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Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot

Throughout promotion Mortal Kombat has been forthcoming about its departures from the source material, even as efforts were made to sell it as a mostly faithful adaptation. A new lead protagonist made it difficult to hide fundamental change, but what is most shocking is just how far the film goes off the rails. At times, it seems its greatest influence may be the last big screen adaptation -- 1997's infamous Mortal Kombat: Annihilation -- with only costume design and sporadic game references to elevate it. This review will contain extensive spoilers:

Mortal Kombat 11: The MKO Review!

Sit back, strap in, and enjoy the ride. That's the best advice I can give you going forward. This installment on the longstanding Mortal Kombat series is above and beyond the best one to date, and we'll go into detail as to why you should buy it. (Seriously, if you haven't gotten a copy, then stop what you're doing, right now, and go pick this game up!)

Mortal Kombat 11: Hands-On First Impressions

The first demo for Mortal Kombat 11 was available at both the Los Angeles and London Reveal events, and Mortal Kombat Online staff were excited to get hands-on at both locales!

Review: Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe #1

The very first crossover comic between Injustice: Gods Among Us and another franchise is here! Issue 1 was released as a digital chapter yesterday [purchase] with a print edition to follow shortly.

Review: Mortal Kombat X #2 Chapter 6

Note: The following review contains spoilers! If you haven't read digital Chapter 6 (or Mortal Kombat X #2 in print) you should visit DC Entertainment to purchase unread chapters for 99c each!

Mortal Kombat X: Blood Ties continues with a sharp turn away from the previous chapter's cliff hanger ending - toward a solo spotlight in a mini-story aptly titled "Kotal Kahn: Sekret Origin".

It's an incidental detail, but it's fun to see the comic book tradition of the "secret origin" incorporated into Mortal Kombat. Long time fans know the ties between MK and comics. It's a small acknowledgement of the fusion of cultures that is now stronger than ever. It's also a very effective way to get the root of one of the most interesting new characters introduced to Mortal Kombat in a very long time! Kotal is character we've been eager to learn more about since his E3 2014 unveiling, and abrupt introduction to the comics, in chains, during Chapter 4.

Review: Mortal Kombat X #2 Chapter 5

Mortal Kombat Online's review cycle is drifting back from the current digital release schedule, but be warned: the following article will contain spoilers! Visit DC Entertainment to purchase Chapter 5 before continuing!

Mortal Kombat X: Blood Ties continues with Part 2 of the digitally divided "Caged" story. Note: This 2-part story will appear in its entirety in print editions of Mortal Kombat X #2.

Per the trifurcated nature of the digital series, this instalment picks up pretty much where Chapter 4 left off. In doing so, it quickly answers some of the structural questions raised by the last chapter, but does so again suffering for the limited space afforded by digital chapters. Fortunately, Chapter 5 starts to create the sense of story momentum, making it clear these aren't strictly disparate tales that will come together in crescendo at the end. For all the set-up, Raiden appears to be emerging as the through line fans have seen in previous incarnations.

Review: Mortal Kombat X #2 Chapter 4

The review cycle has drifted back from the current digital releases, but be warned: the following article contains spoilers!

Mortal Kombat X: Blood Ties continues with Chapter 4 - the first section of print issue #2, and Part 1 of digital story arc "Caged". Make sure you follow links to buy the chapter from DC Entertainment before you continue!

Continuation is a topic very much in mind at the open of Chapter 4. If you read Chapter 3 [review], you know Raiden is dabbling in dangerous Kamidogu blood magik. If you know that, the reminder at the start of this chapter will probably seem continually ominous, but fairly unnecessary. We've spent a lot of time navel gazing over the virtues and foibles of digital versus print - this little curio makes you wonder how it'll read once collected for trade.

It's a lot of fun to see Fujin in action - even if it's just taking a gut wound from a protector god with a pretty sketchy record since the 2011 story reboot. The take away from this B-plot overlap is that big things are coming, but the real meat of this issue delivers us to two of the debuting Mortal Kombat X characters: Cassie Cage and Kotal Kahn.

Review: Mortal Kombat X #1 Chapter 3

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.

Review: Mortal Kombat X #1 Chapter 2

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.

Review: Mortal Kombat X #1 Chapter 1

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.

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