Codex Gamicus
Series Mortal Kombat series
First game Mortal Kombat (1992)
Voiced by Michael Des Barres (MK:DotR)
David Allen (MK:SF)
Michael McConnohie (MKvDC)
Live action actor(s) Richard Divizio (MK, MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT)
Trevor Goddard (film)
Joseph "Eddie" Acavedo (Live Tour)
Fictional information
Origin Earthrealm
Fighting styles Xing Yi (MK:DA, MK:A)
Aikido (MK:DA)
Weapons Butterfly Knives (MK, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:DA, MK:SM, MK:A)

Kano is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat series.

About Kano[]

Kano made his debut in the first Mortal Kombat, in which he is one of the incarnations of evil. A portion of Kano's face is covered with a metal plate, with the plated eye being a glowing red orb capable of emitting laserlike beams. According to the Konquest mode in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Major Jax Briggs was responsible for disfiguring Kano's face before the events of the series. Originally a mercenary and leader of the international crime cartel known as the Black Dragon, he 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 Outworld's armies. His actions have made him the enemy of Lt. Sonya Blade.


Pre-Mortal Kombat[]

Kano is the leader of the Black Dragon criminal empire. Making his first chronological appearance in Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, he freed 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. In reality, he intended 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, he and his cohorts escaped the scene.

With his Black Dragon associates given their assigned tasks, Kano headed to Outworld where he recovered the Eye of Shitian, an artifact through which he would acquire incredible power. Unfortunately for him, however, Major Jackson Briggs had overcome his accomplices and caught up to him. The two fought, and Kano was defeated. Jax used the eye to transport them back to Earthrealm, and proceeded to bring Kano into custody though he would soon escape.

Mortal Kombat[]

He entered Shang Tsung's Mortal Kombat tournament after hearing rumors that Tsung's palace was filled with gold and other riches: Kano intended to steal them for the Black Dragon. At that time, the Black Dragon was the primary target of the U.S. Special Forces and would remain so for a number of years. 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's minions. Tsung offered Sonya an ultimatum: she must compete in Mortal Kombat, or she and her unit would be executed. If she won, they would all be free to go. 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 because of Shang Tsung's defeat.

Mortal Kombat II[]

Kano and Sonya found themselves in a forest in Outworld. They were found and captured by Shang Tsung. Eventually, Sonya was rescued by Jax who proceeded to arrest Kano. Before he could be taken back into custody, however, he escaped once again to Outworld.

Mortal Kombat 3[]

Although most Earthrealm warriors assumed Kano to be dead, he instead managed to save his own life by convincing Shao Kahn to accept him as a weapons instructor for his armies. As a man with a 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, with Sheeva's death as a result. Kano was then hastily promoted to general of Outworld's rapidly shrinking army.

Deadly Alliance[]

Eventually Kahn's forces were defeated. Earthrealm was free, and so was Edenia. Shao Kahn's act of promoting Kano, however, proved to be a lucky shot, as Kano was a very competent general. Even in the face of overwhelming odds and the tactical mastership of Princess Kitana and her Edenian-Shokan army, Kano stood ground and eventually managed to repel the invading 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.

His intervention was due in no part for any particular affinity for the criminal, however. 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.

In his Mortal Kombat: Armageddon ending, when Kano defeats Blaze, the transformation completes and he becomes a reptilian black dragon.[1]

Non-canon appearances[]

Kano makes an appearance in 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 crossover game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. He is not playable in the "Story Mode", but it is revealed in both perspectives that he was defeated by The Joker, who at the time was allied with Deathstroke. In his ending, Kano is driven irreversibly mad and physically changed by the combat rage and becomes delusional, screaming "Death to Shang Tsung!!" repeatedly.

Appearances in other media[]


Kano appeared in the first Mortal Kombat movie, and was played by 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 killed but merely humiliated. During their match, Kano gleefully taunts Sonya about how he murdered her partner. After beating Sonya harshly, Kano is caught off guard by Sonya's Leg Scissors throw 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. Goddard's Australian interpretation of Kano was so well received by fans that Kano was retconned as Australian from his original American-Japanese. In Special Forces, Deadly Alliance, Shaolin Monks, Armageddon, and Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, Kano is notably modelled after Goddard's look in the film and speaks with a thick Australian accent.


Kano appeared twice in the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, and was 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.

Comic books[]

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.

Character development[]

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.

Game information[]

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."