It was October 16th, 1972, in the state of Washington. Catherine Carlton, a twenty-six year old widow was giving birth to boy, that would later be given the name of, John Carlton, and the nickname of, Johnny. Johnny was born one month early, and was expected to be under weight, but miraculously, he was born seven pounds, five ounces. This was already strange, and said to be a miracle, but little did Catherine know that the strangest events were yet to come.
Johnny's father, James had died in a car crash, three months before Johnny's birth. This caused Catherine the stress of raising a child on her own, and gave her financial issues. Johnny was already a special child; different from all of the other children. He had twice as much energy, could easily fight off illness, and showed great amounts of strength, for a child of his age. It wasn't until the age of five that johnny began to experience random bursts of destructive energy, that came off as a bright, green glow, and destroyed nearly anything he was touching. This was rare, and only seemed to happen when Johnny became extremely angry or frightened. Catherine became worried that Johnny would end up hurting himself or others. In fear of this, Catherine kept Johnny inside as much as possible, away from society; the only form of social life was when he was at school. With a limited social life, Johnny had a lot of time to himself. His favorite form of entertainment was watching movies. Johnny's favorite type movies were action. Johnny would mimic the action stars actions and words, for fun. At school, Johnny was considered weird by the other kids, and was often picked on. Johnny's smart comments, that he got from movies, often caused the bullies to become annoyed, and want to bully or beat him up even more. Johnny never defended himself because his mother, Catherine, always said that she wanted him to use his brain, and not his fists; because Johnny loved his mother so dearly, he respected her wish.
It was June of 1979, when Catherine discovered that she was ill with leukemia. A year and three months later, Catherine was on the verge of death. She had dropped fifty pounds, and was very weak. Johnny was eight years old when he saw his mother for the last time. Catherine was laying on a hospital bed, with Johnny beside her. Catherine explained what was going to happen and why. Crying out, Johnny was in denial, until reality hit moments later when Catherine stopped breathing.
Johnny was sent to live with his uncle, Ryan, in California. After only four weeks of going to his new school, Johnny was seen as the quiet kid, causing some kids to want to pick on him. One kid walked up to him, and shoved him multiple times, while mentioning his family, and mother. This caused Johnny to do something that he had never done before. Johnny hit the young man that was shoving him, causing the young man to break three ribs. Johnny was transferred to another school due to the incident. Realizing what his nephew had done, Ryan took action by putting Johnny in martial arts classes, to help him control his abilities.
It was August of 1986, when Johnny had begun his first year of high school. Johnny had gone through most of puberty, and was gaining strength. Over the years, Johnny had begun to compete in martial arts tournaments around the nation, due to his fast learning, and skill growth. Johnny never used his full abilities at these competitions, but still had no competition due to his physical and mental advantages. This gave Johnny a big boost in ego and confidence. With this confidence, Johnny became a well known kid at school. With his growing popularity, Johnny wasn't bullied any more. Knowing the effects of bullying, Johnny never bullied anyone, despite his popularity. Instead, Johnny made friends with all of the non-popular kids, and defended them. Despite all of Johnny's physical advantages, he did not take them to the world of sports. Instead, Johnny decided to follow his dreams of becoming an actor by taking theater.
Once Johnny had graduated from high school, he started his acting career. Instead of using his legal name Johnny wanted his stage name to be something worth value to him, and would be remembered by all people. So he chose the name, Johnny Cage. He chose, Johnny, because that's what he went by, and what his mother always called him, and, Cage, because he had been inside a cage in a lot of his martial arts tournaments; plus, he thought it sounded bad ass. First acting in a television series, Johnny had dreams of working his way up to action movies on the big screen. But with Johnny's good looks, acting skills, and martial arts experience, his dreams soon became a reality. He became one of the biggest faces in action movies, and was known to, "cage" people.
Johnny was twenty-three years old when his career came to a halt. He got less acting jobs, and all the movies he did star in bombed. Now, most people just saw his stunts as special effects. Johnny soon became a heavy drinker to block out his stress and anger towards his careers downfall. Unfortunately, one day, Johnny regained consciousness after heavy drinking at a bar, only to hear that he nearly killed a paparazzi guy that was commenting on his failing career. Johnny got off easy, and was sentenced to six months in prison. This gave Johnny time to meditate, and think about his life. Johnny told himself that he was not going to let everything he worked for crumble to bits.
When Johnny was released from prison, he knew exactly what he was going to do to get his career back on track, although what he was going to do was going to go against what his mother always wished him to do. Johnny was going to use his fists, but in a way that he could redeem himself, and show everyone what he could really do. He came up with his plan while thinking back to his years in high school, when his favorite movie, Bloodsport, came into his mind. Johnny was going to compete in underground fighting tournaments, holding back none of his special abilities, along with an undercover reporter, to get the word out about his actual, non-fake skills. Johnny also thought that he should dress in a fashion that would get peoples attention, so he dressed as close to the same style as Jean-Claude Van Damme did in, Bloodsport, but with his own little twist. Johnny wore sun glasses, black pants, cloth around his hands and arms, and the name, Cage, on his belt.
These tournaments gave Johnny time to experiment with his moves, developing the shadow kick, nut punch, plasmic bolt, and more. Dominating these tournaments still didn't get a lot of buzz in the media, but Johnny was determined to keep trying. One day, after one of his tournaments, a man in a big rain coat, by the name of, Shang Tsung, approached Johnny, and offered him a chance to be in the biggest, most dangerous fighting tournament in the world called, Mortal Kombat. Determined, Johnny accepted. A day before the tournament, Johnny traveled to Washington, and went to see his mothers tomb stone. He apologized for what he had done, and what he was about to do. Little did Johnny know that his life would change forever, and that he was going to become one of Earth-realm's protectors.