Monday, April 28, 2008

They've battled Aliens, Predators, Marvels, and Wildstorms -- but this time events will conspire to bring the heroes of the DC Universe across time and space to face mortals!

The announcement of Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe promises an unlikely collision of worlds; each intimately familiar with the threat of universal annihilation!

Already confirmed to appear are each brand's icons; Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Batman, and Superman, but who else will join the line-up of this face-off?

Continuing on from last week, we continue our rundown of possible contenders for the game, to be released in Fall 2008! Last week's industry-wide whirlwind tour of series co-creator, Ed Boon, continued to reveal incremental degrees of new information. The most significant tidbit to leak; the confirmation of only ten or-so characters from the two participating brands. With so few characters on offer, our predetermined odds should arguably be downgraded, as the lesser characters become overwhelmed by multi-media icons like; Wonder Woman, Flash, Martian Manhunter, Liu Kang, Raiden, and Kitana.

[#28] :RANKING
[50%] :ODDS
Justice League

ODDS: [30%]
Seidan Guard
Strength: Hawkman 4 (Enhanced)
Intelligence: Draw 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Draw 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Draw 4 (Athlete)
Agility: Hotaru 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting: Draw 6 (Warrior)
Energy: Hotaru 3 (Explosives)

The Battle...
A surly demeanor; penchant for medieval weaponry; history as an alien lawman; and a curse that sees him repeatedly reincarnated... Can you find me a character more inclined to fit seemlessly into the world of Mortal Kombat than Hawkman?!

At this early stage it's difficult to really imagine where the MK team are coming from in their selection process. "Iconic" has been the term used to describe the most likely choices, making Hawkman a touch-and-go selection probably more dependent on age and reference, than fictional moxxy.

With a well documented intensity for justice that includes erasing memories and severing limbs; Hawkman could make a great rival for the zealous Seidan General, Hotaru. Alas, the vote for diversity that saw his Thanagarian female counterpart [Hawkgirl] appear in the cartoon show, could potentially undermine the Hawkman's chances once more. Despite baring many of Hawkman's traits in the series, Hawkgirl is traditionally the less aggressive of the two.

If weapons can find a place in the game, Hawkman comes equipped with his trademark fixed mace, but is more than happy to utilize spears, tridents, and nets. In-game maneuvers could feature flying charges, weapon hits, and maybe even a finisher from the Claw of Horus! An arsenal of moves that make Hawkman more than a match for his MK adversary.

The Math: Hotaru Our Winner: Hawkman

[20%] :ODDS

ODDS: [20%]
Strength: Dairou 3 (Athlete)
Intelligence: Question 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Dairou 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Dairou 4 (Athlete)
Agility: Question 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting: Dairou 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy: Draw 2 (Projectile)

The Battle...
When his family was murdered, the once respected Seidan Guardsman, Dairou, turned his back on order in an attempt of vengeance against the man he believed responsible. Shamed, Dairou became a warrior without purpose, offering his services as a rogue assassin, even to those such as Darrius, a purveyor of chaos considered one of Seido's chief nemesis'.

Like Dairou; Renee Montoya was once also a member of law enforcement. Disgusted by acts of corruption that lead to a Detective's death, Montoya leaves the force to spiral downward into depression and alcoholism. Recruited by the clandestine hero, the Question, Montoya is given new purpose, and upon the death of her mentor, assumes the role of the faceless hero.

A physical mismatch; both characters are highly unlikely to feature in the pared down roster. Far from iconic, I wouldn't expect to see any of the characters from Chaos or Order realms, but I'm a ham for resonance! Tempting as it was to go with the martial arts zen of the Vic Sage character, I'm trying to stay contemporary, and to that end, the theme of despondant law enforcement works, even if Montoya's Question isn't really suited to a fighting game.

The Math: Dairou Our Winner: Dairou

[30%] :ODDS
Sinestro Corps

ODDS: [50%]
Edenian Army
Strength: Fatality 4 (Enhanced)
Intelligence: Jade 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Jade 4 (Olympian)
Stamina: Fatality 5 (Marathon)
Agility: Jade 4 (Gymnast)
Fighting: Draw 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy: Fatality 5 (Lasers)

The Battle...
We know MKvsDC won't feature the gore splattering gimmickery of fatal finishers, but hey! Just because there won't be fatalities, it doesn't mean we can't have a Fatality.

Alright. It's so lame it doesn't even qualify for pun-status, but whatever it is, it had to happen. You can't serve up character speculation for a Mortal Kombat game without turning an eye to recent Injustice League recruit; Fatality.
Far from iconic; I'd lean toward calling Fatality notoriously generic, even if she's graduated into the ten-year club, significantly as both a Green Lantern villain, and a member of the Society of Super Villains.

Her possesion of a Qwardian "Sinestro" ring makes Fatality more than a match for the Edenian assassin, but I like to think the parallels are still there. An affinity for green, proficiency with staff weapons, and a storied reputation as assassin; why, if they weren't so very different, they'd be exactly alike!

The Math: Fatality Our Winner: Fatality

[#44] :RANKING
[50%] :ODDS

ODDS: [20%]
Strength: Etrigan 4 (Enhanced)
Intelligence: Ashrah 3 (Straight A)
Speed: Ashrah 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Etrigan 5 (Marathon)
Agility: Etrigan 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting: Ashrah 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy: Draw 3 (Explosives)

The Battle...
Mortal Kombat's mythology is expansive, drawing on influences from across the globe, but at the heart of it's grungy gothic style is a lot of infernal reference. This meant there were a lot of options available when considering The Demon - a character I would consider a must if not for numerical restrictions on the DC draft. Created by Jack Kirby; Etrigan is the rhyming ratbag of DC's mystics whose allegiance to good is the result of being bound to a human.

Etrigan isn't so different from Ashrah; a demon of the Netherealm who slays her own kind in an effort to gain humanity. Ashrah was once a member of the Brotherhood of Shadow, an evil cult dedicated to the worship of fallen Elder God, Shinnok. Her change of heart echoes that of Etrigan's finer moments, albeit more independent than the erratic Demon.

A hard-hitting strongman; Etrigan's in-game capabilities should translate smoothly. Hellfire's the name of the game, breath and projectile variations welcome, distancing the character from Netherealm counterpart, Scorpion.

The Math: Ashrah Our Winner: Etrigan

[30%] :ODDS
Injustice League

ODDS: [40%]
Strength: Frost 3 (Athlete)
Intelligence: Frost (Straight A)
Speed: Frost 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Draw 4 (Athlete)
Agility: Frost 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting: Frost 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy: Killer Frost 4 (Arsenal)

The Battle...
A stroke of genius, this one is not!
Longtime readers of the Infinite Wars will have encountered my distain for female spin-off characters before. Frost is no exception, suffering heavily from being a watered down Sub-Zero with hips, breasts, and Annie Lennox for a stylist. Strangely this would-be recruit of the Lin Kuei earned a substantial following within the MK fanbase, keen to follow her exploits as she attempts to overthrow Sub-Zero, and steal his dragon medallion.

To the best of my knowledge Killer Frost doesn't have the same support, but she is a villain known to clash with the likes of Firestorm and Superman!

Despite having more expansive control over her abilities to generate ice and freeze objects, one would expect a similar grounding to in-game representations. It's almost ironic to note how unlikely such an appearance would be, given that Killer Frost amounts to an in-game female version of Sub-Zero. If only the MK team had focused their efforts on "iconic" characters before Deadly Alliance.

The Math: Frost Our Winner: Killer Frost

[10%] :ODDS
Justice League

ODDS: [0.1%]
Shinnok's Army
Strength: Draw 2 (Average)
Intelligence: Ambush Bug 3 (Straight A)
Speed: Draw 2 (Average)
Stamina: Ambush Bug 4 (Athlete)
Agility: Ambush Bug 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting: Meat 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy: Draw 2 (Projectile)

The Battle...
Meat was the result of cruel genetic experiments conducted by the sorceror, Shang Tsung. Ambush Bug was the result of an alien wardrobe sent from a doomed planet, only to be discovered by a schmuck.

Meat is a fun character who assists Shinnok.
Ambush Bug is a fun character who thinks he's Superman's friend.

Neither of these characters have any place being in Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe, but it seemed fair to represent the lighter side of both universes. For all the bitching about the lack of gore and murder in the game, a lot of fans have forgotten MK's sense of humor, as intrinsic as any more bloody gimmicks.

Ambush Bug's suit gives him the ability to teleport, a favourite special amongst the MK cast of characters, but no. Neither Ambush Bug, nor Meat, will be appearing in this game. I mean, why waste your A-game when there's still sales to be milked from a sequel? Yeah, that's right! Marvel/Capcom pulled a sequel, why not these clowns? Don't even act like you wouldn't love it...

The Math: Ambush Bug Our Winner: Everybody's gonna get laid!

NEXT: It'll be a hot time in the old town next week when we feature some of the heavy hitters of the DC and MK universes! Also on the way; more intergalactic fisticuffs from the DCU, the week's releases, and May 1 is the Punch-Up! Be here!

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