Johnny Cage (born John Carlton) was a martial arts star trained by great masters from around the world. He used his talents to become a major action movie star, and his many box office hits include Dragon Fist, Dragon Fist II and Sudden Violence. Although he was admired by his fans, Cage knew that many people believed that he was not really as good as he appeared on film. He heard of a tournament called Mortal Kombat, and decided that it would be the perfect place to prove his skill. Through some of his old martial arts contacts, he learned where the tournament was being held, and journeyed to the small island in the Pacific to enter the competition.
The Mortal Kombat tournament was long and bloody, and Johnny Cage was one of only six combatents that survived the ordeal. Cage returned to Hollywood with a new appreciation for his fighting skills, and films a new movie titled Mortal Kombat: The Movie. It was based, of course, on Cage's experiences during the tournament, but only he and a few others knew it was real and not just the product of a writer's imagination.
The whole world would learn otherwise soon enough. During the filming of his next movie, Cage dissapeared. Unbeknownst to anyone, he had been invited to participate in another Mortal Kombat tournament by Shao Kahn, the real power behind the first Mortal Kombat. He journeyed to the Outworld to meet his challengers yet again. He was one of a handful of survivors, and helped several Earth warriors defeat the Outworld menace. He returned to Hollywood once again, and filmed Mortal Kombat II, which was hailed by many as the greatest motion picture event of all time.
His success was short lived, however. Shao Kahn managed to open the portal between the Earth and the Outworld, and began to overtake the earth realm. Cage was killed by one of Kahn's extermination squads, and his soul ascended to a higher place. When Kahn began to reshape the earth in the Outworld's image, Cage's spirit was able to inhabit the earth once again. He quickly raced to help the remaining earth warriors resist Kahn's invasion attempts, even though he knew a victory against Kahn would prevent him from remaining on earth. Thus, he embarked on a one-man mission to destroy Kahn. Bolstered by Cage's bravery, the earth warriors rallied and defeated Kahn. The earth reverted to normal, and Cage's soul returned from where it had come.
From the heavens, Cage was able to watch the earth realm, and thus saw his friends engage in battle with a new threat, that of Shinnok. He sought out Rayden and asked the thunder god to restore his deceased soul so that he could help his friends in the war. Realizing that Cage's courageous spirit could be an asset, Rayden granted his wish, and Cage returned to his friends' side once more.