Major Jackson "Jax" Briggs (U.S.A.) is a cybernetically-enhanced soldier who is the leader of the Outer World Investigation Agency (O.I.A.), Earthrealm's Special Forces unit, in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat II.
Jax made his debut in Mortal Kombat II. He is portrayed as an archetypical African-American hero. In the Special Forces' chain of command, he is Sonya Blade's direct superior and the catalyzing force of Sonya's impulsiveness. Jax is clear-headed, careful and always keeping a watch on what his men are doing. When the need arises, he is a beast on the battlefield with the attitude and ferocity of a lion. He unscrupulously makes use of the most advanced technology to improve both himself and his unit. He is responsible for the crime lord Kano's disfigurement, forcing him to wear a metal plate over a portion of his face.
Jax is depicted as a black American man, having dark skin, black hair and brown eyes. Jax's most striking feature is his impressive muscular upper body build, keeping his torso bare in all but one of his appearances. In his first appearances, he wore karate pants and boots. From Mortal Kombat 3 and onwards, he wears a pair of bionic armor-plating that covers and protects both of his arms.
It is not known whether his arms were replaced or upgraded in the original storyline. However, it is possible that he may have used bionic implants until the events of Deception, where he may have willingly had his own arms removed in favour of mechanical replacements. In the alternate timeline of MK 2011, he was forced to use metallic arms in order to survive, after having his organic arms telekinetically dismembered by Ermac. In MKX he wears a camouflage vest with his last name Briggs on his right upper vest pocket with his left upper pocket acting as a storage for his cigars and he still wears his dog tag around his neck.along with two more additional pockets near his abdomen. He has an American flag wrapped up and tied around his upper right arm. And wears green pants with some additional color of black on them and wears black army boots.
Powers and abilities
Due to his membership in the army, Jax is quite a hardened soldier in the battlefield. He is known to show incredible ferocity while staying focused at the same time. Jax's most prominent attribute is his massive upper body strength. His physique and strength are so powerful that he is able to crush human heads with ease and shake the earth with a single punch. From Mortal Kombat 3 onwards, Jax utilizes cybernetic strength enhancers to further augment his already impressive physical power. These implants also carry portable missiles and a piston-like mechanism to increase the force of his blows. His bionic arms may have made him the most physically powerful man on Earth, if he wasn't already that strong.
Aside from his kombat skills, Jax is also a competent technician and scientist, having been in charge of the portal development technology that the Outworld Investigation Agency uses to move between realms, and also utilized his smarts to restore Cyrax's free will.
- Energy Wave: Jax throws a wave of sonic energy at his opponent. In the CD versions of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the "Classic" version of Jax can also throw this wave while in the air. (MKII, MKT, MK:SM, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Assault Wave. Jax fires two waves.
- Ground Pound: Jax punches the ground, shaking the arena. In MK 2011, there are close, medium, and far versions of the move. (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:DA, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Ground Quake. It increases the damage, affects the complete arena, and sends his opponent skyward.
- "Gotcha!" Grab: Jax grabs his opponent, says "Gotcha!", and punches him multiple times. In MK 2011, Jax only punches the opponent once and then knocks them away while saying "Oh yeah!". There is also an Air Gotcha Grab for aerial opponents. If it connects, he grabs them by the throat smacking them headfirst to the ground. (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:SM, MKvsDCU, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Gotcha Beatdown in which he punches the opponent multiple times. The enhanced version of Air Gotcha Grab is Air Gotcha Blast. It makes the opponent bounce upside-down after the slam before Jax grabs the opponent by the neck and tosses them away.
- Dash Punch: Jax moves forward at incredible speed to punch his opponent. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Dash Fist. After the punch connects, Jax grabs the opponent, throws them up, grabs them violently by their face, and then slams them down. In a variation, once he throws them up, he will turn around and fall on top of the opponent.
- Missile: Jax shoots a missile from his bionic arms. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKvsDCU)
- Double Missile: Jax shoots two missiles in quick succession. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKvsDCU)
- Piston Punch: Jax punches his enemy multiple times. (MK:DA, MK:A)
- Machine Gun: Jax takes out his machine gun and shoots at the enemy. (MK:DA, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MKX)
- Back Breaker: Jax grabs his opponent in mid-air and slams down to the ground, resulting in the opponent's back breaking. (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:SM, MK 2011)
- Plasma Ball: Jax fires a purplish projectile from one of his bionic arms. (MK4, MKG)
- Blinding Light: Jax contains energy within his hands and then releases a powerful purple flash, blinding his opponent for a short time at a short range. (MKvsDCU)
- Overhead Smash: Jax jumps into the air and brings his elbow down onto the opponent's head. (MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Elite Smash. After the elbow connects, Jax grabs the opponent and hits an inverted piledriver.
- Multi-Slam: Jax slams his opponent multiple times in succession. (MKII, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK4, MKG, MK:SM, MK 2011)
- X-Ray Move - Briggs Bash: Jax throws his opponent into the air, then brings them down on his knee, breaking the stomach, back and legs, and then brings them to his upper back and shoulder again, dealing damage on the higher end of the opponent's spine, heart, and ribs, causing them damage. (MK 2011)
- X-Ray Move - Bring It: Jax slams his fists down on the opponent, stunning them. He then grabs them by the midsection, leaps into the air and powerbombs them into the ground with tremendous force, smashing their ribs. He shifts his grip and delivers a wheelbarrow suplex that breaks the opponent's spine. (MKX)
- Free-Fall Super Move: Jax takes out his machine gun, shoots his opponent, then performs his Blinding Light special, the flash powerful enough to ground his opponent. (MKvsDCU)
- Knee Breaker: Jax stomps his foe in the kneecap, causing them to scream with pain, stunning them briefly. (MK4)
- Hammer Punch: Jax smashes his foe in the head so hard they are left dizzy momentarily. (MKII)
- Head Clap: Jax claps his hands violently over his opponent's head, crushing it. In Mortal Kombat 4, Jax's hands fills up with violet aura before clapping the opponent's head. In Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, the opponent's head is flattened in a comical fashion. (MKII, MKT, MK4, MKG, MKvsDCU)
- Arm Rip: Jax grabs the arms of his opponent and rips them off their body. In Mortal Kombat 4, he rips the arms off one by one. (MKII, MK4, MKG)
- Super Quad Slam: In the Game Gear version of MKII, Jax, after slamming his opponent multiple times, then slams his opponent for the final time which causes them to explode. (MKII)
- Boot Squash: Jax grows extremely large and crushes his opponent with his boot. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Slice-N-Dice: Jax's metal arms turn into swords and slices his opponent into pieces. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Head Stomp: Jax throws his enemy on the ground, face up. He then jumps high in the air, bringing his 300+ lbs down on the enemy's head, smashing it. (MK:DA, MK:U)
- Air Machine Gun: Jax uppercuts the foe and and sprays a volley of bullets into the opponent while they're still in midair. (MKvsDCU)
- Smash And Grab: This fatality is a combination of both Jax's MKII fatalities. Jax claps his opponent's head off, then rips off the arms of his opponent. (MK 2011)
- Three Points!: Jax bashes his opponent three times, burying them into the ground. He then kicks their head twice. The first one puts the opponent in a daze and the second one launches the opponent's head off like a football. (MK 2011)
- T-Wrecks: Jax lifts the opponent by the arms before shoving both arms into their body. Afterwards, he smokes a cigar before ripping his/her head apart at the jawline. He then extinguishes his cigar on the opponent's tongue, leaving the head dangling. (MKX)
- Jax The Ribber: Jax lifts the opponent by the neck and thrusts his other hand into the opponent's ribs, tearing them out and stabs the opponent through the skull with said ribs. Jax then puts them onto their knees and proceeds to violently snap his/hers neck, killing them. They collapse to the ground while Jax can be seen walking away. (MKX)
- Friendship #1: Jax cuts out some paper dolls. (MKII)
- Friendship #2: Jax begins to jump rope. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Animality: Jax turns into a lion and mauls the opponent. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Babality: Jax becomes a baby and begins pounding the ground in a tantrum. (MK 2011)
- Brutality #1 - Sledge Hammer: Jax performs a deadly elbow that obliterates the opponent torso up. (MKX)
- Brutality #2 - Gotcha Down: Jax does a "Gotcha" Grab and punches his opponent repeatedly until it explodes. (MKX)
- Brutality #3 - Rocket Roll: Jax aims his rocket launcher and fires it while the opponent is in midair, obliterating them. The head then falls in front of Jax shorty after. Heavy Weapons variation (MKX)
- Brutality #4 - Ground Breaking: Jax slams the ground hard enough to create a shockwave that destroys his opponent's shins and he/she dies of blood loss. Pumped Up variation (MKX)
- Brutality #5 - Ragdoll: Jax grabs the opponent and proceeds to slam the opponent on the ground repeatedly until their legs become skeletonized. Wrestler variation (MKX)
Movie and TV Appearance
Jax appears briefly in the first Mortal Kombat movie, in which he accompanies Sonya on the raid on Kano's club and unsuccessfully tries to stop her from boarding Shang Tsung's boat near the beginning of the film. He was played by Gregory McKinney.
Jax appears in the animated TV series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, he was among the leading characters voiced by Dorian Harewood. He was always in a good mood and always ready to go into battle whenever Outworlders invade. In the episode Acid Tongue, he loses his confidence when Komodai spits acid on his cybernetic strength enhancers, and he uses his chi to fight Komodai at some ruins to rescue Sonya. Another episode, Abandoned, had him leaving the team only to be captured by Shao Kahn's forces in an attempt to get information on the location of the MK headquarters. This episode also explores the deep friendship and care between Sonya and Jax.
Former American Gladiators actor Lynn "Red" Williams plays Jax in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. He is recruited by Sonya to join the Earthrealm warriors in their stand against Shao Kahn's forces. He fights Cyrax and later defeats the Centaurian, Motaro (played by fellow Gladiators alumnus Deron McBee). His relationship with the technological enhancements he uses is explored to a small degree.
Michael Jai White plays Jax in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. In this short film, he informs top assassin Hanzo Hasashi about serial killers in an underground tournament led by Shang Tsung. He tries to convince Hasashi to join the tournament.
Michael Jai White reprises his role as Jax in Mortal Kombat: Legacy.
In this continuity, Jax serves as a detective for the Deacon City Police, working alongside Sonya Blade and Kurtis Stryker, while maintaining his close relationship with Sonya and his intense rivalry with Kano.
In the first episode of the online series, Jax is part of a conference going over the details of Sonya's transmission that reveals the location of Kano and the Black Dragon's hideout. while Jax wants to move in immediately, Stryker urges caution and that they follow protocol and wait for Sonya to confirm the intel. Lacking patience when it comes to Sonya's safety, Jax declares, "Fuck protocol. I'll go myself." Stryker reluctantly follows his example and orders their team after him.
Jax, Stryker and their team arrive at the Black Dragon's warehouse hideout, but are soon ambushed, with Jax being the first to realize this as he sees one of the S.W.A.T. officers get struck with an explosive. Jax then sees Kano arrive with a large group of Black Dragon members and a massive gunfight erupts.
Though Stryker wants to know how Kano knew they were coming, Jax says now's not the time to ask that and tells him he's going after Sonya while requesting cover from Stryker. Working together, the two successfully take out several Black Dragons, with Jax himself using a combination of martial arts and weapon fire to dispatch them. Jax then gets in a shootout with Kano but when both run out of ammo, Jax chases after Kano to an upper section of the warehouse.
There, the two engage in hand-to-hand, being roughly evenly matched, though after Kano deals Jax a low blow, Jax grapples with him over control of an explosive launching weapon, which fires at their feet. The two narrowly dodge the ensuing explosion.
In the next episode, Jax recovers and resumes his chase after Kano, cornering him and demanding Sonya's location. The two fight again, and Kano manages to briefly get the upperhand when he strikes Jax with a glass bottle. Kano then boasts about torturing Sonya, infuriating Jax.
In a stunning display of barely controlled rage and skill, Jax single-handedly defeats Kano, never allowing the mercenary to lay a single hit on himself, before punching Kano so hard across the face he knocks out his right eye and collapses part of his skull. Jax then collapses to his knees, exhausted, when Sonya appears, taking out a Black Dragon who had just thrown a grenade.
As the two spot the grenade, Jax rushes over to Sonya, and shields her from the ensuing explosion.
Though not seen again, Stryker reveals that Jax survived, but was badly wounded, sustaining severe injuries to his back and arms. Stryker then reveals that Jax is in surgery at the D.O.D. and assures Sonya he will be fine.
Michael Jai White did not return for Season 2, leaving Jax absent from the tournament.
- Partner of Sonya in both the first and second movies.
- Recruited by Sonya to aid in the struggle to defeat Shao Kahn in the second movie.
- Fought Cyrax in the second movie.
- Killed an unearthly creature that was about to attack Sonya.
- Had a slight romantic interest in Jade, until he and the Earthrealm warriors were betrayed by her.
- Fought and defeated Motaro in the final battle.
- Killed Noob Saibot in the final battle.
Mortal Kombat: Legacy
- Major of the Deacon City Police Department.
- Lead a mission to stop the Black Dragon clan and arrest their leader, Kano.
- Broke into the Black Dragon warehouse to rescue Sonya.
- Fought and defeated Kano.
- Severed Kano's right eye during their battle.
- Badly wounded by a grenade detonation.
Mortal Kombat (film)
- "Trust me, Sonya."
- "Nothing says that creep at the club wasn't lying his ass off. Kano could be a thousand miles from here by now."
- "Sonya, don't get on that thing! Hey, Sonya!"
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
- "Cybernetic strength enhancers. Takes what you got, and quadruples the muscle capacity."
- "Wish I had these babies back in high-school."
- "Shao what?"
- '"I'll take homeboy."
- "Damn, you barbecued his ass."
- "Bad thing I didn't get myself some new legs"
- "Use my imagination? You keep talkin' to me like that, Sonya, and I'm gonna split, alright? Look, you drag me out the base with some lunatic killers after us. Put me in a spinning ball, take me halfway around the world. If I'm gonna die today, at least tell me why."
- "I don't know how much longer I can take all this whacked-out junk, but you do look good in mud."
- "Major Jackson Briggs. You got an incredible set of legs...for kickin', I mean."
- "Who does this dude think he is? Moses parting the Red Sea?"
- "Hey,we trusted you man and what happens? You take us on a wild goose chase."
- "Man, you got one dysfunctional family, you know that?"
- "Are we really ready to die here?"
- "Mr. Ed is mine."
- "Yeah, I'm gonna make you eat that thing!"
- "Got everything I need right here!"
- "That was the longest week of my life."
Mortal Kombat: Legacy
- "So we just leave Sonya in there? No back-up?"
- "You know what? Fuck protocol. I'll go myself."
- "I'm goin' for Sonya, you got this?"
- "Where is she, Kano!?"
Mortal Kombat 4/Gold
- Sonya, this is Major Briggs. Come in Sonya. This is Jax, are you there? (To Sonya after she fell off the cliff)
- Going somewhere, Jarek? (After grabbing Jarek)
- Thought I was what? Dead? Like my partner you just tossed off the cliff?
- Too late Jarek!
- "Wrong, Jarek. This is not a brutality. This is a fatality!" (to Jarek before throwing him off of a cliff)
Mortal Kombat (2011)
- "Bring it!!" (Battle Cry)
- "Get some!!" (Victory Quote)
- "You like that?" (When performing an X-Ray Move.)
- "Run, girl, run!" (when Sonya finds him in Goro's Lair)
- "Your obsession with him is gonna get you killed." (to Sonya)
- "Oh, so you're in charge now?" (to Sonya, as she helps him walk to the evac point)
- "That's amazing!" (to Raiden, when Raiden heals his injuries)
- "Well done, kid." (to Liu Kang, upon Liu winning the Mortal Kombat tournament)
- "Ya got me. Not sure anybody could do what he did. Made Shang Tsung look like a chump." (to Raiden, about Liu Kang)
- "Anybody get the number of that -" (referring to the Tarkatan warrior that knocked him unconscious, before noticing that Sonya is missing)
- "Where's Sonya?" (to Shang Tsung)
- "She better not have a scratch on her."
- "Damn, you ugly." (to Baraka)
- "You shouldn't be running with those." (after defeating Baraka)
- "Give it a rest, will ya? Makin' my ears hurt." (to Johnny Cage, when Cage starts talking about the Armory's resemblance to one of his movies)
- "It's not like that! I'm her C.O." (to Johnny, when Cage inquires about Sonya)
- "You'll wanna stop talkin' now." (to Cage)
- "That's it! Time somebody shut you the hell up!" (to Cage, challenging him to a fight)
- "How you like that, Mr A-List?" (after defeating Cage)
- "Gonna have to ask nicer than that!" (to Jade, upon being told to leave the Armory)
- "Wrong place, wrong time, lady!" (after defeating Jade)
- "She's nobody's property." (to Sheeva, in the Dead Pool)
- "I guess extra arms don't make the difference." (after defeating Sheeva)
- "Ya know me, I'm a class act." (to Sonya, upon freeing her)
- "Ermac! Gotcha!" (to Ermac, before grabbing him by the throat)
- "That's it. Here goes nothin'." (reprogramming Cyber Sub-Zero)
- "Hell no! I've never done this before! Not like there's a manual." (to Smoke, when Smoke asks him if he thinks the reprogramming will work)
- "He should." (when asked by Smoke if Sub-Zero can hear him)
- "As you command, my master." (to Quan Chi, his soul enslaved after being killed by Sindel)
- His original name was going to be Kurtis Stryker. Midway later recycled that name to create a new character in Mortal Kombat 3.
- In his MK vs DCU ending, Jax sustained severe injuries after the World Merge Crisis. So to save his life, he augmented more of his body with cybernetics, becoming the Earthrealm version of DC's Cyborg.
- Jax was originally conceived as simply a kickboxer, but the idea was scrapped due to potential similarities to Balrog, Sagat and especially DeeJay from the Street Fighter series. Then he was given a yellow martial arts gi and big metal hands that clanged upon impact. However, the outfit concealed much of the impressive physique of actor/bodybuilder John Parrish, so he simply went shirtless with long black tights.
- During photography for MK3, Parrish wore a gold chain around his neck, which was digitally editted out of all sprites made from the filming.
- Jax's body can be seen in the introduction of Mortal Kombat Deception, located on the top of the stairs leading to the Soulnado chamber.
- In Armageddon's opening scene, Jax is hit by Shao Kahn's Hammer, probably hitting the back of Jax's arm because you can hear a metal-to-metal like sound.
- Game footage was actually shot with Jax wearing the yellow costume. Parrish accidentally split the pants during filming.
- Before Sonya existed, Jax was originally conceived as a character and possessed her scenario for the first Mortal Kombat. However, since there were no female characters in the original roster at the time, Sonya was created and she inherited his storyline of pursuing Kano and entrapment on Shang Tsung's island.
- In the MKII comic book, he challenged Kintaro in battle.
- According to early production shots of Special Forces, Jax's code name is "Cobra."
- Hakim Alston, who portrayed Jax in Mortal Kombat: The Live Tour (1996), played an Outworld warrior who was defeated by Liu Kang (Robin Shou) in the original MK movie a year earlier. He also co-starred alongside MK game actor Ho Sung Pak in the syndicated television series WMAC Masters.
- In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, knocking Jax off of the Sky Temple will make him yell, "Oh my god! This is not happening to me!"
- Michael Jai White, who plays Jax In MK: Legacy, was originally cast to play Jax in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, but had already began shooting Spawn instead.
- Jax's fighting stance from Mortal Kombat 3 is similar to that of the male human ninjas (minus Reptile, Rain, and unmasked Sub-Zero) from their UMK3/MKT incarnation. It also comes from the Shaolin Fist fighting style.
- He assists the player (as either Liu Kang or Kung Lao) during the boss fight with Kano in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. After Kano is killed, he and Sonya decide to leave Outworld and gives the player a health upgrade to aid in defeating Shao Kahn. He is the only cpu ally in Shaolin Monks to not be playable.
- It is stated in the Konquest mode of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance that it was Jax who caused the injury that led to Kano wearing his metal face plate before the events of the series.
- Jax appeared in an advertisement for Chrome Bling.
- In MK 2011, Jax can be seen smoking a cigar at the Wu Shi Academy, when he is talking to Raiden. He is also seen smoking during MKX, implying it is a regular habit.
- In the track "MK3 Audio Tour" (4:11) from Mortal Kombat Musik: MK3 & MK4 Arcade Videogame Original Soundtrack, it seems like Jax had an unused fatality (in the track, Jax hits the opponent, then the latter bounce many times before exploding), although he is simply performing the Bell Tower Stage Fatality.
- Interestingly, in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Jax is never fought once in the Mortal Kombat story.
- In a MK 2011 trailer, Jax uses his Missile move, but it is not present in the game.
- Also, Jax has his Submachine Gun in the game, but does not use it.
- In MK 2011, performing a Fatality that involves skinning on Jax will show muscles in his arms.
- When Rain's X-Ray move is performed on Jax, bones can be seen in his arms. However, this is most likely a gameplay mechanic.