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Juggernaut: 15 Times The Unstoppable Was Stopped

by  in Lists, Comic News Comment
Juggernaut: 15 Times The Unstoppable Was Stopped

The unstoppable Juggernaut, Cain Marko was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and introduced in “X-Men” #12 back in 1965. Since then he’s proven to be a worthy foe for many characters in the Marvel Universe, including Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four and of course, the X-Men. What sets him apart from other characters is the fact that he’s incredibly durable (virtually invincible with his mystical force field), insanely strong, doesn’t need to eat, sleep or even breathe and once he gets moving, no force can stop him…well, almost.

RELATED: Hulk Smashed: 15 People Who Beat The Hulk

As you’ll see through this list, despite all the unfathomable power bestowed upon him by the mighty Cyttorak of the Crimson Dimension, Juggernaut has met defeat in a variety of ways. Here are just 15 times the unstoppable Juggernaut was… well… stopped.

15. Marvel Zombies 1 #5

marvel-zombies-juggernaut

Juggernaut is already pretty indestructible and he doesn’t need anything to sustain him other than the mystical powers of Cyttorak. It’s not at all easy for heroes to stop Juggernaut, much less to kill him. You’d think that the Zombie Juggernaut you can see marching with the undead horde in “Marvel Zombies” #5 would be a lot more invulnerable, as he himself seems to think when he taunts zombie Wolverine.

If anyone can kill zombie Juggernaut,though, it’s zombie Wolverine and boy does he. He smashes his claws into Juggernaut’s exposed jaws and pretty much obliterates his head with his newly acquired cosmic powers. It’s certainly not a long fight, but the outcome is spectacular. If there’s one defeat that has to be talked about, this is it, if only because it was one of the swiftest defeats ever and at the hands of someone you wouldn’t think would ever successfully beat the unstoppable Juggernaut… at least, not without help.

14. X-Men #13

juggernaut-first-defeat

Following Juggernaut’s first ever appearance came his first ever defeat, at the hands of none other than his step-brother. He rampages though the X-Mansion in an effort to destroy Charles Xavier in the name of twisted vengeance, though it was Cain who had unjustly tormented Charles as they were growing up.

The X-Men throw everything they have at him, but the Juggernaut seems to be impervious to it all, including, thanks to Juggernaut’s helmet, Xavier’s psychic attacks. Beast attacks Juggernaut but is beaten, Iceman traps Juggernaut in a casing of ice but Juggernaut breaks free. Finally, with the aid of Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four, who was telepathically summoned by Charles, the X-Men are able to remove Juggernaut’s helmet to allow Xavier to finally take hold of Cain’s mind. Juggernaut would later try to work around this vulnerability with the use of a skullcap created with mystical energy, though eventually, Cain Marko would see his powers amplified and his weakness to mental attacks nullified.

13. Spider-Woman #38

spider-woman-storm-vs-juggernaut

A few of the X-Men faced off against Juggernaut once again in “Spider-Woman” #38, after Jessica Drew is framed for the theft of vibranium by Juggernaut, Black Tom Cassidy and Siryn. The three are then hunted by Spider-Woman, Storm, Angel and Colossus, who are able to dispatch Black Tom and Siryn. Somehow, with less effort than before, Storm and Spider-Woman are able to blast Juggernaut out of the battle and into the sea, ironically allowing him to escape arrest (if his arrest was even possible).

Yes, being blasted into the water and lost at sea counts as defeat, even if he can survive without needing to breathe or eat or sleep. You might be surprised that Storm and Spider-Woman could even blast him away, or you might argue that it’s up to the writers to decide if and how the unstoppable Juggernaut could see defeat, so it won’t always be consistent. We’ll ask those people to remember that the writer, Chris Claremont, wrote “X-Men” comics for 16 years. Who would know the potential of their powers better than him?

12. The Mighty Thor #429

thor-vs-juggernaut

After taking over an empire on a mysterious planet, Juggernaut is targeted by The Mighty Thor, summoned by Prince Zalaski from whom the empire was stolen. This issue, written by Tom DeFalco (who is kind of a major authority on the Marvel Universe), sees a rematch demanded by fans who weren’t at all satisfied with the inconclusive battle Thor and Juggs had in “The Mighty Thor” #112. This time, Thor is at full strength and the battle we get is much more epic than the last. We see how powerful Juggernaut’s mystical force field is, withstanding every blow from Mjolnir, so what does Thor do? He looks for a weakness and sends Mjolnir circling the castle they’re in, effectively disabling Juggernaut’s force field by blocking his access to the energies.

In that brief moment where Juggernaut is more vulnerable and Thor finds himself without his hammer, we see that Juggernaut is outmatched, though incredibly enduring, and that’s something worth noting when reading about the character. Even though this fight ends with Thor chucking Juggs into deep space with his hammer, you still have to respect how brilliantly Marko managed to hold his own against a god with little mystical aid.

11. Incredible Hulk #457

horseman-hulk-vs-juggernaut

These two have gone toe-to-toe more than a few times, and more often than not, it ends with Hulk winning (if it’s not a stalemate). “Incredible Hulk” #457, written by Peter David, is just one of those times. In this issue, we see Hulk with his powers amplified by implants given to him by the ancient mutant, Apocalypse. As a horseman of Apocalypse, Hulk no longer needed anger to grow stronger and was given several weapons including a sword and a tendril.

Juggernaut and Hulk battle each other in the desert, an opportunity for Hulk, as War, to test his strength and new celestial armor. While Juggernaut is his usual headstrong and reckless self, this incarnation of War is too much for him and the unstoppable Juggernaut is physically stopped by War, mid-run! Hulk subsequently throws Marko across the desert and removes his helmet, ready to decapitate him. It was a clear defeat and if it weren’t for the arrival of Hulk’s friends, we can assume that Marko would be dead, which is reason enough to start questioning the legitimacy of his title as the “unstoppable.” He was clearly not strong enough, though he was, as always, relentless.

10. Amazing Spider-Man #230

spidey-vs-juggernaut

Spider-man has fought many super villains over the span of his career, both large and small. He’s fought behemoths like the Rhino and even the Hulk, but the Juggernaut was different. Where the Rhino could usually be fooled into rendering himself unconscious, Juggernaut has no such weakness. Where Hulk felt sorry for the wall-crawler during their fight and eventually stopped, Juggernaut has no reason to feel sympathetic toward anything or anyone. So how is a Spider supposed to stop the Juggernaut? With a little help from New York City construction!

In this issue, written by Roger Stern with artwork by John Romita Jr, Jim Mooney and Glynis Wein, we see how Juggernaut’s own recklessness and over-reliance on his indestructibility can lead to defeat as it did when Spider-Man led Juggy into wet cement, putting a stop to his rampage. It was cleverness and persistence on Spidey’s part that led to Juggernaut’s downfall, though you should note that he’s never been shown to be the typical strong, dumb opponent. He’s just a bit careless.

9. X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever #4

x-men-worst-x-man-ever-juggernaut

This 2016 mini-series, written by Max Bemis with artwork by Michael Walsh, follows young Bailey Hoskins, whose only power is the ability to permanently detonate his body. He has to find other ways to do good with the X-Men. Throughout the series, he acts bravely, like when the unstoppable Juggernaut suddenly began rampaging through the city in the series’ fourth issue, after trying to rob a bank. He was stopped of that particular crime by a group of X-men in training, comprised of the mutants Rags, Riches and the surprisingly powerful Miranda, who quickly stops Juggernaut by willing a well into existence and allowing him to fall into it, far beneath the Earth’s crust.

Everyone is surprised at what this young student can do and it just goes to show that Juggernaut isn’t always the most prepared. He was easily distracted by brave Bailey Hoskins (who jumped onto Marko’s helmet), which allowed Miranda to defeat him. Of course, who’s to say that Juggernaut would have won if he faced her anyway? It’s likely in this case that, with her involved, Juggs would have met defeat here no matter what happened.

8. Incredible Hulk #602

skaar-vs-juggernaut

Another great example of how Juggernaut can often be unprepared is in “Incredible Hulk” #602, written by Greg Pak with artwork by Ariel Olivetti. After the few times Hulk pummelled Juggernaut, Banner provokes the avatar of Cyttorak to lure him out and have him face Banner’s son, Skaar, in order to prepare him for a fight with the Hulk when Hulk eventually returns.

Juggernaut was clearly superior in regards to brute strength but Skaar had more up his Sakaarian sleeves. Like Juggernaut’s mystical power, Skaar is aided by the Old Power, a synthetic form of the Power Cosmic. With this power, he surprises Juggernaut by turning into a child, mid-fight, causing Juggernaut to pause for a minute, allowing Skaar to punch him into the air. That’s not the only deceptive tactic Skaar uses in this fight, and this defeat surprisingly says a lot about Cain Marko. Despite essentially being a symbol of destructive force, you can’t describe him as being wholly villainous. In fact, you might even say he was even compassionate, as he stops fighting when he sees Skaar as a child, or later on when Skaar deceives him with abandonment issues.

7. Unlimited Access #1

wonder-woman-vs-juggernaut

A memorable moment for comic fans was when one of Marvel’s most powerful villains went up against one of DC’s most powerful heroes. It was Juggernaut versus Wonder Woman, a fight that held a lot of promise. Following a wild adventure with Batman and Spider-Man, Access, AKA Axel Dasher (a character created by both Marvel and DC) finds the universes a little mixed up. Juggernaut appears along with Mantis and the two wreak havoc until Spider-Man intervenes, though he’s quickly overpowered. That’s when Wonder Woman appears to save the day.

While Spidey focuses on Mantis, Wonder Woman takes on the unstoppable Juggernaut who spends the whole fight boasting that nothing can stop him and that she can’t hurt him. She of course proves him very, very wrong. With one punch, Wonder Woman knocks his helmet clean off; with one more, he’s out cold. It’s one more example of Juggernaut’s own recklessness and arrogance leading to his defeat — and a pretty amazing one at that. Is this fight unfair because it was written by Karl Kesel (who mainly writes for DC Comics)? Maybe. But after reading everything Juggy says throughout, you’ll definitely agree that he deserved it.

6. X-Men #322

juggernaut-onslaught

One of Juggernaut’s most memorable defeats also marked the first appearance of the psionic entity known as Onslaught, a manifestation of Xavier’s psychic power merged with elements of Magneto’s dark persona. The issue was written by Scott Lobdell with artwork by Tom Grummet, Mark Pennington and Steve Buccellato and they did, without a doubt, a fantastic job of introducing a formidable foe by pitting him against the Juggernaut.

This isn’t a fight. Onslaught offers Cain Marko a chance to join him in his effort to generate fear in a twisted plot to “unify” humans and mutants. When Marko declines his offer, Onslaught uses his powers of magnetism to fling Juggernaut away. Not, like, a block away, mind you; heck, it wasn’t a mile away… or even the length of a city. He throws Juggernaut from Vancouver to New Jersey, where the X-Men find him. This was one of the rare occasions when Juggernaut wasn’t a bad guy. In fact, he was on his way to warn the X-Men of the danger ahead. For the first time, we see Juggernaut clearly shaken, even terrified of the creature that defeated him, which is why this is the most notable of his defeats.

5. Fear Itself #7

kuurth

In the “Fear Itself” story arc, Cain Marko finds the Hammer of Kuurth and was thus greeted by the Asgardian God, whom he allowed to take control of his body, transforming Marko into the Kuurth himself, otherwise known as the Breaker of Stone. Armed with an unbreakable hammer, Juggernaut — now Kuurth — was in possession of immense power, able to split the town of Salem, Missouri in two. There were many heroes who attempted to stop his rampage but it seemed this time, Juggernaut had truly become unstoppable, both physically and mentally. That is, he was, until Wolverine shows up, empowered by none other than Odin, the All-Father.

You could argue that his loss in “Fear Itself” #7, written by Matt Fraction with artwork by Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger and Laura Martin, was inevitable since at that point Juggernaut had already been stripped of his powers by Cyttorak himself and that Marko had already been pummelled by Cyttorak’s new avatar, Colossus. But, whether or not that really matters when he’s up against someone like Wolverine, empowered by a god as powerful as Odin via Uru-armor, is debatable. He was destined to lose this fight the moment he allowed Kuurth to inhabit his body.

4. World War Hulk: X-Men #2

world-war-hulk-juggernaut

After a long reign on the planet of Sakaar, Hulk returns to Earth and he’s not happy. You wouldn’t be either if you were tricked into entering a spacecraft that killed your pregnant wife after jettisoning you far from Earth and forcing you to conquer a strange and alien planet. “World War Hulk: X-Men,” written by Christos Gage with artwork by Andrea Di Vito, follows Hulk’s pursuit of Xavier, a member of the Illuminati. The X-Men can’t beat him and that’s where Juggernaut comes in. He’s fought the Hulk before and in this three part mini-series, we’re actually kind of rooting for him.

Honestly, this fight isn’t exactly fair. The Hulk is enraged beyond belief while Marko, having joined New Excalibur, finds his powers aren’t quite what they were before. The result is that he’s savagely beaten by the Hulk, who notes that his opponent seems smaller and weaker than before. What we can take away from this defeat is that Marko isn’t really a villain by choice. In the aftermath of this battle we see that Cyttorak demands Cain’s embrace of the destructive force his powers represent. Hulk and Juggernaut are then more evenly balanced, but the Green King uses his brains, and Juggernaut’s momentum, to turn the tides in his favor, basically beating him twice in one night.

3. X-Men: The Animated Series

juggernaut-animated

Fox’s “X-Men: The Animated Series” did a fantastic job at surprising us, as it did when it showed us Gladiator taking a punch from Juggernaut without even flinching, before tossing him across the sea, which is all in line with his powers in the comics. The show adapted quite a lot from the comic books and usually stayed relatively faithful to the source material. The episode “The Unstoppable Juggernaut,” written by Julianne Klemm and loosely based on “Uncanny X-Men” #12, is no exception. Juggernaut (voiced by Rick Bennett) is introduced robbing a bank and as the X-Men find out, he truly is unstoppable, forcing them to work together to take down Marko. Wolverine removes his helmet and Jean Grey wipes his mind.

If you read Juggernaut’s first appearance in the comics, you might feel similarly as unsure of whether or not to feel any sympathy toward him here. As Rogue revealed when she briefly went crazy after absorbing Marko’s memories and powers, he’s a destructive force, and maybe even worse, a bully! That means he had to be taken down, but — like all bullies — you’ll find that there’s just a broken person behind that hardened shell.

2. X-Men: Evolution

x-men-evolution-juggernaut

Juggernaut met a similar end in a later series, “X-Men: Evolution” which focused more on the X-Men as high school students coming to terms with their differences and powers. Juggernaut is introduced as an obstacle through which the students must work together to overcome. One episode in particular shows just how powerful their unity can be. Faced with the unstoppable Juggernaut, the young X-Men, without Professor X to guide them, fight to stop Juggernaut from destroying a dam in his rampage.

While the origins of his powers differ greatly from the comics, Juggernaut’s role in this episode — “The Stuff of Heroes,” written by Bob Forward and Greg Johnson — was to represent the malevolent potential of mutants as a race, and it was up to the X-Men to encourage humanity to see that mutants aren’t inherently evil; in fact, that they can be a force of good. Juggernaut’s defeat here, juxtaposed with a debate at city hall between a speaker and Storm, is an important part of a greater message about prejudice and stereotyping.

1. X-Men: The Last Stand

juggernaut-x-men-the-last-stand

We can all agree that 2007’s “X-Men: The Last Stand,” directed by Brett Ratner, wasn’t exactly the best film ever. With this depiction of Marko, other than the fact that no force could stop him once he gained momentum, his powers weren’t very well defined, neither was his connection to Cyttorak or relation (if any) to Professor X. Given all that, you might think that this can’t really be the character we know and love, but he does make it very clear in the film that he is, in fact, “the Juggernaut, bitch!”

Being his first and, thus far, only appearance in film, you’d expect something a little more intimidating, or at least more meaningful than Vinnie Jones in what can only be described as fetish attire. Unfortunately, that’s all we got, and there wasn’t much else added to him in regards to character — something Vinnie Jones himself said he’d like to build on if he could reprise the role in a spin-off film. Given that it’s unlikely to happen, this failed adaptation of Juggernaut might just be his greatest defeat, as humiliating as his on-screen knock-out due to running head-first into a wall thanks to little Leech’s power-cancelling presence.

 Can you remember any other times the Juggernaut was stopped? Let us know in the comments!

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