Cain Marko (Juggernaut)

juggernautfilmBack to casualgamer‘s request, we’re now seeing one of the most popular villains/anti-heroes in the Marvel Universe: the unstoppable Juggernaut. He was one of the many characters misused in X-Men: The Last Stand, an undervalued villain played by Vinnie Jones, part of Magneto‘s Brotherhood of Mutants for no apparent reason. In the movie, Juggernaut is portrayed as a super-strong and invincible mutant, who plays a relevant part in the final Battle of Alcatraz, but who’s eventually defeated by the combined forces of Kitty Pryde and Leech. He was set to appear in Days of Future Past as well, but at the last moment his part was filled by Quicksilver instead. Compared to his comicbook counterpart, this Juggernaut is surely much smaller and less powerful, and most of all, he has nothing of the original one’s backstory. Just to be clear: no, in the comics Juggernaut is not a mutant. And he shares a story with one of the major X-Men

Cain Marko was born the son of Kurt and Marjorie Marko; Kurt was a brilliant atomic researcher, but also an abusive father and husband, and eventually Marjorie left him. When Cain was only three years old, his mother died, so he was raised by his father, who kept sending him to boarding schools he regularly got expelled from (quite a troublesome child). When one of Kurt’s colleagues, Dr. Brian Xavier, died in an accident, the man started courting his widow, Sharon, aiming to her wealth. Sharon fell for it, and the two got married: after being expelled from the umpteenth boarding school, Cain moved to the family’s new home, a large mansion in Westchester County. Cain met not only his “new mom”, but also a stepbrother he didn’t know to have: Charles Xavier, an educated and intelligent yung man who soon became Kurt’s favourite. The athletic and violent Cain started bullying the meek Charles in retaliation for the affection Kurt felt for him, only to be beaten by his father even more than usual. One day, while he was receiving a severe beating from Kurt, Cain realised that somebody was inside his head, reading his juggernautcomics1thoughts and emotions: it was Charles, who had just developed his mutant powers and was unable to severe his first connection ever, the one with his stepbrother. Now, somebody knew of Cain’s secret feelings, of his anxiety, his anguish, his need to be loved by his father…he was ashamed of it, and he hardened his feelings towards Charles even more. When Sharon died, the three men lived alone together, and their relationship became even harsher…to the point that, one night, Cain accused Kurt of having intentionally murdered Brian Xavier. In the struggle that followed, Cain destroyed much of his father’s laboratory, setting it on fire; Kurt managed to save both his sons from the fire, but he died for smoke inhalation. Cain somehow considered Charles responsible for everything, and regarded him as an enemy: every success in school and in sport was a new personal offense to Cain, who eventually decided to leave home after a last fight with Charles. Big, muscular and not particularly smart, he joined a private army and became a mercenary, a field in which he finally could excell, venting all his aggressiveness and his brutality. During his years, he met and befriend the mutant Tom Cassidy.

During the War in Korea, Marko was enlisted as most of his peers…and in his platoon he met again Charles Xavier, a soldier as well. Under enemy fire, Cain decided to desert, and tried his escape in the jungle, only to be followed by his stepbrother who wanted to take him back. The two ended up in a nearby cave, which hid the lost Temple of Cyttorak: inside, Marko stumbled upon a large ruby, a stone that he immediately grabbed…with unexpected results. The ruby was the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, a mystical artifact that transformed its wielder in the avatar of the ancient god Cyttorak: Cain began to transform into a large, superhuman being, when the Korean army bombed the place. Xavier managed to escape, watching helplessly as his stepbrother was buried under hundreds of tons of rock. Charles came back to his unit, giving Cain for dead…but with Cyttorak’s power, Marko was now indestructible, and he needed no food nor air to survive. Slowly, he dug out of his rock prison, and he emerged to a new life: he was now the Juggernaut, the unstoppable avatar of Cyttorak, a man who had given up his soul to the ancient deity to obtain an immense power…which he intended to use. Cyttorak gave Marko an armor he could juggernautcomics2summon any moment, as well as a special helmet to protect him from the psychic powers of the first enemy he wanted to slain, his stepbrother Charles. Years had passed, and Xavier was now a crippled professor who had transformed his mansion into Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters…a cover for a shelter for young mutants, raised as children, trained as the X-Men. Juggernaut attacked Xavier and his proteges with all his might, and easily subdued them all; Xavier telepathically asked the Fantastic Four for help, and the Human Torch arrived at the mansion to assist them in battle. Juggernaut proved to be too much to handle even for the newcomer, until the Human Torch melted his helmet, thus allowing Xavier to use his telepathy on Marko, sending him to a coma. The unstoppable brute was reawakened soon after by Factor Three, a group of evil mutants who wanted to use him against the X-Men; this time as well Juggernaut manage to defeat all the X-Men single-handedly…until he was tricked and trapped into the Crimson Cosmos, a dimensional prison existing within the gem. Not even magic boundaries would have held the unstoppable Juggernaut for long, however: the world hadn’t seen the full potential of Cain Marko and his new powers…yet.

Cain Marko is a man hardened by years of beatings and abuses coming by his father; violent and brutal by nature, his grudge, his shame, his anxiety eventually made him a copy of the man he despises the most, a neverending circle that only fuels his hatred and rage. As the Juggernaut, he’s an unstoppable force of nature: his immense strength puts him on equal ground with a power-house like Hulk, and he is able to outmatch other strongmen like The Thing or even Thor; as long as he is the avatar of Cyttorak, he’s utterly indestructible, relentless, tireless, he doesn’t need air to breath nor food or liquids to mantain himself; his already remarkable invulnerability is made even more effective by a personal force field and a fast healing factor; his most astounding ability, however, is his momentum: once the Juggernaut starts moving in a certain direction, it’s absolutely impossible to stop him. A trained soldier, Marko makes good use of his unmeasurable strength in hand-to-hand combat, and his mystical armor can be summoned at any time at will. Juggernaut is not exactly evil: more than once he has become a hero, fighting to be a better man than the one he ended up being; he is, essentially, a man with his own agenda…if something or someone stands between him and his goal, well, too bad for it/him.

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5 Comments

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  5. […] Man made his public debut challenging the powerful villain known as Juggernut (a dumb version of Juggernaut), and surprised everyone by defeating him. Well, he did this not exactly thanks to non-existent […]


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