Graphitic carbon is mainly transformed from organic compounds or carbonate minerals in nature, and can exist stablly in sedimentary rocks, magmatic rocks and metamorphic rocks. With the development of research on the carbon cycle in subduction zones, graphitic carbon, which usually occurs as accessory mineral in metamorphic rocks, has increasingly attracted attention. Graphitic carbon can be stable in subduction zones as carbon sinks due to its low solubility with respect to carbonate and the low mobility with respect to carbonic fluids. However, graphitic carbon can be reactive under some special geological conditions (e.g., with the presence of aqueous fluids in open systems), and becomes active and migrates. Therefore, graphitic carbon is one of the key subjects to trace carbon cycle in subduction zones. Based on previous studies, this paper provides an overview of the properties, formation, and decomposition of graphitic carbon in subduction zones, and comprehensively discusses the abiotic genesis, the stability and the release of them, which can be a key participant in the carbon cycle in subduction zones. There are three main genetics mechanisms of graphitic carbon in subduction zones: graphitization of biological organic matter, precipitation of saturated carbonic fluid, and reduction of carbonate minerals. Graphitic carbon in subduction zones can be released through degassing and fluid-mediated dissolution. Subduction and weathering erosion are the two main processes in the global cycle of graphitic carbon, with subduction having a greater impact on the internal circulation of graphitic carbon.