Issue #4 of Mortal Kombat X felt like a leap forward for the series. At long last, an overarching storyline appeared, connecting various dots and characters and promising plenty of conflict to come.
Thankfully, the latest issue continues on that same path. Last week's issue concluded with Cassie Cage in a cage fighting deathmatch against an opponent named Frost, and that fight takes center stage here. Blood flies as the two women beat each other into submission, while the crowd screams for Cage to "finish her!" opponent. But when Cage refuses, things take a nasty turn, as the match organizers threaten to kill Jax's daughter.
Where is Cage's mom, Sonya, in all this? She's battling with Kotal Khan and his crew from Outrealm. Khan proposes and alliance between the two worlds to defeat Mileena, but Sonya seems unwilling to cooperate. Raiden flies in to break up the fight and Khan returns to Outrealm empty handed.
Just as Cage is prepared to execute Frost, two unknown assassins burst into the building, murdering bystanders as they attempt to kidnap Cage. Cage and Jacqui run for their lives, while Cage leaves behind a "selfie" trail for her mother to find. Sonya certainly does find it, and vows to team up with Cassie's father Johnny to see her brought home safely.
If that sounds ridiculous, it totally is. But somehow the idea of taking selfies while running from otherworldly assassins doesn't seem that out of place in Mortal Kombat X, a place where underground deathmatches have people chanting for fatalities and corny dialogue often takes center stage. Writer Shawn Kittelsen manages to avoid some of that cheesy dialogue in this issue and make the danger feel a little more real for all the characters involved. Keyword: little.
This is still the same over-the-top Mortal Kombat you know and love. The big picture storyline may be taking a backseat next week as we learn more about the origin's of Kotal Khan. While a better look at what is to be one of Mortal Kombat X's most promising new characters is welcome, it remains to be seen if Kittelsen can weave an interesting origin story while not completely killing the forward momentum the series has picked up these last two issues.