Exclusive Interview: Mortal Kombat X Comic Writer Shawn Kittlesen Talks Scorpion’s Sekret Origin
Mortal Kombat X comic is one of the most talked about comics right now as new characters rise and familiar ones lead the way. GamerFitnation had the pleasure to get an exclusive interview with Mortal Kombat X comic writer, Shawn Kittelsen, a lifetime fan of the Mortal Kombat franchise, to chat on how he got involve with the project, and his thoughts on the new Earth Realm champions, and finally a look into Scorpion’s Sekret Origin in the interview below.
GamerFitnation: How did you get involved with becoming the writer to the Mortal Kombat X Comic Book ?
Shawn Kittlesen: A few years back, I worked with NetherRealm Studios on Injustice: Gods Among Us. That’s a high point in my career. Fast forward to last year when NRS and DC were looking for writers for an MKX comic series, and they found out I was writing. I got the opportunity to pitch, so I busted my hump and was lucky enough to land the gig.
GF: How is your experience working with a video game developer versus a comic publisher ?
Kittlesen: Writing for games versus comics are two very different processes. Games take a long time, you could spend months iterating on every single scene and revising the script for design purposes. Comics, on the other hand, move at a much faster pace, especially when you’re writing a weekly book like MKX. So they both have their own challenges and rewards.
GF: This comic series stays true to the Mortal Kombat Universe, which I must say is great, do you work close with the creators of the Mortal Kombat for each chapter ?
Kittlesen: The brain trust at NetherRealm gave us a ton of information at the outline stage, before we started writing scripts, so we were able to synch with them early on. Their creative support means the world to the comics team.
GF: With a comic that is leading to the release of the game, how do you help void the misconception that the comic will spoil the storyline to the game ?
Kittlesen: Part of our outline process involved a detailed discussion about which spoilers needed to be kept unspoiled. Once we had those mapped out, we built a story that explores the world of MKX without ruining those surprises for fans. For fans who don’t want to hear a single detail until the game comes out, that’s okay too. The digital chapters will be waiting for them after they’ve played the game, and so will the first collected volume of print issues. You can read this series before or after you play the game and enjoy it either way.
GF: It was a supreme to see Hanzo conquer Scorpion. Was it your creative decision to show readers a side of Scorpion we’ve never seen before ?
Kittelsen: I certainly can’t take full credit for that. As fans saw in the MKX Story Trailer, Hanzo Hasashi is back! Diving into his story, particularly his time with new character Takeda, was one of the first things I wanted to write.
GF: It is rumored that the new character Fox was inspired by the Mortal Kombat Evo Champ, Sonic Fox ? If so why ?
Kittlesen: All I can say is that I’m a fan of eSports and Evo. It’s thrilling to see a game played to its maximum potential like you find at a pro tournament. Sonic Fox is a brilliant competitor and a marvel to watch. Make of that what you will!
GF: Takashi Takeda seems like he will be the Lui Kang for the new gen of Earth’s defenders, in your opinion is he stronger/better ? If so or not, why ?
Kittlesen: There’s only one Liu Kang. He’s an MK OG! But Takeda gives him a run for his money. Liu Kang is dead, and the heart of Takeda’s character is that he’s a survivor. Everybody roots for a survivor. Or at least, I do!
GF: Chapter 9, is pretty interesting as we see the return of Sonya and Johnny Cage in search for their kidnapped daughter and Kano’s last meeting with Sub-Zero. We also learn how this Sub-Zero gets his wicked scar, which to assume is Kuai Lang, will see his return with Hanzo?
Kittelsen: We spent our early chapters introducing various characters, now it’s time to watch them collide with each other. I can’t spoil it, but there’s a connection between Sub-Zero and Hanzo that wasn’t there before, and it changes everything. Their stories are destined for collision…
GF: The mysterious Erron Black puzzles me to believe he is not who he say he is, am I correct ?
Kittelsen: The Erron Black speculation is at a fever pitch! It’s fun to watch on Twitter. I can’t say anything either way about his identity, but you will see more of him soon. I’m glad everyone likes him.
GF: The end of Chapter 9, Hanzo faces Raiden and seems to release Scorpion. It appears he can switch back and forth easily, will we soon get a back story to the beginning of the chapters to explain this ?
Kittelsen: You’re not the only one who’s wondering about that. I think fans are going to enjoy Chapter 10, “Scorpion: Sekret Origin” quite a bit — and walk away with much to discuss. This is one of the first stories I wanted to tell for these comics.
GF: The comic gives us gamers a clue as to who will potentially be in the game, but with the trailers also gives us comic readers insight on who we might see in the comic. Does the community’s speculations help build future chapters ?
Kittelsen: Among other things, I took the community’s opinions into account when I wrote my blueprint for the series. This far along, I rely on my best instinct for the story. By the time each chapter is published, I’ve written far ahead, past the point where the speculation could be helpful. We’re just getting to Chapter 10, and nobody suspects what’s coming by the time we wrap this first year of stories around Chapter 36. It’s a huge plan, but it’s exciting.
GF: Since there is a potential to have guest characters in the game like Spawn or Predator, would you consider adding them in the comic as well for future chapters ?
Kittelsen: If my editor at DC calls me up today and tells me that we’ve got the license to add such an iconic character into the book and NetherRealm gives it their blessing, then heck yeah.
GF: Thank you so much and it was a pleasure interviewing you. Also thank you for a great comic story that leads to the game. I really appreciate how close it is to the universe. I look forward to your future chapters and also meeting you at a con.
Kittelsen: Thanks for reading our book, Tamika! So far I’ll be at WonderCon, C2E2 and SDCC this year. Look out for me!
Previous and new chapters are available now on via the DC Comics app, Readdcentertainment.com, ComiXology.com, Google Play, Kindle Store, Nook Store, iBooks and iVerse ComicsPLUS. The latest chapter 10: Scorpions Sekret is out now, check out the preview here on GamerFitnation.
* Updated - March 15, 2015
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