Character » Sub-Zero appears in 54 issues.

    Kuai Liang is Sub-Zero, a half American, half Chinese warrior who, belongs to the ancient Outworld race known as the Cryomancers. The original Sub-Zero was Kuai Liang's older brother and an assassin for the Lin Kuei , but then was murdered, by Scorpion. Kuai Liang took the name Sub-Zero. Kuai Liang himself, is an honorable man and is, one of Earthrealms most valuable, defenders.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Sub-Zero last edited by KillerZ on 07/14/23 05:24PM View full history

    Note: For the first Sub-Zero (Bi-Han), see Noob Saibot.


    Mortal Kombat II

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    Kuai Liang was originally known as Tundra before taking the name Sub-Zero in his dead brothers honor. Bi-Han was the original Sub-Zero and older brother of Kuai Liang. He was a Lin Kuei assassin who had mastered the power of ice. Unlike Kuai Liang, Bi-Han was selfish and fought only to serve his clan. Bi-Han would also be the Sub-Zero to enter the Mortal Kombat Tournament from the first game, but would later on be murdered by Scorpion after the tournaments end. He would be later resurrected as Noob Saibot. Following his brother's failure to assassinate Shang Tsung during the first tournament, Kuai Liang was sent to Outworld by the Lin Kuei to complete the assignment and compete in the second Mortal Kombat tournament. Kuai Liang would go under the code name Sub-Zero from this point on, in honor of his fallen brother.

    Scorpion saw a glimpse of this new Sub-Zero and continued to hold a grudge against him as he believed him to be the same man that had killed him a few years before. However, his belief was dispelled when he witnessed Sub-Zero spare the life of a defeated opponent during the tournament. Scorpion then came to the realization that this new Sub-Zero was the younger brother of his murderer, and, unbeknownst to Sub-Zero, swore not to harm him. Though Sub-Zero never came to face Shang Tsung himself, he successfully assisted Liu Kang, Raiden, Johnny Cage, and their allies in Liu Kang's battle with Kahn.

    Mortal Kombat 3

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    Later on, the Lin Kuei obtained technology that could vastly improve the effectiveness of their warriors, and they chose four of their number to undergo the procedure that would turn them into cyborg assassins: Sub-Zero, Smoke, Cyrax, and Sektor. Sub-Zero, Cyrax and Smoke refused to participate, and fled the clan, who declared them anathema. While Sub-Zero successfully managed to escape, Smoke was captured and subsequently turned into a cyborg along with Cyrax and the very willing Sektor. In leaving the clan, Sub-Zero had broken the Lin Kuei code of honor. After Smoke's automation, the Lin Kuei programmed the three cyborg assassins to hunt and terminate Sub-Zero, who by this time had received a vision from Raiden and agreed to join the rebellion against a new threat.

    The armies of Shao Kahn attacked Earthrealm, and Sub-Zero was among the few mortals whose souls were spared so they could fight Kahn and his extermination squads. These events also signaled the beginning of Sub-Zero's transition to a greater moral consciousness. Sub-Zero eventually encountered Smoke and convinced him that he still had a soul, which then overrode Smoke's Lin Kuei programming.

    With his new ally, Sub-Zero battled and defeated both Sektor and Cyrax. However, instead of destroying Cyrax's CPU, he reprogrammed the cyborg to hunt and terminate Shao Khan (at which Cyrax failed — he would wander in Jade's desert and become trapped there). Smoke was less fortunate: he was captured by Shao Kahn's troops and transported to Outworld as a trophy. Eventually, the Earthrealm warriors were victorious and Earth was restored to its normal state.


    When the banished Elder Shinnok threatened Earthrealm, Raiden once again summoned Sub-Zero to assist in the defense of Earth. In homage to his older brother, Sub-Zero donned his sibling's uniform, and brought to the battle information passed to him which could prove essential to Raiden in his mission to stop Shinnok. In the meantime, Quan Chi had convinced Scorpion that Sub-Zero still retained some culpability for the destruction of the Shirai Ryu, turning the specter's hostile attentions to him once more. Scorpion found Sub-Zero in Goro's Lair and attacked him. Scorpion gained the upper hand and defeated Sub-Zero. Scorpion thought that he was about to avenge his family's death until revealed that he had no role in the murder of Scorpion's family and that he was being deceived. Quan Chi, convinced that Sub-Zero was about to die nonetheless, readily admitted his guilt to Scorpion, who then turned on Quan Chi and transported the sorcerer into the Netherrealm, where Scorpion hunted Quan Chi relentlessly. This was to be the last time Scorpion and Sub-Zero were to actively oppose each other.

    Some time afterward, the cyborg Sektor assassinated the Grandmaster of the Lin Kuei and challenged Sub-Zero to a fight for the leadership of the Lin Kuei Clan. Realizing how great an opportunity this was, as well as recognizing Sektor as a threat against Earthrealm, Sub-Zero accepted the cyborg's challenge and defeated him, gaining the position. Sub-Zero also came into possession of the Dragon Medallion, which enhanced his freezing powers to levels he had never thought possible (as a side effect, it appears, it also changed his appearance).

    Great changes were made to the Lin Kuei after Sub-Zero's victory. He moved the Lin Kuei to a remote area in the arctic where they would not be disrupted and began training them as a force for good, teaching his students not only formidable fighting skills, but the value of life as well, turning them into enlightened warriors rather than mindless assassins.

    Sub-Zero held a tournament at the Lin Kuei headquarters in order to recruit strong warriors, and a female who surprisingly harnessed the same freezing powers as Sub-Zero emerged as the winner. Impressed by her exceptional skill, Sub-Zero made Frost his apprentice. While she was a superb fighter, Frost did not agree with Sub-Zero's philosophies and appeared arrogant and aloof, which would generate some friction between her and Sub-Zero's allies, specifically Sonya.

    After Liu Kang's murder at the hands of the newly formed Deadly Alliance, Raiden asked Sub-Zero to join him in the fight for Earthrealm's survival. Sub-Zero accepted, ready to protect Earthrealm and to prove to the world that the Lin Kuei was truly a force for good.

    When Sub-Zero and Frost were separated from the other Earthrealm warriors on Outworld, Frost attempted to steal the Dragon Medallion. Unable to control the medallion's powerful energies, she was consumed by her own freezing abilities and seemingly died. Sub-Zero placed the blame squarely on his own shoulders for her death, feeling he had failed to dampen her pride and teach her the same philosophies of life he had.

    As he searched for a place to bury Frost, he encountered the ruins of an Outworld civilization capable of manipulating cold. After careful study and examination of this race, the Cryomancers, he came to the realization that he and Frost were descendants of them. Burying and forgiving Frost for her rashness, Sub-Zero donned an ancient suit of armor found in the ruins and headed for the Earthrealm portal, to rendezvous with Raiden and the Earthrealm forces. He was then ambushed by an army of Tarkatan warriors, but was able to kill them all with his enhanced powers from his ancient armor.

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    After burying Frost, Sub-Zero discovered Kenshi badly wounded from a fight with the Red Dragon Mavado. Sub-Zero then made a temporary alliance with Kenshi and the two sought out a portal to Earthrealm. During their trip through the Living Forest, they were tracked down by the Dragon King Zealot Hotaro. Sub-Zero was able to defeat him just as they reached the portal to Earthrealm.

    As Shujinko rallied Earth's remaining warriors to defeat the new threat in Onaga, Sub-Zero once again ventured back into the Outworld where he soon ran into Sareena. Since she helped free his brother from his confines of the Netherrealm and also helped defeat Quan Chi with him so many years ago, Sub-Zero offered her asylum within the Lin Kuei. Sub-Zero gave Sareena a small metallic object that would guide her and grant her access to the hidden Lin Kuei temple. The two then spotted two dark figures leaving Shao Kahn’s fortress. It was Sub-Zero’s brother, Noob Saibot, and his ally Smoke.

    The two disappeared into the Netherealm. Sub-Zero ordered Sareena to wait for him at the Lin Kuei Temple as he ventured after the two. However, Noob and Smoke knew they were being followed and attacked Sub-Zero in the Netherealm. It appeared the Grandmaster was overpowered and doomed until Sareena jumped in, fending off Sub-Zero’s would-be assassins but not before Sub-Zero was left unconscious, but upon waking, Sareena had reverted back to her demonic form. Dazed and still very confused, Sub-Zero attacked and Sareena fled to the depths of the Netherealm.

    Upon returning to the Lin Kuei temple in Earthrealm, Sub-Zero discovers many of his fellow Lin Kuei slain by Frost. She had come to the temple with the intention of killing only Sub-Zero, but she had become delusional to the point of seeing Sub-Zero everywhere. Sub-Zero then froze the highly unstable Frost in a solid block of ice and placed her frozen body in a shrine deep in the temple, with the knowledge that she will one day recover, and on that day, she will have to answer for her crimes against the Lin Kuei.

    During his quest for the right to be the new Gaurdian of Edenia, Taven manages to run afoul of the Lin Kuei who are now housed in what used to be his father's temple. Sub-Zero challenges Taven to a fight, after the latter invades the Lin Kuei Palace. Before the outcome of the battle could be decided, Sub-Zero takes notice of the dragon tattoo he had on his face, commenting that it was similar to the one on the vault door containing the armor Taven's mother left for him.

    Taven acquires the armor and the Lin Kuei Palace is invaded once again, this time by Noob Saibot and Smoke who turn the Lin Kuei warriors into cyborg demons. Sub-Zero asks Taven to choose sides and Taven helps defeat the demons. Taven then defeats Smoke and eventually, Noob Saibot, who had attacked Sub-Zero. Sub-Zero shows his thanks by revealing to him the location of the stronghold to the Red Dragon Clan. Sub-Zero then attempts to cleanse his brother's soul. It is unknown as to whether he is successful.

    He is seen in the final battle in Edenia joining the Forces of Light. During the battle, he is seen fighting his long time rival Scorpion and ends up killing him. He is later seen dead with Baraka's blade stuck in his back. His death would later be reversed in Mortal Kombat (2011)

    Mortal Kombat (2011)

    Sub-Zero returns in this altered timeline with the same story as in Mortal Kombat II, except now he has traveled to Outworld with his best friend Smoke to find his brothers murderer. Sub-Zero defeats many powerful warriors along the way until finally faces Scorpion in Shao Kahn's Mortal Kombat tournament. Sub-Zero defeats Scorpion and might have decided to kill him if it weren't for the Lin Kuei's sudden interruption. Sub-Zero gets kidnapped by the teleporting cyborgs and then taken to the Lin Kuei to be transformed into a mindless robot Later on, the Earthrealm warriors find Sub-Zero but now as a robot slave for the Lin Kuei. They take Sub-Zero back to their safe zone and restore his mind and soul back into his new cybernetic body.

    Sub-Zero faces more warriors in his new body including his brother who is still Noob Saibot as in the previous timeline. He defeats him in battle and returns back to the safe zone, but is suddenly killed along with nearly every other protector of Earthrealm by the corrupted Queen Sindel.

    Mortal Kombat X

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    Sub-Zero appears Mortal Kombat X as leader of the Lin Kuei and much like in the alternate timeline he is using it as a force for Earthrealm's protection. He is first a corrupt version of himself following his death from the last game, but is reverted back to his normal form thanks to Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage. He acts as a grandfather to the young Earthrealm warriors and is good friends with Johnny Cage.


    • Name: Kuai Liang
    • Birthday: 25 October
    • Age: 56
    • Weight: 95 kg
    • Height: 6' 2" (1.85 m)
    • Status: Alive

    Powers and Abilities

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    Being the descendant of the cryomancers, Sub-Zero possesses power over ice and the ability to control it in many forms. He can flash-freeze people and create an ice statue of himself to act as a scapegoat that can flash-freeze opponents. With the Dragon Medallion, Sub-Zero can form a large sword made of ice called the Kori Blade, which he uses for his alternate weapon fighting style. He also has great martial arts skills thanks to his training with the Lin Kuei and these skills are increased by the Dragon Medallion and his ancestral armor. Sub-Zero can even freeze the moisture in the air into any form, including an icy mist, indicating that he can freeze molecules.

    In his ending in Deception, his Cryomancer armor was shown to speak to him and guide him in battle.

    Signature Moves

    • Ice ball: Sub-Zero sends a ice ball to the rival facing sideways, freezing the opponent giving Sub-Zero a chance for a hit.
    • Slide: He slides across the floor, knocking over the opponent by his feet.
    • Ground Freeze: Sub-Zero freezes the floor making the rival slip and fall if he steps in it giving Sub-Zero a free hit.
    • Ice Clone: Sub-Zero would make a statue of himself, if the rival touches it he would freeze giving Sub-Zero a free hit.
    • Ice Shower: Sub-Zero shoots ice above, which breaks apart and hits the rival, no madder the distance.
    • Cold Shoulder: Sub-Zero speeds to the rival shoulders the rival leaving a trail of ice.


    • Deep Freeze Uppercut: He freezes the rival, he uppercuts the rival shattering the rival into pieces everywhere.
    • Spine Rip: Sub-Zero grabs his opponents neck, pulls and rips out their head off with their spine attached
    • Snowball: Sub-Zero forms an ice grenade, throws it at the opponent making them explode.
    • Ice Shatter: Sub-Zero freezes his defeated opponent, and then uppercuts them.
    • Freeze Kick: Sub-Zero freezes his opponent, and then kicks them into small pieces.
    • Frosty!: Sub-Zero breathes a breath of ice on his opponent, they then fall back, and when they come into contact onto the floor, they shatter into pieces. Very similar to the Ice Shatter Fatality.
    • Overhead Ice Smash: Sub-Zero grabs his opponent, and grabs them over himself, he freezes his opponent and literally separates their upper body from their lower body.
    • Skeleton Rip: Sub-Zero sidesteps towards his opponent's back and literally tears their skeleton out of their body. Leaving only meat and skin.
    • Freeze and Throw: Sub-Zero freezes his opponent, rips their spine out, ice slides away, then throws the spine at the body, shattering both the body and head.
    • Below Freezing: Sub-Zero freezes the legs of his opponent, and then shatters them. He then walks towards the opponent, (with their begs for mercy ignored) and proceeds to stomp on them, causing the head to explode.
    • Have an Ice Day: Sub-Zero freezes his opponent from the feet, to the waist. He then rips the torso off of the opponent, and holds the bleeding torso of his foe in victory.
    • Spinal Smash: Sub-Zero rips the foe's spine (with the head still attached) through the opponent's chest. He then freezes the foe's body and smashes It with it's on spine.
    • Chest Kold: Sub-Zero freezes the opponent's chest, punches it, with the result being a gaping hole, he then grabs the attached spine and rips it in half. He then presses them against his head, and rips them in half.
    • Bed of Ice: Sub-Zero forms a frozen bed of spikes, then kicks the opponent onto the bed, impaling them all over. Sub-Zero then jumps onto the opponent, causing them to be further impaled, he then gives one final stomp, resulting with the opponent's skull to be crushed, and one eyeball is now gouged and impaled onto a spike.
    • Ice-Cutioner:
    • Frozen In Time:

    Other Media


    Sub-Zero then makes a cameo in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

    Keith Cooke as Sub-Zero
    Keith Cooke as Sub-Zero

    After thwarting an assassination attempt on Liu Kang and Kitana by Smoke, he mentions that he is the brother of the Elder Sub-Zero. He then is attacked by Scorpion and engages him in battle but is unable to prevent him from kidnapping Kitana. He then urges Liu Kang to meet with Nightwolf before going after her. He was portrayed by Keith Cooke.


    Sub-Zero appeared in the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, voiced by Luke Perry.

    Defenders of the Realms
    Defenders of the Realms

    When he first approaches the Earthrealm warriors with information regarding an impending attack by Scorpion, they are hesitant to trust him because he is a traitor to the Lin Kuei, but he is eventually able to prove his allegiance to them. Over the course of the series, he battles Scorpion and his friend Smoke, was turned into a cyborg and brainwashed by the Lin Kuei.

    Video Games

    • Mortal Kombat 2
    • Mortal Kombat 3
    • Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
    • Mortal Kombat Trilogy
    • Mortal Kombat 4
    • Mortal Komabt Gold
    • Mortal Kombat: Special Forces
    • Mortal Kombat Advance
    • Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
    • Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition
    • Mortal Kombat: Deception
    • Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
    • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
    • Mortal Kombat: Anthology
    • Mortal Kombat: Unchained
    • Ultimate Mortal Kombat
    • Mortal Kombat: Puzzle Kombat
    • Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
    • Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition
    • Injustice Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition (Cameo)
    • Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection
    • Mortal Kombat (2011)
    • Mortal Kombat X
    • Injustice 2
    • Mortal Kombat 11

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