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!