When Celine Dion showed up to do a completely straight-laced song for Deadpool 2 there was a feeling like she was slumming it. Like, wow, Celine Dion! She’s a literal big deal! What the hell is she doing in a R-rated movie about a Wolverine/Deathstroke/Spider-Man knockoff?
In a movie featuring the likes of Shatterstar and Firefist, that’s the same reaction I can’t help but have for the Juggernaut. Like, I know X-Men: The Last Stand was a garbage movie that almost killed the franchise, but come on! It’s the Juggernaut! He’s both one of the most well-known X-Men villains and one of the top brute force Marvel characters!
I’m not complaining. Just surprised is all. It’s like when Bill Murray showed up in Space Jam. I’m all for it, but…you seem too good for this.
So who is this bullet-looking Bill Brasky of a mutant crusher? Cain Marko showed up back in 1965 in the pages of X-Men #12, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. As a kid, Cain’s father remarried and Cain got a new step-brother in Charles Xavier. Being that his name outright spells out “violent brother,” Cain bullied Xavier until Xavier had no choice but to use his psychic powers as self-defense. That’s when the bad blood really started.
Oh, and the jealousy too. There was a lot of that.
The two served in the military at the same time and Cain accidentally came across a cave or temple or something and found a magic gem that turned him into an invincible tank of a man. Unfortunately, it also caused the mountain to collapse on him and getting out of that took some doing.
Being that he was already a dick and compounding that with becoming an invincible, armored version of Sweetums the Muppet powered by a deity bent on destruction, Cain Marko dedicated himself to killing his brother. To be fair, Xavier did leave him to die, though I suppose having A MOUNTAIN FALL ON HIM is reason enough for Xavier to shrug and call it a day. Cain tried a few times to exact revenge, but despite being a force impervious to pain and being stopped by any physical object, Juggernaut still lost to the X-Men time and time again.
Over the years, he’d become so synonymous with being an unbeatable brute that he’d be plugged in to face just about any superhero or superhero team. He’s taken on Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain Britain, New Warriors, Venom, Superman, and even our good friend Deadpool. In the 70s, they gave him a BFF in Black Tom Cassidy, which succeeded in both giving him someone to tag along with as well as giving him his own kryptonite. For instance, Deadpool’s protected himself against Juggernaut by 1) throwing Black Tom out of a plane so Juggernaut would follow and 2) offering to help keep Black Tom alive when he was on an operating table.
In the 2000s, Juggernaut split from Black Tom (who became a tree…don’t ask) and ended up joining the X-Men as the school’s new gym teacher. During this time, he mentored an abused mutant kid, which puts his Deadpool 2 behavior in perspective. Unfortunately, Juggernaut’s brief time on the team was considered the one saving grace of one of the all-time worst X-Men runs in history, so there was a bit of a stigma to it. He left the team, joined Excalibur, feuded with Xavier again, became the host for Captain Universe, and then joined the Thunderbolts.
While Juggernaut in the Thunderbolts was cool as hell, it didn’t last because of the Fear Itself event, where Juggernaut got his own evil Mjolnir hammer and became even more unstoppable and sinister. He got depowered and repowered a handful of times and is now dedicated to killing Cyclops because Cyclops killed Xavier and Juggernaut had grown to love the little, bald guy.
So, um, that’s the gist of what Juggernaut’s all about. This is a bit too short and all and I don’t feel like doing an in-depth look on his history. Instead, here are some fun Juggernaut anecdotes.
1. THAT TIME JUGGERNAUT HAD A BAZOOKA
Before the early ’90s X-Men cartoon series, we had a failed pilot called Pryde of the X-Men. It was…okay. A few years after it was made, they made that awesome Konami X-Men arcade game loosely based on it. Or at least based on what a full-on Pryde of the X-Men series would have been like.
Being one of the most iconic villains in X-Men history and a simple henchman type, Juggernaut was one of the game’s bosses. This version of Juggernaut was not only super strong and able to run people over like it was no problem, but he also had a bazooka.
On one hand, why did Juggernaut have a bazooka? He’s Juggernaut. His fist is stronger than a bazooka’s discharge. It’s like giving Freddy Krueger a Swiss army knife.
On the other hand, why does nobody else give Juggernaut a bazooka? It’s unnecessary, but he’s an over-the-top character and this would be an over-the-top design choice. No comic writers have ever honored the Konami X-Men game by giving Juggernaut a bazooka. That’s just unfortunate.
2. VINNIE JONES’ RUBBER ABS
X-Men: The Last Stand featured the first cinematic Juggernaut with Vinnie Jones, which was some sweet casting, at least in concept. Too bad the movie was a mess and all we got out of him was a funny line about why he wears a helmet, that bit where he runs through a bunch of soldiers, and a cringe-worthy reference to a viral internet video from the early days of YouTube.
By that, I mean the Juggernaut put on a jack-o-lantern mask and danced to the Ghostbusters theme in a graveyard. It was in the deleted scenes.
Jones reprising the role was never going to be a reality for Deadpool 2. Not only for the fact that they were going full CGI with him. Jones once got in a bar fight because of all the roles to be recognized for, “He was the Juggernaut in the third X-Men movie!” is apparently the one that will get you a knuckle to the lip.
3. JUGGERNAUT DESTROYED THE WORLD TRADE CENTER ONE TIME
Back in 1991, Juggernaut fought Spider-Man and X-Force on the streets of New York City. To show how destructive and not-giving-a-shit Juggernaut tends to be, he singlehandedly knocked over the World Trade Center and had the biggest laugh about it. Messed up, right?
A decade later, when Marvel did the Amazing Spider-Man 9/11 tribute issue, Juggernaut was shown among all the other major supervillains, sad that the real-life tragedy occurred in their fictional world. Probably not the best look…
4. WITHOUT CHARLES XAVIER, JUGGERNAUT WOULD HAVE BEEN A DEAD MONK
Age of Apocalypse was one of Marvel’s biggest events in the ’90s and it had to do with an alternate reality where Charles Xavier was dead. So…what would that mean for Cain, who was driven by his lifelong hatred of one man who was no longer alive? Well, he’d just shave his head and take an oath of non-violence in a world going to Hell.
Juggermonk didn’t have a happy ending, unfortunately. Nightcrawler bugged him about using his awesome, invincible deltoids to help save the day and the inner struggle caused Cain to have a fatal aneurism.
Luckily, he has no qualms about punching shit in Deadpool 2, so go on and enjoy the antagonistic exploits of a villain described by my fiancée as looking like “a robot’s dick.”
Gavin Jasper still finds the mustard/ketchup part of the Juggernaut Bitch video funny because he is a child. Follow him on Twitter!