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Sunday, December 1, 2013

THE TOP 5 GREATEST BATTLES OF THE JUGGERNAUT


THE TOP 5 GREATEST BATTLES OF
THE JUGGERNAUT


BY
John "THE MEGO STRETCH HULK" Cimino

JUGGERNAUT
Created by: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby  First Appearance: X-MEN #12 (1965) 

Cain Marko is a man with extreme anger issues and a thirst for vengeance that just won't quit. Most of this was learned from his abusive father and his jealously for his step-brother Charles Xavier. The power of the Juggernaut gave him the tools to fully utilize these feelings. By becoming indestructible and unstoppable, the roles are reversed. Everyone else is a victim and he is part of that force that no one can control. This compliments his tough demeanor that stemmed from his angry upbringing. If nothing can stop him, everyone and everything around him loses their intrinsic value. Human life means very little and so does anything they hold dear. This allows him to vent his anger with little regard of those he hurts, especially in a slugfest.

The character started reaching all new levels of popularity being associated with Wolverine and the X-Men that really started to explode in the 1990s. He now begins to feature more prominently in Marvel titles, as well as cartoons, toys, posters, video games and even being a major villain in the movie X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). How could you not love this guy? Juggernaut is a big and nasty individual who gets what he wants, when he wants. He is one of the roughest and toughest men on the planet, who knew it and enjoyed it. So in honor of our unstoppable friend, here are his 5 best slugfests that turned him into a fan-favorite and legend.

Like the big man says, "Nothing Stops the Juggernaut!" and nothing ever will...



5.) THUNDERBOLTS #153 (2011)





Writer: Jeff Parker  Art: Kev Walker and Jason Gorder

This issue is a perfect example of who Cain Marko is at the heart and why he has become such a beloved cult character in the Marvel Universe. Yes, he is mostly known for his volatile and bullish ways, but he also looks out for those he cares about and will protect them in the face of adversity. And despite being de-powered in this issue from the full-power of Cyttorak, he is still tough as nails and someone who refuses to quit.

King Hyperion snags Songbird's and Moonstone's comlink (that has the ability to nullify each Thunderbolt with the press of a button) and this forces Juggernaut to save them from drowning. When he returns, Cain is pretty pissed off about the callousness what his supposed teammate just did. Then Hyperion presses the "J" button on the comlink for fun and watches Cain wither in pain. As Hyperion is about to fly off, Cain grabs his foot and smashes him to the ground. This angers King Hyperion as he begins to unmercifully pound on Cain to a bloody mess, breaking his helmet and knee in the process. But Cain was playing the whole Muhammad Ali "rope-a-dope" trick on Hyperion and when the King hit's him on top of his head and hurts his hand, Cain attacks back. Soon Hyperion gets really angry and uses his Nuclear Vision to burn Cain until Moonstone recovers and helps him out, saving his life. Then Ghost grabs the comlink collar and presses the "H" button and this causes the pain of Hyperion's weakness to Argonite to activate and render him helpless. Juggernaut, Ghost and Moonstone then proceed to beat the living hell out of him (see the picture above) and now showing fear, the Man-Thing steps in and burns him with his mystic touch... ouch.


4.) THE UNCANNY X-MEN #183 (1984)



Writer: Chris Claremont  Art: John Romita Jr. and Dan Green

Back from his ordeal on Battleworld, Colossus has come to bring the hard news to Kitty Pryde that while he was gone, he fell in love with another. The revelation crushes Kitty; however she hides the hurt from him until she returns to the room she shares with Illyana. Both Illyana and Lockheed try to comfort her when she breaks down into tears.

At a bar in Manhattan, Wolverine tries to get Colossus to realize that his "romance" with Zsaji on Battleworld was not a relationship, and the two come to odds over Peter's true feelings for Kitty. During the conversation, Logan picks up the Juggernaut's scent and realizes that their old foe is drinking at the bar in his normal get up as Cain Marko. Not wishing for a fight to break out, Logan suggests that they leave. When Colossus decides to be difficult, the slightly drunk mutant stumbles and spills his drink on Cain. 

Spoiling for a fight after his defeat at the hands of Spider-Man, Cain picks a fight with Colossus. As the fight rages, they trash the whole bar, but ultimately Cain wins knocking Colossus out with his "Sunday Punch". When the fight is over, Cain asks Wolverine and Nightcrawler if they wish to fight. Logan says no, and then he departs leaving money to pay for the damages (which was cool as hell). When they confront Colossus, he is angry with his friends for not helping. Logan points out that X-Men will help each other out for honor and sacrifice everything, like when Kitty was willing to marry Caliban so that the Morlocks would save his life. As he walks away Nightcrawler tells Wolverine he is unforgiving. However, Logan points out that Colossus needed to be taught a hard lesson about honor. 


3.) THE INCREDIBLE HULK #172 (1974)



Writers: Roy Thomas, Tony Isabella and Steve Englehart  Art: Herb Trimpe and Jack Abel

This was the issue that truly established Juggernaut as a Super-Heavyweight in the Marvel Universe. While he was always a dominant adversary against the X-Men, Juggernaut was rarely ever tested on a physical level. Enter the "Savage" Incredible Hulk; the standard of physical power in the Marvel Universe. This was a slugfest that would test Juggernaut's mettle and turn "Hulk vs Juggernaut" into a legendary rivalry.

Dr. Peter Corbeau calls Colonel Jack Armbruster after hearing about the Hulk's capture and tells him that he has a solution to ending the threat of the Hulk once and for all. Corbeau arrives just as the Hulk wakes up, and furious over his captivity goes on a rampage in his cell, shaking the entire base. Base scientists believe that the Hulk might be able to break out of his cell within two days, prompting Corbeau to work quickly. Coming up with a device to banish the Hulk in a space-time warp, he rolls in his new device and uses it on the Hulk, transporting him away to another realm. However, in doing so, Corbeau unwittingly releases the Juggernaut from his mystical exile and he begins trying to break out of the cell as well. In attempting to send the Juggernaut back, the machine malfunctions and send the Hulk back to Earth.

The Hulk is confused by the presence of the Juggernaut and he explains his origins. Finally free from his exile, the Juggernaut and the Hulk decide to work together to free themselves, and with their combined strength manage to bust out of their prison. The duo make short work of all the military force that is thrown at them by Armbruster. In the end both the Hulk and the Juggernaut manage to escape.

When the Juggernaut causes a car full of passing tourists crash, he decides to terrorized them. The Hulk, not wishing the innocent humans from being harmed tries to stop him, leading to a clash between the two. The two are evenly matched as they fight across the desert until the Hulk manages to grab the Juggernauts helmet and spin him around so fast that it breaks loose sending the Juggernaut slamming into the side of a mountain. Confused by what happened the Hulk wanders off, but the Juggernaut is back up quickly and getting ready to attack the Hulk from behind. Before he can he is suddenly attacked by Professor X, Cyclops and Marvel Girl of the X-Men, who easily drop him telepathically now that his helmet is off. When Cyclops asks if they should go after the Hulk, the Professor tells him that they have to keep searching for the missing Angel, deciding to leave the tormented Hulk alone.


2.) THE MIGHTY THOR #429 (1991)



 
Writer: Tom DeFalco  Art: Ron Frenz and Joe Sinnott

Juggernaut first fought Thor in the pages of The Mighty Thor #411 and 412 (1989). While that was a great battle in its own right, Thor was not up to full-strength due to suffering from a mysterious illness so the battle was inconclusive. Fans clamored for another confrontation between these two Super-Heavyweights without any excuses and this issue didn't disappoint. Was Mjolnir's magic greater than the magic of Cyttorak? "Thor vs Juggernaut" now entered the halls of the Marvel Universe and the debates would begin.

Thor agrees to help Prince Zalaski overthrow the Juggernaut who has taken over his empire. Thor eventually finds Juggernaut inside Zalaski's castle and attacks him. After a few tremendous blows with Mjolnir, Juggernaut's force field easily shrugs them all off. But after discovering the source of Juggernaut's powers, the Thunder God looks to even up the odds. He sends Mjolnir circling around the castle, cutting off Juggernaut’s mystical force field that constantly protects him from harm. Now only powered by his natural durability and Thor without the aid of his hammer, they would duke it out to see who was truly the superior. Although both combatants seemed to be even in physical strength, Juggernaut is over-matched in hand-to-hand fighting skills as the Thunder God unmercifully batters into him. But to Cain's credit, he is as stubborn as a mule and will not quit and stay down. Before Thor can deliver the final blow, sixty seconds expire, and with Mjolnir’s return, Juggernaut’s force field is back. Now with a surprise attack, Juggernaut manages to separate Thor from his hammer as he tries to wield it to become truly unbeatable. But being unworthy, Juggernaut cannot hope to even budge the magical weapon. Thor then calls Mjolnir to his hand and uses it to send Juggernaut to an asteroid in deep space ridding Zalaski's empire of the menace once and for all.



1.) WORLD WAR HULK: X-MEN #2 and 3 (2007)






Writer: Christos Gage  Art: Andrea Di Vito

"Hulk Vs Juggernaut" is one of the heaviest of Super-Heavyweight brawls you can have in the Marvel Universe (or in all of comics for that matter). While even Cain Marko himself has the utmost respect for the Green Goliath's strength and power, he is not above a city-leveling slugfest to prove that he is the more dominant force on the planet. But in the case of this famous brawl, Cain Marko is confronted by one of the most powerful incarnations of the Hulk known -- the anger-fueled "World War" Hulk! This would be Cain's greatest test and the results would turn him into an absolute legend.

Ever since Cain Marko refused the bidding of Cyttorak he became a de-powered Juggernaut. And now with a raging-mad Hulk bent on revenge to those who exiled him from Earth, he was beating up every X-Men in sight looking for Charles Xavier. Cain knows its up to him to try and stop the brute. Marko makes a plea to Cyttorak, to amp his powers back up, ostensibly so he can rescue his step-brother. But as Marko makes an all out attack on the Hulk, he ends up getting dropped into the action still at half-strength. The Hulk will pound on Marko unmercifully and decisively.

With the "World War" Hulk continuing to pummel the rest of the X-Men, Marko asks Cyttorak why he let him fight the Hulk at half-power. We learn that Cyttorak wants his avatar back to being vicious, and realizing on some level that's what Marko wants as well. Cain agrees to go back to being the one-true Juggernaut at full-power, armoring back up and charging at the Hulk for a battle of the century! The two behemoths go back and forth until they are in a deadlocked stand off pushing against the other. Soon Professor X comes running out and yells at the two brutes to stop their pushing match because the extreme force they are using is breaking the foundation of the school and it will collapse. The Hulk will take this moment of hesitation and sidestep Juggernaut who topples forward and gets and added push in the back which sends him running wildly into the bottom of a lake. When Juggernaut eventually returns, the Hulk is long gone and he is ashamed that he is back to his full-power knowing that it will cost him his new friendships within the ranks of the X-Men.



Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it fanboys!!



Check out other "THE TOP 5 GREATEST BATTLES OF..." here:

   John "The Mego Stretch Hulk" Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John still thinks he's really Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at johnstretch@live.com or follow on twitter at @Elastic_Hulk and have some fun.