NYCC: Chris Yost Talks X-Men And The Once And Future Juggernaut

Yesterday at New York Comic Con, Marvel Comics announced “The Once and Future Juggernaut,” the new story arc beginning in January’s Amazing X-Men #15.

The story sees the return of the Crimson Gem of Cytorrak to Earth, and heralds the return of the one of the X-Men’s most fearsome foes, The Juggernaut.

When the Gem returns, the call goes out across the universe, and no one hears more clearly than former Juggernauts Colossus and Cain Marko.

What does this mean for the X-Men? Can they trust Colossus and stop the return of the Juggernaut?

We posed those questions to writer Chris Yost.

You brought Colossus back into the X-Men at the beginning of “World War Wendigo” after he spent some time with X-Force following the events of Avengers vs. X-Men. He was welcomed back with open arms, something we haven’t seen with the other members of the Phoenix Five, who remain estranged. Now he’s going to be tempted with the possibility of becoming the Juggernaut yet again. What kind of strain is this going to put on his relationships with his teammates? Do they feel that they can trust him when the Crimson Gem is in arm’s reach?

YOST:  This is the arc where the X-Men really deal with Colossus.  In World War Wendigo, he arrived and the team pretty much went into crisis mode.  Now, with a little down time, we can really dig into those relationships, specifically with Colossus and Storm.  There’s a lack of trust there that will propel the story as it goes on.  Do they trust him with the Gem?  Absolutely not.  Colossus is the one that brings the gem’s return to the X-Men’s attention, and they promptly ground him.  Which does’t sit that well with Colossus.  From there, all the betrayal and hurt feelings come to the forefront.

Last we saw of Cain Marko, he had wandered off into the desert, seemingly to live a life of solitude. What kind of state of mind, physically and mentally, is he in when the Crimson Gem reappears? Is he racing to be the one to reclaim or, or is he fighting that urge?

YOST:  Cain’s found peace.  All that power never brought him what he wanted.  It just brought pain and misery, whether he used it for evil or for good.  But as the longest running avatar of Cyttorak in modern times, he hears the call the loudest.  And he’s not happy about it.

How does the death of Professor X effect Cain and his relationship with the X-Men? Charles was a hated rival previously, but does his death soften how Cain feels about him? Is there any chance at reconciliation between Cain and his step-brother’s surrogate children?

YOST:  He’ll have a unique perspective on Charles’ death, which will surprise the X-Men.

How much attention does the reappearance of the Crimson Gem get in the superhero and villain community? What kind of response are we going to see? Will there be a line of villains looking to claim the gem for their own, like trying to pull the sword from the stone, or does the Gem only call to a select few?

YOST:  It’s selective.  The criteria is fairly stringent.  But we’ll be seeing faces new and old making a play for the power.

Obviously the X-Men would prefer their not be a Juggernaut at all, but destroying magical artifacts isn’t always an easy task. What’s their game plan like going into this crisis?

YOST:  The X-Men fully intend to stop anyone from claiming the gem.  Needless to say, it goes poorly.  I’m not spoiling anything here by saying that SOMEONE’s getting the gem over the course of the story, maybe more than one person.  The question becomes, what’s the least horrible version of this they can work towards?  Is it Colossus?  Or Cain Marko?  Or someone new?

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