Pop Culture Icons Who Should Be In 'Mortal Kombat 12'

List Rules
Vote up the fictional characters from popular entertainment who would make the best playable Kombatants if they joined the next installment.

With deleted tweets and other alleged character leaks recently causing a stir, Mortal Kombat fans are already buzzing about the 12th entry of the popular fighting game franchise, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. So far, NetherRealm Studios chief creative officer and famed Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon has been coy on the matter, and as of present, there’s been no official announcement for Mortal Kombat 12.

But with the overwhelming success of the 2019’s Mortal Kombat 11 as well as 2021's highly successful live-action movie, not to mention its recently greenlit sequel, it’s clear the blood-gushing franchise hasn’t suffered its own fatality yet—another game sequel is inevitable. One tradition the games have continued over the past few installments is the addition of Kombat Packs, which often include famous pop-culture icons who can be purchased as downloadable guest fighters (AKA "Kombatants"). Characters like Freddy Krueger, RoboCop, the Terminator, Jason Voorhees, and Rambo have all entered the Mortal Kombat arena—Sylvester Stallone even lent his voice and likeness to Mortal Kombat's Rambo. 

As fans breathlessly await MK12, many wonder who might pop up in the next game as a special guest star. Whether it’s your favorite 1980s action hero or perhaps a character from a beloved comic book or cartoon, there are many faces who would make killer Kombatants. That is, of course, assuming Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment can land the rights. 

  • Ash Williams
    Photo: Ash vs Evil Dead / Starz
    26 VOTES

    The truth of the matter is, Ash Williams was almost featured in Mortal Kombat 11. At one point, trailers even teased a sound bite that many thought signaled the arrival of the chainsaw-wielding Deadite slayer, and even national treasure Bruce Campbell (the guy who plays him) fanned the rumor-mill flames on Twitter. But much to the dismay of Evil Dead fans, things just didn’t pan out.

    Certain leaks revealed that Army of Darkness (AKA Evil Dead 3) was the character design direction they would’ve gone in, which is perfect. In that film, a Necronomicon incantation transports Ash back to the Middle Ages, introducing time travel to the franchise. So, explaining how he finds himself in the Mortal Kombat tournament practically writes itself: The ill-fated antihero unwittingly opens a portal to Netherrealm with the Book of the Dead. With an arsenal of cocky one-liners to spout out as he kicks ass with his rip-roaring chainsaw-hand and trusty “Boomstick”—which would both deliver a smorgasbord of over-the-top fatalities—Ash would be a groovy addition to the MK roster, indeed.

    26 votes
  • Hellboy
    Photo: Hellboy (2004) / Columbia Pictures
    20 VOTES

    Since Hellboy made a fine addition to the roster of Injustice 2, which was made by the same guys behind Mortal Kombat, there shouldn’t be any major hurdles when it comes to getting him to pay a visit to Outworld.

    However, in that game, the red brute was voiced by Michael Leon-Wooley and not Ron Perlman, who many hail as the definitive version of the character (sorry, David Harbour). Since we never got an official Guillermo del Toro-directed Hellboy 3, Perlman reprising his most famous role would certainly turn some heads and further justify bringing him over to MK versus carrying over the same old design from Injustice 2.

    20 votes
  • Michael Myers
    Photo: Halloween (2018) / Universal Pictures
    30 VOTES

    Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface have all had the chance to mop the Mortal Kombat tournament arena with blood and viscera, so it only makes sense that Michael Myers gets his chance to slice and dice Kombatants, too. Due to the convoluted mess that is the Halloween franchise, it might be best to stick with the original storyline (particularly Halloween 4 through The Curse of Michael Myers), which includes references to Samhain, Druids, and the Cult of Thorn, which would all nicely fit in with MK’s fantastical mythology.

    You’re probably thinking that Michael is too slow and not much of a fighter, which is true, but many argued the same thing about Jason, who ended up working out just fine in MK9. They may have to crank up Michael’s unusually patient mannerisms, that’s for sure, perhaps paying homage to the more aggressive version of him as seen in the recent Halloween Kills. In fact, why not just pay respects to every version of the Shape? Mortal Kombat sure does love unlockable costumes, so all the masks he’s worn over the course of his 40-year massacre could get some love. As for fatalities, the options are endless, but having one where he pins his victim to a wall with a butcher knife as he slowly tilts his head and admires his own handy work is an absolute must.

    30 votes
  • Candyman
    Photo: Candyman (1992) / TriStar Pictures
    23 VOTES

    Mirrors exist in Outworld, right? Someone could say "Candyman" five times and summon him to the tournament, that’s for sure. Or perhaps malevolent necromancer Quan Chi resurrects Candyman and makes him one of his enforcers, much like he did with Scorpion.

    Whatever the backstory tie-in is, getting Tony Todd to voice and lend his likeness to the game is an absolutely must. A brutal move set with fatalities centered around his signature meat hook is a no-brainer, and of course, there are the bees, which might make him a worthy ally in the eyes of D’Vorah—a bee-like insectoid who controls swarms of insects herself.

    23 votes
  • Skeletor
    Photo: Masters of the Universe: Revelation / Netflix
    21 VOTES

    Despite its robust adult following, Masters of the Universe is a still known as a kid-friendly franchise, which might pose a problem when it comes to bloody brawling. But you have to admit, the idea of seeing Skeletor cackling away as he wreaks havoc with the Havoc Staff would be a sight to behold. His metal-as-hell skull-faced looks certainly fit the MK aesthetic, so when it comes to the violence, the creators may have to lean more in favor of Netflix’s recent Kevin Smith reboot, which actually features some death and bloodshed. After all, [spoiler alert] Skeletor sort of kills Prince Adam and a few others.

    As for the voice, no one would really complain if it was the current iteration, played by Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill. Some might complain that Hamill’s rendition is too reminiscent of the Joker, but OG Skeletor voice actor Alan Oppenheimer is still around if they want to go old school. But remember, there are unlockable skins to think about, too, so they can pay homage to all the beloved versions of old bone-head: Battle Armor Skeletor, Terra Claw Skeletor, Keldor (his human form), SkeleGod, and more.

    21 votes
  • Pinhead
    Photo: Hellbound: Hellraiser II / New World Pictures
    24 VOTES

    If the makers of Mortal Kombat could somehow get the pain- and pleasure-inducing Lead Cenobite in the next game, as Pinhead might say, they would have “such sights” to show us. Picture it: Pinhead gloriously eviscerating Kombatants with hooks and chains shooting across the screen, literally tearing their souls apart. Fatalities involving Hellraiser’s lament configuration (AKA the puzzle box), where opponents are skinned like Frank Cotton in the original film or mutilated and twisted into cenobites like Channard a la Hellraiser II, would be visually spectacular.

    The Hellraiser mythology alone is so perverse and grotesquely appropriate for Mortal Kombat, it’s a match made in hell. Pinhead’s stoic demeanor makes it a bit hard to imagine him pulling off rapid punches and kicks, but if they somehow come up with a fluid move set or projectile-based attacks, such as him shooting chains in the vein of Scorpion’s spear toss (“Get over here!”) with some of his eloquent dialogue to boot, it just might work.

    24 votes