Even in a universe filled with Asgardians, Eternals, Olympians and other self-proclaimed deities, some cosmic forces simply tower above the rest. While intergalactic powerhouses like the Phoenix Force and Galactus have been well-defined and fairly popular thanks to their appearances in hundreds of comics and TV shows, one of the Marvel Universe's strongest beings, Cyttorak, is still largely shrouded in mystery.
Even though Cyttorak didn't actually appear until the 1990s, his power has fueled the super-strong X-Men villain Juggernaut and been invoked by Doctor Strange since the 1960s. While his presence has even been alluded to in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the rarely-seen Cyttorak is one of Marvel's most potentially destructive threats. Now, CBR is going to take a closer look at Cyttorak through his history, his powers and his most famous earthly avatar, the unstoppable Juggernaut.
WHO IS CYTTORAK?
Cyttorak was first mentioned by Doctor Strange when he used to Crimson Bands of Cyttorak to free an entranced woman in 1964 story from Strange Tales #124, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. In Lee, Jack Kirby and Alex Toth's X-Men #12, the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak gave Cain Marko, Professor X's stepbrother, the almost limitless strength of the Juggernaut in 1965.
After his name was mentioned for decades, Cyttorak finally debuted in 1992's Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #44, by Roy Thomas and Geof Isherwood. Although his full origin still hasn't been revealed, Cyttorak is an ancient, powerful mystical deity who was exiled in another dimension called the Crimson Cosmos. From that dark universe, he's tried to spread destruction and chaos across the earthly word, usually through his avatar, the Juggernaut. While he initially looked like a human in an ornate suit of armor, his more recent appearances have cast him in a more demonic, monstrous light.
HOW POWERFUL IS CYTTORAK?
By any measure, Cyttorak is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. Given the limited scope of his appearances and the abstract nature of his power, it's tough to determine the precise strength of his abilities. Within the Crimson Cosmos, he's essentially all-powerful and wiped away a fifth of the Phoenix Force with minimal effort.
While he could still feasibly use a healthy portion of that power in the main Marvel Universe, the best way to gage his power is through his avatars. With the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, the Juggernaut has a limitless source of power that makes him unstoppable and could theoretically make him the most physically strong being on Earth. The small dose of his power, at its rarely-seen peak, that the Juggernaut wields can tear through the walls of reality and is supposedly strong enough to control the fabric of the universe.
While they're not nearly as unbreakable as they're said to be, the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak are commonly used by Doctor Strange and other much more powerful mystical entities like Dormammu, Zom and the Ancient One. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange was able to briefly restrain Thanos, who had a partially completed Infinity Gauntlet, with the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak in Avengers: Infinity War.
As part of a power-measuring contest with several other cosmic beings, Cyttorak created the Gem of Cyttorak to make a human the avatar of his power on Earth. After Carin Marko claimed that power and became the Juggernaut, he used that near-limitless super-strength to tear his way through the X-Men, Spider-Man and the other occasional hero.
After Marko was given the power of the Asgardian Serpent in the 2011 crossover Fear Itself, Cyttorak turned the X-Men's Colossus into the new Juggernaut. Since the X-Man got in so many fights, Cyttorak later claimed that Colossus was his favorite avatar, even though he also used a portion of the Phoenix Force at the same time. However, Cain Marko eventually regained the powers and title of the Juggernaut, and he came to understand those abilities on a new level fairly recently.
Regardless of who Cyttorak's Juggernaut is, they're just one aspect of that being's incomprehensible power. While the true limits of that power may never be revealed, Cyttorak poses an existential threat to the Marvel Universe that's only been quarantined and rarely, if ever, truly defeated.