With the 20th anniversary of Mortal Kombat II looming over 2013, it only makes sense that this be the year of Shao Kahn! It was all those years ago that the threat of Outworld was given a terrifying skull-face in the form of one of the most memorable fighting game bosses in history! Naturally, that status isn't without its challengers, and ScrewAttack DEATH BATTLE has decided to pit Kahn against his greatest rival: Street Fighter's resident Dictator -- M. Bison!

For anyone who wasted hours of their youth lurking between arcade cabinets -- this really is the ultimate boss battle! The sounds of Street Fighter II have echoed through time, often smothering their brutal American counterpart to the frustration of MK diehards. It wasn't until the 2011 reboot that Mortal Kombat was truly able to stand toe-to-toe with the grand daddy of fighters, threatening to uppercut their head off and steal their soul!

Of course, gameplay has only so much dominion over the world of fictional premise. As the old saying goes, 'Death Battle is not about fatality inputs, but rather, fictional life.' You can convert cheap super-moves and high damage percentages into some measure of canonical higher power, but the concepts behind Bison and Shao Kahn go much bigger than any side-to-side fighter can contain!

So, who wins the epic battle of bosses?...

MKOmmunity Artwork by & .

Mortal Kombat Online is contractually obligated to have an obvious bias -- no matter how much we're secretly massive Street Fighter fans. That bias hasn't been shared by Screw Attack however, who are yet to grant a victory in any of their previous Mortal Kombat features!

Like Thor v Raiden -- there's a thematic connection in play that arguably favours one fighter over the other. Afterall, Bison's indomitable soul may be the source of his incredible power, but it's the souls of others that have fuelled centuries of Shao Kahn's rule as Emperor of Outworld!

As is customary, ScrewAttack are a bit more sympathetic to lesser adaptations of the commanding source material. You'll spot some references to licensed movies, cartoons & comics that we hardcore fans probably wouldn't be as inclined to factor. Fortunately, none of this weighs too heavily on the outcome, and we'd have to say the Death Battle judges have come at this one with a pretty fair approach.

Really comparing the two characters is difficult. The scale of their world and the primary opponents within are far from 1:1. Twenty years of inter-dimensional conflict has seen Shao Kahn bedevil the devil himself, and enter into feuds with gods and immortals! The scope of Shao Kahn's conquests is almost unfathomable, expanding to include multiple entire realms! Bison's psycho power may have seen him reach something approximate to godhood, but even Shadaloo's aspirations for global conquest end at domination over one world. Thanks to a long run of crossovers with the likes of SNK, Tekken & Marvel Comics, Bison has had opportunities to challenge other worlds, but he's never actually succeeded.

Even our most generous arguments have to favour Shao Kahn, but we'll let you watch the DEATH BATTLE yourself to find out how ScrewAttack called it! Once you've checked it out, debate the result with the rest of the MK home team on the forums!

Shao Kahn is currently attempting to claim a far greater title as 2013 Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion! Having defeated Drahmin in the First Round, The Emperor will return next month in Round 2!

This annual Mortal Kombat Online tradition is an opportunity to gather every MK fan together to take stock of the kombatants that make the series great! Register to have YOUR say in daily Supreme Champion polls and on the forum!