Marvel Retcons Juggernaut's Origin

The Juggernaut has always been one of the most unstoppable X-Men enemies and Marvel villains, but now we may have a sense of the true reason why.

SPOILERS for X-Men Black: Juggernaut by Robbie Thompson, Shawn Crystal, and Ric Renzi follow.

It has long been known that Cain Marko became the Juggernaut, the avatar of the demon god Cytorrak on Earth, when he stumbled upon a cave shrine housing the Crimson Gem of Cytorrak and took it as his own. As long as Marko has the Crimson Gem, he is infused with Cytorrak’s rage and power, making him unstoppable.

X-Men Black reveals that the Crimson Gem may amplify Cain Marko’s rage, but it is not the source. The issue delves into Cain’s psyche, both literally and figuratively. Cytorrak has become disappointed with Marko’s performance as his avatar. Priests of Cytorrak hold the Juggernaut prisoner while they force him to relive moments from his past.

This is meant to be a kind of torturous test. Eventually, Marko realizes none of it is real and begins fighting against it. Cytorrak himself appears before Juggernaut to challenge him. Meanwhile, a young boy, a specter of who Cain Marko once was, appear to Juggernaut. He reminds him of the unloved little boy who was locked away in a closet and abused by those who should have protected him.

Cain Marko has repressed this rage for a long time. Cytorrak sees this as Cain holding out on him. Juggernaut realizes that this deep-seeded rage is where his power truly comes from and taps into, using it to defeat Cytorrak and free himself from the priests’ mind trap.

Juggernaut X-Men Black
(Photo: Shawn Crystal, Rico Renzi, Robbie Thompson, Marvel Entertainment)

This win restores Cytorrak faith in Cain Marko, and Cain leaves as the Juggernaut with his patron’s blessing. Juggernaut, however, doesn’t want to be under Cytorrak’s thumb. The specter of Cain as a child continues to travel with him and they remember something the priests said about there being eight gems. This may be a reference to the Octessence, a group of powerful magic beings of which Cytorrak is only one. The others also were able to create totems like the Crimson Gem that would turn a mortal into their Examplar. Perhaps Juggernaut will now quest for all eight in order to challenge his master.

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X-Men Black: Juggernaut is now on sale.