With the release of “MORTAL KOMBAT” (2021) – now on Blu Ray and 4K and an all new animated movie (“Mortal Kombat: Battle of the Realms” – debuting on August 31st), we figured what better way to prep than *another* deep dive into the rich mythology and ever-evolving backstories of this epic video game franchise?
In Round 1, we covered the fighters from the original game (Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, Raiden, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Goro, and Kano). For Round 2, we broke down the roster introduced in MKII (Shang Tsung, Jax, Kitana, Mileena, Baraka, Reptile, Kung Lao, and Shao Kahn). Then in Round 3, we delved into some of the fighters introduced in MK3 and MK: Deadly Alliance, while Round 4 focused on some of the newer characters from Mortal Kombat X and MK11. In our “Final Round” we took a look at basically everyone else that we couldn’t fit into the first four.
In this *Bonus Round* we’re covering all the third-party characters that have appeared in the MK franchise! (Not including DC vs Mortal Kombat)
Affiliation: Neutral (formerly Sparta)
First Premiered: “God of War” (2005), “Mortal Kombat” (2011 – PS3 version)
Fighting Styles: Hoplite warrior
Special Abilities: Greek demigod (the son of Zeus), enhanced strength and power, boundless rage, Blades of Exile, Bow of Apollo, Head of Medusa, Icarus Wings, etc
Kratos fits the MK series perfectly, because if there’s a series of games that are as cringe-inducing as Mortal Kombat, it’s God of War! His kombination of power and speed, as well as having both klose and long-range attacks, makes him a giant pain in the ass to fight.
First Premiered: “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984), “Mortal Kombat” (2011 – DLC)
Fighting Styles: Evil? (“Kung Fu this, bitch!”)
Special Abilities: Dream manipulation, metal claws
Could there be a more perfect choice of kharacters to join the ranks of MK than one of the original slasher killers himself? Freddy “That Sweater Has Got to Be Driving His Burns Krazy” Krueger brings his kreepy abilities, awesome look, and fantastic sense of humor to a franchise that is designed for kharacters that fit just those bills.
Freddy was such a good fit in Mortal Kombat (9) that it was only a matter of time before some of his slasher kompatriots joined the party. Such as…
First Premiered: “Friday the 13th” (1980), “Mortal Kombat X” (2015)
Fighting Styles: Slasher
Special Abilities: Unkillable
Camp Crystal Lake’s (Kamp Krystal… sigh) resident murder machine, Jason switches out his normal victim pool of moronic horndog teenagers for interdimensional badasses, but still does more than all right. His plodding style doesn’t do him any favors against quick opponents, but he’s so strong, and his machete adds a good bit to his range, that it almost doesn’t matter.
His fatalities are fantastic, and are right out of the Friday the 13th movies.
Affiliation: Yautja (species)
First Premiered: “Predator” (1984), “Mortal Kombat X” (2015)
Fighting Styles: Unknown
Special Abilities: Cloaking Device, Infrared Heat Vision, etc
Like Kratos and the slasher kharacters, the Predator is absolutely a perfect inclusion for the series. Hell, half of the robo-Lin Kuei are ripoffs of the Predator to begin with; might as well give us the real thing! Sadly we didn’t get Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch to fight him, or even Danny Glover’s Mike Harrigan. However, it DID give us…
Affiliation: The Alien Queen / the hive’s survival
First Premiered: “Alien” (1979), “Mortal Kombat X” (2015)
Fighting Styles: None – pure carnal instinct
Special Abilities: Can adapt to any environment, acid blood, incredible strength, speed, tactical skill, etc
Ohhhhoho BABY! If you’re going to give us the Predator, you might as well go all in and give us the freaking Xenomorph to fight him with!! Very well represented here, the Xenomorph komes komplete with giant spiked tail attacks, speed, klaws, super gross bitey face and mini-bitey face, and, of course, acid blood! Sadly no Ripley or space marines this go-around.
Real Name: Jedidiah Sawyer
Affiliation: The Sawyer family
First Premiered: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974), “Mortal Kombat X” (2015)
Fighting Styles: Redneck
Special Abilities: Rusty chainsaw
Another horror movie slasher that is absolutely perfect for a game like this, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface is a nasty mofo that wears human skin as a mask, carriers around a chainsaw, and is part of a crazy family of murderous cannibals (ohh, sorry- karries around a khainsaw, and is part of a krazy family of murderous kannibals).
He’s not the fastest guy around, but his power combined with the range of his weapons makes him a formidable opponent. Plus, that mask is gross.
Real name: Al Simmons
First Premiered: “Spawn” #1 (1992, Image Comics), “MK11” (2019)
Fighting Styles: Immortal Hellspawn, Navy seals training
Special Abilities: Leetha, demonic cape, hell chains, etc
If ever there were a third party kharacter that was perfect for Mortal Kombat, it would be Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. Former special forces agent Al Simmons is betrayed by his team and killed, and when he arrives in hell he makes a Faustian bargain with a demon to go back to Earth to protect his wife. But when he gets back he is in the body of a rotten looking corpse with a semi-sentient uniform, tormented by a demon in the body of a disgusting clown (Klown?) and discovers it’s been years since his death and his wife is now married with a child- to his former best friend.
Giving in to grief, rage, despair and hatred he focuses his energies on killing any that would threaten what’s his or his family. Armed with all the weapons you could ask for, super strong, nearly impossible to kill, and oh yeah, his chains and cape are sentient murder machines. Like I said, PERFECT for MK.
T-800 (THE TERMINATOR)
Affiliation: Cyberdine Systems, Skynet (sometimes John Connor)
First Premiered: “The Terminator” (1984), “MK11” (2019)
Fighting Styles: Killing machine
Special Abilities: Cyberneric lifeform, titanium hyperalloy endoskeleton, sawed-off shot gun, grenades, etc
Like Robocop and John Rambo, at first it felt like a bit of an odd choice to include the Terminator, but nope! It’s awesome! Like in the movies/comics/other games, the Terminator is a total badass with powerful attacks and plenty of ranged attacks, and feels unstoppable! Although his default look is modeled after the older T-800 from “Dark Fate”, there are some alternate skins, including a few that look more like the one from “T2: Judgement Day”.
Sadly they were not able to get Arnold to reprises his role, which is odd, since “Terminator Genesys” proves he will do anything to play that kharacter.
Real Name: Alex Murphy
Affiliation: The Detroit Police Department, Omni-Corp
First Premiered: “Robo-Cop” (1987),“MK11” (2019)
Fighting Styles: Part man, part machine, all cop.
Special Abilities: Cyborg, Auto 9 handgun, Cobra Assault Cannon, wrist flamethrower, rocket launchers, terminal spike, etc
Robocop, like the Terminator and John Rambo, felt like an odd choice for the series, but there is something to be said for his giant ass methodically pacing around on screen and using his awesome gun and even using the ED-209! And honestly, you could put Robocop in literally anything as long as we get what we get here: Peter Weller reprising his role from the first two movies!
Affiliation: Vietnam war vet, US military
First Premiered: “First Blood” (1982), “MK11” (2019)
Fighting Styles: Guerilla tactics
Special Abilities: Former Green Beret, Survival Skills, Compound bow, Bowie Knife, M60, etc
Personally, I thought John Rambo was a bit of an odd choice (I would have preferred Ash from the Evil Dead series, personally), but he definitely works in Mortal Kombat. If you’ve seen the First Blood/Rambo movies you know he’s got a body count as high or higher than anyone on this list (well, maybe not as high as Kratos). Rambo’s M.O. has pretty much been “I just wanna be left alone, I don’t wanna kill nobody no more” and then someone goes “Aw, c’mon, Rambo, pretty please?” and he’s like “yeah, all right, but I’ll only kill everyone”. Between his skill with a knife, his trusty machine guns, or his near Hawkeye-level skills with a bow, this emotionally destroyed Viet Nam veteran will have no problem carving up whatever palette swapped kharacters you want to throw his way.
Super awesome fun fact: Sylvester Stallone voiced Rambo for the game! What?!?
First Premiered: Batman #1 (1940, DC Comics), Mortal Kombat vs the DC Universe (2008)
Fighting Styles: Old-Timey-Boxing, pure chaos
Special Abilities: Killing Robins with a crowbar, knives, acid flower, electric hand buzzer, etc
Yes, I know we said we wouldn’t be covering “Mortal Kombat vs DC”, but the reason The Joker’s on this list and not Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Catwoman, Shazam, Lex Luthor, Deathstroke, or Darkseid – is because The Joker was also recently featured as a DLC character in MK11 (kind of like how Scorpion was in Injustice and Sub-Zero was in Injustice 2).
I think it goes without saying that The Joker is one of the best villains in not just comics, but all of storytelling. A self-proclaimed agent of chaos who’s true motives are perpetually unpredictable, the Joker is truly terrifying. Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime has had a number of wildly different incarnations over the years since his introduction in the Batman comics over 80 years ago, but in most versions he’s a completely psychotic mass murderer. Naturally, that makes him a perfect fit for the MK roster!
What other non-MK characters would you like to see in a future MK game? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Erik Slader and Chris Carroll – check out more of their work on ComicZombie.net and on the latest season of Podcasters Assemble!