Monday, June 30, 2008

A final crisis may be brewing in the DC multiverse, but after last week, fans of the company learnt a new threat will attack in the unlikely medium of video games! Worlds collide as Midway and DC confirmed what the gamers were waiting for; their joint venture: Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe!

Over the past few months the Infinite Wars have served up a fantasy fight armada of characters who could potentially match-up in the collision of worlds, but we can't help but think there are still plenty of DC names unmentioned! To find out who made the previous cut, you might like to track back through our previous rounds: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!

As of now we know we'll get the opportunity to pit Sub-Zero, Batman, Scorpion, Superman, Sonya, the Flash, Shang Tsung, and Catwoman against each other in 'kombat,' but those confirmations only raise more questions! Questions that will slowly be answered through announcements at July's E3 and San Diego International Comic-Con!

We'll be keeping an eye on news updates throughout July, but in the meantime, let us cast our eyes back to some of the DC heroes and villains overlooked in our sixty-strong line-up of the Fantasy Fights! Because we kinda copped out in week ten to go with an Alan Scott/Ermac allegory; each of our bonus rundowns will lead with a Green Lantern and unfold into a vague theme!

ARTWORK: Alex RossGreen Lantern (Hal Jordan)
Year One: [1959] Group Affiliation: [Green Lantern Corps]
Win Percentage: [100%] Cumulative Rank: [#21]
Fighting Ability: [4] Appearance Odds: [75%]

Round 1!
Hal Jordan was a second generation test pilot whose daredevil antics and heart of gold earned him reputation far beyond bar stories shared with friends. When an alien spacecop named Abin Sur suffered mortal wounds after crash landing on Earth; his power ring sought a suitable successor of unwavering courage and moral integrity. With his dying breath, Abin Sur saw Hal sworn into the fold of the Green Lantern Corps as the guardian of Sector 2814!

Jordan would quickly earn acclaim throughout the galaxy as one of the greatest of the Green Lantern lawmen, eclipsing even his assigned mentor, the great Sinestro! This would, however, only make for a greater fall when Jordan succumbed to an ancient evil, Parallax, which appeared to drive him to megalomania in the wake of his home city's destruction. He would eventually return as the human host for The Spectre, before being resurrected during the violent return of Parallax and Sinestro.

Round 2!
Looking back over the Fantasy Fights, you can really see a pattern of non-commital in the percentages. Seventy-five percent doesn't really reflect the odds of a Green Lantern appearing in the game because, like the Flash, it's a legacy that typically defines each era. The is who rather than if!

Despite being a franchise fifteen years old, it's sometimes easy to discount how young the modern MK audience skews. Most of this generation will best recognise either Kyle Rayner as the comic book Green Lantern; or seventies icon, John Stewart, as the token African-American from TV's animated Justice League.

Each of the alternates makes for a compelling argument, but with Jordan's triumphant return in 2004 [in Green Lantern: Rebirth] and his current role as titular protagonist in the monthly Green Lantern, I've got to imagine he's the character with the highest odds.

Finish Him!
The MK team will have to be smart to make Green Lantern a truly unique experience. If they're clever, they'll achieve something fantastic, but the pitfalls of a passive experience, Capcom-esque specials, or interchangable green grapples/projectiles are omnipresent!

A projectile (the infamous giant fist?), energy shield, and possibly dash attack are all but guaranteed. Homogeny in the special-fest that appears to be MKvsDC's gameplay suggests a makeshift teleport, no matter how inappropriate, is probably going to be a glowing green shoe-in. Some sort of stun/snare free hit, built around a ring projected grapple seems feasible, making one start to wonder if Rayner or Stewart might not be the more suitable choice. If presentation will be the balancing factor in the catalogue of special moves, the animation potential of Jordan's ring projections is probably more limited in conceit than the other options.

And what of fatalities? It was announced that characters known for killing will retain some sort of fatality maneuver. With the Green Lanterns recently incorporating lethal force into their law enforcement vocabulary, will it be on the cards? Honestly, I don't think so, but you never know!...

ARTWORK: Alex RossThe Spectre (Crispus Allen)
Year One: [1940] Group Affiliation: [The Heavens]
Win Percentage: [100%] Cumulative Rank: [#63]
Fighting Ability: [3] Appearance Odds: [50%]

Round 1!
When police detective Jim Corrigan is murdered by crooks, the hard-boiled lawman finds himself refused passage to the peaceful planes of the afterlife. Instead, he is forced to return to the land of living as the human conscience of the spirit of vengeance; the Spectre!

Corrigan's first outing sets the tone for a vengeful career as the longest serving host to the Spectre. After decades of servitude Corrigan is allowed to pass on, leaving the responsibility of the vengeful wrath of God to a new host, Hal Jordan. This tortured spirit found himself at odds with the vengeful nature of the Spectre, eventually resulting in the speration of the two, and the resurrection of Jordan.

This period granted freedom to the Spectre to run rampant on the world's magic, seeing it as an unpredictable and chaotic force known for causing many problems. The Spectre was eventually bound to a new host, another deceased detective, this time the GCPD officer, Crispus Allen.

Round 2!
Very nearly my choice for matching up with Raiden; the Spectre represents a respectable allegory to the often surly protector god of MK's Earthrealm. Given the disconnect between Raiden's godly abilities and the restrictions of gameplay, issues of balance shouldn't be quite as confusing as some find them. Even so, I can empathise with the conceptual tangent, and was the reason for going with Captain Marvel.

I put Spectre's odds at even because, at the end of the day, no matter how iconic this Golden Age stalwart may be, he isn't exactly vying for a summer blockbuster!
The sheer scope of the character actually makes some sort of story-based appearance in the game reasonably probable. As a cosmic force his involvement isn't always an aggresive one, but remains in keeping with his broad awareness.

Finish Him!
As a character, Spectre is nigh omnipotent! He's the sort of vengeful spirit with a reputable penchant for ironic punishments, which lends the character to diversity in the presentation of his battles. For the heroes of the series standard elemental and ethereal attacks make a lot of sense, as do spooky teleports!
However, when fighting the wicked, Spectre could fullfil a variety of unique situations. Imitating the special powers of his opponents would be a reasonable method of combative punishment, but for a more expansive next-gen experience, tailored attacks for villains would be very unique. Better still, customized ironies in fatalities to reflect suitable punishments for his enemies would be a treat!

I've come across plenty of ill informed people tossing around the theory that characters fit "perfectly" into the MK asthetic. I'm not really sure that's the most artful approach to this meeting of distinct brands, but if it is, few characters make as much sense as the Spectre, on both asthetic and practical levels!

ARTWORK: Patrick GleasonMongul
Year One: [1995] Group Affiliation: [Not Applicable]
Win Percentage: [00%] Cumulative Rank: [#435]
Fighting Ability: [6] Appearance Odds: [40%]

Round 1!
Mongul was a physically powerful alien from the planet Arkymandryte who formed an empire around his rule of the gladiatorial Warworld! His desire for worthy combatants eventually brought him into conflict with Krypton's last son, Superman, who succeeded in besting him and destroying Warworld. In an act of defiance Mongul travelled to Earth where he teamed with Hank Henshaw (the Cyborg Superman) in an effort to rebuild Warworld. Their alliance resulted in the total destruction of Coast City, but ultimately proved unsuccesful.

When Mongul arrogantly declined an offer of power from the demonic lord, Neron, he was swiftly destroyed for his insolence [during Underworld Unleashed].
Years later the threat of universal destruction at the hands of Imperiex would bring Mongul's son to Earth! He would briefly attempt to train with Superman, before returning sometime later in an antagonising role against the Justice League. Despite narrowly avoiding execution at the sword of Wonder Woman [Infinite Crisis #1]; Mongul Jr survived to begin a quest to collect the yellow Qwardian powerrings of those who chose not to serve him.

Round 2!
As far as Superman villains go, Mongul's been a great Green Lantern foe!
We've discussed the prevelance of gladiatorial aliens in the Superman rogues gallery, (if you can even call it that), and Mongul doesn't really do a lot to stand out. Most MK fans are probably going to lean toward the more visual qualities, and hard edge of a Doomsday, not that that's any better.

On-going developments in Green Lantern Corps that tie in to the development of the rainbow of power rings in the universe has been a solid step forward to significance for Son of Mongul. I'm not sure events as contemporary as that will have much influence on a character's viability in the game, but with that in mind, the vague motivations of this brawling character almost seem like an advantage!

Even less motivated than the conspicuously specific Doomsday; Mongul might be the more plausible sub-boss in scenarios that imagine Darkseid representing the DC portion of a catastrophic union, with a burly bruiser in the sub-boss spot.

Finish Him!
When you boil it all down to function: Mongul hasn't got much going for him.
Essentially, as of now, he's a combination of Superman and Green Lantern, which is very interesting in a comic where the results are limitless, but in the pared down world of Mortal Kombat, I'm not so sure.

Obviously he's a character more inclined to play the fatality card, and while comparable to two more recognised characters, the prospect of a GL-powered Superman probably has a lot of potential in the right hands. Unfortunately, the critic in me has to imagine the MK team won't be putting in the kind of hours that can realise graphic diversity between two ring wielding villains.

I hate to say it, but I almost think Doomsday is the better choice... Ugh!

ARTWORK: Ethan Van SciverCyborg Superman (Hank Henshaw)
Year One: [1990] Group Affiliation: [Sinestro Corps]
Win Percentage: [NR] Cumulative Rank: [NR]
Fighting Ability: [3] Appearance Odds: [20%]

Round 1!
Aboard the LexCorps space shuttle Excalibur: four adventurers plot a course for deep space, but when their shuttle is bombarded by cosmic rays, the quartet find themselves altered in disturbingly dramatic ways!

Leader of the team, Hank Henshaw, is forced to watch helplessly as his friends gradually buckle under the stresses of their strange cosmic transformations. Two of the crew, forced to construct bodies of earth and steel, are driven to end their own lives; while Henshaw's wife is at first rescued (with help from Superman)from gradually fading into another plane of reality.

Having initially suffered no ill effects, Henshaw eventually finds himself rapidly decaying, and is forced to transfer his consciousness from his decrepid body, to LexCorps technology. Able to download himself into a robotic body, Henshaw returns to his wife, who is driven mad enough by his appearance to take her own life. Such are the circumstances that eventually lead Henshaw to leave the planet, only to return to seek perceived revenge on Superman.

Round 2!
Y'know, for a tragically stupid character, the Cyborg Superman is actually not without his redeeming qualities! Once you get past the grim FF origin and god awful era of the cyborg-mullet, there's a clunky charm to the character, reflected immediately in the utterly descriptive, and slightly retro name!

Like a lot of other characters, Cyborg Superman received a breath of fresh air as a welcome part of the Sinestro Corps War! Henshaw not only aquired a Qwardian power ring, but was also granted the distinction of commanding his own squadron of custom designed Manhunter. Like the traditional GLC Manhunters, these robotic drones come with unique capabilities tailored to defeating power ring wielders, including the ability to drain them of their power! This revamp alone is enough to get me really chuffed about the character!

Finish Him!
Again, like so many other characters, Cyborg Superman falls by the wayside of being a less iconic version of another character. Moreso than the super-strong Mongul, Cyborg Superman represents a Superman with a GL powerring. He quite literally serves that function with shades of the T-1000 shining through.

If MKvsDC were to incorporate some sort of Konquest-style adventure game, Henshaw would have to be a shoe-in. While he offers very little to the two-axis fighting arena, his role in a more expansive environment could facilitate a minion filled boss battle as players negotiate an army of Manhunters, all controlled by the central menace - the Cyborg Superman!

On the plus-side for the Superman references, this character offers a loophole for anyone who would want to perform fatalities as big blue. During the Reign of the Supermen storyline after Superman's brief death; Henshaw was the most convincing of four characters who attempted to fill the void of Superman [Steel, Superboy, Eradicator], his interest being disgracing the hero. The perfect angle for a head ripping, heat vision roasting, leg pounding fatality?...

ARTWORK: Ivan ReisSinestro
Year One: [1961] Group Affiliation: [Sinestro Corps]
Win Percentage: [50%] Cumulative Rank: [#192]
Fighting Ability: [4] Appearance Odds: [35%]

Round 1!
Once an archaeologist on his home planet of Korugar; Sinestro was confronted by a fallen warrior from space whose ship was damaged in combat with a Qwardian villain. The mortally wounded spaceman granted Sinestro his powerring, inducting him into the Green Lantern Corps in the heat of battle!
The fallen Lantern managed to survive his ordeal, but Sinestro, seeing opportunity for great power, left him for dead, taking the mantle for himself.

Sinestro went on to be the Green Lantern of Sector 1417, where he eventually came to enforce order with an iron fist. His dicatorial rise would eventually come undone at the hands of Hal Jordan - a young Lantern he was charged to mentor.
The rivalry between Jordan and Sinestro would run deep as the disgraced Korugarian was exiled from the Corps and went on to suffer numerous defeats at the hands of the Earthman.

Round 2!
Sinestro's return in Rebirth began a chain of events that saw the expansion of the brand to an entire Sinestro Corps! Representing the yellow fear, (to the Lantern's green will), Sinestro and his gang dramatically improved their stock, elevating the villain to brand new heights through the Sinestro Corps War.

Despite an epic battle that saw the entire Sinestro Corps invade Earth (and battling the combined powers of the GL Corps, JLA, and JSA!); Sinestro and his group have largely remained segregated since forming, as is becoming a trend for cosmic villains in superhero comics. Granted, Sinestro recently held membership with the united Society of Super Villains, but explaining away the the absence of the yellow Corps seems more trouble than it's worth.

Then there's that matter of being obselete, once more. Again, as with other characters, the degrees of interest would be in the details, but it seems unlikely that that level of concentration will go in to MKvsDC. So, barring the use of interchangable skins (Sinestro being an alternate for Green Lantern), it would just be more of the same -- only yellow.

Finish Him!
Like other villains; Sinestro has the attraction of being a Green Lantern-style character more likely to kill his opponents without prejudice. Given the far-out capabilities of the powerrings, that could make for some truly diverse and interesting deaths.

Still, it's very difficult to make an argument for Sinestro appearing when our list of DC potentials will exceed one hundred upon completion. Again, we come back to the attraction of a Konquest adventure mini-game, which could have facilitated greater exploration in the merging of realms. A bit like some of the side stories in DC versus Marvel; the meetings of groups and ideals could have been expanded upon, even allowing for a clash between the MK universe, and the Sinestro Corps. An adventure format also favours Sinestro far greater than the hand-to-hand fighting arena, even though he's no slouch.

ARTWORK: ???Aquaman (Orin)
Year One: [1941] Group Affiliation: [Deceased]
Win Percentage: [75%] Cumulative Rank: [#38]
Fighting Ability: [4] Appearance Odds: [45%]

Round 1!
Born to Queen Atlanna and the mysterious sub-aquatic mystic, Atlana; Orin was outcast from the realm of Atlantis by reason of superstition that believed his unusual blonde hair bore the mark of curse. Abandoned on the surface world, Orin was forced to raise himself, until a kindly lightkeeper named Arthur Curry took him in as his own.

Taking his adopted father's name, Orin returned to the seas as Arthur Curry, where his many adventures revealed to him the history of Atlantis. Being united with his family would only bring grief to Orin who would form a fierce rivalry with his half-brother Orm, and would discover his mother inprisoned only to see her die. After exiling himself to the surface world, where he becomes the hero Aquaman, Orin returned to take the throne of Atlantis, dividing his time between the realms of the ocean depths, and the surface.

Round 2!
I'm a Sub-Mariner fan, but as much as I'm inclined to indulge the jokes, I do have an affection for the classic Aquaman. Alas; as the mysteries of the deep have withdrawn, so too has the popularity of subaquatic fiction. With powers not particularly practical on the surface world, Aquaman has been allowed to languish under confused creative directions, and severe parody.

Because of his fallen star, I expect Aquaman's odds to appear to be the least of the fabled 'big seven.' Despite his obscurity, even Martian Manhunter mounts a bigger pledge from fans than the monarch from the sea. Which is sad, because I do wonder if Aquaman might not represent an especially unique situation!

Aquaman has had his share of grim, emerging as a battle hardened warrior from the deepsea. The MK fighting arena might be the perfect opportunity to develop that into something more substantial, creating a unique Atlantean warrior's fighting style. Then there's the thought of an underwater fighting arena -- something I'm not aware of existing in any of MK's counterparts!

Finish Him!
Y'know, it doesn't seem particularly fair, but the thought of fights on the ocean floor; where Aquaman might gain the advantage of freer movement; is a really attractive prospect. I'm racking my brains, but I can't think of any other beat 'em up that's ventured to the bottom of the depths, let alone had any reason to!

Aquaman comes with a lot of ready-made MK-style special moves including trident weapon attacks, and the mystic properties of his water replacement hand!
Traditionally a straight-arrow, I also wonder if there might not be opportunity to graft fatalities onto the character. Much like Wonder Woman; there's an emperial regality to this character that seems medieval and suitable for just killing. Is it worth dividing lethal finishers between characters, and allegiance?
Maybe we should just expect the spontaneous summoning of a whale to finish opponents off. Lord knows it's the only logical way he wins most fights!

ARTWORK: Michael TurnerFlash (Wally West)
Year One: [1959] Group Affiliation: [Justice League America]
Win Percentage: [60%] Cumulative Rank: [#28]
Fighting Ability: [3] Appearance Odds: [Confirmed]

Round 1!
During a fateful visit to his criminologist uncle's police laboratory; a bizarre series of events that once conspired to give Barry Allen the powers of a speeding Flash were to bestow a gift upon the young Wally West! Doused in the same chemicals as his uncle, Wally too was given the ability to tap into the properties of the speed force to move at fantastic speeds!

When Allen gave his life to thwart the Anti-Monitor's plans to destroy the universe; West chose to honor his mentor by retiring his role as Kid-Flash, to succeed his uncle as The Flash! In doing so, the new Flash inhereted not only the public responsibility of protecting Central City, but also upholding the ideals of his predecessor. To this end, Wally West has been very successful!

Round 2!
MK boffins already know the Flash was confirmed quite some time ago, but since he wasn't a part of our sixty-plus list, I figured it would be good form to throw a mention out there. Some truly bizarre tweaks to the design of the costume haven't made identifying this Flash any easier, but I think it's safe to assume we're looking at Wally West.

These entries have mostly been about informing both fanbases, and especially now that we're about two weeks behind schedule, I haven't wanted to talk too much about contemporary details, but Flash raises some interesting points.
With the initial concept being quite jarring, and disappointment a traditional trope of MK releases, it's been hard to get away from the negatives involved in each information release. Designs have been no exception.

What many of the younger MK fans won't be conditioned to appreciate is history. Despite the ebbing tides of trend in comics, history is something we as an industry have been very successful at understanding, and holding on to. It's a context that colours many stories specially for those who understand the broader spectrum of characters. In the case of the Flash, there's a legacy that branches back to the Golden Age of the 1940s (with Jay Garrick).

The Wally West design was inherited from the already much-talked about Barry Allen, and it's the MKvsDC design that brings me to that fifty-year tradition. In those six decades of the Flash few tweaks have been made to the now classic design created by prolific artist, Carmine Infantino. Among the few tweaks have been the presence of gloves, and the depth of red, which was given a more solid sheen in the wake of elaborations on the speed force.

One might suggest the last thing the Flash costume needed was more lightning bolts! In an explosion of branding excess, the MK team have, for unknown reasons, felt it necessary to label wristless gloves with a Shazam-esque bolt, whilst adding gold armbands with embossed bolts that are nigh invisible during basic in-game modes.

The red and yellow Infantino design is the quintessential superhero costume. It is an example most modern masters would look to when offering a sense of definitive branding in a superhero. Over developing and distorting that design really doesn't seem like a brilliant way to endear the fans anymore than tweaks in the MK designs, which, have unfortunately become present with Shang Tsung.

I don't want to break the flow by devolving into negativity, so I'll finish with a wacky theory I've had. It's been said that there's still clue(s) on Ed Boon's personal website that point to details in the games. I don't know how likely a case it is, but one wonders if allusions to the collision of worlds might not means more than just the DC Universe we know... It certainly seems MK's Earthrealm and Outworld are involved in the clash, which leads one to wonder if another of the DC multi-verse might not be represented by some of these heroes... Mmm!

Finish Him!
The disconnect between characters and their in-game functions remains a hurdle for many fans, but with the Flash, what you see is what you get. Thanks to previews featured on we know much of what you'd expect of a speedster is presen!

Some might count a flurry of punches (delivered at super-speed) as the most important Flash-special for a game like this [as pictured above] and it looks as though it's there, hopefully to be reprised in the close-quarters boxing mode!
The Flash doesn't kill, but phrasing suggests we might see characters like Flash finish their opponents with a super-sized combo, previously dubbed brutality in other games. Personally, I'm inclined to expect something a bit more creative, putting brutality down to incidental phrasing, rather than any confirmation.

ARTWORK: Ed McGuinnessGorilla Grodd (Grodd)
Year One: [1941] Group Affiliation: [The Society]
Win Percentage: [75%] Cumulative Rank: [#38]
Fighting Ability: [3] Appearance Odds: [40%]

Round 1!
When an alien spaceship crashed in the wilds of Africa, strange alien forces bestowed advanced intelligence upon the gorilla population of the immediate vicinity. Two apes, Solovar and Grodd, developed mental powers advanced to the point of telepathic capabilities. So began the rise of Gorilla City, where the stranded alien was adopted as the leader of this secret society.

When explorers discovered Gorilla City, violence provided the aspiring Grodd with an opportunity to manipulate events to his advantage. Using his telepathy he persuaded one of the explorers to kill the alien leader for him. In an effort to thwart the plans of his evil counterpart, Solovar was able to telepathically reach out to the Flash, who arrived in time to successfully save the day.

Round 2!
Grodd's rivalry with the Flash, as was the case with many villains, carried over from Barry Allen to Wally West, making Gorilla Grodd a reasonably logical inclusion to MKvsDC!

Grodd might hate the hairless humans, but that doesn't mean he's above teaming with the likes of Shao Kahn in the interests of furthering his own goals! Further emphasising his suitability in cataclysmic events of an interdimensional nature is this desire to cleanse the world of humanity in order to expand the gorilla nation to total world domination!

One probably doesn't expect Gorilla Grodd to have a realistic shot at appearing in the game, but one of the now ancient teasers was the presence of four African animals. Allusions to character animalities from the past, or maybe something more literal? A gorilla was among the four!

Finish Him!
Like so many others, the success of Gorilla Grodd would hinge on developments in the basic fighting mechanics. Essentially a super-strong brawler; Grodd would need a sense of primal individuality in his style that would reflect his physical strength in a way representative of gorilla anatomy.

Specials revolve around a mix of primal physical attacks and telepathic manipulations. Free-hits aplenty seem likely for moves designed to seize control of opponents for self-inflicted damage; visual deceptions that surround the true Grodd with fakes; and other mental attacks could be unique, and fun!

For MK fans, Grodd may provided the best fatalities yet, allowing for any number of fanged munching and body ripping finishers.
We've seen biting fatalities before, but Grodd could potentially be the first kombatant to prepare his meals!

ARTWORK: Michael TurnerMurmur (Dr. Michael Amar)
Year One: [2001] Group Affiliation: [The Society]
Win Percentage: [NR] Cumulative Rank: [NR]
Fighting Ability: [4] Appearance Odds: [30%]

Round 1!
Dr. Michael Amar was once was respected surgeon until he succumbed to the nagging presence of insanity. Compelled to kill, the knife-wielding expert slaughtered his way from Central City to Keystone, until police were finally able to thwart his efforts with the aid of criminologist Barry Allen, and Amar's own compulsions to blurt out his crimes.

When it became apparent Amar's blood was resistant to the poisons of lethal injection; Murmur joined the ranks of the super-prison, Iron Heights.
Whilst incarcerated Amar amputated his own tongue and sewed his mouth shut in an effort to silence himself. After fashioning an anonymous mask, the Doctor adopted the persona of Murmur, which he took with him after escaping Iron Heights with the use of a flesh-eating virus.

Round 2!
If there's something MK fans can get behind it's probably a gothic, knife-wielding maniac with a penchant for black leather, straps, and spikes. Enter: Murmur!

Despite being one of the most prominent villains created for Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver's Flash: Iron Heights; Murmur hasn't been especially significant in his intergration to the DCU at large. Brief team-ups with The Society and Hush have lent some credence to the character's presence as a villain, but otherwise did little to raise his profile with mainstream readers, the latter coming in a Man-Bat mini-series, while the former amounted to little more than Infinite Crisis cameos.

Finish Him!
Obscurity - if not the T rating - will work against Murmur's presence in a game like this. However, against the competition of mainstream icons like the Joker, there's an argument of combative superiority working in favour of the otherwise generic themed killer. Murmur has a similarly twisted wirey frame, demanding a creative wire-skeleton for the character's animations, but brings an established expertise with knife fighting to the table, moreso than standardized versions of Joker.

Fatalities, obviously, are a given, ranging everywhere from throat-slits, to T-rated abstractions like the less graphic murmur virus. It's this quality that probably rounds out Murmur's perfection of the MK style, which might even list as a negative. Comic fans will be more inclined to appreciate themes of juxtaposition, which Murmur would not be a part of.

ARTWORK: ???Zoom (Hunter Zolomon)
Year One: [2001] Group Affiliation: [The Society]
Win Percentage: [100%] Cumulative Rank: [#141]
Fighting Ability: [3] Appearance Odds: [20%]

Round 1!
A troubled homelife revealed a sinister secret when Hunter Zolomon's father was exposed by his mother as a serial killer. The police were forced to kill Zolomon senior, leaving Hunter to seek answers to the criminal condition during his college years studying psychology and criminology. Motivated by a desire to stop men like his father, Hunter's career culminates as an FBI agent specializing in gimmicked villains like the Rogues of Keystone City.

During an Iron Heights prison break launched by Gorilla Grodd; Zolomon was wounded, his injuries leaving him paralyzed from the waist down!
Having established a close relationship with the Flash as a result of his work, Zolomon asks the hero to use the time travelling cosmic tredmill to prevent the attack on the prison. When Flash refuses, Zolomon breaks into the Flash museum to attempt the feat himself. Zolomon's efforts result in an explosion that leaves him displaced from time and capable of limited manipulation of the same.

Freed from willing inprisonment; Zolomon is inducted into Alexander Luthor Jr's Secret Society by Cheetah. His mission becomes that of forcing the Flash to become a better hero by imposing the challenge of his villainy, and the sense of suffering Zolomon felt when his wife was killed in a car accident during a period of induced coma (perpetrated by Flash).

Round 2!
Zoom's perception of his actions as prompts to raise the bar of heroism have been expanded to include a wider target base than just Flash! Warring with Wonder Woman and other members of the Justice League; Zoom was successfully inducted into the Society of Super-Villains, a position he continues to hold even as the team undergoes leadership changes in Final Crisis.

Though a spin-off of former Flash stalwart, Professor Zoom, Hunter Zolomon is yet another fine example of Geoff Johns' defining contributions to the Flash mythos. His revamps are responsible for revitalizing the group that is arguably one of the greatest collections of villains to oppose any single hero!

That role as unsung foes means their role is diminished, but MK fans might like to remember these guys when weighing up the villain base for a game under threat of being flooded by Batman characters. With Flash confirmed, there are some great inclusions that would make a lot of sense, but one gets the increasing feeling this game is as much a character mash-up, as it is a story.

Finish Him!
One would be inclined to once again default to the factor of repetition.
While he's certainly threatened as much, I'm not sure Hunter Zolomon's Zoom is especially inclined to kill, making that differentiating justification less likely.

Zoom's speedy powers as a result of time anomoly offer some variations in the intrepretation of Flash's abilities, also. For that matter, the Zoom build could be unique for the presentation of flickering and distortion.

One might argue specials should amount to much the same as Flash's, but if the hero's abilities are more visual and tangible in nature, Zoom offers the opportunity to explore the broader spectrum. Focusing on time displacement, he could adapt free-hit concepts into teleports, bullet-time combo opportunities, and other interesting adaptations of super-speed skills.

ARTWORK: ???Count Vertigo (Count Werner Vertigo)
Year One: [1978] Group Affiliation: [Checkmate]
Win Percentage: [00%] Cumulative Rank: [#335]
Fighting Ability: [2] Appearance Odds: [25%]

Round 1!
A congenital inner-ear defect meant Werner Vertigo was born with the tragically ironic condition of loss of equilibrium. An electronic device was implanted in his head to artificially compensate, but Vertigo soon found himself capable of far more than mere balance. The device proved capable of interrupting the perception of others, granting him the ability to control the disorienting effects of vertigo!

A brief career as a thief gave way to decades of manipulation as Vertigo fell into membership with the Suicide Squad, before being captured by Vlatavian rebels who attempted to control him in an effort to overthrow their dictator ruler.
Since, Vertigo's mental stability has been affected by poisons and his own bipolar disorder, seeing him take membership with the Suicide Squad, Vlatavian Government, Injustice League, the Society, and ultimately, Checkmate.

Round 2!
Definitely among the obscure, Count Vertigo is not a character I expect to see. This inclusion rounds out our ambitious attempt to discuss in depth eleven more characters, offering the opportunity to touch upon the Suicide Squad/Checkmate corner of the DCU, while also proposing gaming diversity.

Since his inclusion in Checkmate I've found Count Vertigo to be a delightful curiosity, but his history is less than encouraging. Such a garbled plot probably isn't out of place in the MK universe, but as far as putting solid feet first, this would not be DC's!

A common theme is the disappointing lack of an adventure mini-mode!
One can't help but feel characters like Vertigo and the field-agents of Checkmate could have played successful counterparts to MK's Outerworld Investigation Agency, of which Sonya and Jax are members. Presumed pending announcements of a comic series might fill this void, but for gamers, it doesn't look to be getting too obscure in the depth of characters available.

Finish Him!
I'd just about submit Count Vertigo as one of the characters I'd be especially happy to see madeover. Losing the cape and scaling his outfit to something more utilitarian would make a nice visual start to adapting a character whose greatest potential is in the presentation of his super powers.

The effects of his vertigo abilities lend themselves most obviously to free-hits based on disorientation of other characters, but the extent of these moves is where the diversity is. Screen blurring, shuffling opponent's control inputs, staggers, and other moves could compliment a well rounded fight style, and flight abilities.

Honestly, even as the person submitting the ideas, I can't see the appeal of a Count Vertigo versus a Martian Manhunter, but the point's there to be made. If, as it appears, story isn't steering character selection, one can't help but feel diversity of powers like this is a better use of the mash-up than the inclusion of someone like Captain Marvel. Again, quantity is arguably the issue, making it much harder to justify obscure inclusions. Lord knows Shuma-Gorath was a gut buster!

And on that bombshell, we finally wrap this thing up!
Stay tuned as we continue to play catch-up on our week's updates! Vishanti!

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