Thursday, January 6, 2011

Juggernaut part 2

Back to discuss Juggernaut again, this time I'll go over what happened during Chuck Austen's run on Uncanny and why I liked Juggernaut so much more after it.

At the beginning, the X-Men get a distress call. They go to the source of the call, when their plane crashes and Juggernaut appears. While the X-Men try to fight off Juggernaut, he gets right up to them and lets them know he was the one who sent the distress call and that he actually does need their help, with Black Tom Cassidy, whose secondary mutation is killing him. There's a fight and in the end, Juggernaut falls into the ocean, and with his powers diminished from some fighting with Cyttorak, he starts to drown. Sammy "Fishboy" Pare saves him and brings him to Xavier's X-Jet. Juggernaut agrees to go with Charles for the time being.

He then grows to be close friends with Sammy and with another kid, the new nurse's son who is eventually revealed to be a mutant. Over the course of the run on Uncanny X-Men, Juggernaut joins with Northstar to fight some werewolf mutants to annoy Iceman, then realizes he likes having a home to go to with no X-Men chasing him or police, somewhere he can settle down. So he asks to join the X-Men. Nightcrawler and Havok agree to let him be on the team, but he doesn't join them for a couple of missions. Instead, he wants to go see Sammy, whose mother had requested that her son be taken away from Xavier's because of Juggernaut's presence. Juggernaut confronts Xavier and they discuss the past, and how they blamed themselves for Cain's father (Xavier's stepfather) beating them and how they disliked the other for whatever reasons (Cain didn't like Xavier because Xavier was some new guy who his father seemed to like more and then because Xavier kept winning at everything, which he realized eventually was because of his mental powers, and Xavier disliked Cain for beating him up and then for being a jerk in general). They eventually come to an understanding of the other, though, and Xavier allows him to go see Sammy, who also had an abusive father.

Reaching Canada and Sammy's house, he sees that Sammy is beaten up (partly from the father, and partly from the other bullies who are anti-mutant), and loses his temper and attacks Sammy's dad. When Alpha Flight shows up, he fights them until he sees how scared Sammy is by him after some debris hits Sammy's mom (who Sammy actually likes). He gives up and surrenders to Alpha Flight. While being detained, Rhino breaks loose and starts messing things up, trying to escape. He eventually breaks things to free Juggernaut and after all the guards fail to stop Rhino, Juggernaut intervenes, grabbing Rhino, one of the guards' guns and shoots Rhino in the mouth, where he is actually vulnerable. The guard then asks not to be hurt, and points out the exit that is available (walls broken during the fight). Juggernaut looks at the outside, then gives the guard his gun back and surrenders to him. Then, Sammy's mom shows up and pleads for Juggernaut. While she was initially afraid of Juggernaut because of his reputation, she had made complaints about her husband beating her and her kid and the police even once told her to "honor her husband." So when Juggernaut showed up, it was the first time somebody fought back for them. It eventually convinces the lawyers to cede custody of Juggernaut to the X-Men.

Why I loved Juggernaut before was because he was just a no nonsense bad guy who wasn't so much evil as just wanting stuff for himself. Nobody could get in his way and the only way you could possibly stop him was to take his helmet off and use mental attacks, something very specific, because you couldn't defeat him physically. Magneto was a terrorist fighting for mutant rights, using whatever means necessary, Dr. Doom mostly just wants power (partly because he is trying to bring his mother back), the Joker wants anarchy and insanity, Lex Luthor wants to be recognized and powerful. Juggernaut just wants revenge on his stepbrother for various reasons (mostly justified) and sometimes to rob banks. He's been used by other people, like Black Tom, for other purposes, but he doesn't really care and that's what makes him awesome. The others all have some specific plan or purpose and that's why they are the bad guy. Juggernaut just likes being more powerful than everyone else and beating people up.

After Austen, what made me like him was that he still was kind of the same guy as before, but with a deeper understanding of himself and he had to look at things more closely and really examine them. Before, only a few people were really able to just outright beat him, so he never really took much seriously. Sure, others slowed him down, and telepaths were able to beat him but with way too much effort. During Austen's run, Cyttorak diminished his power, so he was weaker and more vulnerable. He was still the Juggernaut, but a lot weaker and had to actually be careful. It also made me understand what makes him tick, with becoming strong because of his father beating him and his hatred of Xavier. Then he went from being a strong guy who doesn't take shit from anyone to being a guy who bullied, but is realizing how wrong bullying is, and so he is trying to make himself a better person.

Chuck Austen's run turned from just some guy who beat people up (and was still awesome), to someone who beat people up for a reason. He became more three-dimensional and a more interesting character.

For why I hate Thunderbolts right now, you'll have to read part 3.

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