|Played by Kraken|
In the middle of the first Mortal Kombat Tournament
Johnny is kind of a loudmouth, a bragging asshole and a bit slow on the uptake, but he has his skills
The most obvious of these is his near-flawless grasp of the Martial Arts. Johnny holds no less than six black belts, each in a different art of combat, and nobody could say he hasn't earned them. When he practices them, he's a painting come to life, not merely a fighter but a piece of art made flesh... or so he would say. Others would simply say he is a phenomenal athlete, easily Olympic-level in his skills and probably even better than that. Though his favourite forms of fighting are Dragon and Eagle form Kung Fu, he is also able to switch to any of the other fighting forms he has learned with enviable ease, and he is incredibly skilled in each. He is also, to put it politely, an unrepentantly filthy fighter. As he himself puts it, "Some guys like to fight for honor, or the art of it. I fight because I wanna win." Though some may call it dishonourable, anyone who has been on the recieving end of one of Cage's "low blows" will uncomfortably attest to their effectiveness, and it is this no-holds-barred attitude as much as his skill that makes him dangerous.
Okay, so Johnny acts in Martial Arts films, usually as the man with all the one-liners and quips. Surprisingly, however, he's actually a really good actor. He's classically trained, and would no doubt steal the show in any rendition of Hamlet or the Scottish Play, if someone could only persuade him that acting in Shakespearian productions was not "just for snobs and old guys." He's very convincing in his fakery, should he need to be, and can mimic moods, emotions and accents very well indeed. Sadly, Johnny is too much of a loudmouth to ever really make use of his talent, but it's a skill he keeps in reserve should he need to weasel out of a losing fight or woo a pretty lady.
In terms of weaknesses... well, besides curvy blondes, Johnny is human, and only human. He's killable, and even a black belt cannot dodge a bullet, though Cage might drunkenly boast he can sometimes. He's also not too sharp, though not stupid, and can be tricked if enough effort is put into it.
Most folks who've met Johnny Cage would call him a rude, arrogant goofish asshole. They'd be right, too, as Johnny's fame tends to go to his head more often than not, making him say stupid things and make even stupider bets. He's full of his own supposed physical dominance, and he is hopelessly addicted to chasing after women. Seriously, it might actually be a medical condition in him. He's rude to people he doesn't like, often not even trying to get along with them, and he can be dismissive of people on occasion, especially if he thinks they're screwups.
Overall, yeah, Johnny's kind of a jerk.
But that's not all he is.
There is a nobler, sweet side to Cage that occasionally pops out when people least expect it. Nobody expected him to found a charity, after all, to help orphan children find homes, nor did they expect the revelation that Johnny once gave $3000 to a homeless man simply so he could pay a hospital bill. There's a kind, selfless spot in him, covered with layers of bluster and macho stupidity, and once he's made a friend, he'll stick with them through hell and high water. Johnny is as loyal as a hound, though he may not always sound like it, and the one thing sure to set him off is someone making one of his friends' lives problematic.
Johnny Cage don't take that, no siree.
With the ladies, Johnny has two modes. The first is Mr. Love-'em-and-leave-'em, the jackass mode that certain women seem to find attactive but everyone else hates. Hey, he's a movie star and damned if he isn't going to take advantage of the fringe benefits. The second mode is Mr. Romantic. This one is reserved for the women he ends up falling for, and they've been few and far between. However, in this mindset, he is part chivalrous knight, part smooth operator, and part Queen's Jester, whatever he feels his lady companion might need at the time to keep her smiling - and thus him smiling too.
Johnny is classically handsome in that film star kind of way, and boy does he know it. He's tall at exactly 6ft 1in, and his lean muscular frame is built for dexterity and grace, not ugly power. He has blonde-brown hair that cannot seem to be tamed - not that he tries overly hard to tame it - and his eyes are a beautiful sapphire blue, when they're not hidden behind his sunglasses. His smile is wild and carefree, and his attitudes and mannerisms that of a charming rogue - as he claims, anyway. He stands with an easy, casual sort of stance, not really looking overly concerned with anything and being as cool as he can be, and he always, always dresses well when not filming; think well-tailored suits and beautiful, handmade shoes.
On his chest, the name "JOHNNY" is tattoo'ed across his pectorals. This is not, as has been mockingly suggested, actually his own name, but is the name of his father, John Carlton Snr, whose support and encouragement helped the young Cage reach for his dream of being an actor, and whom he felt very close to all his life. He also has the names of his sister and younger brother tattoo'd on his left shoulder, and a pair of tiny dragon's wings on his back. He also wears a belt with his chosen surname on it. Unlike his chest tattoo, this actually is a vanity piece, and he takes very good care of it indeed.
Darla - Room-mate and sort-of friend, even if she did try to drink his blood that one time.
Alipheese Fateburn XVI - He met her on a bridge, and won her over with chivalry. Or something. There was definitely a kid involved, though, and jerks who pick on kids.
As stated earlier, Johnny Cage was helped into acting at the age of fifteen by his father. Back then, of course, his name was John Carlton Jr, something he changed to sound more "movie star-ish." Flying through acting school and martial arts classes with equal distinction, the name of Johnny Cage soon became famous in the action film scene and infamous in the Hollywood gossip columns. Always working with the same three directors, Cage pumped out hit after hit after hit; the Sudden Violence series, Fist of Vengeance and more, all became massive hits and propelled Johnny into the life of his dreams. For his part, he embraced it wholeheartedly, and went to party after party in search of yet more cheap thrills and drunken shenanigans. Life, to him, seemed amazing; he had his fitness, he had his looks and he had his fame. What could go wrong?
The answer to that arrived in the most well-known of the gossip magazines.
Johnny Cage a Fake? ran the headline.
The article seemed poised to destroy his promising career overnight; people accused him of using body doubles to perform his martial arts, directors stopped offering him scripts and even his faithful three seemed unsure as to whether to keep working with him or not. He was distraught.
Then a Chinese man calling himself Shang Tsung offered him a way out.
By fighting in the Mortal Kombat tournament, and winning it, Cage could silence the world, and prove once and for all he was the athlete he said he was. Johnny, naive back then, agreed instantly.
It was a bloody lesson, and a costly mistake.
The tournament was a setup, Johnny soon learned, a plan to allow Shao Kahn, the Emperor of Outworld, to conquer the Earthrealm and make it his own. It was like one of his movies, but real this time, and in this one people were really dying; no special effects, no second takes.
Johnny had never been more scared in his life.
He chose to fight on.
Spurred on by his friends, Sonya Blade and Liu Kang, and given solid council by the thunder god Raiden, Johnny battled through the rounds, taking wounds that he thought should kill him in the process, yet not giving up. The Earth was at stake, and if he ran, if he abandoned the fight and hid, Johnny knew that his critics would have been right. He really would have been just a spoiled rich actor with no real morals.
Finally, he came up against Goro. The monstrous four-armed being proved a match for Cage's martial arts, and the battle raged for many minutes with no clear victor. Johnny was beaten bloody, covered in bruises and his favourite set of sunglasses had been snapped by the giant bastard. He had a spare pair on him, but it was the principle of the thing. There was only one thing he could do. He dropped to the floor in the split position just as the floor itself seemed to crack open and tendrils boiled out. Goro's charge had gathered too much momentum now, and as the light, the tentacles and Johnny Cage disappeared, only two sounds could be heard. One was the snapped halves of Cage's first set of sunglasses rattling as the wind died down.
The other was Goro's winded groan of agony, as he felt the impact of Cage's last punch, square in the groin.