Kano (Mortal Kombat)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2011)|
|Mortal Kombat character|
Kano in Mortal Kombat (2011)
|First game||Mortal Kombat (1992)|
|Voiced by||Michael Des Barres (MK:DotR)
David Allen (MK:SF)
Michael McConnohie (MKvDC, MK2011)
Brian Kesinger(Wreck-it Ralph)
|Portrayed by||Richard Divizio (MK, MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT)
Trevor Goddard (first film)
Joseph "Eddie" Acavedo (Live Tour)
Darren Shahlavi (Legacy)
|Fighting styles||Xing Yi (MK:DA, MK:A)
|Weapon||Butterfly Knives (MK, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:DA, MK:SM, MK:A)|
Kano is a video game character from the Mortal Kombat series who made his debut as one of the villains in the first Mortal Kombat in 1992. Originally a mercenary and leader of the international crime cartel known as the Black Dragon, Kano rises beyond the level of mere brutality and aggression by also being sly and cunning. It was through his resourcefulness that he convinced Shao Kahn to spare his life, and it was through ruthless ambition that he later ascended to position of general of Kahn's armies. His actions have made him the nemesis of Sonya Blade and Jax Briggs, the latter of whom is responsible for causing the facial damage which led to Kano wearing his signature metal face plate.
In video games
Kano is the leader of the Black Dragon criminal empire. He made his first chronological appearance in Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, freeing fellow Black Dragon cohorts No Face, Tasia, Jarek and Tremor from a U.S. Special Forces security facility, under the pretense that they would reform the Black Dragon organization, but really intending to use them as pawns to slow down any Special Forces agents who might pursue him. Annihilating an entire squad at the site of the prison break, they escaped the scene. With his Black Dragon associates given their assigned tasks, Kano headed to Outworld where he recovered the Eye of Chitian, an artifact through which he would acquire incredible power. Unfortunately for him, however, Major Jackson "Jax" Briggs had overcome his accomplices and defeated him. Jax used the eye to transport them back to Earthrealm, and proceeded to bring Kano into custody though he would soon escape.
Kano entered Shang Tsung's Mortal Kombat tournament after hearing rumors that Tsung's palace was filled with gold and other riches, intending to steal them for the Black Dragon. He was pursued by Lieutenant Sonya Blade, who held a personal grudge against Kano because he had killed a former partner of hers. While Kano was free to take part in the tournament of his own accord, Sonya and her unit were captured by Shang Tsung, who offered Sonya an ultimatum to compete in Mortal Kombat, or she and her unit would be executed. Sonya and Kano survived the tournament, but many others died, including Sonya's men. After the final battle between Shang Tsung and Liu Kang, Kano teamed up with Sonya and Johnny Cage to fight Goro. During the battle, the island began to crumble and Kano and Sonya were captured. They spent the events of Mortal Kombat II in captivity, as seen in the background of Kahn's Arena. Kano then managed to convince Outworld's emperor Shao Kahn to accept him as a weapons instructor for his armies. As a man with knowledge of Earthrealm weaponry, he was the most suitable candidate.
Later, during the events of Mortal Kombat 3, Sonya tossed Kano to his apparent death from the roof of a high building. He was found by Motaro, who healed and imprisoned him. In turn, Motaro was attacked and killed by Sheeva, who freed Kano from his prison. Although they originally hatched a plan to murder Shao Kahn, Kano turned on Sheeva in the decisive moments, resulting in Sheeva's death. Kano was then hastily promoted to general of Outworld's rapidly shrinking army before the invasion was defeated. Shao Kahn's act of promoting Kano, however proved to be a lucky gamble, as Kano was a very competent general. Even in the face of overwhelming odds, Kano stood ground and eventually managed to repel Princess Kitana and her Edenian-Shokan army. He returned to Shao Kahn's palace just in time to watch from the shadows as Shang Tsung and Quan Chi sprung their attack on the weakened emperor. As soon as the battle was finished, Kano declared his allegiance to the new rulers of Outworld, the Deadly Alliance. The two had Kano oversee the enslavement of a small village, who would construct a temple over Onaga's tomb to house the Soulnado. During its construction, Kano was assaulted by Li Mei, but Quan Chi intervened, as the Alliance had made a deal with the Red Dragon member Mavado: he would eliminate the swordsman Kenshi in exchange for the opportunity to fight and defeat Kano. Mavado attacked and left Kenshi for dead, earning his battle. It would seem that Mavado won the fight, as in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Kano is found by Taven to have been held prisoner by the Red Dragon Clan for quite some time (possibly explaining his absence from Deception). Before escaping their facilities, Kano explains to Taven that the Red Dragon had been experimenting on him, as well as their own clan members, in an effort to create real-life genetically engineered dragons and human-dragon hybrids, Kano mentions that they were trying "something new" on him, although he leaves before he elaborates on what that "something" is.
Kano makes an appearance in the non-canonical retelling of MKII, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks where he is seen fighting Sonya during the opening sequence and reappears later in the game as a boss character whom the player (as either Liu Kang or Kung Lao) must defeat with the assistance of Jax to protect an imprisoned Sonya. He is subsequently killed by Jax following the battle. Kano also appears in the non-canonical crossover game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. He is not playable in the story mode, but his official rival is The Joker. Kano also appears in the iOs game Arkham City Lockdown as an Easter Egg fighting Batman in one of the levels.
Kano originally had a large helmet with two red eyes. The concept was dropped later on to be replaced by a metal piece over his right eye. In Kano's bio card in Deception, Ed Boon mentions how Kano's bionic eye in the first game (involving digitized actors) was created by cutting out a piece of a plastic mask and painting it a silver color, then attaching it with spirit gum to actor Richard Divizio's face. Kano was left out of the Game Gear and Master System version of Mortal Kombat due to memory constraints. In Deadly Alliance, Kano had a move with his butterfly-knives called "ear to ear". This was based on a line in the first Mortal Kombat movie, where Kano said he used his knife to slit the throat of Sonya's partner "from ear to ear". The Konquest mode in Deadly Alliance stated that Kano's metal face plate was the result of facial damage during an encounter with Jax. Goddard's performance was so well received by fans that Kano was retconned to Australian from his original American-Japanese descent. In Special Forces, Deadly Alliance, Shaolin Monks, Armageddon, MK vs DCU and Mortal Kombat (2011), Kano is notably modeled after Goddard's look in the film and speaks with an Australian accent.
Kano appears in the Mortal Kombat comic books by Malibu, keeping his personality and history faithful to the early games' portrayal. He also was protagonist of a 3-issues miniseries alongside Raiden entitled Rayden & Kano. During the Blood & Thunder series it is shown the origin of Sonya's vendetta against him, when he kills Sonya's partner (called Lance/Sparky in the comics) during a tournament battle by means of a heart rip. His motivations to loot the island are replaced by his discovery of the Tao Teh Zhan and the powers it grants. During the series' epilogue in the Tournament Edition issue, he's finally captured by Sonya and Jax and sent into custody. He would later escape (as shown in the Breakout mini-story that came with the U.S. Special Forces issue 1) and during the Battlewave series he would be disposed by his superiors in the Black Dragon due to his failure, only to be rescued by Raiden. Raiden would attempt to use Kano to eliminate Shao Kahn by means of a mystical sword that drew power from a bad guy turned to the side of good, but Kano betrays Raiden and joins Shao Kahn, remaining in his forces the following issues.
Kano appeared in the first Mortal Kombat movie as the secondary antagonist, and was played by the late Trevor Goddard. The film expanded upon Kano's rivalry with Sonya from the games; she now had a personal interest in seeking vengeance against Kano for killing her partner. Shang Tsung hires Kano to lure Sonya into the Mortal Kombat tournament and promises to grant Kano the reward he desires for his efforts after he faces off against Sonya in the tournament, demanding that Sonya is not to be harmed but merely humiliated, claiming that he has plans for her. During their match, Kano gleefully taunts Sonya about how he murdered her partner. After beating Sonya harshly, Kano is caught off guard by a leg lock from Sonya, and is soon trapped between her thighs and at her mercy. Shang Tsung betrays Kano and goads Sonya into finishing him off. Despite pleading for his life, Sonya proceeds to break Kano's neck.
Kano appeared twice in the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, voiced by Michael Des Barres. His rivalry with Sonya was continued in the storyline, and a flashback scene in which he killed Sonya's Special Forces partner prior to the tournament was included in one episode.
British actor and martial artist Darren Shahlavi portrayed Kano in Mortal Kombat: Legacy. During the first two episodes, he takes Sonya hostage and plans to kill her when a SWAT team led by Jax and Stryker attacks the Black Dragon warehouse. During the assault, Kano engages Jax in combat but is defeated, losing his eye in the process. He is later found by his henchmen and is given a cybernetic eye as a replacement. Kano also appears in the ninth episode which takes place before these events.
In 1994, Hasbro released a Kano action figure as part of their Mortal Kombat toyline basing his figure and the other figures on a G.I. Joe mold. In 2006, Jazzwares released a Kano action figure as part of their Mortal Kombat toyline featuring multiple articulation points and a character specific weapon.
A cyborg character inspired by Kano makes an appearance in the 2012 animated film Wreck-It Ralph (from Walt Disney Pictures), voiced by Brian Kesinger. In addition to bearing a strong physical resemblance to Kano, he performs the character's classic heart-rip Fatality on a zombie while attending the Bad-Anon support group.
Kano is most notable for his Fatalities, often regarded by various sources to be among either the best or the worst in the series. UGO Networks also rated Kano's heartrip Fatality as second in their listing of the "Top 11 Mortal Kombat Fatalities" noting it was the original Fatality in the first Mortal Kombat that sparked the ire of "anti-video game violence advocates". GameTrailers ranked Kano's "skeleton remover" Fatality from Mortal Kombat 3 sixth on their "Top 10 Mortal Kombat Fatalities". GamePro however criticized Kano's "Stomach Pounce" Fatality from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe rating it fifth on its "Top 12 Lamest Fatalities" listing, regarding the development of the Fatality, GamePro commented that "absolutely no effort was put in creating it."  Game Informer also rated one of his Fatalities from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe as one the worst Fatalities in Mortal Kombat calling it "tame even as a standard Street Fighter attack" and noted that it was executed "without even a drop of blood shed." Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon, when comparing Sub-Zero's Spine-rip Fatality to Kano's Fatality claimed that it stood out more because Kano's heartrip Fatality did not have a "mark left on the opponent's body."
In 2011, UGO.com ranked him as the seventh best cyborg character of all time. Cheat Code Central listed Kano as the fifth best Mortal Kombat character, who commented "This badass serial killer was always the character I choose when feeling the need to get in touch with my dark side." Game Revolution ranked him at #10 on their "Top 10 Old School Mortal Kombat Characters" article. In UGO Networks' 2012 list of the "Top 50 Mortal Kombat Characters", Kano placed at 24th, where they praise his heart rip Fatality. However, IGN described him by just saying that he "sucks". Fans ranked him the 27th-best MK character in a 2013 online poll hosted by Dorkly.
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