In 736 AD, the elder demon Cyttorak roamed the Earth. The immortal Iron Fist and the great sorcerer Xun (“Shuun”) battled him and asked what the demon wanted. He only had one desire – to be worshipped by the people of Earth. But mankind would not obey the demon, and eventually, Cyttorak was banned from this Earth.
Now in the Crimson Cosmos, the elder demon thought only of his return to the world. The demon was drawn to us, like moths to a fire. He lent his power to human sorcerers, for he craved destruction. But it was not enough. Finally, he found a way for mankind to feel the power of Cyttorak once more. While he could not truly return to this world, he would have an avatar on Earth. Through his servant, humanity would know the demon’s destructive power once more, and worship him for it. But his avatars failed time and time again. The gem that contained his essence was lost, and the power of Cyttorak was wasted. But still, to this day, Cyttorak thinks of Earth.
A group of explorers find a mysterious tower in the jungles of southeast Asia. Inside, they stumble upon a gem, but before they can investigate, they are attacked by an unseen figure. The power of Cyttorak has returned.
Across the world, candidates heed the elder demon’s call. Those who are strong, filled with rage, desire power, and can be controlled by the demon hear it, as well as those who know what to listen for. At the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, Colossus wakes up with a scream. Domino has sneaked into the school and is in bed with him. He tells his companion that Cyttorak is back. The man sensed his return, and sets about making a painting of it’s location.
The next morning, the X-Men are training in their gym. The Scarlet Witch is visiting, and is helping coach Pixie into learning how to better control magic. They have her test out a sleep spell on the X-Man Rockslide, but she puts to much power into her attack, and blows the rocky hero pieces. He’s okay, as Rockslide is perfectly able to survive such attacks, and Nightcrawler wants the girl to try again. Colossus comes by, and asks for Storm, who is at the place she spends all her time these days.
Enraged, Colossus returns to his room, and smashes a portrait of him and the X-Men from long ago. Domino decides that now is a good time for her to leave, while the X-Men set out to retrieve the gem. Ororo, Rachel Summers, Northstar, Firestar, Nightcrawler, Iceman, and Rockslide set out in the X-Jet to find the gem. On board the plane, Rockslide expresses excitement and hopes he gets to be the new Juggernaut, while Firestar says she is nervous. Though Iceman isn’t worried, Angelica knows just how powerful this villain can be. Cain Marko, the original Juggernaut, wasn’t so bad. He could be reasoned with has had two major weaknesses to both magic and telepathy. What if somebody truly evil gets a hold of the gem?
Back at the school, Colossus sits in front of Logan’s old room, when the mutant named Trance approaches him. Piotr explains his situation, and doesn’t know what to do. It has been pointed out to him that his decision making skills have been far from ideal lately. He wonders what Wolverine would do in this situation. Trance tells him that Logan would team up with a teenage girl and go kill the bad guys.
In the jungle, the X-Men find the tower. They see that all the men who discovered this place have been killed, and enter the building cautiously. Northstar uses his superspeed and finds the being that killed those men – a massive and ferocious looking demon. Back at the school, Pixie is practising her spells until Colossus enters his room. He requests that he be taken to the tower right now.
In the temple, the X-Men do battle with the demon, who is acting as a guardian for the gem. While trying to hold off the monster, they are suddenly attacked by a squad of men. They aren’t the only ones who knew the gem has returned, and many others have come to seek its tremendous power. Storm orders Rockslide to deal with the demon on his own, much to his annoyance, and the rest of the X-Men split up to face the invaders.
Back at the school, Pixie is furious at Piotr for his request. The girl does not have a good history with the Rasputin family. Magik stole a part of her soul and Colossus forced her to travel to hell in order to save his sister. She has no desire to help this man, whose family has given her nothing but pain. Frustrated, Colossus smashes her end table. Pixie says this is why nobody likes him anymore. Calming down, Colossus apologizes. He wasn’t always like this. But ever since he joined the X-Men, Piotr has never been strong enough. He could never save his friends and family from pain or death. Storm called him weak, but really, he’s afraid. All he wants to do is protect the people he cares about, and right now, the X-Men need him. Pixie relents, but only so long as his sister doesn’t come along.
Firestar finds the mercenary Crossbones standing before her, while Nightcrawler and Northstar run into the Man-Killer, an agent of HYDRA. Rachel and Iceman try to find their target, but she is having trouble finding him with her telepathy. The target’s thoughts are painful and makes her mind feel like it is on fire. Suddenly, this person attacks, and he is revealed to be Fahd Alireza, also known as Jinn, an elemental assassin. Storm finds Firestar being held hostage by Crossbones, but has no time to help, and orders the girl to deal with the mercenary herself. Angelica complies, and ignites her would-be attacker before knocking him back with a fiery punch.
Meanwhile, Rockslide finally manages to overpower the demon. It says the mutant is strong, and offers him the power of Cyttorak. In response, he detonates himself in front of the monster’s face. Rachel is having trouble against Jinn, and Iceman is struggling to hold their attacker back. During this time, a mysterious hooded figure seeks out the gem with a band of mercenaries accompanying him. They are attacked by more demons, until Storm arrives on the scene. She remarks how it is moments like these that make her miss Logan being around to kill a lot of things for her, but Wolverine is gone, so she’ll have to do so herself.
Iceman’s fight with Jinn is interrupted when Northstar is flung into their battle by the Man-Killer. But before any of them can do anything, a new arrival appears before him. With the mutant known as Vanisher in tow, Cain Marko has arrived, decked out in combat gear and ready for a fight.
From his blood-red dimension, the elder demon looks on. His call was heard, and humanity is eager for his return. They fight and kill for the honour of serving him. They sense is power, and love him for it. But one worshipper in particular stands out. He is special. The chaos this man would bring to Earth is beyond measure. The time has come. The human race will know his name once more. And Cyttorak is pleased.
Vanisher recognizes the situation and knows the X-Men will bring him nothing but pain and death. He flees, while Cain Marko knocks the Man-Killer clear out of the tower. Iceman manages to freeze Jinn in his place, while Nightcrawler greets the former Juggernaut as an ally. But Cain attacks both Rachel and Kurt. He’s not their friend, and this is no time for forgiveness. The X-Men killed Marko’s brother, Professor Xavier, and he wants them to confess to their crimes. The group is baffled. Juggernaut tried to kill Xavier for years. But Cain won’t hear of it. Charles was the only man who ever gave Marko a chance in life, and the X-Men stood by while he died. Northstar demands his friends be let go, and says that it is no secret that Scott Summers killed Xavier. Cain relents, and notes that Cyclops is his true enemy. When Rockslide arrives with an unconscious demon in tow, Marko vanishes.
While this is happening, Storm has an encounter with the hooded figure. She is unable to injure him, and he knocks her back easily. Firestorm is having trouble against Crossbones, until Colossus and Pixie arrive to help her. Carefully, Pixie manages to use her sleeping spell on the mercenary, while Colossus disappears.
Cain arrives in the chamber containing the Gem of Cyttorak. As he is about to touch the gem, Colossus stops him and knocks him over. Somehow, Cain is able to go toe to toe with Colossus, until the two men realize they are both here to destroy the gem. Neither of them want the power, but rather don’t want anymore needless destruction. Both men fail to notice that the hooded man has also arrived. Storm is in close pursuit and tires to stop him, but it is too late. The Living Monolith has the Gem of Cyttorak, and answers the elder demon’s call. The tower begins to collapse, and the X-Men are able to evacuate everyone before they can be crushed.
Soon, the world would feel it. A new avatar has been chosen, more powerful than ever. His power has returned. This is what they wanted, he knew. Chaos. Fear. Destruction. Cyttorak would give it to them, and mankind would love him for it. The Juggernaut has returned, and he will shake this world to its core. And yet… in his crimson heart, Cyttorak was discontent.
The Juggernaut towers above the X-Men. Pixie wonders what they should do, and after a moment of hesitation, Storm decides to sit down over there. The X-Men are at a loss, and begin to sit down with her. Rockslide asks why they are all sitting around, and Cain Marko says they’re insane. While the X-Men reminisce about times the heroes have fought other giant enemies, the Juggernaut declares himself unstoppable. The stars themselves quiver at his- wait, where did all the X-Men go?
Storm apologizes to Piotr. She’s been to hard on him. But Colossus says it is okay, he needed a push in the right direction. The other X-Men comment that they are worried that Colossus is too willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Each and every one of them would lay down their lives for one another, but Piotr seems to leap at the opportunity.
The X-Men then debate how they might stop this new Juggernaut. The Living Monolith absorbs cosmic energy. His superpower means that he uses this energy to grow in size, and with access to the Crimson Gem, he could very well grow to the size of a planet. Colossus has an idea, and suggests he make an offer to Cyttorak. Storm, Iceman, Nightcrawler and Rockslide go out and distract the Living Monolith with an attack, while Colossus attempts to make contact with the elder demon. Pixie makes fun of Piotr, pointing out he’s just yelling at the sky, but suddenly she and Rachel are possesed by the demon, and they are teleported along with Cain Marko to the crimson home of Cyttorak. The elder demon taunts his former avatars. His failures are no longer necessary. With his new champion, humanity will know the power of Cyttorak.
So Colossus asks him a question. What then? How long until the Living Monolith fails him as well? How long until the chaos and destruction becomes boring? Humanity will never worship the elder demon. They would die first. And Cyttorak knows this. He’s always known this. But he lacks the imagination to do anything else. Colossus makes him an offer. Make him the Juggernaut once more. Give him more power than ever before… and he will use it to kill Cyttorak. The demon pauses, and then, he accepts.
On Earth, the Living Monolith cries out, and is the Juggernaut no more. The new Juggernaut appears, and quickly takes the former avatar out. The X-Men celebrate, as the plan must have worked. But Storm realizes something is wrong. Colossus returns with Pixie and Rachel, while the Juggernaut says that Cyttorak accepted the offer, but with a different player. Cain Marko stands before them, the Juggernaut once more.
Colossus is confused. Juggernaut said the deal went through, so he should be off killing Cyttorak, not back here on Earth. The whole point of Marko coming here to begin with was to stop the endless destruction. But Cain reveals that he made a bargain. Before he kills Cyttorak, he’s going to take revenge on the man who murdered Xavier. The X-Men can’t let him do that, so a battle begins. With quick thinking, the X-Men work together to hold him in place, and knock their old enemy’s helmet off.
But something is wrong. Cain looks completely different, as the gem has affected his entire body. Rachel is unable to affect him with her telepathy. Marko says that every weakness he had is gone. Nobody can stop the Juggernaut. As far as he is concerned, every one of the X-Men let Xavier die. Every one of them is going to have to be killed.
Only Colossus still stands before him, and a showdown begins.
My name is Piotr Nikolaievith Rasputin. I am one of the strongest beings on this planet. I am Colossus. Many times I have faced Cain Marko in battle. Many times, I have lost. But NOT… TODAY! <quickly> On reflection, I could be wrong. Maybe I will get beaten to a pulp by the Juggernaut again today. I think I broke both my hands. This may have been a mistake.
Colossus is brutally knocked far away. His instincts are to fight until he dies. But maybe that’s not the best way. He thinks about what Logan would do, and amusingly reflects that his old friend would cheat. With a quick move, Colossus avoids one of Cain’s attacks, which slams into the ground below, at the edge of a cliff. Colossus then shatters the now fragile earth, and the Juggernaut falls.
Piotr did it. He saved his friends. If it means today, he must die, than so be it. As he accepts his face and careens off the cliff as well, a thought occurs to the X-Man – what the hell is he doing? At last minute, he grabs the edge of the cliff and pulls himself up. The X-Men stand over him, and Storm asks if he feels better. Piotr says he is doing well. They didn’t stop Cain. He’s down their somewhere, and they should probably warn Cyclops. But for now, they’re going home.
One upon a time, there was a man. A man who got everything he wanted. In the end, it wasn’t enough. In truth, it could never be enough. No amount of power could change who he was. It could never quench his thirst for more. He was now and forever the Juggernaut. And he would never stop.
Hello and welcome to Comic Island! My name is Arden, and this is the complete story of The Once and Future Juggernaut.
So I’ve been feeling bad about our coverage of the X-Men lately. Specifically, over the last month or so, it just doesn’t exist. This has a lot to do with the current state of X-Men comics. It’s hard to find a good series that either Joey or I can get into. But we both are huge fans of the X-men, and I wanted to do something. So when I saw this story was wrapping up this week, I thought it would be fun to go through the entire story arc.
This story was depicted on the pages of Amazing X-Men, issues 15-19. I’ve read this series before here and there but never really got into it, but the title of this story arc really peaked my interest. And I am very glad it did. This was a pretty awesome story. I’ve always liked the Juggernaut as a character, and this arc was an excellent plot that involved this character’s entire history.
There’s a lot to like here. The books were funny but also dealt with some serious things. Everything here tied together nicely and you don’t need to know much other than a bit about the big guy himself. This felt like a return for two major characters with both Cain Marko and Colossus coming to terms with their history and what they each stand for. Ultimately, this is a return to form for both of them. Now that isn’t to say this is a return to the status quo.
Rather, both characters are developing in what felt like a logical way into the men they once were. Colossus has been through a lot. Through his time as the Juggernaut, then as part of the Pheonix, and finally during his time on Cable’s X-Force, the hero has fallen pretty far. It feels like he’s starting to make amends for his action, and as such becomes closer to his original character and a true superhero.
Cain, meanwhile, started out this story as a man living in peace. Even the call of Cyttorak doesn’t change this, and he at first seeks to destroy the gem to stop anyone from becoming what he was. Ultimately, he succumbs to the need for revenge and the temptation of power, becoming the Juggernaut once more. Like Colossus, this is closer to what Cain Marko once was, but now hell bent on revenge and actually unstoppable.
I’m pretty happy with both developments, really. It feels like both characters are moving forward. Meanwhile, the art in this comic was on the whole well done and the action was quite nicely put together. I’m still not sure how I feel about the new look of the Juggernaut though. On the one hand, he does look kind of dumb in his armour, and I like the classic look better. But I also do like the idea of the gem corrupting his body and turning him into a more demonic looking person. I find that cool and an interesting idea. Let me know what you guys think of the Juggernaut’s new appearance in the comments section below.
But yeah, overall, I really enjoyed and would recommend the Once and Future Juggernaut. It was a well written and fun series, and is tempting me to pick up more Amazing X-Men titles in the future. I enjoyed it, and hope you will too. Other than that, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and keep reading comics.