By Jim Beard
Professor Charles Xavier, leader of the Uncanny X-Men, knows many things—except where his own step-brother's ultimate loyalties lie. Cain Marko, the unstoppable Juggernaut, knows one thing—that no man dare stand in his unstoppable way.
X-MEN: LEGACY #219, written by Mike Carey and due December 17, stands as the latest chapter in a long saga between the two brothers, a story that's haunted them both since childhood. Abused in their youth, Charles and Cain chose decidedly different paths, yet met again as adults on opposite sides of the hero-villain line. In the present, can they finally reconcile?
We're joined today by Mike Carey to explore some of the most significant moments in the Juggernaut's struggles with Professor X, his X-Men and the Marvel Universe at large. Behold, as immovable objects meet unstoppable forces!
X-MEN v1 #13 (1965)
X-MEN v1 #13
Bursting into Xavier's mansion, the Juggernaut first faced off against his new foes, the X-Men. The tide of the brutal battle turned thanks to the timely intervention of the Human Torch and the discovery of the immense villain's weakness: a vulnerability to telepathic attack.
"I can remember reading this story as a kid and loving it," says Carey. "In retrospect, the way that Juggernaut was beaten—by having his helmet torn off—was too easy, but the tenor of the time was for simple story architecture. It didn't stop Juggernaut himself from being a very cool and very scary villain.
"Sometimes it lessens a bad guy if his motivation is too petty: in Juggernaut's case, it made him paradoxically more intimidating and scary, because his hatred of Professor X was always so personal and so over-the-top."
X-MEN v1 #102 (1976)
X-MEN v1 #102
Teamed with the unscrupulous Black Tom, Cain once again attacked his mutant adversaries, this time going head-to-head against the "new" X-Men. Unfortunately, the neophyte team fell one by one beneath the massive fists of the Juggernaut and the situation segued from bad to worse.
"Great fight sequence, and it was a pleasure to see Juggernaut back in the mix," notes Carey. "I never entirely bought his friendship with Black Tom. I know it's a defining beat for his modern appearances, building up to his later defiance of Black Tom during Chuck Austen's run on X-MEN, but it made Juggernaut into someone else's dupe. I prefer him out on his own.
"Umm... I also prefer him not to be in the same story as a bunch of friendly leprechauns. I mean, you know, ideally. On the other hand...Nightcrawler smacking Juggernaut in the head with a wrought-iron chandelier? Great stuff!"
MARVEL TEAM-UP v1 #150 (1985)
Gifting the mystic Ruby of Cyttorak to Black Tom, Juggernaut unwittingly transferred half his incredible powers to his friend. Only a teaming of the X-Men and Spider-Man encompassed enough power and abilities to block the two bruisers' destructive path through New York.
"You see, this is the sort of storyline that whole Black Tom thing led to," Carey explains. "Juggernaut shopping for birthday gifts. No. Just...let's not and say we did. Rogue going all Juggernauty was very cool, though. So was the tongue-in-cheek cover, with the X-Men and Spidey just standing there waiting for something to happen."
UNCANNY X-MEN #322 (1995)
The X-Men spied a shooting star falling to Earth, only to discover a beaten and barely-alive Juggernaut behind the phenomenon. At first berserk but then finally subdued, Cain introduced the mutants to the world of hurt known as Onslaught—a frightening creature born from the tortured minds of Magneto and Charles Xavier.
"Juggernaut being punched across the width of the U.S. was a very nice beat," says Carey. "So was Beast saying, 'We'll have to update his computer profile and delete the word unstoppable.'"
WORLD WAR HULK: X-MEN #3 (2007)
HULK: X-MEN #3
Though operating on the side of the angels, Cain assumed he'd be more than enough to blockade the Hulk's warring rampage across the planet. Sadly, the Juggernaut learned that day what happens we assume…
"Juggernaut versus Hulk was a great beatdown," Carey observes. "I liked the way Christos Gage used the opportunity to zap Juggernaut back up to his classic power level—and to give him back his old attitude.
"Irreconcilable hatred, hurt pride, smouldering resentment, brooding obsession. Yeahhhhhhhhh, now you're talking."
Witness Mike Carey talk his way through his own mighty meeting between Professor X and his step-brother the Juggernaut in the pages of X-MEN: LEGACY #219, barreling your way on December 10!
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