Johnny Cage is absent from the Mortal Kombat reboot, with newcomer Cole Young filling his spot on Earthrealm’s roster of champions, but if the two come to blows in Mortal Kombat 2, who would win? While Cole fills an important role in the new Mortal Kombat story and effectively serves as the movie’s protagonist, Johnny Cage is one of the original Mortal Kombat characters – the only fighter from the first arcade game not present in the reboot, and the new film has already set up their interaction.
It’s a tough question to answer because the movie version of Johnny Cage still hasn’t appeared, but it can be theorized based off how strong the character is in the video games. Johnny Cage is a skilled martial artist, having been trained in multiple disciplines by various masters. He also wields powerful magical abilities as the descendent of an ancient Mediterranean cult that bred warriors for the gods. As such, he can use magical energy to amplify his attacks, guard himself, or produce launchable projectiles. Those skills will likely manifest as his arcana in Mortal Kombat 2. Cage also utilizes some unethical fighting tactics when necessary, like using odd gadgets to disorient his opponents, and, occasionally, punching them in the groin.
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As for Cole Young, his abilities in the Mortal Kombat reboot are also strong. His arcana harnesses physical blows dealt to him as potential energy, which he can then channel outward to amplify his own attacks. Combine that with his own fighting skills, weapons, tough spirit, and connection to the Hasashi bloodline, and Cole could certainly go toe-to-toe with Johnny Cage. Who would actually wind up on top would really depend on when the two fight.
If Cole and Johnny battle at the beginning of Mortal Kombat 2, for instance, before Johnny is battle-tested, Cole would have the clear advantage. He’s been trained in Raiden’s temple and has experience wielding his arcana in combat. However, in a scenario where both fighters were at an equal experience level, Johnny Cage would probably edge out the victory given he’s capable of fighting at close quarters and distance.
The Mortal Kombat games have shown that while Johnny isn’t as strong as other Earthrealm fighters like Liu Kang and Raiden, his peak power is still incredibly high. He’s even able to go head-to-head against the fallen Elder God Shinnok at one point. It’s possible that Cole is capable of equal or even greater feats, but because he only exists in the new movie, there’s no proof of that yet. Given the evidence that currently exists, Johnny Cage has higher potential, and would likely win a Mortal Kombat duel against Cole.
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