Published by: Malibu Comics
October 1994 - April 1995
Bruce McCorkindale- inker
Charles Marshall - writer
Dave Lanphear - letterer
John Tobias, Mark Paniccia- editor
Kiki Chansomone - penciler
Scott Christian Sava / Janice Wismar / Violent Hues -colourist
ISSUE 5 - TAO
We kick off issue 5 with a unholy mess. Rayden (still not the correct spelling guys....) that gives you a little insight into the inner workings of Scorpion. Th issue flashes back to how the end of the last issue didn't happen (seriously, check out how Scorpion gets the book here compared to last issue. There was a dungeon involved instead of a forest.....sigh)
Rayden appears from the heavens to fry Scorpy like overcooked beef, using his godly powers to best the spirit in God on Ghost combat. The book is launched from the cliffside and into the hands of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade. The pair spend the evening in a cave, attempting to work out the book, before Sonya inadvertently discovers the answer. Which would all be well and good if Sub Zero hadn't spent the last few hours awaiting for the best time to jump out to attack. Subby freezes the pair and leaves with the Plot Device.
Meanwhile, back at the Island of Shang Tsung, the natives are getting restless, and discover that Shang, whilst a old man, is far from helpless whilst Goro is missing. He destroys the interlopers, and vows that both Goro and the Tao Ze Zhan will be returned to him, and (sorcerer) supreme power will be his.
(Is it wrong I really want to see Shang vs Dr Strange at this point?)
Back in Outworld, at the Living forest, Liu Kang and Kano are forced to team up again when attacked by a motley crew of mutants (MK vs X-Men?). Neither are happy with the predicament, but, as Mr Narrator drones on about who these characters are (4 issues in....), they work in perfect unison and beat back the mutie scum (© Marvel 1996)
Kano literally stabs Liu in the back (and apparently begins some odd transformation into a toad, judging by his warping face). Kano hops off to find the book, laving Liu dying in the dirt. Liu hs a flashback to his ancestor, the great Kung Lao who kept Earthrealm safe until receiving a spanking for Goro.
IT'S KUNG LAO!!!
I am literally going to have to make a coffee to tackle this one....
Okay, I'm back....
This is awful. The new pencils manage to detract the fun I've been having with the series so far, that I can barely muster enough energy to poke jokes at it. At issue 5 of 6, we should be closer to the endgame, but other than the Tao Ze Zhan opening a few more pages, very little moves the plot (such as it is) forward.
All in all, this issue really is terrible. One more to go!