Mortal Kombat X Review

Mortal Kombat X Review

Genre: Fighter

Released for/Reviewed on: Released on PS4/XBO & reviewed on PS4

Publisher/Developer: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (every DC Comics game)/NetherRealm Studios (2011’s Mortal KombatInjustice)

Notable Voice Actors or Writers: Ed Boon, co-creator, remains the creative director

Alluring Element: Mortal Kombat on steroids, unleashing the tower of the PS4 with new characters and variable play

Check it out if you liked: Mortal Kombat series

Rated: M for Mature

 

SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):

Storyline – 9
Gameplay – 9
Animation – 8
Replay Value – 10
Entertainment Value – 10
Captivity – 8
Variety – 9
Originality/Creativity – 10
Soundtrack – 8
Overall awesomeness – 9

Any time a new Mortal Kombat game comes out, a sense of overwhelming nostalgia and excitement fills gamer’s faces. It’s safe to say that the majority of MK‘s fan-base has been down since the beginning, and similar to Smash Bros. or Street Fighter fans, they will go out of their way to learn and perfect each new iteration. All the developers have to do is give the next new thing enough depth and variation to satisfy hardcore and casual gamers alike. Unlike Street Fighter, which has put out multiple iterations of the same game (Super SF IVSuper SF IV 3DUltra SF IV), Mortal Kombat has taken the Season Pass approach to keep players engaged. You could throw around the SF vs. MK battle all day long, and nobody would win. What is undeniable, is that while CAPCOM’s target has been a more inclusive audience, something to hand down to the next generation of gamers, it’s quite clear that Netherrealm is going for an adults-only experience. It’s like they still want their now grown up fanbase hiding the game from their parents AND their children.

Mortal Kombat X is disturbingly realistic, perfect for this generation of desensitized knuckleheads. The game is beautifully rendered; there is a realistic approach to the graphics, as opposed to the cartoonish look that 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot had. There is a much higher level of detail put in to not only the character models, but the environments which they fight in. The interactable stage objects from Injustice are back in a big way, and can make a big difference when players’ backs are against the wall. Another noticeable improvement visually is the lack of fanboy fantasy characters. You may remember the hidden Mileena costume from MK9? This time around, all the female characters are highly-detailed works of art, and have some of the best move sets in the game.

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Technically, the game plays very well. There is a hierarchy for each skill level of player when it comes to playing the game, but the subtleties are what really set apart the good from the great. Before I started really diving into MKX, phrases like “punishable attacks,” “footsies game,” and “zoning” were completely foreign to me, but they became necessary to learn and master in order to beat any of the online bullies that troll the network, looking to embarrass their opponents. While players with limited fighting know-how can enjoy the game by button-mashing, the good times are short-lived once you level up to a certain point; this means that once you put in enough time, you will be forced to play against opponents much more adept at the game than you. You can try to get into a room with some less-experienced players – if they let you – or you can spend hours in Practice Mode to evolve your Squirtle-like skills into Blastoise-caliber play.

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Online play is the main focus of Mortal Kombat X, and it’s been very good at building a community of players, but there is so much else to do when your crappy lagging connection ruins the fun online. Factions, which group you belong to, will grant you perks and quick Faction Kills upon progress. Performing daily tasks (ie – Perform 5 Uppercuts in one round, etc) and battling against “Invading” AI will add to the overall progress of your Faction, and give you Koins to spend in the Krypt. This time around, the Krypt is a labyrinth of unlockable items and puzzles to complete – or you can be a pansy and just pay $20 to unlock items like: music, brutalities, fatalities, concept art, and match modifiers.

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Brutalities add a whole new dimension to finishing moves.

My favorite part of the game has to be the amount of modifiers included in it. Returning is the Test Your Luck, slot machine type matches, but there is also Kustom Kombat, where you and a friend can choose which modifiers to use in a match. It can lead to a very interesting match. Also returning to the franchise are Brutalities, a way to finish off your opponent in quick, sometimes unexpected ways that are even more satisfying to pull off than Fatalities. Living Towers, a spin on the classic arcade mode, add a bit of variety to the gameplay, as well – and are always changing. Mortal Kombat X has succeeded the most in making this a game that is constantly engaging players. Playing by yourself is fun, but there is always a reason to keep playing, keep progressing, and keep getting better. Even mastering a character isn’t as easy as it used to be.

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New to the game are the character variations; each character has three different “versions” that accentuate certain special abilities and combos for that character. It can be annoying to certain players that depend on a breadth of moves for characters, but it helps even up the match-ups a bit, adding a new level of strategy. Variations aside, the fresh faces in the character selection screen are not just there for novelty. Each of the eight new characters (not including the three new ones in the Kombat Pack) brings something new and unique to the table; they aren’t just there as novelty to fill up space. The game’s clever idea of progressing the storyline forward in time 25 years. The game becomes a more fluid addition to a franchise, and not simply an updated version of the same game. This allows the creators to create, evolve, kill off or completely change characters in the name of continuity.

Concept art for Takeda, unlocked in the Krypt.
Concept art for Takeda, unlocked in the Krypt.

Mortal Kombat X will immediately be recognizable to long-time fans of the franchise. There are so many new odds and ends to learn about both how the game plays and content to keep players engaged that the replayability on this is basically “until you break your controller in anger.” Sure, the game’s poor matching system online can make for some flat-out un-fun experiences, but you either learn to improve your skills or enjoy the game in other ways, killing your friends in new, grotesque ways that have become a benchmark in video game history. If MKX could find a way to become a more well-rounded game, not so geared towards elitist players (not to mention the gore porn), then it may have one of the longest lifespans of the entire franchise.

All media credited to Warner Bros. Entertainment and Netherrealm Studios

15 Best Features in a Mortal Kombat Game… And 5 That Sucked

Through over 20 years of Mortal Kombat, each game has tried to present new and exciting features to engage loyal fans and attract new ones. Not all of these features have stuck around, but some of them reappear throughout the franchise. I’ve put together a list of what I consider the ten best features added to an MK game, as well as five features we wish they never would have added in the first place.

15 Best Features

Honorable Mention: Shaolin Monks

mortal kombat features shaolin monks

Okay, so I know this isn’t exactly a feature; it was its own game. Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is one of my top 5 games of all-time. The 3D side-scrolling fighter was an amazing addition to the franchise, and almost made up for the horrible Special Forces game that came before it. Not only did it get really deep with the story line, but offered a ton of Easter Eggs and, most importantly, CO-OP mode! It’s hard enough to find a good 2-player game, but one with MK characters??

15.) Tutorials and Practice Mode

mortal kombat features practice mode

When you were a kid, all you had for practice was your younger siblings, and that usually ended with them running away crying because you weren’t being fair. MK9‘s Practice Mode not only helped you see all the moves you were trying to pull off in-game, but let’s you practice how to do Fatalities, as well. This mode has been upgraded in Mortal Kombat X, now allowing two user-controlled players to practice, meaning you can beat the snot out of your sibling with no hurt feelings involved.

14.) Friendships & Babalities

mortal kombat features babality

Mortal Kombat doesn’t have to be ALL murder and annihilation, am I right? Sometimes, you can show your respect for your fallen foe in the most ridiculous fashion. After the outcry caused by pixelized decapitations and the like in MK1MK2 introduced Friendships and Babalities, proving that although it was a quality fighter with great characters, it was certainly not too serious to make fun of itself. We haven’t seen Friendships since MK:Trilogy, and I don’t think the Babalities of MK9 will make another appearance, which makes me sad.

13.) Motor Kombat

mortal kombat features motor kombat

I don’t really care that it was a shameless ripoff of Mario Kart; Motor Kombat was hilarious, functional, and a diverse way to take a break from the monotony of fighting. It was especially helpful in MK: Armageddon, a game that was so chock full of characters that the mechanics of the game suffered. Each of the ten playable Motor Kombat characters got their own unique car and unique special move. It was adorable. People have been pining for the mode to come back for years, but Ed Boon

12.) Kombat Kodes

mortal kombat features kodes

Match modifiers have come along way since their introduction in MK3. Before each Versus mode fight, players were allotted a few seconds to enter in a code using a series of symbols. These combinations corresponded to different fight modifications like no blocking, or one of my favorites, one where the kombatants randomly morph into other characters. Kodes were not re-introduced until MK9, and added a bunch of new options, notably Rainbow Kombat (all the blood turns to colors of the rainbow) and Zombie Kombat (self-explanatory). Mortal Kombat X spins Kodes in a new way, by having them all be unlockables in the Krypt, and you are able to choose multiple at a time for the Kustom Kombat Mode.

11.) Stage Death Traps

mortal kombat features stage death trap

Introduced in MK: Deception, death traps were a way for opponents to even the odds a bit. Nearly every single arena in the game contained some type of trap that opponents could be launched into a death trap unique to that level. It added a whole new level of play to the fights. It could get annoying, since you could be pummeling an opponent and they could beat you with one luckily placed hit; it worked the other way around, too.

10.) Konquest Mode

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What started as a psuedo-tutorial mode in MK: Deadly Alliance became a fully-enriched adventure game in MK: Armageddon. At its best, Konquest was a fun distraction from the game, full of Easter Eggs and various unlockables. It tried to get a little too wrapped in the game, by introducing two characters we could really not care less about (Taven and Daegon), but I feel that if they did it the right way, exploring the different worlds of Mortal Kombat could be a hell of a lot of fun.

9.) Kreate a Fighter

mortal kombat features kreate a fighter

This is the game mode that everybody wanted, and even though it was part of one of the franchises worst games, people still are krazy about this game mode. You could give characters all your favorite specials, dress them up as cool as PS2 graphics would allow, and take them online to battle your friends. If implemented now, it would be the coolest feature in any video game, but I’m not sure it that will be coming back anytime soon.

8.) Story Mode

mortal kombat features story mode

In 2008’s MK vs. DC, Neatherrealm had the genius idea of adding a Story Mode. Sure, it was a good way to explain how the hell Batman and Co. ended up in Outworld, but moreover, it was a great way to engage players in a decent story, while making them practice at least a few rounds with each of the main characters. This was expanded upon in MK9 to include a story that’s actually canon material for all the games to come.

7.) X-Rays

mortal kombat features x-ray

The X-Ray feature is one of the most hard-hitting features MK has ever introduced. It began as a new feature in MK9 as a possible response Street Fighter‘s Ultras. With each character possessing a personalized X-Ray move, it is the perfect way to not only show your dominance, but it is great when your life is low and you need a final push towards defeating your opponent. X-Rays demonstrate slow motion, bone-breaking combinations which are just shy of the savageness of Fatalities and Brutalities. Another notion which makes X-Rays excellent, it the ease at which you can dish them out. With a simple two button combination, make your opponent look like a weak ass mofo.

6.) The Krpyt/Unlockables

mortal kombat features krypt

Unlockables are completely necessary in terms of replayability. The more useless crap I have to kollect, the more hours of my life I will spend finding it. The Krypt was a place players could go to redeem the koins they earned from performance-based fighting, unlocking anything from in-game costumes and fatalities to concept art and stage music. The Krypt has evolved since it’s introduction in Deadly Alliance each game, and added an exploration element to it. The more goodies, the better.

5.) Chess Kombat

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Another fun feature that MK: Deception gave us was Chess Kombat. You got to pick characters for positions on the board, each with their own special abilities. The match carried out like a chess game, with the end goal being to literally kill the king. There was some strategy to it, but you were never screwed if you didn’t play the game with a lot of strategy. This is one of my favorite modes because it was still Mortal Kombat but it gave you something to aim for each round other than moving up the fight ladder.

4.) Hara-Kiri

There wasn’t a more satisfying way to lose than to prevent your opponent from completing a Fatality on you. Mortal Kombat Deception, the only game thus far to feature Hara-Kiris, brings a pretty cool feature to the mix. Even if you can’t beat your best friend, you can get the last laugh by determining your own fate. It hasn’t been used since MK:D, and I’m not sure why it still hasn’t been implemented. Maybe it conflicts with Warner Bros’ wholesome family values.

3.) Test Your Luck

mortal kombat features test your luck

Evan, Adrian and I would spent hours in this mode. Test Your Luck was a twisted kind of slot machine that only gives you horrible modifiers. Usually, it comes in the form of falling missiles, random freeze balls or no-throw/no-block modifiers, but there are also interesting ones out there. All of that competition and rage goes away when Armless Kombat is drawn.

2.) Brutalities

mortal kombat features brutalities

Fatalities (which didn’t make the list because they were too obvious) are so dramatic. Your opponent sways drunkenly while you dance to make your character do his or her move. Well in Ultimate MK3, Midway introduced Brutalities. They were finishing moves that could be integrated into the gameplay with an intricate button sequence, ending with an explosion of bones and gore. It was extremely over-the-top fun that was more impressive than insulting. Brutalities are making a comeback to MKX in a big way, with even more detail and stipulations to pull off.

1.) Puzzle Kombat

mortal kombat features puzzle kombat

Just like the old Super Puzzle Fighter II, Puzzle Kombat is a Tetris-like competition game. Unlike SPF, though, each player had a distinct special attack that would either help them offensively stack more lines, or would inhibit their opponent from stacking. All the while, tiny deformed caricatures of your players would have a simulated battle below which would go the direction of whoever is willing the puzzle battle. They even came with cute little Fatalities! It was great to play something not kombat-related, but still be branded as an MK minigame.

5 Worst Features

5.) Weapon Styles

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Deadly Alliance was a huge evolution in the quality of play for the series. Each player was equipped with two different fighting styles and one distinct weapon to use. While the variation in fighting styles (and the ability to link combos from one style to the next) was revolutionary, certain characters’ weapon styles were unfairly skewed to inflict maximum damage with little risk of being punished. I’m all for heavy damage, but only if it comes with heavy risk. Weapons have since been linked to combinations, and are more fluid to combat.

4.) Throwaway Characters

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Mortal Kombat has a kollection of nearly 75 characters in its 23 year history. Of that total (73 in all), less than half of them have appeared in only half the games. And around 20 of those characters have been in two or less games. Mostly, I’m talking about the horrible additions to the post-MK4 games. Including so many characters in Armageddon also did away with the unique fighting styles of Deception, lending them to the other characters with less development. With the series rebooted, we probably won’t see the good ones again for a while, but I am loving the new characters in MKX, so maybe Neatherrealm learned from their mistakes.

3.) Kombo Breakers

mortal kombat features breakers

MK: Deception introduced the Breaker system, which was a terrific idea, but poorly executed. In its first iteration, players could abuse the system to a fault. Interrupting combos time after time (three per match) could greatly throw off players’ momentum, giving button-mashers a huge advantage. The moves have since been regulated better after the introduction to a meter system that only allows players to build enough energy for a Breaker sparingly throughout the match. Even still, they burn a lot of energy at the cost of prevented damage.

2.) Aerial Kombat

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Fighting belongs on the ground – that’s the best take I can offer on MK: Armageddon‘s Aerial Kombat. Adding several combination hits while the opponent is floating helplessly in the air isn’t just ludicrously defying the laws of physics, but it just wasn’t that fun, either. MK has always been colorful in terms of humor, but the type of Moon gravity attacks here just made the game silly. It was so dumb. I was happy to see it left out of the most recent two games, and hope to never see it again.

1.) Kreate a Fatality

mortal kombat features kreate a fatality

MK: Armageddon is looking pretty crappy right about now. In order to fit all 63 characters into this PS2/Wii/X-Box game, they had to cut a very integral part of the game: Fatalities – or at least as we knew them. Instead of giving each on the roster their own move, opted to allow players to quickly input a series of commands to allow for a string of moves to kill their opponent. It was unimaginative and took away the spirit of what makes Fatalities fun. I understand that it had to be done to accommodate the massive roster, but they could have saved Motor Kombat for another time. It’s by far the worst feature of the franchise, making for the worst game in the franchise.

The Kolors of Kombat: Our Favorite MK Characters

Mortal Kombat Meets Hush Comics

From our first time mashing buttons on our SNES/Genesis, Mortal Kombat has affected all of our upbringings in different capacities. Here at Hush Comics, we definitely play Mortal Kombat, but whether or not we play it well is open to interpretation. Whether we’re still mashing buttons or counting the frames each move takes, we still love the game. I got together three other writers for Hush, all of varying skill level, to discuss which players are their favorite players and why. Here are our responses:

Adrian:

1.) Sonya Blade

It could have to do with the fact that Sonya was the only blonde in the game. I instantly connected with her. At 5 years old, I knew I had to play as the girl who was most like me. Plus she was a girl. But her move of snapping necks with her legs was the move that sealed the deal for me. She was my girl forever after that. 

2.) Sindel

Remember when Mortal Kombat 3 came out? Well for that matter, do you remember 1995?  Well I sure do! It was the year that I made my parents really mad by having the TV on too loud when I made Sindel scream so loud that people’s heads blew up. That was cool.

3.) Kitana

Whenever I needed a change from my number 1 and number 2 pick, Kitana was always my choice. In later games, I found her game play more difficult to control, but in MK2, I loved how easily she would throw her fans, and how big of an attack it really was.

4.) Mileena

Full disclaimer: I know that Mileena is bat-shit crazy. Which has been an evolved storyline. I just really liked her sais. And that she was pink. But yeah, she is pretty crazy, too, and when fighting someone like Sheeva, you need some crazy on your side.

5.) Jade

She was pretty! And green! If I am not giving away here that I am the button-masher resident at Hush Comics, I don’t know what will. I could not tell you any special move that Jade does. I couldn’t even tell you if she has a weapon. I could tell you that I had a Jade doll that I carried with me everywhere. Until I was like 11. I was a special child.

Check the next page for Evan’s picks.

Comic Book Power Rankings – February 2015

Nobody here at Hush Comics loves sports metrics more than I do. A die-hard NBA fan, I frequently rank players, teams and track stats every night to see who I should be picking up on the waiver wire (a term I know, but still do not understand at all) in our fantasy basketball league. It’s not really to be the best, but largely because I love the processes behind it; I love spreadsheets and systemic processes in how I arrive at these decisions. I even made a House of Quality together in order to break down which qualities I value in comic book series. This was all inspired by the creation of our Best of 2014 Comic Books collection of articles (which you should check out! A lot of hard work from our team went into those articles), when I realized that we had not been keeping track of which books were the best throughout the year.

Below is a list of what I consider the Top 20 comic books of the previous month. The opinions of these rankings is solely mine, although it is influenced by the weekly review grades that our team doles out. I’m no expert on the ins and outs of the comic book industry, and I admittedly can’t read every book out there, but as long as I have this awesome platform to force my opinion on readers, why not use it? As always, we LOVE sparking conversations about the things we love, or even the things we don’t, so commentary is encouraged!

Rank Book Title Publisher Issues In Previous Movement
1 Saga Image 25
  There is a whole new danger afoot. I like the direction that this already-stellar series is taking our protagonists, even if it is head-first into danger.
2 Batman DC 39 1 -1
  Joker has been playing with his food up to this point. With Batman up against the ropes, the Caped Crusader is getting desperate, and the Clown Prince of Crime is getting brutal.
3 Spider-Gwen Marvel 1
  Who would have thought that one issue of a mini-series would launch such a cult following? Marvel really Hit the Jackpot with this one.
4 The Walking Dead Image 137 4
  I’m as enthralled as I am disgusting with the eyeball-licking love session at the end of the last issue. I’m excited to see Carl grow, no matter the nasty cost.
5 Deadly Class Image 11 6 +1
  Marcus isn’t out of the doghouse just yet. The last thrill-ride of an issue keeps the adrenaline flowing.
6 Suiciders Vertigo 1
  There’s no better way to spend your time in a post-apocalyptic world than to see drugged up gladiators with cybernetic enhancements pummel each other to death.
7 Batman and Robin DC 39 5 -2
  While it wasn’t as emotionally pleasing as the last issue, Robin getting a spot at the table with Batman and Superman is a big deal.
8 Superman DC 38 16 +8
  The end of the last issue was so explosive that I’m surprised I was able to hold onto the page. In just six issues, Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr created history.
9 Amazing Spider-Man Marvel 15
  Even though Spider-Verse winded down this month, Spider-Man has left behind a wake of Spider-lore that will continue to effect the Marvel U… until they reboot it all, anyway.
10 Bitch Planet Image 3
  This book is extremely polarizing, but it has resonated with women in ways that no super-powered chick has. It’s very real and very original.
11 Postal Top Cow 1
  I’ve got a fever for creepy mystery books, and this Norman Bates-ish post boy is the cowbell of creepers. After one issue, this is already among my favorites.
12 Detective Comics DC 39 14 +2
  Anarky is afoot in Gotham, bringing an aspect to Bat-books that has been sorely missing. Add in amazing artwork and a Harvey Bullock back-story, and I’m sold.
13 Mortal Kombat X DC 3 10 -3
  MKX is trying to build a cohesive backstory to the upcoming video game, and its doing a commendable job. Due to it being a digital first, the issues are a bit short, though.
14 TMNT: Mutanimals IDW 1
  How can one mutant be on the same level of wicked awesomeness as Mikey? Mondo Gecko, along with Hob and the gang, are just as interesting as the TMNT – if not more.
15 Wonder Woman DC 39
  David and Meredith Finch have done a fine job with Wonder Woman since taking over, but what has me geeked out is an inevitable showdown between Diana and Donna Troy.
16 Nailbiter Image 10 18 +2
  Like this series could get any creepier… Finch is done doing the Hannibal Lecter dance with Nailbiter, and we are going to have quite an interesting arc coming up.
17 EI8HT Dark Horse 1
  Time travel and dinosaurs have never NOT been a winning combination, and this new series is no exception. I haven’t enjoyed a new sci-fi series this much since Black Science.
18 TMNT IDW 43 8 -10
  Everything is coming to a head with Shredder and Krang, but the confrontation between the two factions left more to be desired. A great book, but I wish it would stop teasing us.
19 Shutter Image 10 17 -2
  Kate’s world has practically exploded in the last few episodes, and the epiphanies just keep on coming. I could do with some more Alarm Cat, but I’m still enjoying the ride.
20 Magneto Marvel 15
  The Master of Magnetism got his mojo back, and he has a new scary focus that is all about his business. I bet Sabretooth is wishing he got the memo earlier.

 

Notably absent:

Birthright: Daaad! There’s something weird going on with Mikey! This fantasy book about a long-lost brother is really just now getting juicy, but there’s a dark secret lurking in here somewhere, and I’m not sure I like the path that Birthright is taking just yet.

Nameless: This book almost made the list this month if not just for the fact that two of my favorite creators are working on it (Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham). That being said, I have no idea what the hell is going on. Not even a little bit

Hawkeye: Bittersweet that one of the most underrated books in the whole industry is moving on after this month, but Matt Fraction and David Aja had such great chemistry. I can only hope we will be that lucky again.

Deathstroke: The Expendables of comic books, right here. I mean, maybe not really at all. The explosions and punny retorts are there, but this isn’t your father’s Slade Wilson. Beautiful panels by Tony Daniels don’t hurt, either.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: The first book swallowed me up so wholly that I was feeling let down by the second book. There weren’t nearly as many jokes, and the set-up for the next arc felt kind of boring. I don’t expect that to last.

 

 

Yesterday in the Nerd Verse – Feb 27, 2015

Live long and prosper, Leonard Nimoy passed away today at 83 years old. You can read our heart-felt tribute here.

Starting in May, CAPCOM and SEGA will be joining forces on the pages of Archie Comics. The arc titled Worlds Unite will primarily feature Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man, but also: Monster Hunters, Street Fighter and nearly a dozen more franchises. Source: Archie Comics

You might not realize it yet, but 2015 is the year of Star Wars. In addition to the movies and comic books, Disney XD is going to remake Star Wars… in LEGO form! Source: Hollywood Reporter

“Even a stunted, twisted, ugly little boy can look down over the world when he’s seated on a dragon’s back” – Tyrion Lannister in A Game of Thrones. The new poster revealed for Season 5 of HBO’s Game of Thrones looks to confirm a theory that Tyrion and Varys will be searching for Daenerys Targaryen.

Mortal Kombat fans have quite a bit to cheer for after the latest trailer for Mortal Kombat X was released. Not only did it feature four new characters that will join the current roster, but offered some insight as to the story that will take place.

Comic Book Power Rankings – January 2015

Nobody here at Hush Comics loves sports metrics more than I do. A die-hard NBA fan, I frequently rank players, teams and track stats every night to see who I should be picking up on the waiver wire (a term I know, but still do not understand at all) in our fantasy basketball league. It’s not really to be the best, but largely because I love the processes behind it; I love spreadsheets and systemic processes in how I arrive at these decisions. I even made a House of Quality together in order to break down which qualities I value in comic book series. This was all inspired by the creation of our Best of 2014 Comic Books collection of articles (which you should check out! A lot of hard work from our team went into those articles), when I realized that we had not been keeping track of which books were the best throughout the year.

Below is a list of what I consider the Top 20 comic books of the previous month. The opinions of these rankings is solely mine, although it is influenced by the weekly review grades that our team doles out. I’m no expert on the ins and outs of the comic book industry, and I admittedly can’t read every book out there, but as long as I have this awesome platform to force my opinion on readers, why not use it? As always, we LOVE sparking conversations about the things we love, or even the things we don’t, so commentary is encouraged!

Rank Book Title Publisher Issues In Previous Movement
1 Batman DC 38
  There just isn’t a better book out there, and starting off Joker’s 75th birthday with Endgame is a great way to ensure the top spot.
2 Sex Criminals Image 10
  Unabashed sexuality and humor make this the most honest book on the shelves. And the freezing time with orgasms thing is great, too.
3 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Marvel 1
  Plenty of silly to go around, Squirrel Girl isn’t just a great new book, but has potential to bridge gaps between comic book readers of all creeds.
4 The Walking Dead Image 136
  Carl is both a lover AND a fighter, as new dangers loom on the horizon (as always). Kudos for making this small world into a bigger, scarier place.
5 Batman and Robin DC 38
  Damian is back from the dead – with superpowers; he may be bulletproof, but he is not immune to the human condition as he deals with his own mortality. Beautifully done.
6 Deadly Class Image 10
  Sure, there’s the teenage angst of the 80’s, the murder, drug trips and the love triangles. But really, “That was no fart” is why this book is so high on the list.
7 Justice League DC 38
  How could Lex Luthor create more havoc as a good guy than as a villain… In any case, a zombie Batman JL vs. Supes and WW? Get the popcorn.
8 TMNT IDW 42
  Mutanimals attack! There is so much going on in TMNT right now, but the mounting war with Hob and Splinter interests me most.
9 Superior Iron Man Marvel 4
  Ever think to yourself, “self, Tony Stark sure straddles the line between good guy a-hole and bad guy a-hole.” Well, self, you’re right, and this book is why.
10 Mortal Kombat DC 4
  I’ve been waiting for a legitimate MK comic book for years. This is just as bloody and fun as the game, and will get me over til its April release.
11 SHIELD Marvel 2
  It’s like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but worth the time investment. We still get the strategic genius of Agent Coulson, now with superheroes!
12 Star Wars Marvel 1
  Who would I be if this on the list? In what was the most anticipated book this month, I’m already more into this run than I ever was with Dark Horse’s.
13 Multiversity DC ?
  Seemlessly poking fun at the Multiverse while creating a cohesive story, Grant Morrison does what Grant Morrison wants. Good for us.
14 Detective Comics DC 38
  I would never have guessed that Anarky would be the next great Batman villain. This book puts the “detective” back in Detective Comics.
15 Birthright Image 4
  What child doesn’t wish they could go on a Jumanji-style demon-slaying adventure with their family? A really lame one, that’s for sure.
16 Superman DC 38
  A new creative team introduced a new character, and really revived a series which has since been oerwhemingly underwhelming.
17 Shutter Image 8
  Shutter has been suffering recently from the necessary lull of storytelling, but it’s so unique and gorgeous that I won’t dare remove it from the Top 20.
18 Nailbiter Image 9
  Each issue has increasingly given me the heeby-jeebies. In a good way. I am not a horror comic fan but I am most definitely a fan of this book.
19 Moon Knight Marvel 11
  Shuffle around the creative team, take away his armor, Mark Spector is still one BAMF. Moon Knight is my new underground favorite at Marvel.
20 Tooth and Claw Image 3
  Making the list solely on the principle of curiosity, Tooth & Claw is a fantastical book of magic, anthropomorphic animals, and other ill s***.

 

Notably absent:

Saga: “What have you done for me lately” is the name of the game here. Expect Saga to knock one of these series off its high horse when the series returns from its three-month hiatus this week.

Wonder Woman: Barely missed the cut. Great panels and intriguing characters keep me coming back each month.

Spider-Verse: Another Marvel “event” has worn out its welcome and left me pining for the end. I’m done buying six books to understand one story.

Powers: Brian Michael Bendis’ soon-to-be streaming series is a whole new world (to me), but I think I need to learn more before I can really dive in.

Shaft: I expected this to read more like the comic book embodiment of Public Enemy, but it’s got more bark than bite at this point.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: I love this book, even more so since Brian Buccaletto took over, but there is just too much emphasis on “The Dark” recently for my taste.

 

 

Yesterday in the Nerd Verse… Jan 05, 2015

Fanboys, ready to drool? ScarJo has been cast in the live action version of Ghost in the Shell, based off the popular anime. Get ready for some major boobage and baddassery. Source: Variety.

Fangirls, ready to drool? ChanTat (Is that a thing?) has officially put a ring on it; the newly-minted Gambit announced the release date for X-Men Apocalypse, which Remy Lebeau will make his X-debut (we don’t talk about Origins in this house). Source: Twitter.

Agent Carter debuts today. SET YOUR DVR! Or just huddle around the radio with your family like they did back when the show is set (mid-1940’s).

Hold the phones – Mortal Kombat X is getting a comic book prequel, and the first one comes out January 6th; it is a short, digital-first book by DC Comics. Finally! WB is putting those licensing rights to good use.

As awesome as it sounds, Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul is NOT slated to play Han Solo in a spin-off Star Wars film. Screw fact checking; you have a story like that – you run with it. Source: Twitter.

Facebook has become an amazing tool for tracking people’s lives, so says the NSA. Sometimes though, it can provide people with a great research tool. A recent study shows interesting correlations among comic books and gender the last few years. Source: Graphic Policy.

Game of Thrones is coming back in a couple months, and I couldn’t think of a better way to catch up than to watch the Season 4 finale in IMAX, followed by a new trailer for the 5th season. GoT will be coming to “select” IMAX theaters the last week of January. We’ll keep you posted as we find out more. Source: EW.

Riding on the back of an elephant murdering bad guys with flaming arrows is just the tip of this metaphorical iceberg. Ubisoft is willing to think outside the box, and this survey should clear the air about any qualms people might have a bout a straight-forward sequel to Far Cry 4. Screw playing it safe; I want dinosaurs. Source: Eurogamer.

In the race of who has the most of my money guaranteed in 2015, the winner right now is 20th Century FOX, who has produced a Peanuts movie, set to release in November. Snoopy and the gang is back. Good grief that trailer is great!

Everybody’s favorite swashbuckling kitten is getting his own Netflix series. The Adventures of Puss in Boots becomes available January 16th. Source: Netflix.

It’s all fun and games until an entire generation of people don’t know who Paul McCartney is… We really have nobody to blame but ourselves. That new Kanye song “Only One” is ridiculous.

A slew of soon-to-be comic book news is making the rounds:

  • Warren Ellis is going to do some guest writing on Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel. Source: CBR.
  • Mark Doyle is coming to DC Comics to stay as the Bat-book editor. Since heading the Bat-books, there have been a lot of pioneering and adjusting, so this is a good move. Source: ComicsAlliance.
  • With Brian Buccellato (art) and Mike Miller (writing) taking over creative duties on Injustice: Gods Among Us, expect a must different product when issue #15 drops today. Source: ComiXology.

A cool little twist for Tekken 7 has been revealed; a new camera option will let both players be on the left side of the screen when starting a match. To a lame-o like me, whatever, but to serious competition players, this could be the difference between kicking a 13 year old’s ass and throwing your controller down in rage. Source: Twitter.

X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass 2 director, Matthew Vaughn started poppin’ off at the mouth today when he said that he thinks “Nolan kick-started a very dark, bleak style of superhero escapism, and I think people have had enough of it.” SCOOOORE-BOARD. SCOOOORE-BOARD. Source: The Hollywood Reporter.

Sony is going to continue kicking Microsoft’s ass with these upcoming Playstation features:

  • Playstation Now will launch this year, and offer so much content for either $20/month of $45/quarter. Sourcer: Wikipedia (super reliable).
  • Playstation Vue could eventually do away with cable TV, and several major companies are already supporting it. Source: IGN.