Before and after Malibu had a crack at a Mortal Kombat comic series, Midway did a few official comics based off of 1, 2, 4 and an unreleased one for Deception as well. The first 2 comics were advertised in their respective games' Attract Modes. There is also a comic that focused on the beginning of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
They serve to fill in backstory details about the games as best as possible although their canonicity is generally safe, though somewhat light. The Deception Comic in particular makes little sense unless you read the associated characters' bios for more insight to the characters' plots.
The series provides the following tropes:
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Our very first introduction to the younger Sub-Zero in the MKII comic? Seeing the guy in a business suit happily offering Lin Kuei calling cards to Liu Kang and Kung Lao. He dons his more familiar ninja garb soon after, though.
- Call-Back: Sub-Zero arrives at the Temple of the Elements to find an answer. The same Temple of Elements that his elder brother once went to to steal Shinnok's Amulet from and would eventually use to seal Shinnok.
- Continuity Snarl: To its own game even! The MKII comic has Scorpion immediately protect Sub-Zero from Reptile's attack and declare himself Sub's protector as restitution for killing his older brother, this event taking place before the main game plotline, yet the game has Scorpion not taking up this vow until his arcade ending.
- Creator Cameo: The game's development team appear as the camera crew for Johnny Cage's commercial in the comic for II, with Ed Boon credited as director.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Sub-Zero is at one point seen giving a command to otherwise-unknown secret character Smoke in the MKII comic, essentially showing them to be fellow Lin Kuei, which was confirmed by later games. A red ninja can also be seen in the same panel, and these days many a fan can be forgiven for believing it to be a human Sektor.
- Interquel: The Deception Comic acts more like an in-between from the end of Konquest Mode and Onaga's release to the beginnings of several character's plotlines, including Frost's burial, Mileena being released by Baraka, and Noob discovering a deactivated Smoke.
- Interrogated for Nothing: After the first tournament, Johnny Cage finds himself adrift in the ocean when he is found by the Special Forces. Jax then interrogates him rather ruthlessly about Sonya's whereabouts, only to then find a video where Kano has her hostage, completely vindicating Johnny.
- Magic from Technology: In between the events of 3 and 4, it seems Sonya Blade and the rest of the Special Forces were able to use technology to achieve what Shang Tsung and other Outworlders did with magic: Such as opening portals with a nuclear generator. Kokonoe would be proud.
- Mythology Gag: In the MK4 comic, Sindel punishes Reptile for his services in Shao Kahn's name by sending him to eternal labour in the cobalt mines of Shokan, a location commonly seen in Mortal Kombat: Conquest.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Quan Chi claiming to be from a realm called "Treche." As in "treachery." Said realm being besieged by a warlord named "Shil Kaad" (Literally "Shao Kahn" with a few letters changed.) To Sindel's credit she does seem skeptical at first (having never heard of such a realm or its invader before) up until Quan Chi offers her a pretty orb that completely catches her attention.
- Shout-Out: As if Scorpion's parallels to Ghost Rider couldn't be more obvious enough, the comic of the first game has him grab Sub-Zero by the robe and demand he "look into (his) eyes" in an almost lawyer-baiting imitation of Ghost Rider's Penance Stare. Said splash panel has a huge flaming skull in the background.
- Tuckerization: Jax's subordinate in the Special Forces is named after Steve Beran, then an artist at Midway and eventually lead art director at Netherrealm Studios.