August kicked off with the latest Mortal Kombat X character reveal: Kano. More shocking than the return of the Black Dragon bad guy was the sudden rush of enthusiastic fandom that followed! It's not that Kano isn't one of the all-time klassics. Rather, in recent times, the MK original has been taken for granted - but no longer!

A new design and fighting style has many looking forward to his commando ground & pound - including Mortal Kombat Online! We've turned our digital eye towards the Fan Submission Archive (and beyond) to scan some of the very best fan tributes to the cybernetic rogue.

This is Art of Kombat - a monthly Mortal Kombat Online kommunity feature spotlighting artists who've contributed their talents in the past and present. Be a part of upcoming spotlights by registering to submit your work for future consideration! If you're strictly admiring, be sure to show your support on the forum!

Just like Kano himself, sometimes black and white artwork gets overlooked and taken for granted. diegosimone has no such trouble - commanding attention with a masterful use of greyscale for his "Kano". It's not often you see screen tones applied so subtly in the modern age. [Clear plastic sheets covered in dots of varied density to be cut out and used for shading. - M]. Be it a stylized digital flourish, or actual sheets - the application immediately identifies this as an artist who knows what he's doing! Oh, yeah. The heart clutching drama of the piece is nice - as are the energetic lines that make it. The finishing is what really elevates this as a great piece of Kano art!

The red & black gi of MK3 is arguably Kano's most over-the-top design, while MKX is set to pare things back with a newly spartan, shirtless military look. madmaglio harmonizes these logics with his "Kano" by combining the Earthrealm mercenary, and the Outworld henchman. A bit burlier, balder, and bushier than we're used to seeing, he also adds a sense of age to Kano. Something that sits well as we anticipate a 25 year storyline! The combination of designs also has a great sense of journey to it. All in all - a very palatable piece!

Speaking of harmonizing: Sw-Art & are two great tastes that go great together! Despite being years apart, both artists share the burning orange palette of the dragon logo as backdrop to their Black Dragon crook. Both feature the more hirsute Kano that dominated the last generation. The full design of the second image was first introduced in Special Forces, and it never looked better with sharp penwork and a contemporary style elevating its solid color simplicity. Alternatively, the first image cuts the fat and puts all the emphasis on Kano's money maker. The Terminator inspired cybernetics are kept simple, with a busted bruiser nose, bushy beard and piercing blue eye telling more of the story about what it's like to be the bad man.

W-Orks goes his own way, seeking a new approach with "Black Dragon Kano Evolution". The Black Dragon Clan hasn't always tended to toward the team color, so it's interesting to see a sense of uniform here. It's all a little bit biker gang with its leathers, logo and prominent tattoo sleeves. but the pseudo realistic tone packs enough fantasy to make it intriguing. A scarred face with MMA mohawk risks lowering Kano to mere barroom brawler, but the Tron line update to his cybernetics is an interesting flourish.

When it comes to redesigning classic characters - one fan-artist eclipses them all. MIDWOOD has been featured before [MKO AoK #6], and almost certainly will be again. His manga inspired mortals are simply too madcap to leave out! MKX has given Kano heavier cyborg upgrades than ever before -- but Japanese artist MIDWOOD leaves them all in the dust! It's kind of ironic that the cyborg eye plate Kano is famous for remains largely untouched. Likewise, he's shown restraint with a bare chest shared by MKX. The rest is pure, full metal mayhem. Perhaps not the best for rendered graphics, but great for a fan-art feature!

Bringing us back to Earth are some more muted selections to finish. Click the thumbnails below to check out works by: , & !

Art of Kombat has become a regular feature for Mortal Kombat Online! Register to submit your own works for future consideration! We love spotlighting artists from around the web, but take special notice of those hosted in the Fan Submission Archive! Don't have anything to submit? Don't worry! You can get involved by posting words of critique and encouragement on the forum! Check out more works in previous instalments:

We're always on the look out for our next potential theme. Help inspire our direction by submitting new works or making suggestions with the #ArtOfKombat hashtag! We want all your wild and wonderful pieces based on classic characters, obscure favourites, or the new fighters introducing themselves in MKX!

By submitting work to Mortal Kombat Online you become part of an archive of thousands and will be automatically featured in the Fan Submission forum upon submission approval! Fans can discuss each of the featured MKO submitted Art of Kombat works by clicking the piece to enter the forum. We hope you'll wave the flag for MKO and the individual artists whose work we enjoy! Remember: When sharing with friends credit the original artist and include a link back to the source where you found it!