A battle has been brewing between Goro and Outworld emperor Kotal Khan for several issues now, and it is in issue #8 that series writer Shawn Kittelsen finally delivers.
Last issue we saw Kotal's father and his men butchered by Goro, with the hope being that the act of betrayal and brutality would lure Kotal into acting recklessly.
The four-armed brute is apparently much smarter than he seems, because that is exactly what happens here. Kotal rides out (on a dinosaur no less) to meet Goro in "kombat" in order to avenge his father. Unfortunately he falls directly into Goro's hands.
Or so Goro thinks.
If you've been reading Mortal Kombat for bloody fights between your favorite characters, issue #8 won't disappoint. Kotal, infused with the power of yet another magical dagger, goes to town on Goro's troops, skewering them in a variety of ways before challenging Goro to a duel.
The duel itself -- and the gruesome aftermath -- is the highlight of this issue by far. It delivers the first "Holy crap!" moment of the comic series and will definitely have fans talking.
While the fight is the main attraction, issue #8 also features the appearance of several familiar game characters as well as some new faces. After being mentioned last issue, Rain formally makes an appearance here in the service of Goro, blotting out the sun in an attempt to rob Kotal of his power. We saw Reptile last issue reporting to Kotal, and he returns again this issue at the head of Kotal's personal deathsquad. This issue also gives us our first in-comic look at Mortal Kombat X newcomer Ferra and Torr.
This issue isn't all fighting, however. We once again get another glimpse at Outworld politics, as Mileena and Reiko plot behind Goro's back. Turns out they don't trust the guy who just betrayed his last master, so it's interesting to see Goro's allies abandon him so easily. And the arrival of a character from Earthrealm is sure to throw a wrench into everybody's plans.
If you are wondering how the art and writing of this issue stacks up compared to the rest of the series, it's much the same. Kittelson's dialogue is often times cheesy but fitting, especially given the source material. Artist Igor Vitorino returns for this week's issue and delivers the shocking gore fans expect, if not much else.
Issue #8 100% delivers on the brutal spectacle Mortal Kombat is known for. At the end of the day, you can't ask for much more than that.