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“Kombat Time!”: A Mortal Kombat Comics Retrospective (Part 2)

Hello, my friends.  With so many bloody battles behind us, the biggest fight is yet to come and shall be as harrowing as the four-cornered panels can contain.  On that note, I welcome you to the final part of my special series called…

In the initial part of this historical look back upon the franchise’s expansion into the realms of comics, we’ve had a pair of collector’s editions that helped lay the initial groundwork for its first two outings, a now-defunct company doing its own expansive take on those two exact games while also adding some creative touches upon it and a pair of prequel comics that came within the same games that they were promoting.  For our last look at books serving as tie-ins to this series, we now venture into the 2010s as we start to focus on one singular game.  Before we get there however, we need to quickly mention one entry in particular.

2011’s “Mortal Kombat” (a.k.a. “Mortal Kombat 9”) was a major reboot to the series.  Initially picking up right where “Armageddon” left off, it turns out that every fighter had lost their lives with Shao Kahn smiting Blaze and emerging as the ultimate victor.  With him fully-powered up, he’s about to finish Raiden off for good.  Fortunately, the Thunder God uses his shattered amulet to send a message back to his past self (particularly from the events of the first game) that says “He Must Win”.  From there, that version of Raiden slowly tweaks what originally happened during the events of the initial Mortal Kombat trilogy, like saving Smoke from his automated fate though at the cost of the Kuai Liang version of Sub-Zero, before he ultimately realizes that it’s not Liu Kang who’s supposed to emerge victorious during the events of MK3, but it’s actually meant to be Shao Kahn.  Due to the evil emperor attempting to merge Earthrealm into Outworld without having to go through the whole Mortal Kombat procedure, the Elder Gods then imbue Raiden with the power to smite Shao Kahn from existence.  Afterwards, he begins to help Earthrealm rebuild from the attacks.  Now, we get to our featured game for this article: “Mortal Kombat X”.  It originally came out for iOS on April 7, 2015, the PlayStation 4, X-Box One & Microsoft Windows one week later and finally on Android around the world in May.  In that game, Shinnok has returned and is looking to corrupt Earthrealm’s life force called the Jinsei.  Not only that, but he has his own revenant warriors that consist of familiar faces that’ve previously fallen in battle.  As such, it’s going to take some familiar fighters and even a younger generation of combatants to stop this scheme.

From January to November 2015, DC would publish a 12-issue tie-in series for the game.  Shawn Kittelsen would write every single chapter of this tale, while the artistic duties would be spread amongst various people.  Dexter Soy would work on Issues 1,2 4, 5, 9, & 11.  With Igor Vitorino, he would share his duty with Oclair Albert for Parts 3 & 12, work with Daniel Sampere on Issue 6 and handle Part 10 by himself.  As for Sampere himself, he would go solo for Issues 7 & 8.  So, how will this comic handle the fatal stakes within this entry?  Let’s step into the ring one last time and find out.

We open with the prelude to the initial story arc called “Blood Ties” as many years ago, a young boy named Takeda is being carried by a blind swordsman named Kenshi.  As they dash through the Himalayan Wilderness, the child notices several arrows flying towards them.  Kenshi manages to telekinetically use his sword (known as the Sento) to slice through the incoming projectiles.  Unfortunately, one of the arrows manages to strike him in his leg as they’re soon met upon by Hsu Hao and his fellow men.  After he tells Takeda to run, Kenshi is told that he’ll pay for betraying the Red Dragon before they proceed to fight each other.  Back with Takeda, he’s ultimately met upon by an enemy agent whose father apparently left a scar on his face.  Just as he intends to send him to an Outworld slaver for a hefty pay, he gets killed by a familiar kunai spear and chain piercing through his neck.  Back with Kenshi, he gets defeated as Hsu Hao mocks him for hiding within the wilderness.  However, Kenshi says that he was actually trespassing before the kunai spear & chain flies in and pierces Hsu Hao in his cybernetic heart.  He then gets pulled in before Scorpion shatters his head with a fierce punch.  Hanzo then then tells the opposing men to leave, since they’re trespassing on the Shirai Ryu’s territory.

Later, Kenshi and Takeda get brought to the group’s temple.  Kenshi asks Hanzo how he’s found all of these fighters, to which he explains that he brought in those who lost their loved ones in the “NetherRealm War” and molds them into better fighters.  Kenshi then introduces Takeda as his son, but Scorpion tells him that he doesn’t have a kin.  However, Kenshi says that he actually does before he explains how he found out.  During a flashback, he explains that he went undercover in order to find the Red Dragon’s leader named Daegon.  Unfortunately, his cover got blown.  Later at a hidden temple within Japan, he would spend the next several weeks cranking a generator in order to charge up his satellite phone that only one other person knows its number, which turns out to be Lt. Sonya Blade.  She would inform him that the Red Dragon had a message about him having a son who lived over near Lampang, Thailand, which had facts that added up to him.  While he tried to get there as soon as he could, the Red Dragon arrived as the mother named Suchin manages to fight back.  Though she manages to slay the opposing agents, one of them was able to shoot her in the chest and kill her.  He would ultimately arrive too late and acquire his son as we shift back to the present.  Later, Takeda is being put to bed as the boy in unsure about his safety while in Scorpion’s care.  Kenshi assures him that Hanzo has been wrestling his own demons before he’s forced to tell the kid that his mother is never returning.  Sometime later, Takeda is asleep as Kenshi tells Scorpion that he’s leaving in order to find Daegon and learn about the boy & his murdered mother.  He also wants the kid to think that his mom died accidentally out of fear that he would run away with vengeance in his heart.  Hanzo tells him that it’s wrong for him to lie, while Kenshi say that it’s entirely for the boy’s safety and that they’re aware of what can come when someone has some “vengeance without discipline”.  We then shift to the next morning as Takeda tries to run away, but Scorpion manages to reach him and tells him that he’s a survivor.  However, no one in his clan is allowed to run away and that they must fight.

Over at a Red Dragon temple near Linxia, China, the group finds themselves under attack due to someone wanting a knife that they own.  Soon enough, it’s discovered that the perpetrator is Sub-Zero as he demands for the lone surviving figure to let him into their vault.  Once he gets inside however, he notices that the chamber is completely empty.  He then demands for a certain dagger so that he can give it to Raiden.  Suddenly, he gets blasted by a particular eye beam as Kano captures him and uses said dagger on Kuai’s facial scar before he thanks him for taking care of the Red Dragon for him.  He then says that the Thunder God lied to him and that he should know about the curse that lies within the blade known as Kamidogu.

We then shift to several years ago over at the Shirai Ryu Temple as Scorpion looks over a fight between Takeda and Fox.  The latter proceeds to lay a bloody beatdown upon the boy before he helps him back up.  However, they immediately get back to their brawl.  Years go by as their constant fights against each other has molded them into better fighters.  During one match-up, Takeda is able to dodge some hits and manages to briefly get the best of him.  However, Fox ultimately puts him in a hold he orders him to submit, despite taking a hit to his nose.  Ultimately, Hanzo stops the fight in favor of Fox.  He then asks Takeda if he’s satisfied with losing.

Despite the young man mentioning that he’s gotten agile, Scorpion tells him that he’s not taking advantage of striking first.  He then tells Takeda that if he’s not going to train as a warrior, then he’ll get sent into the wild in order to fend for himself.  Fox then says that such a survival situation would help their comrade rise to the occasion, to which Hanzo assigns him as Takeda’s protector.  Just as Fox agrees, he starts to hear a devious voice in his head.  Later, Scorpion talks to Takeda about how he had a visitor to his temple.  It turns out that Raiden stopped by during a moment when Hanzo had the particular dagger that was given to him by the Thunder God.  He then warns Scorpion that the recent NetherRealm invasion has damaged cosmic barriers that protects the Earthrealm.  Before he was able to fix them, a powerful demon managed to break through.  Not only that, but it’s looking to disarm their champions, especially since recent events has left them with much fewer fighters.  From there, he heads out to go warn their remaining combatants.

Back in the present, Hanzo tells Takeda that if he ever comes across said demon, then he should refrain from hesitating with his own kill strike.  After Scorpion takes his leave, Fox tells Takeda that he’s serious and that they should be safe hanging out with the rest of their fellow warriors.  Laer on, night has fallen as the entire clan sleeps in their quarters.  Suddenly, Fox gets awaken by the same devious voice who tells him to fulfill the “Blood Code”.  He ends up getting consumed by said voice as he breaks into the vault and takes the dagger.  Not only that, but he proceeds to cut away at his face.  Afterwards, he returns with his face completely cut off and holds Takeda up at knife point.  It’s also revealed that he’s executed all of their comrades before he tells the young man that they’re going to find Scorpion and prove that they’re “not afraid of death”.

It’s eventually revealed that the possessed Fox has captured Hanzo via mental entropy that’s powered by his own poison collection.  Fox then says that he’s been spent so many years trying to maintain control over his vengeful spirit, him losing his own clan of warriors would be devastating.  As such, Fox wants Takeda to put him out of his misery.  Meanwhile, we cut to “a lifetime ago” in Japan as Scorpion fights off several opposing members of the Lin Kuei.  Ultimately, he finds out that his wife Kana and his son Jubei were frozen to death.  Afterwards, their bodies get smashed by the Bi-Han version of Sub-Zero that he’s lost everything and he wants to know how that makes him feel.  Fortunately, Hanzo realizes that even though his foe has meticulously recreated this personal low-point, he knows that his frosty foe had never asked him about his “feelings”.  As his surroundings wrap around him, he then says that it’s just a painful memory to him.

Back in reality, Takeda refuses to execute his master.  Fox argues that Scorpion has favored all of his other fighters before he chastises him for not being one.  Fox even says that his Scorpion side is far worse, yet Takeda grabs a nearby whip and uses it to attack him.  However, Fox simply blasts him away.  Fortunately, Hanzo breaks out of his state and grabs Fox by his neck, even strippimg him of the dagger.  From there, he spits some fire from his mouth and stabs Fox in his heart.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t phase him as he also blasts Scorpion away.  He then says that he grows stronger with every drop of spilled blood before he chastises Hanzo for not knowing about the dagger’s true power or even its connection to Quan Chi.  Suddenly, Takeda returns and slices him in half, bringing his terror to an end.

Afterwards, Scorpion reclaims the dagger before he silently acknowledges Takeda’s actions against their foe.  From there, he proceeds to burn the temple down before they head out.  During their journey, Takeda asks why this is how they’re honoring their fallen comrades.  Hanzo says that they will rebuild, but they must find Raiden and make that that particular God “beg for mercy” for giving him said dagger.  We then cut over to the Sky Temple as Raiden tells Fujin that the particular blade is causing so much trouble across the realm and he’s having trouble finding it.  The Wind God says that it’s too much of a price for him to pay, yet Raiden says takes out the Kamedogu of Order as he cuts himself in order to find the opposing demon.  Suddenly, Issue 1 ends with him getting potential visions of things to come.

Issue 2 begins with the Thunder God coming out of his multitude of future visions.  Unfortunately, he discovers that Fujin was gravely harmed by the residual blast.  Raiden manages to heal his godly comrade before he helps him up.  The Wind God then notices that the cut that his ally made on his arm hasn’t healed, to which the Thunder God explains that it’ll stay that way for a while as a result of him “invoking the Elder Gods with Black Magik”.  Raiden then says that says that he saw both Earthrealm & Outworld falling into chaos and that the bloodshed will begin with the daughter of Johnny Cage & Sonya Blade.  From there, we shift over to Johnny’s Condo over in Venice, California where Cassie Cage is hanging out with Jax’ daughter named Jacqui Briggs.  They decide to test their fighting skills against each other, as Jacqui lands the initial hit before Cassie strikes back with her inherited Shadow Kick.  Ultimately, Briggs hits her into a nearby bookcase and causes several of Johnny’s belongings to fall over.  They notice that his “Blueberry Award” got damaged in the process, to which Cage says that he won’t mind too much when compared to her strict mother.

Over at Special Forces headquarters, Cl. Sonya Blade is on her way to interrogate the captured emperor of Outworld.  An assistant named Goodman reminds her that their general doesn’t want her to spark an inter-realm war.  He then informs her that her daughter has crept out of the base and that they could send a team to Johnny’s place in order to get her, but Sonya says that he can deal with her.  From there, she enters a secure cell where the current Outworld emperor named Kotal Kahn is being held alongside his first minister named D’Vorah and a mercenary named Erron Black.  Kotal Kahn says that he’s spent the last decade fighting Mileena for the Outworld throne, leaving the realm in devastation as a result.  Now, she’s aligned herself with the Red Dragon on Earthrealm and that he’s come here alongside his comrades to wipe them out.  As such, he asks for their help in accomplishing this mission or else their realm will meet the same fate.  However, Cl. Blade says that his request is coming off more like a threat.  D’Vorah tells her to not turn her back on her emperor before she breaks out of her chains and attacks.  Fortunately, Sonya was able to react in time in order to strike back.  Kotal Kahn then says that he & his group aren’t here to fight them while he and Erron also break out of their chains.  The Special Forces agents then aim their guns at them and order them to stand down, while the emperor says that they must join forces in order to prevent their realms from falling into disarray.

Back in Venice, Cassie and Jacqui are making their way towards a mature club.  Cassie manages to use her connection with her father in order for both of them to get in.  Once they’re inside, it’s then revealed that it contains a mixed martial arts arena for its patrons to watch fights.  Cage heads out to go sign up, while Briggs notices that a current brawl has ended with one fighter fatally defeating her opponent.  He tries to warn her friend that she’s signing up to take part in a deathmatch, but Cassie doesn’t initially believe her.  However, the ring announcer makes that fact clear to her as she gets placed into the ring.  Cage starts off acting cocky towards the crowd, but then her opponent gets revealed as the chilly combatant known as Frost.

Back at Special Forces headquarters, Sonya holds D’Vorah at gunpoint and warns Kotal Kahn to stop.  Just as the emperor is about to respond, Raiden makes an electrifying entrance and tells everyone there to stop.  Kotal Kahn then tells Cl. Blade and her fellow agents that Earthrealm will suffer just like their home realm before he uses the Portal Stone in order for himself and his allies to head out.  Sonya tells the Thunder God that she had this situation in her control, yet Raiden just wants to know where he can find her daughter.

Back in the club’s arena, Frost is delivering a severe beatdown upon Cassie.  She then chastises her opponent for her spoiled upbringing, while she had to earn her current spot as club champion as an orphan.  Fortunately, Cage manages to retaliate before he brings an effective takedown.  The announcer then tells her to kill off her fallen foe, but Cassie refuses.  With the crowd demanding for bloodshed and the announcer telling her that she’s not allowed to leave until she finishes her opponent off, Cage still doesn’t give in to their grim demands.  Suddenly, a pair of guns get aimed at her and essentially tells her that if she doesn’t comply, then Jacqui will get shot.  With no other choice, Cassie places her foot upon Frost’s neck and reluctantly prepares to execute her foe.

Suddenly, an explosion bursts into the club as Cage thinks that her mother has arrived to bail her out.  However, it’s soon revealed to be two lethal assassins as they proceed to mutilate the patrons.  Briggs tries to tell the man holding her that his fellow guards are going to get killed, but he refuses to let her go.  As such, she beats him up before she takes the keys to the arena and lets her friend out.  From there, they proceed to carry an unconscious Frost into a nearby alleyway before they place her near a dumpster for her to rest by.  Cassie then apologizes to Jacqui for bringing her into this messy situation in the first place, but they’re soon met upon by the two killers as they say that the Black Dragon has a need for them.  Our two young ladies then proceed to run away before Cage eventually realizes that they’re not going to get away.  As such, she gets her cell phone from Briggs and uses her selfie camera to record their pursuers’ identities.  Suddenly, a portal opens as the two young ladies head into it while Cassie purposely leaves her phone behind.  Later, it gets found by Sonya as she discovers (for some reason) Erron Black in the footage.  She then gets informed that the club’s security footage identified the two assassins that chased after her daughter were identified as Black Dragon members Jarek & Tasia.  As such, Issue 2 ends with Cl. Blade telling her fellow agent to contact her husband and to assemble a squad that they’ll take into Outworld in order to make Kotal Kahn pay for messing with her.

We’re not quite done with this issue yet, since it’s time to delve into the origin of Outworld’s newest emperor named Kotal Kahn.  Ages ago, a race of beings called the Osh-Tekk proudly ruled with its leader Kotal K’etz.  Because his warriors had conquered their enemies, they eventually became complacent.  It ultimately left them at a disadvantage once Shao Kahn and Goro arrived as they managed to easily massacre their people.  Kotal K’etz ultimately surrenders and pledges his obedience to him, to which Shao Kahn permits him to keep his “treasure”.  Within their private cavern, Kotal Kahn chastises his father for sacrificing his people’s dignity all for a simple gem.  K’etz says that it’s not an ordinary gem and that it’s a Portal Stone.  As he uses it to open a portal, he tells his son that he’s sending him away in order to fulfill his own rite of Realmwalk.  He tells his kin that if he survives in Earthrealm, then he can ultimately inherit his rule.  Kotal Kahn asks him what’s the point if it’s under Shao Kahn’s thumb, to which his dad tells him that Earthrealm’s people are in their own “eternal war” and that he’s not ready to join them.

Once he’s been sent to Earthrealm, Kotal Kahn proceeds to wander around the planet with his father’s words constantly ringing in his head and thinking that his dad wants him to conquer this world.  He ultimately reaches the Mayan temples within the Amazon Rainforest as he comes across a native family who immediately run away from him.  Unbeknownst to all of them, a group of Spanish conquistadors have shown up as two of them manage to kidnap a native child.

Fortunately, Kotal Kahn shows up and slams their heads together with enough force to utterly shatter them into a bloody pulp.  With the kid safely returned to her parents, they proceed to humbly praise him.  Ultimately, he leads a group of Mayan warriors against their Spanish oppressors before he manages to blow up some approaching enemy ships.

Kotal Kahn then molds the Mayan people with his Osh-Tekk ways as they even feast on the bloody remains of their enemies, with him even getting called Buluc, The War God.  Despite emerging as the ultimate ruler of the Mayan race, their enemies dwindled to utter non-existence, causing him to become restless.  As such, he decides to use the Portal Stone in order to return home and show off his accomplishments to his dad.  Once Kotal Kahn returns however, Kotal K’etz calls him a disappointment since he abandoned the people that he ruled over.  As such, he orders his son for the return of his Portal Stone.  However, Kotal Kahn assaults his dad and tells him that he can keep his conquered realm, since he has his own to rule.  Once he returns however, he finds out that he’s been gone for too long.  During that time period, his entire Mayan tribe was wiped out.  It turns out that the same flesh and blood that they feasted off of their enemies contained foreign diseases that they weren’t remotely prepared to counter.

We then shift ahead to the present time as Kotal Kahn rules over his slice of Outworld called Z’unkahrah. It turns out that he was telling his people how he came into power, since it was a time before Shao Kahn fell and Mileena took control of Outworld, yet nearly drove it to the brink of utter ruin.  Thankfully, he came along to drive her off the throne.  Over the course of a decade, he & his forces have driven her and her own allies so far underground that it may seem like she’s no longer a threat.  Not wanting to take any chances, he rallies up his troops to help him search every inch of Outworld in order to hunt her and every single one of her co-conspirators down.  We the shift over to her hideout within the Golden Desert as she learns from Gen. Reiko that the Red Dragon has agreed to their plans.  After she dismisses him, she then asks Goro if he’ll join forces with her in taking her usurper down.  As such, the story ends with him agreeing to do so with every intent of her restoring absolute glory to his race while he personally defeats Kotal Kahn himself.

Issue 3 opens in Outworld as Kotal Kahn tells his people that Goro has vanished in the Golden Desert while going after Mileena.  As such, his father will lead a search party to find the Shokan prince while also going after the fiendish female.  To help his dad out, Kotal Kahn will equip him with Shao Kahn’s Wrath Hammer.  With the crowd in mass approval, they head inside their palace as Kotal K’etz praises his son’s commanding use of speech.  Kotal Kahn then informs him that Reiko has wiped out their northern trade route mere days before the harvest, threatening to stave their people.  Kotal K’etz promises to bring Mileena back to him so that he can execute her in front of their people, but Kotal Kahn says that she’s not the true threat.  He then explains that he and Reiko used to serve Shao Kahn for decades.  As such, Kotal Kahn says that Reiko has seduced Mileena into becoming his closest advisor and that his spies have discovered their location.  To that extent, Kotal Kahn tells his father to slay them both on sight.

Over at a temple within the Golden Desert, Reiko describes Kotal Kahn as someone who’s foolishly “devoted to his family”.  Not only that, but he mentions a key detail that he learned about during a past mission of theirs.  Namely, it’s that Kotal Kahn draws in loads of power from sunlight.  Once he’s in darkened areas, he gets significantly weaker.  It’s soon revealed that Reiko was explaining this to Goro as the Prince of Pain says that he’s brutally beaten an Osh-Tekk figure before.  Reiko reminds him that he did just that when he used to work with Shao Kahn and his Imperial Army.  Nowadays, he has to “rely on patience & strategy” and that for them to win, they must start with making their enemies falsely believe that they have the edge.

As Kotal K’etz leads his group towards the temple, Reiko says that he purposefully leaked their location.  Once they arrive, Mileena will have the weather-manipulating ninja named Rain tale away their sun-filled advantage.  Ultimately, Kotal K’etz arrives at the Temple with his group as they’re met upon by Goro.  As Kotal K’etz realizes that the Shokan warrior has turned on him and his people, he proceeds to fight him.  Kotal K’etz leads off by delivering a vicious hit upon Goro’s face with the Wrath Hammer.  However, the Prince of Pain gets back up and retaliates.  Unbeknownst to Kotal K’etz, his group get discreetly killed off by Mavado and the Red Dragon assassins, especially since they had cloaking technology that was used by cybernetic Lin Kuei ninjas.  Back in the main battle, Goro finally overwhelms Kotal K’etz before he takes the Wrath Hammer and hits his foe’s head with enough force to utterly obliterate it.

Later, Kotal Kahn learns of his father’s grim fate from Reptile, as well as Goro’s heal-turn and Reiko’s hiring of the Red Dragon.  As such, Kotal Kahn cuts himself as he perform a service to the “Gods Before Gods” as he asks to have his soul binder to the Blood Code in order to receive the strength to go up against Goro.  Over at the Temple within the Golden Desert, Goro tells Rain that Mavado has informed him that Kotal Kahn is on his way to fight them by himself.  Meanwhile, Mileena is looking forward to reclaim her title of “Kahnum of Outworld” once Kotal Kahn is smited.  However, Reiko warns her that Goro is potentially planning on murdering her for said title once he kills his foe.  She finds this hard to fathom, but he says that he’s never trusted the Shokan warrior and his betraying past.  As such, Mileena confirms her trust in Reiko as he says that they must take their leave while Goro and Kotal Kahn fight.  Afterwards, he’ll personally kill the surviving winner.

Meanwhile, Goro, Rain and several Red Dragon agents await the arrival of their foe, especially since it was their scheme to drive Kotal Kahn into this form of madness.  Once the Shokan warrior sees him approaching, he has Rain block out the sun with some thunderstorm clouds.  However, Kotal Kahn simply cuts himself and gets some otherworldly help from above as Rain gets incinerated.  With the clouds completely parted, the Red Dragon agents get sent in, yet Kotal Kahn easily massacres them before he finally reaches Goro.  The Shokan warrior tells him that Shao Kahn would never let an Osh-Tekk to rule over Outworld, while Kotal Kahn calls him out for loyally serving Mileena.

As they proceed with their brawl, Goro delivers a severe beatdown while he says that he would’ve killed off his foe’s people a long time ago if Shao Kahn didn’t prevent him from doing so.  The Shokan warrior then grabs his opponent by the neck and begins to strangle him.  However, Kotal Kahn uses his newly-acquired advanced strength to rip off half of Goro’s arms.  Afterwards, he picks up his sword and slices off the Shokan warrior’s remaining limbs, finally bringing the Prince of Pain to his knees.  Afterwards, Kotal Kahn reveals that he didn’t come here alone as Reptile camouflaged himself along with D’Vorah, Torr and Ferra.  While they proceed to execute the remaining Red Dragon agents, Goro begs for his foe to finish him off.  However, Kotal Kahn declines since it would go against Shokan tradition for “an act of kindness” to be performed.

Later, the temple gets set ablaze as Reptile informs his master that Goro will be brought to Kuatan.  Sadly, both Reiko and Mileena were able to retreat.  D’Vorah even tells Kotal Kahn that she didn’t like that he was willing to take an unnecessary risk to reach this point, to which he agrees since it was an extreme measure for him to take.  Because the dagger drained a lot of his strength via its “magik”, he must return to Z’unkahrah in order to rest up.  Suddenly, he gets shot by Sonya as she arrives with her team and demands as she demands for her daughter’s location.  Reptile tries to retaliate with his tongue, but it gets grabbed by Johnny tries to defuse the growing tension between both sides.  He even offers to provide some medical aid to Kotal Kahn, but D’Vorah uses some otherworldly bugs to crawl into the wound and eat the bullet while also secreting some coagulant oils.  Once Kotal Kahn gets to his feet, he says that he’ll talk to Cage.  Johnny then informs him about what happened to his baby girl and her friend, to which Kotal Kahn says that they think that he’s somehow connected since the Black Dragon had sold some technology to his army.  He says that because he’s recently suffered a loss within his own family, he would never hire Kano to kidnap other kids.  Johnny then presents his daughter’s cell phone and reveals that Erron Black was the last figure captured by the device’s camera.  Kotal Kahn says that he’s never directly talked to either Kano or the Black Dragon, since Erron acts as his in-between man.  D’Vorah then realizes that because of their recent failed attempt at teaming up with Cl. Blade’s group, Black decided to act on it.  Sonya then blames the emperor for this, to which Kotal Kahn says that Erron used to be a mercenary and that he didn’t ask for his permission to follow through on his act by himself.  Unbeknownst to all of them, Mavado and his Red Dragon agents are watching them from afar as he tells his men not to engage them, especially since he has “a new objective” in mind for them.  Back with our main group, Sonya wants to know where they can find Black.  Kotal says that he’s securing the northern trade route, to which he allows D’Vorah and Reptile to escort them there.  From there, Cl. Blade agrees before she tells him that Outworld’s problems will stay with Outworld.

Meanwhile, Cassie and Jacqui are being taken away by a group of Black Dragon agents.  They try to carry out an escape as Cage starts off by feigning a sprain.  She then begins to fight off the enemy agents, but her plans falls apart when she gets blasted by Kano’s eye beam into Briggs as both ladies get knocked out.  Afterwards, Erron tells him to leave them in tact in order for them to receive a bigger payment.  Kano them mentions that his current eye beam was recently installed before he explains how he acquired it in the first place.  We then flashback a few years ago to the Red Dragon temple where he’s cutting into Sub-Zero’s facial scar with a cursed dagger before he attempts to tell him about “the curse of the Kamidogu”.  Kuai Liang tries to fight him off, yet Kano doesn’t relent as he mentions that the dagger will curse anyone that gets cut by it.  He also mentions that the only way the curse can be lifted is if the one who’s possessed gets killed.  However, Sub-Zero retaliates by freezing the mechanized side of Kano’s head before he acquires the dagger and escapes.  We then shift back to the present as he and Black notice that somethings approaching them.  Suddenly, the two Black Dragon agents carrying the unconscious Cassie & Jacqui get mutilated as Mavado and his Red Dragon agents arrive to take the young ladies for themselves, while also wanting to leave a message for Kotal Kahn.

Back over on Earthrealm, Scorpion and Takeda are on the outskirts of the Sky Temple as the young boy wants to try and go in right now.  However, Hanzo wants them to wait before he notices that the storm clouds are getting too close to them.  Suddenly, Issue 3 ends with Raiden popping in to attack him while saying that they shouldn’t have come here.

Issue 4 begins with the scuffle between Hanzo and the Thunder God.  Scorpion tells him that he’s not acting like himself and that this newfound rash behavior amongst the various fighters is being caused by those familiar daggers called the Kamidogu.  However, Raiden says that it’s opened him up to the Blood Code’s secrets and its power before he electrocutes his opponent.  He then mentions that the demon that entered this realm just wants to “set us free” before he get attacked by Takeda who shoves his sword into the Thunder God’s back.  However, it proves to be ineffective as he simply shocks the young fighter.  We then transition to a few ago where Scorpion and Takeda were traveling through the Himalayas.  The youthful figure talks about Hashashi’s impressive skillset as he wishes to learn how to one day perform them.  However, Hanzo says that those abilities aren’t from a honed fighting style, but that they came from a curse.

We then transition to “a lifetime ago” when he and his family were murdered by the Bi-Han version of Sub-Zero.  With his clan massacred and his village burning to the ground, he had hoped that the surrounding blaze would somehow melt the ice surrounding his wife named Kana and his child named Jubei.  Ultimately, he’s met in the NetherRealm by Quan Chi while being strung up by chains.  With the fiendish spellcaster noticing that Hanzo is resistant to the realm’s extreme heat, he manages to release Hasashi before allowing him to be transformed by the Hellfire.  He ended up becoming Scorpion and fought alongside Quan Chi over the course of numerous battles, yet not a single fight was able to extinguish the vengeance within him.  We then shift back to the Himalayan trek as Hanzo says that after all of the people that he’s murdered, he deserves to die via suicide.  He then says that “a wise man” recognized his Hellfire as a representation of the “shame”, “pain”, and “loss” that he’s been carrying ever since he lost his family and clan.  In order for him to use it, he must relieve that horrid past.  However, he can’t remain hot for too long or else he’ll run the risk of destroying himself.

We then shift back into the present as Scorpion manages to save Takeda from his electrocution and teleports him away.  We briefly head back into the Himalayan hike as the young fighters asks him who was the wise man that helped him, to which Scorpion says that it’s the boy’s father himself: Kenshi.  Back in the present, Raiden is looking to unleash some chaos upon Earthrealm.  Suddenly, Hanzo teleports in and steals his Kamidogu dagger before he delivers a fierce facial punch.

With the “Sekret Origin” of Scorpion out of the way, we resume the “Blood Ties” arc as Hanzo wraps his chains around the Thunder God and subdues him.  As Hanzo blames him for killing Takeda, he then sees the young fighter wearily standing off to the side.  Shortly after Scorpion runs over to the boy, Raiden overcomes his Kamidogu-induced rage and offers to help save the kid.  Takeda is ultimately placed within the Jinsei Chamber as the Thunder God hopes to use “Earthrealm’s life force” in order to heal the young warrior’s wounds.  After going through the process, Takeda still hasn’t woken up as Hanzo injuries about it.  Raiden says that the Netherealm is trying to claim the boy’s soul, yet he’s fighting back.

Thankfully, Takeda regains his consciousness and feels even better than before as a result of the Jinsei.  The Thunder God then apologizes for trying to kill them both before he explains his situation.  Years ago, he asked his fellow Elder Gods to have Shinnok’s amulet destroyed in order to prevent the disgraced God from returning once again.  However, they tell him that its destruction would allow Shinnok to escape.  Raiden then tells them that it must be locked away within a dark dimension, to which they agree and that it’ll be locked up with the help of some mystical blades known as the Kamidogu.  The Elder Gods explain that they’ve “tasted the blood of the one being” and that their “essence dwells within them”.  Only when they’re combined will they be able to lock Shinnok away for good.  To take effective care, several blades get plunged into Raiden in order for the ritual to take hold.  Back in the present, Scorpion places a Kamidogu dagger inside a vault before the Thunder God seals it away.  He then says that those blades weren’t safe within one location, so he gave each of them to “a deadly champion”.  Even though he was one of them, Hanzo says that he & those select few were never informed of the fact that those daggers were possessed and that they can turn their users into raging murderers.  While Raiden said that it was for the best that they thought that those daggers were nothing more than sacred relics, he didn’t anticipate a demon corrupting the Blood Magik.  Scorpion asks if Quan Chi is behind this, yet the Thunder God doubts it.  Despite that, he mentions that Fujin is looking over the NetherRealm border in order to be sure.  From there, Hanzo asks who else could have a Kamidogu in their possession.

We then cut over to Bukittinggi, Indonesia as the Kuai Liang version of Sub-Zero is jumping across the rooftops while being chased by cybernetic Lin Kuei ninjas.  They ultimately surround and demand him to rejoin the clan, but Kuai Liang takes out his Kamidogu (which was mentioned as the unaccounted one that was stolen years ago), cuts his face and uses the strength of the Blood Code to encase the cybernetic ninjas within a vast spread of ice.  Back with Raiden, he tells Scorpion that he sent Sub-Zero to return the Kamidogu to him, yet he hasn’t returned.  Scorpion tells him that he’s been betrayed, to which the Thunder God says that whoever was behind the Kamidogu’s corruption is looking to acquire Shinnok’s amulet.  While Kuai Liang continues to get consumed by the blade and the demon’s Blood Code, Raiden asks for Hanzo’s help.  With Takeda reminding his grandmaster that the Shirai Ryu never runs from a fight, Scorpion agrees to assist in the pursuit of the chilly ninja.

Over in Outworld, Reiko learns from a figure within the shadows known as “Cleric” that Goro’s failure was a small setback, yet it did help them learn about the Blood Magik that gives Kotal Kahn his strength.  Reiko says that despite doing what he’s been told, it will take many years just to obtain every Kamidogu dagger.  However, the cleric says that he knows where they are.  Reiko then asks how long he has to put up with Mileena before he can finally claim the throne for himself.  From there, the cleric assures him that once all of those daggers are united, then he’ll become a Blood God.  Meanwhile within the Outworld jungles, D’Vorah & Reptile are leading Sonya, Johnny and their Special Forces on a search expedition for Cassie & Jacqui.  Suddenly, Cage notices some blood dripping on him before the group discovers a brutally beaten Erron Black tied up in the tree.  Once they get him down, they ask him what happened to him as well as the young ladies.

From there, the group learns about what went down.  Kano, Ebbon and their Black Dragon agents refuse to hand over Cassie & Jacqui over to Mavado and his Red Dragon agents.  Meanwhile, the two captured ladies decide to wait until the fight begins before they try to escape.  Mavado warns the opposing group that his outnumbers them, yet Kano simply executes an enemy agent with his eye beam.  From there, a massive scuffle breaks out.  Just as Cassie and Jacqui are about to run, Black manages to untie their bonds and says that he can get them out of here.  However, they have to fight.  Briggs agrees as she decides to assault Ebbon.  Meanwhile, Kano manages to stab Mavado while mentioning that he’s heard about Hsu Hao’s demise.  Just as he’s about to finish his foe off, a Red Dragon hits him in the head and saves his master.  Back with Jacqui, she continues to beat Black up.  Just then, Kano hits her before he acquires the Portal Stone from Ebbon.  He then chastises Black for wanting to save the young ladies instead of exploiting them as he escape through a portal, just as Mavado catches up.  From there, he brutally slices Ebbon with his swords before he looks to claim the young women for Reiko.  Thankfully, Cassie and Jacqui managed to acquire a pair of guns from some fallen Black Dragon agents as they open fire on him.

While his fellow agents get gunned down, he manages to dodge their shots before they ultimately run out of bullets.  From there, he jumps in to attack.  Fortunately, Briggs manages to subdue due him in a full-nelson before Cage delivers a fierce kick to his leg.  Afterwards, she puts him down for good by slicing his chest open with his own sword.  Back in the present, Johnny and Sonya are amazed by their daughter’s handiwork.  Unfortunately, Black tells the group that were too many Red Dragon agents as they were able to kidnap the young ladies.  They also left him alive in order for him to inform them that they can head over to Shang Tsung’s island.  And so, Issue 4 ends with them learning that with the fiendish sorcerer vanquished, Reiko has set up base there and also has his own cleric there named Havik.

Issue 5 opens within Z’unkahrah, Outworld as a captured Erron Black begs for mercy from Kotal Kahn.  The emperor scolds him and even wants to execute him for his actions.  He then wonders how he’s going to fix this abhorrent offense towards Earthrealm, to which Sonya says that he can help her and her fellow agents reach Shang Tsung’s island with the hope that the young ladies are still alive.  She starts to get mournful over the potential thought that her daughter and her friend won’t survive this before Johnny tells her that they’ll deal with this.  He then tells her to keep herself together, but she acts rude to him and causes an mini-argument with him.  Kotal Kahn tells them to stop before he tells D’Vorah and Reptile to imprison Erron Black within their dungeon.  He then tells Cl. Blade and Cage that his people were slaughtered by both Reiko & Goro and that he’s the lone survivor of his race.  Johnny offers sympathy before he lets him know that he and his group will do what they can to get their family home.  Kotal Kahn then offers his fastest ship to help them reach the island alongside his own group of warriors and make Reiko pay.  Sonya then asks for a his catch, to which he says that they “must survive the coming dawn” as he goes on to explain why.

He mentions his triumph over Goro and that he refused to give him an honorable death.  He expected his father Kong Gorbak to reject his kin for his failure, but he underestimated a single fact: “All fathers love their sons”.  Over within the subterranean kingdom of Kuatan, King Gorbak tearfully tells his disarmed son to rise.  Goro begs to be killed, but his father tells him that their people have suffered from Kotal Kahn’s rule for too long.  As such, they must strike now while the emperor is still trying to recover.  From there, Kintaro stands ready to lead a legion of Shokan warriors into battle.

We then shift over Kahishari, Japan as Scorpion and Takeda are in the middle of their hunt for Sub-Zero.  Just then, an eerie chill fills the air as Hanzo notices some Lin Kuei cyborgs waiting around the corner.  They arm themselves and managed to launch a successful strike on them, only to find out that they were frozen solid before they fall over and shatter.  Not only that, but the whole city is covered in ice.  Scorpion says that Kuai Liang could never pull this off, even if Quan Chi had powered him with his magic.  Takeda realizes that their chilling foe did this while powered by the Kamidogu before they proceed towards him upon an icy trail.

They ultimately arrive at a frozen temple before the possessed Sub-Zero shows off his enhanced might by shattering the building with a single punch.  Scorpion tells him that he intends on killing him in order to prevent him from slaying other people, while Kuai tells him that he’s used up a lot of Hellfire just to get this far.  As Hasashi prepares for his duel, we briefly shift over to Shang Tsung’s island as Havik eagerly awaits the icy ninja to obtain the Kamidogu and his foe’s soul for him.  Back with the brewing brawl, the possessed Liang says that the dagger is merely a key while the true power is within the blood as he uses his Kamidogu to cut himself and receive a power boost.  With Scorpion intending to incinerate the fiend behind all of this, he begins the fight by plunging his kunais and chains into Sub-Zero’s body before he sends his Hellfire  through the link in order to deal some damage.

However, Sub-Zero uses his enhanced power to freeze the infernal blaze and rip himself free.  Just as he’s about to fire a chilling shot, Hanzo teleports out of the way and manages to reappear behind him.  Unfortunately, Kuai is able to have some massive ice pop out of his body and pierces Hasashi’s body.  From there, Liang delivers a fierce beatdown as he intends to kill his opponent and let “the real Scorpion” emerge.  Suddenly, he notices that his Kamidogu was somehow swiped from him during their scuffle.  Even without the blade, Sub-Zero says that he has enough magik within his blood to perform one powerful attack.  As such, he casts a powerful ice blast that freezes everything within the surrounding area, including Takeda and Scorpion.  Afterwards, Kuai snaps back to his senses and wonders how he did of this.  Suddenly, Hanzo breaks out of his icy entrapment as they engage each other within a duel.

Back over in Z’unkahrah, Outworld, Kotal Kahn goes over his battle strategy with Sonya and Johnny on how they’ll help him protect his part of the realm.  She then asks the emperor how many Shokan warriors they’ll be going up against, to which he says that he’s unsure if the opposing race has either declined or grew in numbers.  She then asks what will happen should 100,000 Shokan warriors show up, to which he explains that he’ll fight their greatest champion in Mortal Kombat.  D’Vorah then comes in and informs him that the Shokan have been spotted approaching from the mountains.  Kotal Kahn then heads up to see what he’ll be dealing with.  Once Sonya and her team arrives, he tells her that they need to hurriedly come up with a new plan.  He elaborates by mentioning how even though there’s not as many opposing warriors as he expected, they had brought Oni Warlords in to help them.

With the Shokan eager to attack, D’Vorah tells her emperor that Torr and Ferra will be joining her in delivering their parlay.  Kotal Kahn gives her a list of demands for her to hand over to the opposing group before Reptile tells him that the Earthrealm agents are ready for an incoming strike.  Meanwhile, Cl. Blade had her agents barricade the main gate while Cage stands alongside a few snipers and some archers.  From there, D’Vorah and her group head over to meet up with the Shokan group’s leader: Kintaro.  She attempts to give him Kotal Kahn’s list of demands, but he refuses to even read them as he smacks it away before he tells her to deliver a message to her emperor: Either surrender within one hour or face our wrath.  She tells Kintaro that Kotal Kahn will never give up to him.  Back at the city, Johnny informs Sonya that he’s spotted an Oni Warlord getting ready to attack with a massive tree.  Once the giant fiend carries his assault out, Cl. Blade loses transmission with her former husband.

Back over in Japan, Sub-Zero tries to tell an enraged Scorpion that all of this wasn’t done while under his control.  However, Hanzo is too enraged as he assaults his opponent while chastising him for never returning his Kamidogu to Raiden all those years ago.  Kuai says that he was possessed during that entire time as he knocks Hasashi over with an ice blast before he offers to return to the Thunder God alongside him in order to explain himself.  Scorpion then asks him if this is the same song-and-dance that his older brother did by explaining “the Lin Kuei’s crimes against the Shirai Ryu”, to which Liang tells him to get over it.  Not to mention, he says that Lin Kuei is no more because of the automated ninjas and that he’s the only surviving member.  Hanzo then summons a pair of corpses to rise up and grab onto Sub-Zero’s legs.  From there, he plunges his swords into Kuai’s body and condemns his soul to the NetherRealm.  Afterwards, Liang wearily says that they’ve both done horrid things due to one being possessed by the Kamidogu and the other working for Quan Chi.  He then asks him if he recalls “the agony of being controlled by an evil spirit”, to which Hasashi says that he recalls the pain of losing his family before he incinerates Sub-Zero with his Hellfire.

Takeda then breaks out of his icy imprisonment and reminds his master that he was never possessed by another being.  Having been misguided and consumed by vengeance, all of his evil was willingly made by him.  Now that they’ve retrieved the Kamidogu, he gives Scorpion a choice: Either continue to be trapped in his revenge & destroy everything that they’ve worked for or help him save their world and ultimately rebuild their clan.  Ultimately, Hanzo regains control and pulls his swords out of Kuai’s body, informing him that he’ll only live long enough to think back on his misdeeds.  And so, Issue 5 ends with him and Takeda heading out to return the blade to the Sky Temple as the young fighter believes that Liang won’t be returning, to which Hasashi tells him how “stranger things have happened”.

Issue 6 begins with the “Sekret Origin” of Sub-Zero as he wearily tries to get up while someone tells him to not struggle, since he’ll lose even more blood at a quicker pace.  As Kuai passes out, the same off-panel person asks him what his life means as it slowly slips away.  We then transition into his past (most likely during the events of Mortal Kombat II) as he finishes Scorpion in the name of his brother.  Sometime later, he gets captured by some Lin Kuei cyborgs and becomes automated himself.  Following a brief flash of his scuffle against Sindel, he blacks out before he’s met upon by Quan Chi within the NetherRealm.  He then tells Liang that he requires “resilient soldiers” for his armada within an upcoming war.  He then uses his magic on Sub-Zero and says that he’s more of a traditionalist when compared to technology.  From there, he rips the Kuai’s cyborg body off of him, yet keeps him alive long enough to restore his original body.  However, Liang has now been placed under Quan Chi’s control.

Later, Sub-Zero is fighting alongside Scorpion and an evil Jax as they easily slaughter the opposing Special Forces agents.  Fortunately, Sonya manages to attack Quan Chi before Raiden comes in to finish him off.  We then shift ahead to several months later as Kuai wakes up in bed screaming before he’s met upon by the Thunder God.  He shields himself from a sudden ice shot before he tells Liang that he’s in the Sky Temple.  Sub-Zero asks how he’s still alive, to which Raiden tells him that he used a surge of his power in addition to what Quan Chi initially did.  Kuai asks him how he can live with himself after what he’s done under the fiendish spellcaster’s control, to which the Thunder God says that he can make amends by helping Earthrealm.  We then shift back to the present day where Liang has been wrapped in bandages as it’s revealed that he’s been saved by Bo’ Rai Cho.  Sub-Zero says that he’ll never be free and that he’s doomed to forever serve other powerful people.  Realizing that he hasn’t truly discovered what those flashes upon his past are supposed to mean, Bo’ Rai Cho helps him up and escorts him back to his base while telling that after everything that the Kamidogu did to him, Raiden greatly owes him.  Meanwhile at the Sky Temple, two infamous daggers have been returned while Scorpion tells the Thunder God that he and Takeda don’t do favors.  Instead, they’ve been saving people from his mistake.  After thanking Hanzo for sparing Kuai’s life, Raiden tells him to go retrieve the Kamidogu of Chaosrealm that currently resides in within the Kang Shaolin Temple while he meets up with Jax, since he has Earthrealm’s Kamidogu.  Meanwhile, Briggs is met upon by Reiko and demands that he hands over the blade in exchange for Jacqui’s life.

We then transition back into the second-third of this overall storyline called “Blood Gods” where a major conflict is going down within Outworld.  Sonya is desperately trying to find Johnny before a fellow agent warns her of an approaching Oni Warlord.  She manages to fend him off, but the fiend recovers and slices the agent in half.  Meanwhile, Kotal Kahn looks over his castle and the Shokan invaders making their way in.  He regrets not killing Goro before he wonders how he’s going to combat this unrelenting army.

Back on the battlefield, Cage manages to reach a wounded agent named Pierce and tries to save him.  However, he discovers that the guy was already cut in half.  After he’s unable to get in contact with Cl. Blade, he’s then met upon by King Gorbak and his fellow Shokan armada.  Meanwhile, D’Vorah, Torr and Ferra enter their emperor’s main chamber, only to find out that he’s not there.  Not only that, but he left his own Blood Magik Dagger there.

Back on the battlefield, Sonya is met upon by a fellow agent named Shaun as he proceeds to provide her some cover with his gunfire.  Sadly, he gets massacred by an Oni Warlord.  While Cl. Blade manages to dodge those strikes, it still manages to deliver a fierce hit.  With it bearing down on her, she fires a beam of energy rings from her gauntlets as it surprisingly blasts through its head and takes it out.  Afterwards, she’s met upon by Kotal Kahn who commends her for her kill.  After she mentions how she’s lost her team, he tells her that he still intends on helping her rescue her daughter.  Suddenly, they hear Johnny as they notice that he’s running from a hoard of Shokan warriors.

Several hours of bloody battle later, it has come down to the main fight between Kotal Kahn and King Gorbak.  However, the Shokan ruler has been able to deliver the vicious hits while looking to end the reign of all Kahns.  Meanwhile, D’Vorah and Reptile are locked in combat against several remaining Shokan and Oni Warlords.  Back with Kotal Kahn, he gets pinned to the wall by King Gorbak.  Fortunately, he’s able to defeat his foe by smashing the Shokan king’s head.  With Kotal Kahn and his allies emerging victorious, the Shokan is forced to retreat.

Afterwards, D’Vorah returns alongside a wounded Reptile as she tells her emperor that he nearly lost his life in order to achieve this win.  Kotal Kahn says that the Shokan will most likely return the next day and that he’ll have to sacrifice more of himself if he wishes to win the war.  She warns him that using more blood magik could possibly kill him, yet he says that achieving ultimate victory against the Shokan will only occur by force.  From there, he tells her to take Reptile to their infirmary and check up on their wounded during this brief calm within the battle.  Back over with Sonya, she tells Johnny that they must rescue the young ladies and get home.  However, he suddenly collapses as she discovers that he took a serious wound to his gut.  As she tries to apply some pressure and prevent him from losing more blood, he wearily apologies for their daughter’s behavior towards her, since he acted like that at a similar age.  Back over with Kotal Kahn, he tell D’Vorah and Reptile to escort Cl. Blade & Cage towards Shang Tsung’s island the next day while he stays put to guard his city.  Over within Kuatan, the Shokan hold a ceremony as they burn the corpses of their fallen warriors.  While this is going on, Kintaro informs the limitless Goro that because his injuries has made him unable to automatically inherit the throne from his deceased father, a contest will be held in order to find the true heir.  Despite the overwhelming odds, Goro still wishes to enter as he looks to prove the Shokan council wrong in doubting him.  Back over with Kotal Kahn, he discovers his Kamidogu to be missing.  He accuses D’Vorah of stealing it, but she tells him that she didn’t take it.  She then offers to stay in the kingdom in order to help him search for it and also safeguard the kingdom.  However, he can sense that his blade isn’t anywhere within the city as he begins to lose hope in protecting his slice of Outworld.  Over on Shang Tsung’s island, it’s soon revealed that the dagger is now in Havik’s possession and all because a woman named Skarlet used the Shokan invasion to her advantage and swiped it during the commotion.  And so, Issue 6 ends with him telling her that he has “the heir to an ancient warrior power”.  However, it’s within the imprisoned Cassie and that it can only be extracted from her during a fight.

Issue 7 opens on another “Sekret Origin” within Kotal Kahn’s past and on the day of his coronation.  He tells the citizens of Z’unkahrah that while he’s a simple-minded warrior, he fights with a purpose.  He especially sees the throne as the main representation of the city.  After chastising Mileena for neglecting her duties and her people, he then completely wins the crowd over by promising to defend the city to the bitter end.  We then shift to the present day as he looks over the ruins of his domain as he tells his closest allies that if he can’t defend the capitol, then he’s unfit to fulfill his ruling duties.  Reptile then recalls when his current emperor was originally meant to kill him as we flashback many years ago to the revised events of the first Mortal Kombat game.  Shao Kahn wants Reptile to serve as his spy while Shang Tsung fulfills his duties.  He then narrates how he wasn’t meant to compete, yet he could resist taking part in the competition and try to win some honor for his people.  However, he failed miserably against Johnny Cage.  From there, his losses continued to pile up.  Because he was deemed a failure in Shao Kahn’s eyes, he had sent Kotal Kahn to assassinate him in his sleep.  As Reptile slept with one eye open, he then notices that Kotal Kahn has decided to not kill him.  One day later, he gets brought up to Shao Kahn as he tells him that Kotal Kahn will let him serve under his command.  Back in the present, Reptile asks him why he spared his life, to which Kotal Kahn tells him that Shao Kahn was far more interested in conquering other realms instead of ruling his own.  As such, he ultimately took over before he mentions that good spies shouldn’t be sent onto battlefields.  Reptile appreciates him for valuing what he has despite the loss of his family before Kotal Kahn wishes him good night.

As he tries to head out, he’s met upon by Ferra and Torr as she wants to share their story on how he’s helped them.  We then flashback to when they came under attack by a group of Tarkatan warriors before they wound captured.  Thankfully, Kotal Kahn came along to free them before he provides them with a carnivorous meal.  Back in the present, it’s then revealed that the opposing Tarkatans were the ones on the menu.

While Kotal Kahn appreciates their “testaments of loyalty”, he still wants to protect his city by himself and he wants them to respect his decision.  D’Vorah then says that her people called the Kyttin haven’t respected any leaders, especially Shao Kahn.  We then transition several ages ago on the Arnyek Islands where despite an impending invasion, her elders were too busy arguing amongst themselves in order to prep a proper defense.  Once Shao Kahn arrives alongside Goro and Reiko, she’s the only one amongst the elders who didn’t retreat as she proceeds to offer her loyalty towards the evil emperor.  As a result of her action, she was able to convince Shao Kahn to spare the lives of her people, albeit they’re now enslaved.  From there, she would bide her time within the shadows while Quan Chi manipulated Shao Kahn and his desire to conquer before that ultimately did him in.  However, Mileena then took over his domain and kept D’Vorah on as her loyal servant.  Then came a particular day when Kotal Kahn defied Mileena.  D’Vorah doesn’t take part in the conflict, while Kotal Kahn tells Mileena that even though that she’s succeeded Shao Kahn, the realm is in need of “new leadership”.  She tries to stab him with her sai, but Reptile steps in the way and takes the hit for him.  As we transition back into the present, she tells him that after that incident, she says that true leaders rule with respect and that he’s the only leader that she’s ever respected.  Kotal Kahn then says that his upcoming sacrifice will be his truest respect and that his dad would appreciate all that his comrades have done for him.  Suddenly, the palace gets rocked by an earthquake as they’re suddenly met upon Kano and his Black Dragon cohorts arrive to offer him help.

We then transition back into the main storyline as Raiden arrives at the Briggs family farm as he notices the house in ruins and Jax lying unconscious on his sofa.  Suddenly, the Thunder God is met upon by Vera Briggs as she tells him that her husband is resting up with some meds in his system.  She then says that after he was brought back from the dead, being out on the farm was helping him.  We then shift to a day ago where she’s on the phone with her daughter Jacqui.  Suddenly, Jax gets thrown through a window as he wearily tells her to run.  After she refuses to retreat, she’s suddenly approached by Reiko as he demands for the Kamidogu of Earthrealm in exchange for their daughter’s safety.  Jackson refuses to hand the dagger, especially he doesn’t know if the fiend will keep his word.  Reiko then knocks him out with a fierce charge before he grabs Vera by her neck and forced her to choose: Give up the Kamidogu or have the family get slaughtered.  Back in the present, she says that she had to relinquish the dagger to the foe.  Afterwards, she tells Raiden to get her daughter back.  He assures her that Cl. Blade and Cage are already in Outworld searching for her.

Over on Shang Tsung’s island, Jacqui is getting viciously beaten up by Skarlet as an imprisoned Cassie can only watch in horror.  Havik then approaches her and says that he wants the power that resides within her family line.  After all, her father went up against Shinnok and won.  He then says that true power comes out in two ways: being in a bloodline of warriors trained to fight Gods or it emerges when a loved one is nearly dead.  She says that she doesn’t have her father’s powers, to which he thinks that she “hasn’t suffered enough”.  From there, Reiko returns with the Kamidogu of Earthrealm as Havik says that he’s one away from turning his right-hand man into a Blood God.  Reiko gets puzzled since the ritual needs them to have all six, yet they only have two.  Havik agrees, but he says that Raiden has three and is naively helping them conquer Earthrealm.

Back over on the outskirts of Z’unkahrah, Kotal Kahn is alongside the Black Dragon as Kintaro stands alongside his armada while chastising his foe for relying on outside help.  Kotal Kahn then wishes to go one-on-one against Kintaro in Mortal Kombat.  However, the four-armed figure declines.  As such, the Black Dragon member named Tremor comes in and summons an earthquake to trip up Kintaro’s forces.  Kotal Kahn wants to know why he’s stopped before Kano says that Tremor’s power is imprecise.  He then steps in and preps a weapon to use against their enemy.  Back inside the main palace, Johnny is resting up while Sonya wonders if she made the right choice.  He understands her worries, especially since the Black Dragon would benefit from this ordeal.  He then tells her that she can’t save every person and realm.  As such, they must focus on their upcoming rescue mission as she proceeds to give him a hug.  Suddenly, they hear a massive explosion as Kotal Kahn asks Kano about his recent “manner of sorcery”.  He essentially says that he used an atomic-powered weapon that’s just wiped out half of Kintaro’s army.  From there, Kotal Kahn is eager to finish then off should they refuse to surrender.

Meanwhile, Mileena informs the wounded Rain that Kintaro and his forces are tearing their foes apart.  Suddenly, she’s approached by Ermac as he tells her that Kotal Kahn is about to emerge victorious alongside his Black Dragon allies and their “Earthrealm weapons”.  She then demands for a full-on assault on Kotal Kahn in order to catch him exhausted from his recent fight.  She then asks for the whereabouts of Reiko and the Red Dragon, to which Ermac tells her that they haven’t returned from Shang Tsung’s island.  She then orders him to summon them before Rain recovers and wonders where he is.  She tells him that after he got scorched, the Red Dragon agents