royal Rumble. It combined hype from two of NetherRealm Studios' latest projects, including Royal Rumble sponsor: WWE Immortals!

Inspired by the annual WWE spectacle; the MKO event featured 30 randomly drawn kombatants, entering at regular intervals to fight for enduro supremacy. Shinnok was the last kombatant standing - buoyed by Twitter support, and fandom's hopes to see the fallen elder god return to prominence in Mortal Kombat X.

Many klassic characters received dedicated support from fans, but a few entrants left onlookers scratching their heads. A list of 85 kombatants was compiled for the draw, replicating the WWE tradition of surprise returns and unlikely upstarts with a few non-playable characters from MK past. Here's a refresher on some of the characters fans didn't recognize during the Royal Rumble:

#2 Kai
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat 4 (1997)
It was a little surprising to see some fans unsure of who our #2 entrant was. Kai has been close to a lot of Mortal Kombat X speculation over the past 12 months, inspired by the broad expectation that MK4 would provide a sequential base (for a new timeline).

It was that reasoning that boosted Kai to #3 on MK Online's Top 10 Kombatant Comebacks list for MKX. Alas, there have been no signs of the now fabled warrior, who was once the forebear for a new generation of warriors, which is now coming into focus.

Introduced as a former member of The White Lotus Society, he effectively replaced Kung Lao as friend and ally to MK4 hero - Liu Kang.
His background had him learning the martial arts from masters across Asia (and Kang himself), but his fighting style, and unique tribal markings gave every impression of more exotic origins. In his arcade ending [embedded above], he was gifted Raiden's lightning staff. A reward that seemed to only serve to aid in his aimless hiking. A return in Armageddon failed to give Kai the purpose or appearance of a warrior of significance. A disappointing end to a character who was almost a big deal.

Despite an underwhelming end; Kai continues to be regarded as a unique fighter with untapped potential. His original design begs for a full Zulu warrior revamp -- ditching pedestrian US origins for an intercontinental flavour missing from Earthrealm's defenders! In support, his trademark capoeira-styled handstand fighting seems perfect for embellishing the modern fighting mechanics, creating a unique fighter that finally gives Kai the presentation he deserves.

Mortal Kombat X Chances: We haven't given up on the possibility of Kai leading the new generation of kombatants in Mortal Kombat X. If comic book references to a "Netherrealm War" indeed reflect the MK4 plot of Shinnok's invasion -- Kai at least has a chance. That chance seems to be dwindling, and may ultimately be reduced to print, but any shot is better than none, at this point.

#3 Delia
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (2006)
Emerging from non-playable obscurity, Delia was a more understandably baffling entrant into our Royal Rumble. Having never been depicted as much of a fighter, even in her few appearances, it was unsurprising that she was the first warrior eliminated, as well.

Delia was an Edenian prophet who foresaw the oncoming threat of Armageddon and created the elemental Blaze as a tool of stopping it. Aiding her in the elaborate prevention plot was husband Argus - a god, who fathered two sons with her: Taven and Daegon. These demigods were to have engaged in a contest of godly design, but Daegon was awoken early. corrupted, and set out to murder his parents, instead. So much for seeing the future, huh?

Delia's temple eventually became home to the Lin Kuei clan of Earthrealm. A legacy that gives her an undercurrent of importance, and connected Taven to the present-day Sub-Zero, Kuai Liang, who at that time had assumed the role of Grandmaster to a new incarnation of the clan.

Mortal Kombat X Chances: Given that Mortal Kombat (2011) reset the sequence of events at the point of the first game - we have to wonder what that did to Delia's vision of Armageddon. Daegon and his Red Dragon clan appear to be a force working within the comic books, which may mean Delia once again met a grizzly fate. That doesn't mean her legacy won't remain in tact, though.

#4 Khameleon
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat Trilogy (1996)
Khameleon holds the distinction of being the only console exclusive character from the main roster. She debuted in Nintedo 64 versions of MK Trilogy as an unlockable, grey palette swap of Kitana. By the time Armageddon applied the same all-in concept for the 3D era, Khameleon had missed the initial cut. This forced her only other appearance into later Nintendo Wii versions of the 2006 game [full story].

Despite exceptionally limited appearances, the cult of character has kept Khameleon well within the purview of MK fandom. The popularity of the N64 console in US markets helped expose the character to a broad base, but its the simple plot of her survival as a female member of Reptile's race that keeps her intriguing.

Mortal Kombat X Chances: In a game all about the next generation of fighters - few characters are as ready-made to play a part. The fate of the Saurian Raptors has long been a plot of interest, and finally following through on the coupling of Khameleon and Reptile, or the male Chameleon, would be exceptionally satisfying. Is the world ready for the repopulation of the reptile race? An Australian retail chain certainly seems to think so.

#11 Kia
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero (1997)
Not to be confused with our #2 entrant (Kai), or #5 lookalike Sareena!
Kia is a demonic assassin who serves Quan Chi and the Brotherhood of Shadows. She's one of a trio who debuted in the Sub-Zero spin-off game (w/ Sareena and Jataaka), later returning to appear briefly as non-playable sub-bosses in Armageddon.

It may not be obvious at a glance, but Kia was first depicted by fan-favourite blonde bombshell Kerri Hoskins -- better known for her portrayal as the second Sonya Blade, in MK3. Mythologies was the final major Mortal Kombat release to feature digitized actors as game sprites, succumbing to the mid-nineties onset of polygons. This left the game to a certain amount of obscurity, but Kia can credit her anonymity to being overshadowed by her teammates.

Tortured would-be hero of the group Sareena was the unmistakable breakout star. She had flirtations with both Sub-Zero brothers, managed return playable appearances in in a portable version of Deadly Alliance (Tournament Edition) and Armageddon, and was on her way to being knitted into contemporary plotlines before the 2011 reboot.

Mortal Kombat X Chances: We know Quan Chi will lead an army for an unspecified plot, and that there's a "Netherrealm War" at some stage. Who better to serve the evil sorcerer than his trusted demon assassins?As the backstory and rival to a more in-demand character (Sareena), Kia's fate is always subject to use, but as an old character we haven't seen a lot of, she and Jataaka are ripe for a playable revamp. We don't fancy her chances, but hope to see a cameo, or comic book role, at the very least.

#13 Wu Lae
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (2006)
You may remember Wu Lae from Mortal Kombat Online's 2012 April Fool, but the character's true origins lie in Armageddon's Konquest Mode.

Wu Lae was a non-playable sub-boss battled in the snowy regions of Arctika, where his Tengu clan occupies adjacent territory to the rival Lin Kuei. Through the course of the Konquest action-adventure mode, it's learned the Tengu encountered Noob Saibot & Smoke before briefly battling demigod Taven.

Wu Lae is perhaps most memorable for his interesting design. Covered head-to-toe, with a full face mask, there's enough visual appeal to the character to give him at least a notable percentage of the Boba Fett style mystique. There's not much more to the character, but his minor established connections and stand-out appearance could always warrant another look.

Mortal Kombat X Chances: If the heroes of Earthrealm had remained dead after the massacre of Mortal Kombat (2011) - a character like Wu Lae may have warranted another look. As it stands, his best chance of a return is probably as canon fodder for the fatality fixated comic book series.

Ow! My balls!

#22 Mokap
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (2002)
Most major fighting game franchises have joke characters. Mokap is Mortal Kombat's most deliberate. This makes him a sometimes controversial figure, despite a fantastic gameplay experience in his debut appearance as a hidden unlockable fighter in Deadly Alliance, and relative unimportance.

Mokap tooled around in Deception's Konquest Mode -- an inviting prospect for the punch option -- and returned for a final playable appearance in Armageddon. He came and went with few significant moments, perhaps best remembered for motion capture/testicle puns. He's a rendered tribute to motion capture artist and series actor Carlos Pesina. That's about all you need to know.

Mortal Kombat X Chances: Before you throw the Mokap out with the bath water, there's still some fun to be had. We don't see Mokap as an in-game character -- the tone of MKX seems too serious for that. Where he might find a good run is as a background presence in the comic books. Where there's a film set and a Johnny Cage - there's always room for a Mokap. Why not a done-in-one comedy chapter that gives us the long awaited dream match between Mokap and MK2011 extra Stuntman? The punchline: Johnny Cage does his own stunts - no CG required!

There are many more characters still toiling in obscurity. Register to go to school and talk about the old favourites in the 3D Kombat Klassics forum! Speculate about what's coming next by diving into the forum for Mortal Kombat X!

IGN to Reveal Mortal Kombat X Character Tuesday
IGN Will Kick-Off A Mortal Kombat X Double Character Reveal!

Brace for a double impact! NetherRealm Studios will reveal another Mortal Kombat X character when they stream live later this week - but before they do: IGN will be getting into the act, as well!

Who's next? That's anyone's guess! Shang Tsung & Mileena are hotly rumoured via in-store promos; Ed Boon teased a mystery weapon wielder; and IGN preview new characters in the comics; and we still have multiple unidentified kombat boots!

Think you know who it'll be? Register to join the speculation on the Mortal Kombat X forum!

IGN Preview Mortal Kombat X Digital Chapter Four
Cassie Cage debuts in IGN preview for DC Comics Digital Chapter 4

IGN have the first look at the next instalment of DC Comics' digital series Mortal Kombat X! Chapter 4 officially hit digital platforms yesterday (Sunday), kicking off the next sequence of three that make up Issue #2 [solicitation]!

The preview picks up right where Chapter 3 left off, with Raiden & Fujin dabbling in dangerous blood magiks that tie into the curse of the Kamidogu!

Chapter 4 is especially notable for giving us the first look at Cassie Cage in action, opposite a new character with family ties to a certain mechanically enhanced special forces soldier! Series writer Shawn Kittelsen talked to IGN about the next chapter's shift in focus to a new cast of feature characters, telling them, "Cassie represents so much of what MKX is about: She's a next generation fighter, influenced by fighters who came before her, but determined to forge her own path."

"Readers also get to meet Kotal Kahn, who's like Khal Drogo by way of the Maya. We'll find out what's been happening in Outworld and start to figure out what makes the new Emperor tick. He looks like a mindless barbarian, and he can be, but he's nobody's fool. Unlike say, Shao Kahn, Kotal is more interested in being a leader than a conqueror."

Register to follow and discuss all the comics action in the Media & Merchandise forum! Dive deeper into the mysteries and mythology of the new game in the Mortal Kombat X forum!

Review: Mortal Kombat X #1 Chapter 3
Scorpion returns to where we expected to find him in the first place.

Mortal Kombat X #1 concludes with digital Chapter 3! The following review will contain spoilers! Readers should proceed to DC Entertainment to purchase and read before continuing, or suffer the accursed consequences!

Chapter 3 concludes the Scorpion's Apprentice digital 2-parter: crux plot of print editions, which explores the eponymous iconic ninja some significant time after the rewritten timeline of Mortal Kombat (2011).

It was easy to praise the clarity of Chapter 2 in isolation. It gave a strong, straight forward narrative thrust that seemed to be compelling, and informative world building. After Chapter 3, it's less apparent that's the case, as the story concludes with an element of inside-out storytelling.

The sudden escalation of Fox's role in the previous chapter plays out with conclusive results. The price of that is the impression that he and Takeda are on equal footing, destined for playable game appearances - now much less so. Instead, Fox gives the impression of a utility character, built for one finite purpose. This wouldn't be quite so problematic if it was a purpose we hadn't seen many, many times, to restore the status quo temporarily and abruptly created for the previous chapter(s). The name of the game is firing up Scorpion -- literally, as his ninja spectre nature.

The inclusion of a poison-induced hallucination is a glimmer of hope for uninformed readers. As we know, the rivalry between Scorpion and Sub-Zero is one of the best known plots from the original games. The details of the life and death struggle aren't quite here, but the pathos and tragedy is. For all his in-game rage - Scorpion has always been a tragic figure, playing out a tortured existence. It's nice to see some of that captured, however brief.

We still don't know Fox's demonic possessor, but his objective is clearly to provoke the Scorpion and generally be evil. He tries his hand at a little temptation - trying to corrupt Takeda. When that fails, there's fighting, and the familiar vomit of Scorpion's Toasty breath. That seems to help the faceless Fox - "With every drop of blood, I grow more powerful." He doesn't seem to fare too well when Takeda slices him in two, mid-healing -- but with all that blood spilling, who can say?

If it is the end of Fox - it seems a shame. The struggle for tie-in comics is always finding ways to matter to a franchise they don't hold sway over. It seems as if Mortal Kombat X has been sold on the strength of its ability to tie directly into the world of games - facilitated by the larger passage of time between Mortal Kombat (2011) and April's Mortal Kombat X. One wonders just how much they can really contribute, though.

It would be wrong to dismiss the episode told in chapters 2 & 3. There's value in depicting the characters and their story in this fashion. The problem will be the impression of it all being for naught. Scorpion has been the angry ninja pursuing revenge for his family and clan's deaths for a very long time. This in itself has never been a terrible thing, but it's unusual to create an impression of progress, only to tell the story of returning to where we began. Hardcore MK fans will be divided over whether or not this is satisfying in a print issue context.

The larger curse of the Kamidogu is sustaining a B-plot expected to advance over the coming issues, if not the game itself. Raiden continues to move among the shadows, returning to The Sky Temple where we get an appreciated cameo by fellow god: Fujin. Unfortunately, the final epilogue of Chapter 3 does what so much of this issue has, talking around the event we're in. It does it for a quick tease of future storylines -- a technique that's been popularly used in DC Comics for the past five or so years, perhaps best associated with Geoff Johns.

The preview forecasts a lot of familiar things - including a cage match between Cassie Cage & Frost that was alluded to in February solicitations. An appearance by a particularly amorous Reiko & Mileena proves to be one of the most in-touch sequences. Something to watch out for! In the mean time, Scorpion & Takeda are off to see the wizard. A commercial cliff hanger for a brisk read.

Mortal Kombat X is now on sale! Visit DC Entertainment to pick up all the digital chapters for 99c each! Bookmark the MKO Comics Directory for more previews, reviews and purchase links. Register to share your review via the Media & Merchandise forum!

Fan Koliseum: Mortal Kombat Royal Rumble - Who's Next?
Who's next? Prepare yourself for the first ever social media MK Royal Rumble!

Smoke d. ScorpionNetherRealm Studios are back in the 'rasslin business! The developer released the free fighting app WWE Immortals earlier this month - just in time for the annual Royal Rumble! We think it's such a swell game, we're celebrating with our own take on the WWE classic - and we need you to make it work!

We'll be asking "Who's Next?" when 30 Kombatants are drawn randomly at regular intervals to enter the first ever Mortal Kombat: Royal Rumble!

It will all go down tomorrow (Sunday) - with the Fan Koliseum deciding characters' fates by voting for eliminations on the forum, and boosting their chances via Twitter! Better still, every participating fan will go into the draw to win themselves a limited edition Mortal Kombat kollectible pin! Here's what you need to know:

    Mortal Kombat - Royal Rumble Rules:
  • 30 Kombatants will be drawn randomly to enter at regular intervals.
  • The MK Royal Rumble will begin when #1 & #2 are announced.
  • Each entrant will be announced via @MK_Online & the forum.
  • Kombatants begin with 12 elimination points.
  • For every 5 Retweets & 10 Favorites a Twitter entrance receives - the corresponding character will gain +1 elimination points. [Tallied during each subsequent entrance.]
  • Fans will vote to eliminate active characters by posting to the forum.
  • An elimination occurs when the voting tally exceeds a characters points total.
  • Fans can vote for an elimination once per entrance: Points will remain subtracted, but a new entrance will grant users the right to vote again for any character they decide.
  • Eliminations will give points to randomly assigned eliminators.
  • There must always be at least 1 kombatant active.
  • Kombatants remaining after the 30th entrant will be systematically eliminated based on their points and the total Retweet & Favorites received.
  • In the tradition of the Royal Rumble - expect surprises! The 30 entrants will be drawn randomly from a total field of 85 characters!
  • Prize winners will be notified within 48 hours.

There were surprise entrants, wacky warriors, and early exits. It was a Royal Rumble in every sense of the word! A random draw from 85 potential kombatants resulted in an interesting slice of the Mortal Kombat canon. A chance moment separated the final three as Sonya Blade and Quan Chi were double eliminated, granting Shinnok total victory! Will he be so fortunate when Mortal Kombat X comes around? That is the leading question heading into April!

Mortal Kombat Royal Rumble Results:
1. Johnny Cage (#7) eliminated Delia (#3)
2. Sareena (#5) eliminated Ashrah (#1)
3. Kia (#11) eliminated Sareena (#5)
4. Shao Kahn (#9) eliminated Mileena (#10)
5. Mavado (#15) eliminated Smoke (#6)
6. Tanya (#16) eliminated Mavado (#15)
7. Goro (#18) eliminated Wu Lae (#13)
8. Daegon (#19) eliminated Dairou (#21)
9. Meat (#17) eliminated Jade (#12)
10. Khameleon (#4) eliminated Mokap (#23)
11. Quan Chi (#26) eliminated Kung Lao (#20)
12. Scorpion (#8) eliminaed Johnny Cage (#7)
13. Scorpion (#8) eliminated Kai (#2)
14. Goro (#18) eliminated Shao Kahn (#9)
15. Tanya (#16) eliminated Kia (#11)
16. Raiden (#28) eliminated Tanya (#16)
17. Frost (#24) eliminated Khameleon (#4)
18. Frost (#24) eliminaed Meat (#17)
19. Raiden (#28) eliminated Scorpion (#8)
20. Kintaro (#30) eliminated Daegon (#19)
21. Rain (#27) eliminated Bo' Rai Cho (#29)
22. Shinnok (#22) eliminated Frost (#24)
23. Shinnok (#22) eliminated Cassie Cage (#14)
24. Shinnok (#22) eliminated Rain (#27)
25. Shinnok (#22) eliminated Kintaro (#30)
26. Sonya Blade (#25) eliminated Raiden (#28)
27. Quan Chi (#26) eliminated Goro (#18)
28. Shinnok (#22) eliminated Sonya Blade (#25)
29. Shinnok (#22) eliminated Quan Chi (#26)
Winner: Shinnok (#22)

Mortal Kombat Online is excited about this experiment to bring together the MKOmmunity in a unique way. We hope everyone will help make it a great success! If you have questions about the Mortal Kombat Royal Rumble - be sure to ask them on the forum!

Register to kreate your own forum games, or fantasy fight match-ups any time you like in the Fan Koliseum! Tell your friends to be ready for tomorrow's Royal Rumble by sharing via @MK_Online & Facebook!

Mortal Kombat X Developer Live Stream Next Week
Next Character Reveal & Developer Demonstration - Next Week!

The fans have asked, the developers have answered. NetherRealm Studios (@NetherRealm) will present their next Twitch live stream Thursday, January 29th!

Eternal Creative Director Ed Boon confirms the stream will feature the next character reveal, as well as an in depth demonstration of Mortal Kombat X's unique gameplay mechanics.

This comes after a big day of teasers, with the latest visual clue for an unrevealed character, and the promise of a feature look at Kitana and the Variations previewed in her reveal trailer.

What are you hoping to see? Register to jump onto the forum to share! Spread the word by sharing via @MK_Online & Facebook!

Ed Boon's Big Day Out - Character Teaser, Schedule, Nightwolf
Ed Boon Teases New Mystery Character & More On Twitter

You may know him from the soul crushing un-reveals of the MKX Character Deadpool, or the countless gigabytes of message board mythology and deranged speculation he's inspired across the web. He's less known as the co-creator of Mortal Kombat, and continues as Creative Director on Mortal Kombat X! He's Ed Boon - and over the past couple of days, he's ramped up the tweets (@noobde) and given us more to talk about while WB holdout for the next magazine world exclusive!

From character teases, to preview schedules, Boon touched on it all. Here are some of the more noteworthy tidbits:

Give The Man a Hand
The most substantial item to come from Boon's big day of teases was this postage stamp of an unidentified hand & weapon.

The disembodied digits are in keeping with his black & white boot teases (from last August), sharing a certain aesthetic similarity with "Exhibit F". That particular boot - which was accompanied by a boney, rustic looking accessory that may correlate with the weapon pictured - was among the least convincingly identified.

The maroon gauntlet and bone-themed weapons have us submitting Reiko for consideration, but it's a tough call. That has us wondering if this isn't one of the new characters promised to be among the feet.

More Big Days To Come
When one eager fan asked when the next hint for a new character will be, Boon responded with a promising forecast, "Next week is going to be a lot of fun!"

Next week won't bring a Kitana Character Variation spotlight, sadly, but Boon did reveal an eventual reprieve when, "... our twitch stream will go IN DEPTH on variations!" We'll also learn more about the story "[v]ery soon".

With just three months to go until the home console release, the flood gates are certainly more than ready to be opened! When you consider all the hot information already coming from tie-comics and webseries, the frost of winter is already starting to melt away! Toasty!

A Native American Wolf In...?
Mortal Kombat (2011) wasn't particularly kind to fans of the klassic mythology, undoing much of what was loved, but the game's story mode did do a great service to elevate Nightwolf to unseen heights!

After a star making turn with wolfskin alternate costume that finally showed the inspiration the character lacked - he was killed. Victim of the same bloodbath that left most Earthrealm heroes deceased and under the control of Quan Chi.

Boon offered new hope to fans of the revamped shaman warrior,
responding lyrically to a character querey with, "It Might Wolf." That might not bode well for those hoping for a Kung Lao & Kitana style return to the living - but never say never! Who better to return from the grave than a super shaman who's pals with Raiden?

Cloudy With A Chance of New Ninja
Past allusions suggest we're overdue a ninja or two, and according to Boon, there's even a chance of a new one in MKX! As any pedant will tell you, even .1 in 100 registers as a chance, but when you consider MK's notorious history with ninja-esque warriors, we like the odds.

There are many other tweets! For that, we have The Official Twitter Thread! You'll have to register to insist that reference to your favourite character was more significant than the others. We refuse to indulge green cyborgs. Special Forces 2, on the other hand...

Rumor Mill: Gamestop Advertising Mileena & Shang Tsung?
Amateur Video Casts Light on Rumored Gamestop In-Store Promo

YouTube user Brian Castle has produced the first compelling evidence to back up claims of an in-store Gamestop video promoting Mortal Kombat X. The video has gained traction for its references to Mileena and Shang Tsung -- as yet unconfirmed fighters from the last game!

"There are also plenty of other characters with messy histories, like Kitana & Mileena, or Shang Tsung and... everyone!"

The clip contains no new footage, but alludes to storied rivalries between various characters, including recently confirmed return Kitana and Mileena, and the many foes who've crossed paths with Shang Tsung.

Beloved actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa will depict the villainous sorcerer in the live-action webseries, confirming his return last week [full story]. This has been the closest to a confirmed return for Shang Tsung, with new information tying the series closer to Mortal Kombat X.

[Related Article: Australian Retail Advertisement Includes Reptile in Mortal Kombat X?]

Both Mileena & Shang Tsung appeared on Mortal Kombat Online's Top 10 MK2011 characters ready to continue, last May. Did we get it right? Register to speculate about the promo video on the Mortal Kombat X forum!

Webseries Call Sheet Lists Mortal Kombat X Characters
Webseries Call Sheet Confirms Casting for Mortal Kombat X Fighters

For two series, MK Legacy carved out a unique take on the classic mythos of the original games. Growing ties between a third live-action webseries and April's Mortal Kombat X appear to be bridging that gap!

Casting rumors have heavily featured characters from the official comic books [full story], but a call sheet from this week's shoot is the first confirmation of series newcomers Ferra/Torr and Cassie Cage!

The call sheet comes via actor Casey Lawrence, who also shared photos from the set. He appears as a bouncer opposite series star Casper Van Dien (Johnny Cage), who will apparently be engaging in some underground fisticuffs!

The plot may explain second generation fighter Cassie Cage's role in an upcoming issue of the DC Comic, which will take the 5 year old of the live-action webseries into an MMA death match as a young adult [read more].

At 6'8", Jamal Duff will tower as Torr, opposite accomplished stuntwoman Jade Quon, who plays the diminutive Ferra. The in-game fighting tandem made a splash when first unveiled during the E3 Sony Press Conference, last year.

Ferra/Torr: Jamal Huff and Jade Quon [inset].

Duff may be recognized for his years in the NFL with the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, and for film roles in The Rundown and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story [pictured above]. Quon has over a decade experience, performing stunts in Iron Man 3, The Last Airbender and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Also listed for the shoot: Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa - who already confirmed his return. The Shang Tsung actor reprises the role he first inhabited twenty years ago appearing in the Paul W. Anderson director feature: Mortal Kombat.

Will the webseries tie directly to the new game? Register to join the speculation on the Mortal Kombat X forum! Follow and discuss all the news from the webseries in the Media & Merchandise forum.

You Got Caged: Set Photos From Mortal Kombat Webseries
First Set Photos Show Johnny Cage In The Club In New Webseries

The latest Mortal Kombat live-action webseries is now in production! Photos from the set have emerged via comedian/actor Casey Lawrence, who shared the set this week with returning star - Casper Van Dien!

Van Dien reprises his Mortal Kombat: Legacy II role as action film star turned tournament fighter: Johnny Cage. The scene appears to take place in a club, where underground fights are the order of the day. Casey Lawrence reportedly plays a bouncer.

Not returning to the urban setting is Brian Tee (Liu Kang) or Mark Dacascos (Kung Lao). Both stars appear to be struck out, with Dacascos confirming his absence today.

Register to follow and discuss all the major webseries stories on the Media & Merchandise forum! Follow and share stories via @MK_Online and Facebook. Thanks to @KitanaMKnews for contributing.

Dacascos & Tee Not Returning for Third Webseries
Legacy II Kung Lao & Liu Kang Stars Not Returning For Third Webseries

Lead actors Mark Dacascos and Brian Tee will not be reprising their Mortal Kombat: Legacy II roles as Kung Lao & Liu Kang. Dacascos confirmed the departures via Twitter, sharing his upbeat hopes for incoming director Garrett Warren, "... Garrett and team will make it amazing."

The third live-action Mortal Kombat webseries began production early this week. Legacy II stars Casper Van Dien (Johnny Cage) and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Shang Tsung) have flagged their returns. Some recasting has been rumoured.

Despite not being under the razor-tipped hat, Mark Dacascos will still have a spiritual presence in the 2015 serial: Last September, he and Van Dien posted photos from a shared training session.

[Related Article: Kitana Returns in Packed Mortal Kombat X Gameplay Trailer]

Register to follow all the major webseries stories on the Media & Merchandise forum! Special thanks to @KitanaMKnews for sharing Twitter details. Follow and like stories @MK_Online and Facebook.

Evo 2015: Mortal Kombat X Confirmed for World Championship
Mortal Kombat Returns After Year Off, Continues 5 Year NRS Streak!

NetherRealm Studios' tournament streak continues with the announcement of the 2015 Evo World Championship line-up!

For a fifth straight year; the developer will be represented in the main championship field, debuting Mortal Kombat X a mere three months after its release to home consoles, on April 14th.

The annual announcement was made live by Evo founder Joey "Mr. Wizard" Cuellar, Wednesday (January 21), via stream from the Twitch headquarters in San Franchisco. The stream [archive below] saw the return of Capcom standard bearers Street Fighter & Marvel vs Capcom, another year of US Xbox exclusive rival Killer Instinct, and the return of Tekken (arcade) after its shock omission from last year's announcement.

    Full 2015 Evo Championship List:
  • Ultra Street Fighter IV
  • Mortal Kombat X
  • Tekken 7 (Arcade)
  • Ultimate Marvel versus Capcom 3
  • Killer Instinct
  • Guilty Gear Xrd
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Persona 4: Ultimax

Watch live video from Twitch on Twitch

NetherRealm's DC Comics fighting game: Injustice: Gods Among Us will not return. The 2012 fighter ousted Mortal Kombat from last year's line-up, having debuted a year prior with the same 3 month release-to-tournament window as Mortal Kombat X, this year.

Speaking to Mortal Kombat Online, 2013 Evo World Champion Denzell "DJT" Terry said, "Even though I kind of felt that MKX was a shoe-in for EVO, because it is a new game, the announcement still made me hype!! I was like, 'Yes!!!!! Yes!!! Yes!!!'"

The champ confirmed he will contest the first World Championship for Mortal Kombat X, aiming for nothing less than a Top 8 finish and supreme championship bragging rights. "I want to be on that big stage." Mortal Kombat missed the big stage, last year, but DJT was philosophical about the omission, "I wish [MK2011] could've been a main game last year, but we just [didn't] have the numbers, unfortunately."

A side tournament organized by Brant McCaskill (Pighut) and sponsored by Mortal Kombat Online still managed to attract attendance and streaming audiences to rival main events on the bill. " It was still a hype side tourney, for sure."

Evo 2015 will attract an ever-growing gamer presence to Las Vegas when it all goes down July 17-19! We want to hear from more tournament fans! Register to share your thoughts, predictions and more on the forum!

It has begun! Mortal Kombat Webseries Begins Production
Out-going director lends moral support as MK webseries begins!

The next chapter in the live-action legacy of Mortal Kombat is officially under way! New webseries director Garrett Warren had the support of out-going director Kevin Tancharoen on day one, sharing a snapshot with confirmed return Casper Van Dien:

Warren worked with both men as stunt coordinator on Mortal Kombat: Legacy II, and now takes the lead, while Tancharoen returns to Vancouver to helm fast developing projects.

The new project, announced October for Blue Ribbon Content, has been surrounded by rumour and uncertainty. Warren himself has played coy with social media fans, sharing and deleting occasional moments from pre-production. Unverified rumors have him revealing the new series' title as Mortal Kombat X: Generations, supporting an alleged LA casting call, which links the series to the April fighting game, and its comic book tie-in.

Van Dien, who joined Legacy II as perennial favourite Johnny Cage, was the first to confirm his reprised role, following up on training last June. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa will also return, marking the 20th anniversary of the first time he played Shang Tsung on screen!

Regrettably, first series star Darren Shahlavi will not return as Kano. News of the actor's shock passing at 42 broke yesterday.

Got webseries social media scuttlebutt? Cure it by submitting a newslead! Register to follow all the news and discussion on the Media & Merchandise forum. Find us off-site by liking and sharing via @MK_Online & Facebook.

MK Legacy Star Darren Shahlavi Dead Age 42
Action Star Darren Shahlavi Passes in His Sleep, Age 42

Mortal Kombat Online is shocked and saddened to report the passing of actor Darren Shahlavi.

An accomplished star of film and television; Shahlavi will be best known to readers as Kano in episodes of Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

Variety reports confirmation of the actor's death, age 42, via his agent. Shahlavi passed in his sleep of an undisclosed cause, last Wednesday (January 14). TMZ note authorities suspect an overdose of prescription medication.

Update: Following findings by the Los Angeles County Department Coroner in April; Vancouver based journalist Sabrina Furminger reported for The Westender: "Darren died of “a sudden and fatal heart attack,” his family wrote in a statement. “He was found to have Atherosclerosis (also known as arteriosclerotic vascular disease or ASVD). His left anterior descending artery was 95% blocked, which must have been worsening for several years.” There's also this important clarification: “Darren had no drugs or medications in his body, and only 0.02% BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration); to put this into context 0.08% is the BAC Driving Limit for both the US & UK. There are no other medical factors linked to his death.” Shahlavi lived in Vancouver - where Mortal Kombat was filmed - for thirteen years.

The Action Elite shared the following Facebook tribute, posted by Bobby Shahlavi:

It is with immense sadness we have to inform you all of the news of the death of our dearest Darren Shahlavi. Darren dared to dream and was brave enough to follow his dreams and make them a reality. He wanted to be a movie star! Sounds crazy right? But he made it happen. He fulfilled so many of his career ambitions and acted along side and met many of his childhood heroes and screen legends including Donnie Yen, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sammo Hung, Robin Williams & George Clooney to name just a few. He was a kind, honest and decent human being. You will be missed my dear Darren, by family, friends, colleagues and many fans. You are a legend and a legend never dies. Your films and your legacy will live on forever and you will always remain in our hearts. We are all so proud of you and you will continue to inspire us all for generations. Sleep well Darren and keep on dreaming. Love you always… Your family X

Shahlavi was all the right things: talented, dedicated and sincere. His passion for martial arts cinema was deeply rooted, as was his personal attitude. Positive experiences with the actor don't seem to be in short supply. When I interviewed him for Mortal Kombat Online in 2011, he was friendly, approachable, and interested. He kept track of the interview's publication. When I had catastrophic computer problems, he even volunteered assistance, without ever being asked. The quintessential good bloke.

We discussed his early interest, "I started Judo when I was seven years old, and once I saw Bruce Lee, I was hooked on martial arts and films." His fandom for the 1995 Mortal Kombat feature film and its soundtrack, the influence it had on his depiction of Kano in Legacy, and his near miss with the '97 sequel. Still a fan, he even discussed striving to improve upon the fight scenes of Legacy.

His down to earth attitude was a contrast to some of the screen villains he will be remembered for. His Kano had the cocky, rogueish swagger the character deserved. His role as Twister Milos in 2010 Donnie Yen film Ip Man 2 will go down as one of the all-time great fight movie villains. In recent years, his work continued to flourish in starring roles and mainstream franchises (eg; Arrow). Most recently, he was cast opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in the reboot to 1989 JCVD favourite, Kickboxer. His presence will be sorely missed.

Lost Kontent: Mortal Kombat Arcade Manual Page 1
Series Co-Creator Shares Klassic Mortal Kombat Arcade Artefact

If you've ever been compelled to ask the question, "How do I play Mortal Kombat...?" Wonder no more! Series co-creator John Tobias shared page one of the arcade manual which vividly explains the expectations of the original Mortal Kombat unit.

Now more than twenty years later - Mortal Kombat will release its tenth core instalment this April! Mortal Kombat Online talked to Tobias about his role in creating the enduring franchise. Read more in Part 1 & Part 2.

Nostalgic for the good ol' days of sprites and manuals? Register to follow all the retro news and fan posts in the 2D Kombat Klassics forum!

Klassic Raiden Pop Culture Shock Statue Pre-Order
The most electrifying god in Mortal Kombat gets a klassic statue - MKII Raiden!

He has watched over the Mortal Kombat tournament since it began - now the thunder god Raiden will join the battle on your shelf thanks to Pop Culture Shock Collectibes!

Lord Raiden is the latest addition to the Mortal Kombat Klassics statue line, recreating his fondly remembered Mortal Kombat II digitized design in deadly detail! Pre-orders begin January 19 (Monday), with standard and PCS exclusives to ship Q4, 2015!

Klassic Lord Raiden looms an impressive 27.5" (67cm), weighing in at 12lbs (5.4kg) of perfect polystone. This dangerously divine statue boasts an authentic cloth costume and sculpt by artist Jonathan Reilly that embellished the menacing grimace inspired by original in-game actor: Carlos Pesina.

Standard versions have a starting pre-order price tag of $345.00 (plus postage), with 10% discount incentives for full payment. This time around there are two electrifying exclusive variants!

Raiden EX is limited to 250 pieces, boasting light-up LED eyes and raised hand! The EX Player 2 variant is ultra rare at just 100 pieces, and features the EX light-up components with a limited edition red costume inspired by the original MKII arcade sprites [enlarge thumbnails below]!

Pop Culture Shock have been authentic high-end Mortal Kombat merchandise makers since 2011. The Klassics line-up also includes: Liu Kang, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Reptile, Human Smoke, Mileena & Jade. The 1:4 series will soon launch with the first Mortal Kombat X statues, as well.

Register to find more product news and discussion on the Media & Merchandise forum! Enlighten your friends by liking and sharing stories via @MK_Online & Facebook.

UFC Fighter Felice Herrig Claims Cassie Cage Likeness
UFC Ultimate Fighter Contestant Claims Comparison to Cassie Cage

International kickboxing champion turned MMA pro Felice Herrig believes her likeness is the inspiration behind Mortal Kombat X newcomer: Cassie Cage. IGN reports the UFC Ultimate Fighter Season 20 contestant made her claim in a tweet this week, sharing photographic comparisons via Instagram.

"After thorough investigation I think it's safe to say #MortalKombatX definitely used my likeness for the video game character #cassiecage"

Herrig directed her claim to series co-creator and Creative Lead Ed Boon, but doesn't appear to regard the assumption with malice. She responds to one fan, "lol. Nah it's all good. It's kinda cool. Especially since I love Cosplay & now I know want I'm gunna be for Halloween." Rival gaming icon Cammy White (Street Fighter) has been a Herrig cosplay favorite in the past.

[Related Article: UFC Frankie Edgar - Mortal Kombat Better Than Street Fighter]

Cassie was one of the new characters unveiled during E3 2014, last June. She is the offspring of klassic kombatants Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, who were survivors of 2011 reboot storyline: Mortal Kombat. Since her debut, Cassie has been one of the less featured fighters, continuing to be a work in progress.

Interestingly; Cassie Cage will have a competitive mixed martial arts connection when she appears in the DC Comics tie-in series, written by Shawn Kittelsen. February solicitations reveal the second generation fighter finds herself in an illegal MMA deathmatch during issue #2.

In 2008. developers sparked wild speculation when they used modified MMA fighters as character stand-ins for Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe concept art.

Face Off: Cassie Cage vs Felice Herrig

Mortal Kombat Online isn't convinced the resemblance is strong enough to assert a "definite" likeness. Ironically, Herrig's choice of images don't make as strong a comparison as could be made. Even with a more generous line-up: key features (eyes, nose, hair) are notably different under scrutiny. Both are clearly kick ass blondes, but aside from superficial similarities, we have to say this one's a bust.

How do you think the two compare? Register to have your say on the Mortal Kombat X forum. Special thanks to User hotKira for sharing elements of this story.

Casper Van Dien Confirms Webseries Return
Prepare yourself! Casper Van Dien confirms return in third live-action webseries!

Mortal Kombat: Legacy II star Casper Van Dien has confirmed his return in the upcoming live-action webseries! He made it known via Facebook with a photo of the "Mortal Kombat 3" script.

"You Got Caged! #MORTALKOMBAT #ItHasBegun #GetOverHere"

The Johnny Cage actor began training at altitude last June, appearing in gym photos with Mark Dacascos (Kung Lao) in September. He joins fan-favourite Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Shang Tsung) in the social media teases. Tagawa - of Mortal Kombat: The Movie fame - begins filming Monday [full story].

With casting rumors tying the series tightly to Mortal Kombat X, the Legacy chronology of "Mortal Kombat 3" is believed to be a working title. A Warner Bros. representative could not be reached at the time of this article. Mortal Kombat Online will be following the story as it develops.

Register to follow and discuss all the webseries news on the Media & Merchandise forum! Found some interesting information? Submit a newslead! Special thanks to @KoriMaru for contributing a tip. Follow & share stories via @MK_Online & Facebook.

EXCLUSIVE: Mortal Kombat X #5 Cover Preview & Solicitation
Mortal Kombat Online Exclusive - First Look D'Vorah Comics Art!

Mortal Kombat X explodes onto home consoles this April, but before it does, you'll want to pick up Issue #5 of the top selling comic book tie-in series! Thanks to DC Comics, we're excited to present the exclusive first look at April's cover by Stephen Segovia! Check it out:

Click to Super-Size D'Vorah and her friends!

On sale APRIL 8 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Scorpion and Takeda’s search for Sub-Zero leads them to find an entire city that’s been frozen solid! Meanwhile, Sonya and Johnny’s quest to rescue their daughter is interrupted by the Outworld Civil War – and a Shokan uprising led by Kintaro!

The Mortal Kombat X comic series is the prequel story to the upcoming Mortal Kombat X game, NetherRealm Studios’ next highly anticipated installment in its legendary, critically acclaimed fighting game franchise. The game will be available April 14, 2015.

Insect warrior D'Vorah adorns the cover, with the Outworld Civil War escalating on the interior! As an ally to temporary Outworld Emperor Kotal Kahn, we're sure to be seeing more of D'Vorah in the countdown to the video game release! Kahn may need the help after he battles Goro in February, with Kintaro joining the fray in issue #5!

Looking forward to issue #5? Register to share your anticipation on the Media & Merchandise forum! Find more MKX comics previews, reviews & purchase links in the MKO Comics Directory. Support the site by sharing this story around the web via @MK_Online & Facebook.

Review: Mortal Kombat X #1 Chapter 2
DC Comics introduce Takeda & Fox in Scorpion's Apprentice Part 1!

Mortal Kombat X comics are finally here and they're diving deep into the gap between Mortal Kombat (2011) and April's new generation sequel!

The following review covers the digital edition of Chapter Two and will contain spoilers! Readers should proceed to DC Entertainment to purchase and read the digital edition. You can also preview Chapter Two, or the full print issue #1.

If Chapter One raised issues of format and the strained mutual priorities of print and digital versions - Chapter Two responds with calm assurance. Where the first edition threw readers into an ill defined melting pot of familiar faces, carnage, and set up for further set ups - Chapter Two hunkers down for a more traditional piece of storytelling.

"Blood Ties" is the name given to the issue as a whole, but Chapter 2 begins the tale of Scorpion's Apprentice - leaving behind the vague swashbuckling of Kenshi to explore the next generation. This is a digital two-parter that will presumably resolve within the first print issue. Again; the average ratio is 3 digital chapters to 1 print edition. Something artist Dexter Soy seems acutely aware of, based on the evident equator in most of his print layouts [preview].

There are two young students vying for the titular apprenticeship. Takeda was introduced in the prologue of Chapter 1 as the offspring of blind sword saint turned special forces operative: Kenshi. The other is a slightly advanced Shirai Ryu warrior of unknown origin called Fox [first name Forrest, according to Warner Bros. sources] They're both new to the franchise, but we suspect Takeda will be the hero of the pair, drawing from the comic itself, and rumors of pending webseries involvement.

We have to join the chorus of fans who are already clamouring for Takeda & Fox's inclusion in the Mortal Kombat X video game. In this chapter alone, they're given the framework of characterization, rivalry, and motivation that makes for good fighting game characters. As unknown quantities, the pair also give the writing a much needed thrust of information.

This isn't a complicated read by any measure, but it has a forthcoming focus that Chapter 1 lacked, making better use of its pages by infusing them with greater meaning. The action is still center stage. As seen in previews, the junior battle between the pair is brutal - especially for the younger, less experienced Takeda. When the exercise is reprised many years later, the maturing Takeda pays Fox back for the broken nose he received as a child. Think 300 spartan agoge for your brand of juvenile brutality, rather than the cream puff hide & seek of The Hunger Games.

The violence reaches a crescendo in the final pages of the chapter, when Fox is assigned to protect Takeda. Unbeknownst to all involved, Fox has fallen under the influence of a powerful demon unleashed upon the Earth as a result of "The Netherrealm invasion". The result - another massacre for the once murdered Shirai Ryu clan by a now faceless Fox.

Fox cut the skin from his face using a Kamidogu dagger - something introduced in Chapter One, when Kano was compelled to do something similar [read more]. We still have no clear impression of who the demon is, or why the Kamidogu artefacts featured in Deception are now daggers. These seem like on-going mysteries we'll be happy to follow in future instalments! The demon is citing a blood code. We'll reserve expectations for a character named Abacabb, though.

More vexing are omnipresent references to Netherrealm conflict. We continue to presume they allude to the Shinnok led plot originally told in Mortal Kombat 4, and hinted at during the epilogue of 2011's reboot. Given that it's the basis for so much, it feels less reasonably serial, and more like missing information. It remains to be seen if the "Netherrealm War" is told in the game, comics, or both. Either way, it can't come soon enough to alleviate the burden of untold premise.

The information we do receive comes through Raiden. Artist Dexter Soy and colorist Veronica Gandini do a tremendous job of giving the thunder god a grand entrance! It's a dramatic, uniquely comic book take on the ominous protector. One that pays fitting homage to one of the series' most important characters. The writing doesn't shy away from Raiden's perceived failings in the 2011 story, noting the demise of heroes, but he's depicted as aloof, rather than frayed to the point of incompetence. [Special Note: We get our first sighting of 2011 survivors Johnny Cage & Sonya Blade with the reference to "fewer" heroes.]

Where Raiden comes off reasonably well, the voices of other characters don't quite hit. Kano's Australian dialogue felt suspect in Chapter 1, rigidly non-specific with one or two exceptions. Scorpion suffers under similarly non-specific dialogue choices, exhibiting no sense of ceremony, or Japanese ethnicity. There's something very strange about Scorpion asking about being 'audted' - but it may be symptomatic of a bigger friction.

Scorpion plays the stern taskmaster, throughout. It's the right kind of advancement of klassic characters, used well to ingratiate the new generation, but something rings false about Scorpion in such a visible role. It's clear the tortured spectre will return in the game. There's a definite lack of ceremony in his role as mentor that fails to sell the distinction. Again, character changing events in the untold Netherrealm War are unable to resolve the sense of discrepancy. It recalls an anecdote by film director Paul W. Anderson, who learned very quickly from test screenings of the 1995 Mortal Kombat film that fans expected certain things of iconic characters, Scorpion & Sub-Zero.

As noted - the digital chapter ends with the mass dismemberment of Shirai Ryu clansmen. Fans know this one of the original triggers for Hanzo Hasashi's transformation into a vengeful ninja spectre. We have to suspect this history repeating will play a role in returning Scorpion to a vengeful state. We'll be interested to see if a status quo returns a more familiar sense of voice in the character - preferably without soundbytes.

There's still a question about how the slice 'n' dice from print format to digital chapters affects the read. From just two chapters, there's a sense of anthology developing, but it's too early to establish expectations. What is clear is that Chapter 2 is a much better measure of this series than the first.

Mortal Kombat X is on sale now! Visit DC Entertainment to pick up all the digital chapters for 99c each! Bookmark the MKO Comics Directory for more previews, reviews and purchase links. Register to share your review on the forum!

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa Will Return in New Webseries
Fan-favourite Shang Tsung actor confirms return for third webseries!

Beloved Shang Tsung actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa has confirmed his return for the 2015 live-action Mortal Kombat webseries!

Little is known about the new series, announced in conjunction with Warner Bros. new digital content banner Blue Ribbon Content In October.

The actor tweeted, "GOIN' WORK ON "MK LEGACY 3" ON MON. CAN'T WAIT." It is unclear if the new webseries is a direct sequel to 2013's Mortal Kombat: Legacy II, which reintroduced the actor as Shang Tsung [full story], or if this is merely a shorthand reference.

Casting rumors suggest the new series will veer significantly closer to the video game experience than prior works in Legacy. New characters from Mortal Kombat X comics number among the casting roles, along with iconic fighters like Scorpion - previously depicted by Ian Anthony Dale in two series of Legacy - and Bo' Rai Cho. Fellow legacy stars Casper Van Dien (Johnny Cage) and Mark Dacascos (Kung Lao) commenced training last September. Their current status is unknown.

Tagawa first appeared on screen as Shang Tsung in the 1995 major motion picture, Mortal Kombat. The Paul Anderson directed movie celebrates its 20th anniversary in November.

Looking forward to the return? Register to follow and discuss all the webseries news in the Media & Merchandise forum! Support Mortal Kombat Online by connecting and sharing via @MK_Online & Facebook. Special thanks to user Thracian_Tsar for sharing the tip.

Reintroducing Kung Lao - Official Mortal Kombat X Render
Kung Lao returns in Mortal Kombat X! Official render!

We thought he succumbed to a very literal twist of fate, but you can't keep a good Shaolin monk down! Kung Lao returns to battle in Mortal Kombat X - as showcased in a brutal new gameplay trailer! Where has he been and where did he get his new hat? Take a closer look at the new design with classic hat in this official render:

Click Image to Enlarge in New Window

Kung Lao was to be the first big character reveal for 2015, but the legendary fighting monk managed to sneak out early via Finnish magazine Pelaaja [more]. Whether in magazine, digital screenshot, or video trailer, we're happy to see Kung Lao back in action, sporting the whitened hair of a wise kung fu master!

The new design roots its dark palette in the original appearance of Kung Lao way back in Mortal Kombat II. Selectable Character Variations adapt the blue and black attire, with his trademark hat also getting switched up based on the fighting mode of choice! A jaggedly serrated version gives the smooth razor-edged klassic a dose of malicious millinery intent!

Kung Lao's return raises many questions. Raiden asks where his heroic charge has been in the new trailer - vocalizing what a lot of fans are wondering! Kung Lao was among the long list of klassic kombatants thought dead at the close of Mortal Kombat (2011) - taking a shock neck snap in reference to Liu Kang's surprise death in the original timeline sequel: Deadly Alliance. Could the "Netherrealm War" referenced by the comics be responsible for his apparent resurrection? What part will necromancer Quan Chi play with his army of dead? What ever the reason - we're happy to see Kung Lao back!

He's back! Is it better than ever? Register to share your thoughts, theories and fashion critiques on the Mortal Kombat X forum!

Reintroducing Kitana - Official Mortal Kombat X Render
The Princess Gets a New Look in Mortal Kombat X Character Render

The rightful heir to the Edenian throne is back in the fight! Kitana has made her Mortal Kombat X debut in an exciting new gameplay trailer! The video was the first glimpse of the princess's new design. Take a closer look in this official render:

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If appearances are to be believed, Kitana is the second fighter back from the dead, having suffered a fatal end in the Mortal Kombat (2011) story mode. She shares the trailer spotlight with the other return - Kung Lao - with the identity of this game's Sub-Zero still uncertain.

The new design confirms the second of six mystery kombat boots teased in 2014. Split-toed foot wear with metallic accoutrement spied briefly in the letterbox trailer - part of a stylistic change for the princess after a simplistic redesign in 2011.

This look represents some of the most ornate design work applied to Kitana - a character who hasn't always embodied her royal roots. Plenty of exposed flesh maintains the base qualities of her traditional, swimsuit fighting attire, embellished well with a long overdue presence of royal blue fabric. An assortment of armor plates and decorative metals lend more weight and elegance to the look. There's a slight piecemeal quality to the disparate elements, but it both lends a sense of realism, and seems to compliment the grittiness of Mortal Kombat X's post-apocalyptic tone.

Kitana voice actress Karen Strassman was first attached to return in Mortal Kombat X last April. The actress may have prematurely added the Mortal Kombat sequel to her resume - giving us the first whiff of MKX and its returning cast. No word on whether MK2011 survivor Mileena will come with her genetic precursor. Some fans are already speculating this may in fact be a disguised Mileena - an idea that has played out in previous games' plot, but never from the perspective of the player.

Get the full Kitana experience by watching the full trailer! Register to share your opinions and follow the news on the Mortal Kombat X forum!

Kitana Returns in Packed Mortal Kombat X Gameplay Trailer
Kitana & Kung Lao Trailer

Edenia's Princess is back! Kitana makes her return in the latest Mortal Kombat X gameplay trailer, showing off her fan fighting moves opposite fellow Mortal Kombat II alum Kung Lao!

[Update Pending] Goro lives! Discuss the trailer on the forum.

Who's Next? Goro & Kano Screenshots Tease Video
Goro lurks in the shadows and Kano has a bad day in teaser screenshots!

Kung Lao & Raiden won't be the only fighters turning up in a much talked about Mortal Kombat X video preview [later today]. The klassic heroes were teased in a new sub-titled screenshot from the clip - now it's the original bad guys' turn!

Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men....
What the hell did you do to him?

We're reasonably certain that's pre-order incentive Goro still lurking in the shadows. The Shokan Prince is solicited to battle Kotal Kahn is issue #3 of the new DC Comics series [full story], but his exact allegiances remain unknown.

Kano has already played a part in the comics story - set between Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat X. He's causing trouble for one of the series' iconic personas [Chapter One Review], which may explain a lingering shoulder at the bottom of the brutal screenshot. An August character trailer revealed the rogue's new look and style.

Mortal Kombat X arrives on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & PC April 14, 2015. Register to share your theories for these characters on the forum, and be on the Mortal Kombat X forum tomorrow for the expected trailer reveal!

Raiden Quizzes Kung Lao in New MKX Screenshot
Raiden asks what fans are thinking - where has Kung Lao been?

Raiden is asking the question many fans have been thinking in a new, sub-titled screenshot featuring latest returning kombatant Kung Lao! It's the second screenshot released to the web, fuelling the mystery of how he survived a fatal neck fracture in the previous game.

The screenshot also appears to show an apocalyptic new environment with a damaged plane in the background. Kung Lao will feature in a much hyped Mortal Kombat X video coming as soon as tomorrow. The video will also feature the next character reveal.

What does it all mean? Register to share your theories about where Kung Lao has been in the Mortal Kombat X forum!

MTV Preview DC Comics Mortal Kombat X #1 (Full Issue)
Format Differences Evident in Exclusive MTV Preview of MKX #1 Print Edition

MTV have an exclusive preview of this Wednesday's print edition of Mortal Kombat X #1 from DC Comics!

With a US retail price of $3.99, the print version is solicited at a hefty 40 pages. The MTV preview is a fine illustration of the substantial format differences between digital and print - the latter encompassing three of the digital chapters [99c each].

Questions of medium and format weighed heavily when Mortal Kombat Online took a critical look at Chapter One.

The story follows Kenshi and his son Takeda as they go on the run from Hsu Hao and the forces of the Red Dragon Clan. Alluding to untold tales, Kenshi seeks the refuge of Scorpion and his new Shirai Ryu Temple. Also featured in the issue: Sub-Zero, Kano and the curse of the kamidogu!

[Related Article: LA Times Hero Complex Preview Mortal Kombat Digital #1]

Characters introduced in the comics look set for bigger and better things. Scorpion and Takeda are among the cast of characters heading to an all new live-action webseries, if reports of a LA casting call are believed.

Catch up on all the Mortal Kombat X comics info, including digital purchase links and previews, in the MKO Index Directory. Register to discuss and review every chapter on the Media & Merchandise forum! Special thanks to user ForrestFoxFan for sharing the preview!

LA Casting Call Reveals Mortal Kombat X Webseries Spoilers
Webseries Casting Call Reveals Mortal Kombat X Details

The upcoming Mortal Kombat live-action webseries has gone relatively quiet since its announcement last October.

The project is slated to be one of several 2015 online releases from Warner Brothers' newly established digital media studio - Blue Ribbon Content. With time ticking away, an open Mortal Kombat casting call appears to be the first indication of what's to come!

The LA casting call was listed on Actors Access for a January shoot, as reported on the Warner Bros. Forums by user UnicornFreedom.

The "digital series" listing bring backs several familiar names from Mortal Kombat: Legacy, including; Garrett Warren as director, and Jenny Hinkey & Lance Sloane as producers. More interesting, several roles that tie directly to Mortal Kombat X - including comics characters and klassics. Beware of spoilers:

[ BO' RAI’ CHO ]
50s-60s – ANY ETHNICITY - This drunken man tells Jin that he will show him the way to the Shaolin academy, for a small price. He is affable and appears harmless. However, later we see that he is an expert fighter, and no fool. He reveals himself to be Bo Rai Cho, the master of Wu Shi. He leads Jin to the Wu Shi Academy. He is a rotund man with healthy appetites and never without a drink. He teaches with every opportunity and has taught several great warriors, including Liu Kang, and Kung Lao at the Wu Shi Academy. Bo' Rai Cho originates from Outworld but has not, however, participated in a Mortal Kombat tournament, knowing that if he wins, his victory would be in the name of Shao Kahn for his status as an Outworlder. So he instead chose to utilize his fighting skills to train Earthrealm warriors...LEAD

Female, late 20s early 30s, bug-like articulation. Dvorah is of a sentient colonial race called the Kytinn, which populates the island realm of Arnyek. The solitary nature of the Kytinn meant a common defense of their realm was nonexistent; thus it was conquered and merged with Outworld by Shao Kahn. Dvorah’s loyalty and insightfulness, unusual traits for a Kytinn, led to her quick political rise. Soon she found herself among the emperor’s closest advisers. She serves the current ruler of Outworld, Kotal Kahn...LEAD

In his 30s to 40s, angry, tortured, and tough, Hanzo is a Ninja master. Hanzo was a member of the Shirai-Rya clan until they and his family were killed by Sub-Zero of the rival Lin Kuei clan. Hanzo's soul was claimed by the Netherrealm sorcerer Quan Chi, who resurrected him as the revenant Scorpion and gave him the chance to avenge his family's deaths. Full of rage and hellfire, Scorpion fights alongside Quan Chi in Netherrealm's invasion of Earthrealm...LEAD

In his mid 20s, quiet and mild-mannered, but with an angry streak, he is the "nice" one of the group. He is a world-class swordsman and he is adept at telepathy and telekinesis. Takahashi Takeda is the son of the hero Kenshi and a young Thai-American woman named Suchin, whom Kenshi met during his travels. When Suchin passed away, Kenshi was shocked to learn he had had an eight-year-old son with her. He took Takeda to Hanzo Hasashi, the former Scorpion, to be instructed in the Martial Arts. Takeda had no contact with his father for many years, until the day he was to leave Hanzo’s tutelage. Kenshi revealed that he had left Takeda with Hanzo to protect him from his mother’s murderer. Despite this revelation, and subsequent reconciliation with Kenshi, Takeda has abandonment issues yet to overcome—which makes working with his father in Johnny Cage’s Special Forces team a challenge at times...LEAD

In his 30s to 40s, quiet, reserved, downcast, he is a mercenary in the service of the Emperor. Intelligent and eloquent, he sounds like he may be American. Salazar’s exact origins are unknown. Born on Earth, he somehow found himself in Outworld. There he spent years wandering its vast territories, selling his amazing weaponry skills to local warlords. Now in the employ of the emperor, Kotal Kahn, Salazar shows no inclination to return to Earthrealm—or aid them in their present struggles...LEAD

In his mid 20s, with a slight Asian accent, Kung Jin is the younger cousin of the Earthrealm hero Kung Lao. He is cerebral but streetwise. He is American in speech patterns/idioms. When Kung Lao was killed in the war against Outworld, Kung’s family’s fortunes took a turn for the worse. He journeyed to the U.S. and became a thief. An encounter with Raiden changed Jin’s outlook, and he joined the Shaolin monks. Now a member of Johnny Cage’s secret Special Forces offshoot, Jin’s streetwise past provides him extra insight into the minds and motivations of those who would harm Earthrealm...LEAD

Male, 45-60. Asian. Ron Tan' Cho is an underground crime boss. He does what he wants, takes what he wants & always get what he wants. He has one wicked smile that if shown to you means trouble. He enjoys toying with his enemies & seeing the fear on their faces. D'Vorah attempts to attack him, and she fails due to his Goons apprehending her. LEAD

With direct ties to the Mortal Kombat X video game and comics, it seems clear this will be a direct cross-platform integration, rather than the considerably deviant universe of Kevin Tancharoen directed Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

Mortal Kombat Online will be following the series as it develops. Register to discuss all the major webseries news on the Media & Merchandise forum. Special thanks to Users Sindel798 & JAX007 for sharing info.

Australian Retail Advertisement Includes Reptile in Mortal Kombat X?
Retail Promotion Sparks Wild Speculation with Fan-Art Inclusion!

As the April home console release of Mortal Kombat X draws near, fan mania is reaching new, fever pitched highs. The reveal of "a hell of a lot more" is on the horizon, but that won't stop the hysteria producing a few more bogies, along the way.

Australian retail chain JB Hi-Fi has fuelled speculation with the inclusion of Reptile into one of their banner house ads for the pre-order title [below]. This is a legitimate advertisement on an established major retailer, but not all is as it seems.

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The cult favourite Mortal Kombat original appears in a line-up with official Mortal Kombat X render artwork for: Kotal Kahn, Raiden, D'Vorah & Kano. If you think the pose and quality is out of place - you're correct. It is.

Closer inspection quickly identifies the Reptile image as the work of UK fan artist: Ryan Crosby. The image was posted in 2012, and thanks to fan enthusiasm, appears in a mix of official and unofficial results in a quick google search for "Mortal Kombat Reptile".

Art of Kombat: Reptile image by RCDESIGN.

While the fan created nature of the image eliminates its authenticity, the question remains: Why did JB-HiFI use it? Could a wayward Google search be indication of the character's ultimate inclusion - known to retailers? Or, is this simply an overzealous employee? JB were yet to respond at the time of this article. Join the speculation on the forum.

This isn't the first time unofficial character artwork has prompted premature celebrations. Bernard Beneteau's creations sparked rumors in June, when his Ermac Concept Art made the rounds.

Enjoy more fan contributions in Mortal Kombat Online's Art of Kombat! The fan-art feature series includes spotlights on: Reptile and Ermac! Register to submit your own, and run the kommunity gauntlet in the Mortal Kombat X forum! Thanks to User KenshiMaster16 for sparking the conversation!

CraveOnline Preview Mortal Kombat X #1 Chapter Two
A New Generation of Kombatants Battle in DC Comics Preview

CraveOnline have the next preview for DC Comics' digital-first Mortal Kombat X! The Second Chapter hits digital platforms Sunday, January 11, following on from this week's inaugural instalment [review].

The comic book tie-in is a long awaited return to a medium close to Mortal Kombat. The series promises to help bridge the gap between 2011's Mortal Kombat video game reboot, and this year's flash forward sequel Mortal Kombat X!

Check out a preview of Chapter One. Then hit the DC Entertainment digital store and dive deep into spoilers in Mortal Kombat Online's review thread!

Register to share your review on the Media & Merchandise forum. There you'll find all the news and stories about the comics and more! Support the comics and MKO by liking and sharing stories via MK_Online & Facebook!

Who's Next? Kung Lao Strikes Back in New Screenshot
Kung Lao battles Scorpion in official Mortal Kombat X screenshot!

The holiday break is over, and Ed Boon is all talk and show! The Creative Lead has been teasing some big things! One of those being the first official Kung Lao screenshot release to the web!

Bending Over Backwards: Returning Kung Lao gives Scorpion a helping hand...

The shot was previously sent to Games Master for a "world exclusive" reveal that was unceremoniously interrupted by the December leak of Finland's Pelaaja Magazine. Also included is the newest fighting arena - a heavily fenced off station of some kind.

Kung Lao is the latest returning character, joining MKX versions of: Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden, Kano, Quan Chi & Goro!

Mortal Kombat X arrives for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & PC April 14th. Register to comment on Kung Lao and speculate on all the major stories on the Mortal Kombat X forum!

Creative Director Teases Major Mortal Kombat X Video [Updated]
Ed Boon teases a helluva lot more than Kung Lao in upcoming video!

Mortal Kombat X is mere months away, yet there is still so much we don't know! DC Comics' first chapter of the pre-release saga has given only sparse clues, but substantial answers may be on the way! Creative Director Ed Boon has shaken off the holiday funk to tease big things from an upcoming "video" - perhaps more than a trailer?

In his tweets, Boon refers to the New Year print reveal of Kung Lao: the latest klassic kombatant konfirmed for a return in April! If you were anticipating a mere animated introduction into the hat wearing Shaolin Monk, then you may be aiming low!

Update (Jan. 13, 2015): It looks like the video could be as early as tomorrow! Ed Boon tweeted out his hopes to get the video out, which will include recently revealed returning character Kung Lao and another unannounced fighter!

There's plenty of business on the MKX slate! In-store posters promoting pre-order incentives have begun to go up, begging the presence of a rumored Goro trailer. Several reveal characters are yet to be formally introduced, either through variation picture previews, or full character trailers.

There's also a massive question mark in place where the announced new live-action webseries is concerned. A live-action serial or preview might explain why we're talking about a "video" rather than "trailer". Legacy II was showing its hand around this time, 2013. It was also in 2013 when Injustice: Gods Among Us played its hand with a major story trailer.

Who's next? Or is that - what's next? Register to join the speculation on the forums! Follow all the major stories and share your thoughts on the Mortal Kombat X forum. Support the site by sharing & like stories via MK_Online, Facebook & YouTube!

Review: Mortal Kombat X #1 Chapter 1
A Critical Look at Mortal Kombat X Chapter One from DC Comics

After months of anticipation, Mortal Kombat X comics have finally arrived!

Only the first digital chapter is available thus far [purchase], which Mortal Kombat Online will be reviewing here. For the full print issue, you'll have to hit up your local comic shop January 14th! If you haven't pre-ordered, make sure you show your interest for future issues!

DC Comics' first foray into the Mortal Kombat comics business has had a lot of time to build interest since it was announced at October's NYCC. If you download Chapter One looking for all the answers to your every question - you're not playing with fair expectations. That said, if you pay the 99c expecting some substantial answers, it may be the comic that comes up short of the title on the cover.

As seen in yesterday's preview; Kenshi takes centre stage in a cold opening set in the Himalayan wilderness "many years ago". It's an action sequence that would've played better in a pre-credits crash for television, but where it isn't informative in detail, it is very indicative of the type of read that follows.

The beats are kept remarkably simple, as if designed to fit into 16-bit text on a home cartridge, rather than a 40 page comic: Kenshi has been working undercover with the Red Dragon Clan [for the Outerworld Investigation Agency, we're forced to presume]; his cover was blown; Sonya Blade called to tell him he has a child in Thailand; the blind sword saint was too late to rescue mother from the Red Dragon; he has the boy and is on the run.

Fellow Deadly Alliance alum Hsu Hao commands his Red Dragon minions to punish Kenshi's apparent betrayal. Fans will recognize this as a role reversal for Hsu Hao, who was embedded within the OIA Special Forces in the 2002 game. Given that he's unceremoniously sacrificed mere pages later -- we might assume this is less of a deliberate twist to the now rebooted story, and more about putting a recognized name to the Red Dragon fatality. Given the medium's ability to redeem oddball characters, it seems a shame to finish him so quickly.

The man who speared Hsu Hao's cybernetic heart and punched clean through his head is Scorpion. The ninja spectre gets two things here that are nice to see: A big, impactful, splashy entrance, and a plot that progresses him beyond the endless quest for revenge. Of course -- given that this is "many years ago", and we've already seen Scorpion bring grievances to the fight in gameplay previews -- we have to assume he'll be ready to revenge by the time the game ships. As it stands, he's obviously very protective of the clan's land. In one of the most effective moments of the chapter, Kenshi reveals he's trespassing before the kunai spear ushers in the arrival of Scorpion.

The nebulous "many years ago" comes as a jarring surprise, given the apparent significance of the 25 years to be covered by the game and comic. That shock may come from the relative precision of Injustice: Gods Among Us, which divided its series into year based volumes. That game and its comic utilized a similar deliberate passage of time to divide significance between writers on the comic and game -- five years, in that series. With Mortal Kombat X slated to dip into its history during the home console story mode, keeping things vague may be for the best, but it contributes to a general sense of shabby storytelling, where detail is sparse and context overlooked.

Scorpion - for those wondering - has found time to recover a human face, grow a beard, stoke a friendship with Kenshi, and create a new incarnation of the Shirai Ryu clan. This one is cobbled from "sole survivors" who lost their families to "The Netherrealm War". That may suggest the events of Mortal Kombat 4 - teased at the end of Mortal Kombat (2011)'s reboot story with the lurking presence of Shinnok. Like so much else in this opening chapter, it is given no further context. Why the Shirai Ryu are in Earthrealm, hanging out in the Himalaya instead of Japan, is probably of future story significance, and requires patience. It's frustrating, never the less, to have it delivered in such a cavalier manner, with so many missing details.

The chapter ends with the first appearance of Sub-Zero. Again, hints of a prior allegiance to Quan Chi and subsequent loyalty to Raiden are alluded to - but no real context about the character is given. He's slick and very much alive. This won't help speculation about the identity of the new game character, and arguably leaves readers as much in the dark, as well.

Even his mission: to procure a dagger from a Red Dragon stronghold - is without detail. This makes the final page reveal of Kano - who we know is working for Quan Chi, thanks to game trailers - lack impact. He carves a line down Sub-Zero's face and teases "The Curse of the Kamidogu".

Fortunately, Dexter Soy delivers some great visuals throughout - with his tightest pencils appearing in these final pages. The chunky inks and solid color of earlier pages seems to sharpen into more expressive, tighter lines. How the artist has anticipated the dual release for print and digital, and how it has affected the finished work, is something we can only speculate about. Of course, fan speculation will belong almost exclusively to the minimal information on offer.

The first digital chapter of Mortal Kombat X clearly sets the scene for the inevitable epic of the April game. Alas, of all the questions it raises in its brief debut, the biggest may be concerning the strengths of the comic book medium and its digital frontiers.

DC Comics utilized the same digital-first format for Injustice: Gods Among Us, effectively slicing the traditional comic book page in two [top and bottom], and the average print issue into three. The end result alleviates the pressures of squeezing elaborate sequential artwork into irregular screen sizes, but also challenges the economy and pacing of the traditional American comic. As in Injustice; these decisions distract from the art form, inadvertently calling attention to the dual purpose of a tie-in released four months prior to the main event of the video game: weekly chapters don't benefit the story, but they keep interest high and building.

There's nothing wrong with this pulp process and promotional mentality, but I think enthusiastic collectors of print issues will be the long term winners. They will receive each issue in its complete format and that, if Injustice was any indication, is the superior format.

If Injustice was any indication, this series will find a strong audience, at least within the gaming faithful. The lofty heights of Injustice's chart dominance seem unlikely, given the hook of an alternate take on Superman et al, but the action packed pages should delight digital consumers who contributed to Injustice's success. When Injustice was at its most brief, it was often those unfamiliar with the medium, and simply enjoying seeing the characters in action, who benefitted most.

This is to say, Mortal Kombat has long been a part of a philosophical struggle, and the comics will test both sides. Playing to the broad cultural touchstone, writer Shawn Kittelsen has been the face of selling action and danger - "a fatality in almost every issue", he told DC All Access. This in-game finishing mechanic has been a trademark of the series since its days as kung fu movie pastiche, but in a medium driven by story, it remains to be seen if there's value in focusing so much attention on the gimmick of death. MKX Chapter One delivers a lot of action and blood, but when it comes to storytelling, it's incredibly sparse and arguably under written. It will be in the eye of the beholder to decide if that's a good or bad thing.

Final notes: Takeda is a loaded name for fans of Mortal Kombat: Conquest, sure to fuel expectations about Kenshi's son and the influence of Scorpion [read more]. Nice to see Daegon return [from Armageddon], in name at least, as the demigod leader of the Red Dragon Clan. We'll be watching for him.

Answers will come. Story will be told. More will come next time. All in all, it's a promising start with plenty of room for improvement.

Mortal Kombat Online is looking forward to more Mortal Kombat X from DC Comics and we hope you will too! Visit DC Entertainment or Google Play to purchase the first chapter for yourself! Register to discuss the series and share your own review on the forums!

LA Times Hero Complex Preview Mortal Kombat Digital #1
Kenshi Battles The Red Dragon in First MKX Comic Preview!

The LA Times has unleashed the first look at tomorrow's digital release of Mortal Kombat X Part 1! [Note: On sale digitally via DC Entertainment]

The preview comes with a fresh Q&A with writer Shawn Kittelsen, who's promising all the right things for his prequel tie-in to the upcoming video game. What does that all amount to? The surprise feature of hotly speculated blind swordsman Kenshi, and the Deadly Alliance era Red Dragon villain: Hsu Hao! Check out the preview images via Hero Complex:

The preview flips the script on Hsu Hao's infamous 2002 introduction as a Red Dragon double-agent embedded within the Outerworld Investigation Agency (Special Forces). It will remain to be seen if Kenshi is the one working deep under cover -- a fair assumption based on the preview. Kenshi was briefly an agent of the OIA in Deadly Alliance.

Does this guarantee playable appearances for all characters concerned? Kittelsen says no, and it's little surprise. The tie-in comics will aim higher than loosely inspired adaptations, taking advantage of a revamped Mortal Kombat X cast to play with feature characters, and discarded fallen stars.

HC: Will the comic primarily focus on new characters? And do you have a favorite among those new faces?

SK: The new characters will play a big part in the comic, but it’s definitely an ensemble piece. You’ll see a mix of old and new. You’ll even see characters appear in the comic that won’t appear in the game at all. We’ve got to keep readers guessing about what’s coming next.

Of the characters that have been revealed, Kotal Kahn and Cassie Cage are my favorites. Kotal because he’s insanely cool looking, brand new, and the Tony Soprano of Outworld. Cassie because she’s the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade and she’s trying to figure out what that means. She wants to forge her own identity, but that’s not easy when one of your parents is a hammy C-list actor and the other is a strict military officer. That story of her self-definition is relatable to anyone who’s been a teenager. And then there are the characters we can’t talk about yet…

Dexter Soy pencils the series, with cover art by superstar artist Ivan Reis (Blackest Night). Check out January solicitations for more.

Mortal Kombat Online will be following the digital release with interest. Fans can get the jump on MK's return to comic books by registering to post in the Media & Merchandise forum! Mortal Kombat X is the DC Comics tie-in to the game, coming to home consoles April 14!

Pelaaja Magazine Leak Reveals Kung Lao Screenshots

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