I knew Omni-Man’s inclusion in Mortal Kombat 1 was gonna bring back memories—you grab any popular character and throw them into a fighting game, and their moveset’s going to be reference-heavy. But NetherRealm really went all out with this one. First, due diligence—if you’ve not watched it yet, I’m going to run through some major spoilers for Invincible’s first season.
The trailer is a flashback-inducing gauntlet of some of Omni-Man’s worst moments. He’s a Viltrumite—a Superman that’s not above splattering someone’s brains across the wall. He’s also part of a horrific, galaxy-spanning Empire dedicated to “bettering” the universe by obliterating any civilisation that disagrees with them. Fun times.
As such, he gets a lot of harrowing moments of ultraviolence during the show. Because those moments are now burned into my frontal lobe, I’m gonna call out the references from the trailer as I see them. Come with me for a gory jaunt down memory lane.
At around 0:21, Omni-Man grabs his opponent’s ankle and swings them around like a morningstar, smashing them into the earth. That’s a reference right off the bat—he did the same thing to Darkwing, Invincible’s Batman analogue, after he thought getting into melee range with the man who can punch through concrete was a good idea.
It then smash-cuts into a Fatality at 0:24, where Omni-Man pummels his opponent into the dirt, straddling them like the world’s worst cowboy. That’s from when he personally won the “worst dad of the year” award by almost turning his son into paste. That spine-crushing move at 0:42 also comes from a scene where he grabbed the absolutely massive backbone of government agent Donald Ferguson during his heroic last stand. Unfortunately, Ferguson’s steel cojones didn’t save him.
0:46 takes us underground to a metro station (I assume he flies them there from the forest, unless Earth Realm just has really good infrastructure) to recreate that infamous train scene, where Omni-Man introduces Mark to the “consequences” of “his” actions. The gory chaser is from his heel turn at the end of Episode 1, where he squeezes Red Rush’s head like a watermelon in a hydraulic press. Then back to the train. Then back to the watermelon thing. Two scenes I never thought I’d be relieving back-to-back, but here we are.
I do think it’s a testament to Invincible that I was able to recall these scenes basically off the top of my head, though—as a show, it has a lot of violence in it, but those moments of gore are always purposeful and treated with weight. They’re tied to significant story moments, like the last stand of a man dying for his country, or Mark causing millions in property damage to the city’s subway system, the little scamp.
NetherRealm have outdone themselves here—I’m just excited to see these fatalities and x-rays in full. Omni-Man’s slated to release in November of this year, so you’ve got a month to prepare yourself for the Viltrumite invasion, which I imagine involves a lot of making your peace and/or finding a cave to hide in.