With the Mortal Kombat 2021 reboot movie catching steam, we are wondering who the big bad villain might be. If the studio intends to turn the movie into a series, then they need a Thanos like Villain lurking in the shadows. So will it be Shinnok or Shao Kahn that takes the cake?
Shao Kahn: Legacy
Shao Kahn, brother of Lord Raiden, is the earliest super villain of the Mortal Kombat Universe. His history of blood and bone transcends Shang Tsung’s. His powers remain unmatched and he is a power house of raw brutal strength that has fought and defeated almost all the warriors of Earth Realm. He has the blood of many of Liu Kang’s allies in his hands. Via his demeaning jabs and boastful attitude, Shao Kahn has become the epicenter of evil in the MK games. To top it all off, Shao Kahn has won the Mortal Kombat Tournament in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. That is canon mind you. So he actually has what it takes to win the coveted Earth Realm and end this millennia long feud for good. Had it not been for Raiden and his time travel powers, he would have remained Earth Realm’s conqueror. Raiden cheated by the way. Shao Kahn won that round fair and square.
Shinnok: Better Power Ups
The main antagonist remained unplayable in the Mortal Kombat games for a long time.There was a logical explanation. Since the primary villain would be stupendously overpowered, his or her moves would make it too easy for the player if playable. That changed when Ed Boon and the Game’s designers decided to make Shinnok playable. Shinnok’s actual true form is the one that the players will not be able to play. Absorbing the power of the mighty Jinsei, Shinnok is a God of the Gods. That is the form we would like to see in the Mortal Kombat Reboot movie if possible.
Shao Kahn: Leadership
Shao Kahn exhibits a level of autocratic leadership never seen before in any game. None of his monster underlings would ever dare to cross paths with him or challenge him. Shao Kahn handled dissent and mutiny in the most brutal fashion possible. While Kronika’s Geras and Shinnok’s Minions were actually characters that existed in previous MK games, Shao Kahn’s armies consisted of original monster warriors who would give their lives for their king if he demanded it. Shao Kahn ruled a vast diversity of realms and he never, not even once, was challenged on face for the right to the throne.
If Shao Kahn was the big bad wolf of the Mortal Kombat Universe, then Shinnok represented the colloquial one man wolf pack. That is because unlike Shao Kahn who made his presence felt, Shinnok waited for the perfect moment to strike. Like Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shinnok was introduced late in the game. He only revealed his true form after the events of Shao Kahn’s invasion that weakened the Earth Realm’s forces in Mortal Kombat 9. TRhe build up to Shinnok was very cool and built a lot of hype around the character. Shao Kahn could never have coordinated and master-minded such a move. He is too impatient and inexperienced. Shinnok likes playing the long game. And it paid off in the end.
Shao Kahn: Better Story Involvement
Shao Kahn has had a more direct involvement with the plot than any other super villain in Mortal Kombat. Shinnok likes playing with cards too close to his chest, pulling the strings from behind the curtains. Shao Kahn likes getting his hands dirty. He is ready to jump into the mud to get things done, even if it means doing it by him-self. He also has a relationship with the core characters. Each pivotal character has some form of connection to Shao Kahn, whether by blood or by history. This gives Shao Kahn an added edge Shinnok can never boast of. The latter is a villain who is yet to be explored in detail in the Mortal Kombat Universe.
Shinnok: He Corrupted Raiden
The Thunder God Raiden is a close ally of Liu Kang and the heroes of Earth Realm. He has been supporting them in their quest to stop the otherworldly forces from taking over the blue planet. Raiden is a powerful figure who had helped the Earth Realm through thick and thin. The warriors of Earth trusted him with their lives until Shinnok played a hand in breaking that trust. In events prior to Mortal Kombat 9, Raiden tried to use his powers to purify the Jinsei, who had been corrupted by Shinnok. While doing so, Shinnok’s black magic ended up seeping into Raiden’s mind and turning him to the dark side instead. The heroes of Earth, after Raiden’s untimely betrayal, are yet to trust him fully. Raiden now remains somewhat of a pariah in the Mortal Kombat Universe. That is Shinnok’s greatest victory.
Shao Kahn: Fatalities
Shao Kahn is the only villain to have managed to show us the true spirit of the Mortal Kombat tournament. When you play as Shao Kahn, your fights are violent, bloody, and a mess. The strikes of Shao Kahn are brutally blunt and raw. He cracks bones and turns meat into a pulp with his hammer. He is a heavy hitter and he has no qualms about using his greatest strengths to his advantage. His fatalities are some of the greatest we have ever seen in Mortal Kombat history. He is known to throw players in the air and squish them with his hammer to make brain juice out of their heads. Shao Kahn is also known to literally rip apart an enemy and emerge, bathed in his foe’s blood from the other side. As far as violent and creative fatalities go, Shao Kahn is second only to Scorpion.
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Shinnok: Minion Army
Shinnok has a better and well-refined Minion army than Shao Kahn’s mindless monster buffoons or Kronika’s Time Lost Warriors. Shinnok’s Minion army is also ruthlessly efficient. They managed to force the heroes of Earth Realm to retreat and defeated Bo-Rai-Cho. They even turned many benevolent warriors to join their ranks, essentially buffing up their numbers beyond belief. In Mortal Kombat 11, Revenant Liu Kang and Kitana took over as their leader in Shinnok’s absence. Things only got more interesting after that. Sindel returned from the dead but she was not a playable character. Nonetheless, she was a welcome addition to the Mortal Kombat universe.