Well there's three background characters so far, Kano, Shinnok, and Johnny. And I don't see Johnny sitting out a modern MK game, especially one that Sonya plays a huge role in. So I don't think being in a stage background is a death sentence.
You're absolutely right, but I think the problem is that it's his head. Liu Kang and Kitana probably let it there as a token of worship, respect, or rememberance.
Still, I do hope he comes back somehow, because I believe he was up to something. Notice he said to Raiden the truth about the amulet, something he tried to tell. I mean, the only thing they told us was "Shinnok wants to take Earthrealm and poison its life". But there...seemed to be something more, but Raiden cut the crap.
Yeah I don't see them having a Black Dragon stage and no Black Dragon character.
Unless it's old timeline Kabal's stage, because new Kabal left the Black Dragons
Where did Kabal was konfirmed that you said? I haven't seen him!