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What Is The Black Dragon Clan In Mortal Kombat?

The 2021 "Mortal Kombat" film is, like many of the most popular franchise films from the past decade or so, a reboot of a classic intellectual property. Its plot, then, stands alone for the time being, telling the story of a fateful martial arts tournament called, appropriately, Mortal Kombat. The result of the tournament will determine no less than the fate of the Earth.

Fittingly, then, many of the most powerful fighters from multiple universes (or realms) enter into the titular tournament. On one side of the equation are warriors from Outworld, a plane of existence home to a number of villainous beings intent on taking over the realm of Earth. Opposing them are a group of fighters from Earth hoping to defend their home from an Outworld invasion.

In the film's central role is Cole Young (Lewis Tan), a character invented for the film and new to the "Mortal Kombat" franchise. Cybernetic warrior Kano (Josh Lawson) is among those fighting alongside Cole and co. to defend Earth from the film's baddies. That said, when Kano was revealed to be on the side of the heroes in an early trailer for the film, many existing fans of the series were surprised. Kano is typically a villain, so his face-turn appeared to be a departure from the film's source material.

Furthermore, Kano has previously served as the leader of the Black Dragon clan, which has been an aspect of his character since the first "Mortal Kombat" game. Though the Black Dragon clan is alluded to in the latest "Mortal Kombat" film, it's ultimately unimportant to its story — at least for now.

The Black Dragon clan could be a part of Mortal Kombat's future

In multiple incarnations of "Mortal Kombat," the Black Dragon clan is essentially an evildoing band of mercenaries. The group serves as opposition to another, older clan called Red Dragon, which is a secret society of sorts dedicated to producing highly skilled and disciplined warriors on Earth. Some members wanting to organize without the strict discipline of the Red Dragon clan spun off into the Black Dragon clan. In the series' present-day timeline, Kano is the leader of the latter group. Just as she is in the film, Sonya (Jessica McNamee) has historically been Kano's archrival. However, in prior appearances, she was intent on bringing down the Black Dragon clan with him.

In the 2021 "Mortal Kombat" film, the Black Dragon clan appears to have been integral to an unspoken history between Kano and the villainous Kabal (Daniel Nelson, with a voice by Damon Herriman). The way the name is invoked, however, Kano doesn't seem to have ever been its leader. That said, Kabal was once seemingly a member of the group alongside Kano, which tracks with past canonical versions of the character.

Ultimately, the Black Dragon clan doesn't factor too prominently into the latest "Mortal Kombat" film. Nevertheless, it's a pillar of Kano and Kabal's relationship with one another and possibly a future target for Sonya, so a hypothetical sequel could still explore the evil mercenary group in greater detail.