Juggernaut (comics)

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Juggernaut (real name: Cain Marko) is a fictional character in Marvel Comics' universe, a former supervillain of incredible power and durability. He was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in X-Men (volume 1) #12 (July 1965).

Contents

Character history

Origin

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Uncanny12.jpg
Cover to Uncanny X-Men #12. Art by Jack Kirby.

Cain Marko is the step-brother of Charles Xavier, founder of the X-Men. His father, Kurt Marko, married Charles' mother, Sharon, after her husband Brian Xavier died. Kurt neglected Cain and drove Sharon to alcoholism. Thus, Cain took out his frustrations and insecurities on his step-brother, who at one point used his telepathic powers to read Cain's mind and see his psychological damage which led to Cain becoming more aggressive toward him.

Cain was sent to a military boarding school, due to his lack of discipline, and later served in the army. When Cain and Charles served together in the Korean War, Cain and Charles stumbled onto the ancient temple of Cyttorak, lost for centuries. On an altar, Cain saw a huge red gem, the Crimson Ruby of Cyttorak, and immediately grabbed it. Upon the gem was an inscription, and he spoke it aloud: "Whosoever touches this gem shall be granted the power of the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak! Henceforth, you who read these words, shall become ... forevermore ... a human juggernaut!"

The cavern collapsed. Charles was able to escape, but it took Cain weeks to dig himself out. Cain seethed with rage at his step-brother and, after creating his armour, he set out to hurt Charles as much as possible.

Criminal Life

Juggernaut first appeared on-panel in Uncanny X-Men #12, although his presence was sensed by Professor X in the previous issue. He has since fought various heroes of the Marvel Universe, primarily the X-Men but also including Spider-Man, the Avengers and the Incredible Hulk. At one point in his career, he teamed with the mutant mercenary known as Black Tom Cassidy, who became his only friend, and with whom he once tried to share his power.

Later, he was seen on the run from the psychic entity called Onslaught, one of the few foes that managed to physically hurt him, by striking him from Canada all the way to New Jersey at the beginning of the Onslaught crossover, and later physically imprisoned him inside the Crimson Ruby. After the Onslaught debacle, the Juggernaut was kidnapped by the Exemplars, who, like Cain, are living manifestations of various mystical entities. The Juggernaut was saved by the Avengers, who defeated the Exemplars.

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XMEN161.jpg
Juggernaut with the X-Men. Cover to X-Men (v2) #161. Art by Salvador Larroca.

Redemption

As punishment for "betraying" the Exemplars and their mission, Cyttorak, his patron deity, withdrew most of his power from Cain, and as a result, Juggernaut has been growing steadily weaker ever since. Cain has since reconciled with Xavier and joined the X-Men. He befriended a young boy named Sammy, who had a positive influence on him, and had a one-night stand with She-Hulk, who as Jennifer Walters was representing him in his trial for all the crimes he had committed as a criminal.

Later Black Tom Cassidy resurfaced and Juggernaut joined his new Brotherhood of Mutants, with the intention of betraying the group and warning the X-Men when he had the chance. Sammy stumbled upon the Brotherhood having a meeting, and thinking that Juggernaut had betrayed the X-Men he became angry and started yelling. Annoyed, Black Tom killed the boy. Furious with rage, Juggernaut tried to kill his former friend. When the Brotherhood were sucked into a black hole by the second Xorn, Juggernaut accompanied them to make sure Nocturne (another mole) would be safe if everyone survived and to make sure the Brotherhood didn't try to attack the mansion again.

He ended up in Mojoworld and became the property of Mojo along with Nocturne. To escape, Nocturne took control of Mojo's henchman, Spiral, and opened a portal to the X-Men's danger room, where they were reunited with the team. This, however, was a trap set by Spiral who was in more control of her body than thought, leaving a portal open to allow Mojo to cross over as well. Mojo turned the X-Men into X-Babies, but they managed to overpower his forces anyway. Juggernaut still felt extremely guilty about Sammy's death, and how the boy's last words were that he hated him. He wondered if he should remain a child, this being his chance to start over with a clean slate, but Storm comforted him and convinced him not to. The X-Men were re-aged, and Juggernaut remained with the team.

Powers and abilities

Juggernaut traditionally possessed immense power of mystical origin. He had tremendous physical strength; a significant resistance to physical injury, having sustained huge assaults from multiple superheroes without sustaining damage, due to a force field surrounding him; and almost unlimited stamina. Due to the mystical energies flowing through his body, he also did not need to eat, breathe, or drink fluids. Finally, while moving, he could, essentially, not be stopped. To compensate for his most significant vulnerabity, telepathic assault, he also wore a helmet of a mystical alloy, which prevented his mind from being read or assaulted.

Since his depowerment at the hands of Cytorrak after the "Eighth Day" events, however, his power levels have decreased in almost every respect. He now needs to breathe and, while still highly super-strong, possesses only a fraction of the strength he once wielded. Finally, he is no longer an "unstoppable force," and has been stipped of his mystical armour and telepathy-shielding helmet (instead, he wears "unstable molecule" replicas which do not replicate the telepathic shield).

Ultimate Juggernaut

In the Ultimate Marvel continuity, Juggernaut was apparently a mutant drafted into the Weapon X Program. He did not appear to be the indestructible, mystically empowered villain from Earth 616, but rather a mutant with superhuman strength comparable to Colossus. His real name has not yet been revealed, and he was liberated from servitude when the Weapon X Program was terminated by Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.

Appearances in Media

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Juggernaut.jpg
Juggernaut as seen in the X-men animated series

Juggernaut appeared in the X-Men animated series, the Pryde of the X-Men pilot, and the and X-Men: Evolution series.

Vinnie Jones will play Juggernaut in the Summer 2006-slated movie X-Men 3.

Links

fr:Le Fléau (X-Men)

pt:Juggernaut

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