Mortal Kombat has suffered in many ways; games, movies, comics, books, and music. I own a lot of the original Mortal Kombat comics but have never read them. I finally got around to it, and it is some of the worst comic material I have laid eyes on. The writing is atrocious, the artwork is sloppy and messy, there are gaps in the lore and the entire series feels completely unnecessary. Nothing ever happens and the story never goes anywhere. On each page I felt like I suffered through torture, the writing never got better, and worst of all, where was the gore?!
Battle Wave is the first series from Malibu Comics and has many fighters from Mortal Kombat 1-3 battling for the sake of the tournament. That’s fine and all, but go somewhere with it! I couldn’t stand the writing one bit. Everyone talks in the third person, “You will now have to face the might of Johnny Cage!” Really? Every single time a new character starts their dialog they introduce their damn name. We know! Introduce them to the first issue and be done with it. All the fight scenes look like a muddled mess of color and black ink. The entire art style is very distorted and the character consistency is all over the map. Characters change wardrobes every 5 pages, in every issue, they look different, and sometimes their faces or bodies look completely distorted.
The final issue sees all the characters fighting it out in Shao Kahn’s tower in Outworld, but what about the other realms? Netherrealm? Edenia? Chaos Realm? Why just Outworld and Earth? There is no structure here, just a bunch of random fights with no gore, no fatalities, no babalities, no friendships. Nothing. It felt like a watered-down Mortal Kombat experience if the game was Teen rated. The only thing I give credit to is that the characters’ personalities are spot on. I just hate the dialog structure they used. The constant third-person talk was infuriating. These guys do not know how to write comics. The comics constantly talk about The Order of Light with Liu-Kang and Kung Lao, how Goro is the Prince of Pain, Johnny Cage’s Hollywood exploits, and Jax and Sonya being the U.S. Special Forces, so the backstories are told accurately, but they keep repeating them!
In the end, Battle Wave is an awful series for Mortal Kombat. There are a couple more series, let’s hope it gets better, but even hardcore MK fans like myself will balk and feel this comic series doesn’t do the game justice.