Crossover Celebration Part 4: Mortal Kombat vs. the DC Universe

November 11th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Ever since Marvel and Capcom released X-Men vs. Street Fighter, nearly everyone said that there needed to be a fighting game that pit Mortal Kombat against the DC characters. Many were joking, but a couple were dead serious. Some of the laughs were directed at how ill-fitting it would be, despite being the natural follow-up to the Marvel vs. Capcom stuff. Marvel and Capcom at least felt right together. Marvel feels more down-to-earth and many of its more popular characters are more street-level, making such matchups as Wolverine vs. Ryu seem natural. Mortal Kombat has a stigma of blood and guts while the public sees DC as the more squeaky-clean of the big comic companies.

The night prior to the 2008 New York Comic Con, this image was released to the public.

And I didn’t get any sleep because oh my God. They were really going to make this?! Really?!

The more I thought about it and the closer the game came to release, I started to come around to the idea of these two worlds mixing it up. DC has gotten far darker and bloodier over the years and Mortal Kombat – despite its many problems – is still home to a pretty strong sense of mythological identity. There have been bad games, bad movies, bad comics, bad TV shows and more, but there’s still an allure to the franchise outside of the blood and guts. When they make it work, it really goes the full mile. Like the latest game, for instance.

It’s noticeable how the two sides don’t exactly match up so well head-to-head. Sub-Zero and Batman aren’t really all that alike. There are only a few pairings that truly work in that aspect. Like even though Deathstroke and Baraka are rivals in the game, Deathstroke has more in common with Kano as a one-eyed, top-notch assassin. Then there’s the perfect pairing of Johnny Cage and Booster Gold, making it a huge shame that neither shows up in the game at all.

The other big pairing that works perfectly is Mortal Kombat’s Shao Kahn and DC’s Darkseid. As far as I’m concerned, the two share the same level of threat, badass and stature. They each hold onto their own realm as feared tyrants and wish to extend their grasp, blocked only by easily-twistable rules. Darkseid has his truce with the people of New Genesis while Shao Kahn must fulfill the rights of Mortal Kombat in order to move forward. It was only natural that they’d make these guys the main villains of the crossover.

Still, there were questions. How would these two sides clash? Why would they fight when the rosters are mostly good guys? How can you have Kano beat up Superman and act like it’s a thing that makes sense? Hell, forget about the Mortal Kombat guys! How is Joker vs. Superman supposed to make sense?!

Luckily, Midway put the how and why in some good hands with DC writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. The team known for breathing life into Jonah Hex and Power Girl would write the game’s Story Mode. Meanwhile, the collector’s edition of the game would feature a piece of cover art by big-time comic artist Alex Ross.

Seeing Scorpion and the gang in Alex Ross style is still so surreal.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


World’s Funkiest

November 21st, 2008 Posted by Gavok

You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing too much in the past week or so. After Ultimatum Edit, I needed to take a little breather, which I’ve been using to play the hell out of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe and lay down my lines for my next iRiffs project. My iRiff for Japoteurs isn’t doing too bad and was at a point listed as the top short on the site. For those of you who bought it, I thank you. For those of you who don’t, c’moooooon!

(vote 5 too)

So, earlier today Esther Inglis-Arkell-Contessa-Louisa-Francesca-Banana-Fanna-Bo-Besca-the-Third posted some nonsense about how badly Bucky Barnes would murder Nightwing. God, this again? It doesn’t really matter. It’s whoever the writer feels would win. Hell, I could write a story about D-Man defeating Galactus if Marvel asked me to do it.

Eh? Hello, Marvel? Anything? No? …Fine.

She even made a post a while back about Superman vs. Batman in a fight. Really? In latter 2008? People are still talking about that?

Come on, people! Superman fighting Batman has been done to death. Goreless, underwhelming and disappointing death that isn’t worth looking up movelists on the internet and… sorry. MKvDC “Heroic Brutality” flashbacks.

We need to move on. The Superman vs. Batman slugfest is old hat. You know what I’m thinking? I’m thinking Superman vs. Batman…


Yeah! Now, this is like the opposite of the fighting. When it comes to duking it out, Superman has the advantage and Batman is the underdog. At first glance, Batman should have this in the bag. Not only does the cast of Shortpacked think he’s the Dark Knight of the Dance, but Prince wrote a cheesy song about it.

That’s just conjecture. I’m dealing with cold, hard facts.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


You Got Kahn in My Darkseid! You Got Darkseid in My Kahn!

October 16th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, still shockingly not some kind of prank, is coming out next month. They announced the final roster a few weeks back, sadly shafting the epic Johnny Cage vs. Booster Gold rivalry we’ve been craving, but other than that, the news has been pretty slow. For the most part, Midway would occasionally release a picture of Raiden pointing at something in a cutscene or something just as trivial.

Recently they brought up two interesting little news items. First off, the collector’s version of the game has its own special box art, drawn by Alex Ross.

There is something so surreal about seeing the Mortal Kombat characters done in Alex Ross style. I also like Liu Kang’s pose there. He’s like “Hey! See my fist? This fist? It’s for YOU!” Then you have Raiden saying, “Ugh. I can’t believe you’re wearing those shorts with that shirt,” and Sub-Zero has a case of Liefeld Eye. Despite that, it’s cool shit.

There’s been a video released about the MKvDC comic that also comes with the collector’s version of the game. The art is done by MK co-creator John Tobias, who has been out of the franchise’s loop for years. To this day, the man’s art still holds up.

When you go to about 2:27 in, you get some nice images of the game’s final boss: an amalgamation of Darkseid and Shao Kahn.

Conceptually, it’s a stupid idea. Personally, I would have rather liked it if Quan Chi used his sorcery BS to make himself the host of the Spectre. The surprise here is that visually, Darkshao Kahnseid looks pretty damn badass. You’d think they they would have gone lazy and put Darkseid in Shao Kahn’s clothes or something like that.

Instead you have a demon made of stone (Darkseid) mixed with a skull face and spikes (Kahn) and some evil, glowing energy to add to the aura. It’s a nice touch, honestly. Looks like a cross between Doomsday and Brimstone.

It’s weird how opposite this whole game is to the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise. In terms of game quality, the winner goes to Capcom. Comparing Street Fighter to Mortal Kombat is like comparing Rocky to Rocky IV. Street Fighter is more legitimate and loved by the hardcore, compared to Mortal Kombat’s cheesy fluff. That’s not to say that MK isn’t loads of fun in its own way.

Yet MvC never embraced the crossover. Occasionally they tossed us something like Hulk talking to Blanka, Mega Man stealing Onslaught’s power, Psylocke saving Cammy from Hand ninjas or Gambit flirting with Morrigan, but it was still fairly minimal. By their fourth and final game they just tossed a bunch of characters into the game and figured that was enough. Not only that, but Marvel did nothing with it on their end. No comics or promotional stuff.

Look at what Midway and DC are doing with this. One of comics’ top artists takes to the game’s cover. Two of DC’s writers write the story for both the game and the comic, which is illustrated by one of MK’s creators. I’m sure the game’s cutscenes and endings will feature plenty of Easter egg appearances and references here and there.

The MvC games may be more playable, but you have to give the style points to MKvDC here.

By the way, to all the people gritting their teeth at Superman and Captain Marvel getting beaten up by guys like Kano: where were you when a little schoolgirl was kicking the crap out of Thanos, Apocalypse and Shuma-Gorath?

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon