There is just something amazingly awesome about watching Batman punch Sub-Zero in the face, and vice versa.
Which is exactly what thousands of fans turned out to witness at the "Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe" panel at Comic-Con international on Friday, July 25, featuring MK creator Ed Boon and comic book/MK writer writer Jimmy Palmiotti - who along with oft-writing partner Justin Gray penned the storyline behind the upcoming game.
And, judging by the size and scope of cheers that filled the room every time a cool new feature for the game was unveiled, very few of them seemed disappointed.
Boon kicked things off by showing a slide of Batman face-to-face with Sub-Zero (neither looking particularly happy to see the other), with the Mortal Kombat and DC Comics names and logos emblazoned above, and the words "Koming Fall 2008" below.
At this point, a trailer for the upcoming game was screened.
When the words "may contain content inappropriate for children" came up on the screen before the trailer began, it drew a very large cheer from the crowd.
The trailer showed, among many other cool things, Catwoman facing off against Sonya Blade, Superman versus Sub-Zero, Batman going toe-to-toe with Scorpion, and lots and lots of blood spewing forth every time one character punched another.
Afterwards Boon addressed the crowd, noting that the upcoming game is technically the eighth in the Mortal Kombat series and, hoping to keep things fresh and exciting, that's what led to the idea to the crossover with the DCU characters.
"For every game that we do we want to produce something as dramatic as possible to keep it fresh and new," Boon said. "There's something very cool and magical about seeing Batman and Sub-Zero on the screen at the same time."
Palmiotti said that when Boon first approached him and Gray about penning the storyline for the game, he thought it sounded too good to ever possibly be true.
"I have to admit, when I first got the call, I was like what? I was actually giggling," Palmiotti said.
Once it was established that Boon was indeed serious about bringing the Mortal Kombat characters face-to-face with some of the DCU's greatest heroes (not to mention some of its vilest villains), Palmiotti said that he and Gray just allowed their imaginations to run wild (and consumed an awful lot of Mountain Dew) while coming up with the game's storyline.
"Our imaginations just went nuts," Palmiotti said. "Well, what characters are we going to get to put in this game?"
Palmiotti and Boon admitted that they weren't able to include every character on either side that they would have liked, but both creators stressed that fans of either property won't be disappointed with the list of characters that did make the final roster.
Palmiotti then discussed the difficulty of including a character like Superman in the game, since Superman is unquestionably one of the most powerful characters in the DCU.
"How do you not make Superman unbeatable?" Palmiotti asked rhetorically.
Boon noted that although everyone knows that Superman is vulnerable to kryptonite, few fans also know that Supes is extremely vulnerable to magic as well.
Which prompted Palmiotti to chime in with: "No. This crowd definitely knows that."
Boon said that the world of Mortal Kombat works primarily on magic, and so that was how they were able to include Superman in the game without depowering him or making him invincible.
On developing the story behind the game: "For Justin and myself, everything had to make sense. We said we had to make this from both sides. So we structured a story that fed into the world of both characters," Palmiotti said.
Which led to the development of two separate, parallel storylines in the game for both the Mortal Kombat and DCU characters that feed into and influence each other.
Boon added, "There's these great events that you will be able to see from both perspectives."
Superman will have all of his "signature moves," like heat vision, his freeze breath, and an earthquake punch.
Boon called the Flash "probably one of the funnest characters to play in the game" and, if the screen shots that showed (presumably) Wally West opening up a speed-forced sized can of whoop ass on a slew of MK characters is any indication, he appears to be correct - the Flash moves so fast in the game that he can literally punch a character into the air, then run from one side of the screen to the next, and punch them again (and again and again and again) before they even hit the ground.
Among the game's playable environments shown off in the trailer and screen shots were Reptile's Lair in Hell, a ruined Metropolis, the Batcave, Superman's Fortress of Solitude, and what appeared to be the deck of the JLA's orbiting satellite.
Boon and Palmotti then ran down the list of confirmed characters, revealing a few new ones in the process: Batman, Sub-Zero, Superman, Scorpion, the Flash, Sonya Blade, Catwoman, Shang Tsung and, getting into the new reveals, Shazam (or Captain Marvel), Liu Kang, Jax, Green Lantern, Katana, and the Joker (who drew by far the largest cheer from the crowd).
There will also be a comic book prequel tied into the game.
When a fan asked if there would be any bosses at the end, like Doomsday or Darksied, Boon played coy.
"There's actually quite a few more characters that we haven't announced yet," Boon said. "You will definitely be seeing some really cool 'big boss' characters."
Palmiotti added: "There's still a bunch more to reveal. All I can say is that a lot of people are really going to be happy with the next batch [of characters] announced."
The game will be "Teen Rated" and, despite several fans at the panels insistence, there will not be a more violent "director's cut" edition at any point.
Boon: "I don't want to see Superman tear somebody's head off or Batman decapitated. There were some compromises that we had to make."
Boon noted that in the game heroic characters will finish off their opponents with "brutalities" not "fatalities."
"DC's been super, super cool about letting us get away with a lot of stuff," Palmiotti said. "But we really didn't want to piss anybody off."
But, from what Boon and Palmiotti showed and told at their CCI panel on Friday, that shouldn't be an issue. "Mortal Kombat vs. The DCU" game looks poised to please fans of both franchises.
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