Amazing Spider-Man: The Gauntlet

Spider-Man: What Stopped The Juggernaut?

Roger Stern discusses revisiting a benchmark from his storied career in upcoming issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!

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By Jim Beard

Writer Roger Stern returns to weaving webs beginning March 31 to teach Spider-Man a valuable lesson: Something can stop the Juggernaut!

The three-issue story arc, winding its way through AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #627 to #629 with art by Lee Weeks, allows Stern to take a look back at his own classic Spidey-Juggernaut tale from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #229-230 and crank up those dynamics in the here-and-now.

"Spider-Man had no idea what he was getting into that first time," Stern says of the famous first meeting. "Since then, they've crossed paths a number of times and have come to a sort of uneasy truce. We'll touch on all of that briefly, of course, to bring new readers up to speed and remind older readers of what they've forgotten.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #627 preview art by Lee Weeks
"Every time I think I've written my last Spider-Man story, something keeps bringing me back. It really is an honor to be asked to play in his world again, and it's so much fun.

You know, I was about 15 when I first read a Spider-Man story, but I sometimes feel as though I've known Pete all my life. He's a good guy, a real mensch. He may screw up from time to time, but he always does his best to set things right."

"Something Can Stop the Juggernaut!" presents a mystery for the web-slinger, one that makes him pause and ponder the possibility that whatever can halt this infamously unmovable object could potentially come gunning for him.

"Here's a guy whom our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man has fought-or tried to fight-before," Stern notes. "He knows that the Juggernaut could walk from one end of Manhattan to the other, smashing through anything in the way. Juggernaut is supposed to be unstoppable, right? But something or someone has stopped him. Who did it? Who could have done it? And is this mysterious power on the side of angels, or is it an even bigger potential threat than Juggernaut? Those are the kind of questions that would keep you up at night."

Knowing Spidey fans well, the writer guarantees an adventure packed with action and wrapped in drama, then served up with a side of pathos.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #627 preview art by Lee Weeks
"This is very much a story-in-motion that ranges all over New York, New York," he says.  "In case you haven't heard, it's a wonderful town. The Bronx is up and the Battery's down. The action ranges from Chinatown to Central Park, all around Midtown, back down to Greenwich Village and finally up to Inwood in Northern Manhattan-and that's just in the first issue. Things really get wild in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #628.

"The focus is mainly on Spider-Man himself, as he tries to get to the bottom of things.  And for a guy who's been beaten unconscious and left for dead, Juggernaut sees a good bit of action, as well-eventually."

Part of that pathos stems from Peter's seeming inability to take geek-girl hottie Carlie Cooper out on the town. Stern also promises some attention to that little detail.

"Carlie's a real sweetheart, isn't she?" asks the writer. "And she's the first woman in Pete's life with whom he can really talk science. Carlie knows her stuff, and she doesn't easily freak out.  I'll bet she could go from cataloging body parts to eating a chili dog without giving it a second thought. Carlie is less Goth than Abby Sciuto, better adjusted than Temperance Brennan, and much prettier than Gil Grissom, but she would fit right in with that crowd."

But it's the powerful presence of Cain Marko, the Juggernaut, that dominates this tale and Stern relishes the opportunity to once again scratch the itch between the ruby wrecking ball and the web-slinging Spider-Man.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #627 preview art by Lee Weeks
"Thanks to the Exemplars, he learned of his place in the cosmic scheme of things," he claims of Cain. "He was more or less part of the X-Men for a while. And he had a kind of probationary amnesty, though that didn't keep him from being a wanted man in Canada. Throughout it all though, Juggernaut has remained one of the more single-minded denizens of the Marvel Universe. If he decides that he wants to do something, he does it, and it's hard to discourage him or give him pause. Juggernaut is not terribly deep, but he's not shallow either. And his life has a full, rich background. His step-brother, after all, founded the X-Men."

And what more does the prolific writer say about the book's sad-sack star?

"The underlying lesson of Spider-Man is that super-powers have their own drawbacks. Great power does lead to great responsibilities; you ignore them at your peril. And intelligence isn't wisdom. Pete is a little driven, both as himself and as Spider-Man. But he's clever and funny and usually comes through in the end, even when the odds are stacked against him, which they most definitely are in this story.

 

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      Comments

      11 comments
      silentprocess
      silentprocess

      [quote:981b21727c="Roger Stern"][quote@silentprocess You think this will tie into Juggy ending up on the new Tbolts team?[/quote] That would be telling.-- Uncle Rog[/quote] Well... :juggernaut: If I had to guess, and it appears I have to, I say this story is going to lead into Juggy being on the Thunderbolts roster. Which is cool. This can be a great story to develop Juggy more as a character as well. There aren't many times the Juggernaut has been vulnerable, Onslaught was mentioned earlier. When people are vulnerable they tend to reflect upon their lives and start questioning what they are doing and their motives. We'll have to see, nonetheless I'm excited about it.

      MalachorWraith
      MalachorWraith

      [quote@darktruth Deadpool stopped the Juggernaut with logic, which for Deadpool is quite a feat![/quote] Logic and intellect really do make you realize than an unstoppable motion is just like a golden retriever crashing down a freshly polished wood floor.

      Roger_Stern
      Roger_Stern

      [quote@silentprocess You think this will tie into Juggy ending up on the new Tbolts team?[/quote] That would be telling.-- Uncle Rog

      silentprocess
      silentprocess

      You think this will tie into Juggy ending up on the new Tbolts team?

      silentprocess
      silentprocess

      Hey, Roger... That's not the general consensus.. I just wanted you to know :). I enjoy your work and appreciate what you do... Even if saying that may have others thinking I'm a suckup.

      Roger_Stern
      Roger_Stern

      [quote:acaf747232="Nova#1"]Not much is really brand new in Spider-Man. But at least the art is looking much better for this story arc.[/quote] Gee, thanks.

      Roger_Stern
      Roger_Stern

      [quote@bevedale That over head pic of Juggernaut in a crater in the ground and steaming from...physical abuse I guess...Gee.........where have I seen that before?.......Hmmmmmm...........Wait, I'm seeing it now........I see Psylocke, Beast aaaaaaaannnnddd.......Bishop! Standing over Juggernaut in a crater in the ground....But where, OH WHERE, did I see this before..........Oh that's right! The cover of Uncanny X-Men #322 when Onslaught punched him half-way around the world! This must be crazy different though, because in the Spiderman version he is steaming.........from wind burn, maybe? Yes, "someone stopped the Juggernaut" a thrillingly 'original' idea. Did you think Spiderman fans were not aware of the whole Onslaught debacle?[/quote] Don't know about the Spider-Man readership, but (Uncanny?) X-MEN #322 isn't anything I ever read. Even so, I'll bet that that my story is significantly different. -- Uncle Rog

      darktruth
      darktruth

      Deadpool stopped the Juggernaut with logic, which for Deadpool is quite a feat!

      Nova1
      Nova1

      Not much is really brand new in Spider-Man. But at least the art is looking much better for this story arc.

      silentprocess
      silentprocess

      Yeah.... I actually forgot about that lol, course I haven't read onslaught yet.. Have the trades sitting in my bookcase though.. That happened about the time I stopped collecting comics for the second time.

      bevedale
      bevedale

      That over head pic of Juggernaut in a crater in the ground and steaming from...physical abuse I guess...Gee.........where have I seen that before?.......Hmmmmmm...........Wait, I'm seeing it now........I see Psylocke, Beast aaaaaaaannnnddd.......Bishop! Standing over Juggernaut in a crater in the ground....But where, OH WHERE, did I see this before..........Oh that's right! The cover of Uncanny X-Men #322 when Onslaught punched him half-way around the world! This must be crazy different though, because in the Spiderman version he is steaming.........from wind burn, maybe? Yes, "someone stopped the Juggernaut" a thrillingly 'original' idea. Did you think Spiderman fans were not aware of the whole Onslaught debacle?