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The Top Ten Most Ridiculous Things to Come Out of Mortal Kombat

June 22nd, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Recently, Mortal Kombat has been making another push into the consciousness of gamers everywhere. Two weeks ago, a video was released based on the treatment for a movie revamp that would reimagine the series’ story as more urban and somewhat more down-to-Earth. Then a few days later, a new trailer was shown for the new game, simply entitled Mortal Kombat. Much like Street Fighter IV, it’s an attempt at a nostalgic return to glory by emphasizing the franchise’s best game.

While the footage has a definite Mortal Kombat II feel, it’s actually a skewed retelling of the first three games thanks to divine time travel. You see, sometime after Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Shao Kahn curbstomps Raiden so hard that Raiden realizes how screwed the entire series has gotten. I mean, before the DC crossover, the game’s story was about an over-inflated cast having to climb the Aggro Crag. So he sends a message back to his younger self to cause a massive butterfly effect (butterfly effekt?) and redo history right this time. It’s like the last episode of Mighty Max but without Bull from Night Court being eaten by a giant spider. Or maybe it does have that. I don’t know. The game won’t be out for a year.

I’ve always been a fan of the series. It’s cheesy, violent fun and – as stupid as it sounds – I’ve always loved the mythology that comes with it all. From the beginning, it’s been Enter the Dragon mixed with Big Trouble in Little China mixed with Iron Fist with a dash of Godfrey Ho. I’ve been following the series far longer than I have comics and I’ve experienced many of the nuances of its excessive success. I remember when digitized actor Daniel Pesina rebelled against Midway by appearing in a magazine ad in support for the game Bloodstorm while wearing full Johnny Cage gear. I remember the Mortal Kombat GI Joe figures. I remember the awful knockoff videogames like Way of the Warrior, War Gods and the never-released Tattoo Assassins. I remember how the ARCADE version of Mortal Kombat 3 got its own nationally televised commercial. I remember the Mortal Kombat 3 Kombat Kodes that weren’t even worth the effort. I even read that mediocre prequel novel where Scorpion was revealed to be the ghost of a murdered ninja merged with his son’s body.

That said, I’ve seen the weird stuff come out of the trademark that still causes me to scratch my head. I figured a trip through the stranger and more unfortunate pieces of output from the Mortal Kombat series might be worth the time. Though first thing’s first, I’m not going to go the gameplay route with this list. I don’t care about how it lacks the refined tournament play of Virtua Fighter 5 or how the Run button is the Holocaust in videogame form or how Human Smoke has an infinite. I really just do not care.

Let’s start off the list by getting the most obvious one out of the way.

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A Slight Change of Plans

March 24th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

With a heavy heart, I have to announce that the next installment of Deadshot’s Tophat and Other Beginnings is on hiatus. Nobody is more shocked and outraged about this turn of events than former Intercontinental Champion Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.

I know, Nikita Koloff. I know. But I have a reason. A very good reason.

You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing too many updates lately. I’ve been using my free time to read through the latest Mick Foley autobiography, Hardcore Diaries. I loved his other two autobiographies, but this one left me sour. About as sour as Mick Foley comes across for most of this book. Interesting wrestling anecdotes take a backseat to stories of Mick meeting B-list celebrities, ragging on the President to the point that it gets real old, and telling countless stories about what a great humanitarian Foley is.

There’s something else I’ve been reading. Readers of the site might remember my acquisition of the first three issues of the Marvel WCW comic at the New York Comic Con. I decided that three issues wasn’t good enough. Not for me and not for you. Fortunately, I came across the entire run on eBay. Unfortunately, it means I own two copies of a comic issue featuring El Gigante. God help me.

I forced myself to read the series and it wasn’t easy. The Malibu Street Fighter comic wasn’t all that bad until the end. The Mortal Kombat comic was honestly pretty good in parts. Even Extreme Justice could keep my attention enough that I’d keep going on to see what could possibly be next. World Championship Wrestling, though, hurt. A lot. Once a friend got wind of what I was reading, he told me, “You could be doing literally anything else and it would be a better use of your time.”

But I can’t let you guys down. Deadshot’s Tophat can wait. I’m finishing up my last What If article (finally), but after that, it’s on. Me and the WCW comic. One-on-one. No holds barred. With hermanos barred from ringside.

Prepared to get Stingersized!

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Malibu Kombat: Part Gold

October 2nd, 2006 Posted by Gavok

We’re almost done with the Malibu MK series. When we last left our heroes, Sonya was kidnapped by Kintaro, who claimed Shao Kahn had plans for her. Liu Kang and his new friend Bo defended against ninjas that repeatedly came out of the fucking blue. Johnny Cage and Jax were challenged by Smoke and Jade on an airplane. And Bullwinkle signed a contract to be a lounge singer, not realizing that his agent is really the nefarious Boris Badenoff!

Oh yeah. That too.

Smoke and Jade try to attack Jax and Johnny with their own strategies. Smoke uses the strategy of turning into pure smoke while Jade uses the strategy of having her tights hiked way up her buttcrack. The heroes counter this by making a couple Gone with the Wind references before knocking them through a hole in the plane. That… might make more sense if you read the comic.

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Malibu Kombat: Part 3

October 1st, 2006 Posted by Gavok

Next up on the Mortal Kombat tour is the 3-issue series Rayden and Kano. Definitely an interesting pairing. In fact, it almost seemed like a poor man’s Cable and Deadpool, with the over-powered hero god and his odd relationship with a less-powerful, vile criminal smartass. On one hand, I did like the story of this arc. On the other hand, two of the three issues were done by one Kiki Santamone. Fuck.

So Kano gets broken out of prison and is punished by the Black Dragon. He escapes his death sentence, but blacks out. Raiden has him taken to his pad, where Kano awakens to meet Raiden’s servants, two Asian ladies named Wynd and Rayne. I’d give props to Raiden for that, but at no point do we get to see art that makes them look like more than ugly, lumpy freaks.

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Malibu Kombat: Part 2

September 30th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

We’re seven issues into the MK series, meaning it’s time to talk about Goro: Prince of Pain. Yes, indeed. Here comes the pain. As you might remember from the last article, Goro was last seen beating up other MK characters until vanishing with no explanation. From there, the story split into Blood and Thunder #4-6 and Goro: Prince of Pain #1-3.

Prince of Pain starts off with Goro wandering around a major US city at night. He comes across a couple cops, who are too stupid to shoot him. Suddenly, a talking crow named Rook appears out of nowhere and vaporizes the cops with green laser vision.

We’re only just getting started. Rook lures Goro to the being that summoned him. He is Zaggot, a green-bearded wizard with a love for all things chaotic. He is completely insane and screams pop-culture nonsense that Goro isn’t meant to understand. Somehow, he’s still not awesome by any stretch of the imagination. I can’t understand it either.

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Malibu Kombat: Part 1

September 29th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

In the last article, I covered Malibu’s horrific attempt to do a comic based on the hit fighting game Street Fighter 2. As some of you might know, that wasn’t Malibu’s only attempt at a fighting game comic. Along with their forgotten attempt to make Virtua Fighter’s story look appealing (cancelled after the first issue), Malibu tried some of their magic on the Mortal Kombat series. As a series of mini-series and one-shots, the Malibu Mortal Kombat run went on for 26 issues in total. All-in-all, that’s nothing to laugh at.

But there is stuff to laugh about. Oh, believe me. There is plenty of stuff to laugh about.

This series isn’t to be confused with Midway’s promotional one-shots that came out as prologues for their respective games. Series co-creator John Tobias wrote and did the art for comics based on the events prior to Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2 and Mortal Kombat 4. You might remember seeing advertisements for these during the demo mode on old MK and MK2 arcade machines (ah, nostalgia), while the harder-to-find MK4 comic came with a pre-ordered copy of the PC version of MK4. These three comics were all decent enough and succeeded in what they were trying to do.

The MK2 one also had a fantastic depiction of the second Sub-Zero, who was shown as being less of a mysterious assassin and more of a tech-savvy businessman with a heart of gold.

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Malibu’s Street Fighter Comic: Here Comes an Old Challenger!

September 28th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

(Note: I originally posted this article about a year ago, but it fell off the site when hermanos redesigned it. Since we have Mortal Kombat Armageddon coming out in a week and a half, I thought now would be the best time to repost the Malibu comics articles. Expect to see the Mortal Kombat articles back over the next few days)

Street Fighter 2 is probably the most defining videogame in my life. When it came out, I was downright obsessed with it. I’d still be obsessed with it if Capcom would get around to making a new installment. Instead, they give us crap like Capcom Fighting Evolution, which defines itself for the wrong reasons. It actually is Capcom fighting the very concept of evolution.

Back in the 90’s, there was a lot of silly Street Fighter crap that came from the United States. Who can forget the live action Street Fighter movie starring Van Damme and Raul Julia? Or the awful American cartoon? Or the GI Joe action figures? Even worse was the 3D rollercoaster ride where Ryu and Ken blast M. Bison in the balls with a double hadoken.

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