Mortal Kombat. Holy shit, this game was a big deal when I was a kid. The franchise is still a big seller, but I think kids these days would struggle to grasp the scale of the excitement around the first two Mortal Kombat games.
They were wildly controversial, featuring an insane level of violence that still has the capacity to take your breath away today.
And of course, the more parents hated it, the more kids loved it. Mortal Kombat had just about every edgy trope from the late 80s and early 90s shoved into one fun package fighting game.
- Horror movie imagery? Yessir.
- Weird monsters? You betcha.
- Over-the-top gore? Check.
- Characters that look like X-Men knock-offs? Can do.
- Martial arts? As many as you want.
- Ninjas? You got ‘em
One of those ninjas was Scorpion. He was one of three ninjas featured in the original game, and at face value he was just a simple palette swap; yellow to Sub-Zero’s blue and Reptile’s green. But all of them had distinct play styles, which helped separate them as characters – a stark contrast to Ryu and Ken from rival game Street Fighter II.
Scorpion wasn’t the most heavily promoted character, but he rapidly became a fan favourite. He was arguably the easiest character to use, and just to up the ante, when he took his mask off he didn’t even have a face – he had a fucking skull and he spit fire! In a game full of memorable, gruesome characters and extreme violence, Scorpion was still among the best.
This POP depicts Scorpion sans mask, complete with Ghost Rider-esque flaming skull. This version is a Hot Topic exclusive in the US, though it’s a regular release in Australia. Funko certainly haven’t cheaped out; the head and body are totally different to the regular version, and the sculpt is excellent. He’s got his signature spear and chain wrapped around his torso, and all of the little elements of his costume are highly detailed.
Paint lines could be better, but it’s easily one of the best POPs Funko has put out this year. Normally I’m indifferent to variant takes on characters, but this is almost as essential as the “regular” version of Scorpion.
Mortal Kombat X is fantastic fun... but Funko’s Mortal Kombat X series is quite a mixed bag. All three Scorpions look great, as do both the Sub-Zeroes. Raiden looks adequate, while Liu Kang and Kitana look totally crappy. Hopefully we get a couple more characters down the road, but in the meantime this figure is a solid investment.