Nothing Can Stop Him – X-Men Black: Juggernaut #1 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Cyttorak is unhappy with the Juggernaut’s progress in fomenting chaos, rage, and destruction across our mortal plane, so the Cult of Cyttorak has captured Cain Marko and using psychic spells to torment him. However, Cain refuses to lie down and take this punishment. Even in his mind, the Juggernaut is unstoppable and will prove to Cyttorak that Cain Marko is the only one worthy to be called the Juggernaut.

X-Men Black: Juggernaut #1 cover by J. Scott Campbell and Sabine Rich
X-Men Black: Juggernaut #1 cover by J. Scott Campbell and Sabine Rich

In the back-up story, Apocalypse tests the limits of his ability to transfer his being across different bodies.

Cards on the table, the Juggernaut is my favorite X-Men rogue after Magneto, so I was personally pretty excited for this one-shot about Cain Marko.

It didn’t disappoint either. X-Men Black has been a series showing where various X-Rogues are currently and where they will likely soon be. X-Men Black: Juggernaut #1 has Cain Marko re-establishing himself as the rage-filled Unstoppable Juggernaut we all know him to be.

Cain has attempted to reform himself at various points in his history, more recently being a member of the Thunderbolts and then retaking the power from Colossus and attempting to keep it from being used to cause too much havoc.

That’s clearly changed; since then he’s battled the X-Men Blue team alongside Black Tom Cassidy and then fighting Thor. X-Men Black shows that the Juggernaut is a force for destruction once again, and he may yet gain even more power and challenge Cyttorak himself.

My one complaint is that the comic never makes it clear where this bottomless rage within Cain Marko actually comes from. It implies that it centers around his childhood and Charles Xavier in particular. I know that Cain’s dad preferred young Charles over Cain, and Cain’s father also abused Cain. However, this comic never directly references or acknowledges that fact, leaving the reader to wonder if the anger comes from elsewhere.

The Apocalypse chapter at the end is a darkly surreal episode in En Sabah Nur’s life. I’ve not kept up with every chapter of X-Men Black, so I’m unsure of what it means in the context of the entire X-Men Black: Apocalypse story, but it is a strange and memorable read in isolation.

X-Men Black: Juggernaut #1 art by Shawn Crystal, Rico Renzi, and letterer VC's Joe Caramagna
X-Men Black: Juggernaut #1 art by Shawn Crystal, Rico Renzi, and letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna

Shawn Crystal gives the Juggernaut a slightly cartoonish style that works wonders for the story, tone, and context. Cain is as massive as ever. He and the world around him are given severe angles and heavily shadowed texturing. It looks great, and it’s a memorably distinct style. I also dig the continued updating of the Juggernaut helmet. Rico Renzi compliments Crystal’s style with a dim and heavily red color palette.

Geraldo Borges and Rachelle Rosenberg do some good work in the Apocalypse story too, doing an especially good job with expression and detailing.

X-Men Black: Juggernaut #1 delivers a hell of a punch with its reintroduction of Cain Marko. We see where Marko is at in his life and where he will be going. The art is gorgeous and fitting, and the overall comic easily earns a recommendation. Give it a read.

X-Men Black: Juggernaut #1 comes to us from writers Robbie Thompson, Zac Thompson, and Lonnie Nadler, artists Shawn Crystal and Geraldo Borges, color artists Rico Renzi and Rachelle Rosenberg, letterers VC’s Joe Caramagna and Cory Petit, cover artist J. Scott Campbell with Sabine Rich, and variant cover artist Salvador Larroca with Guru-eFX.

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