Review: Juggernaut #1
I didn’t think I needed a comic starring the Juggernaut. After Juggernaut #1, I absolutely want a comic about the Juggernaut! Like Maestro #1, Juggernaut #1 is a fantastic debut that draws you into the character delivering a comic that adds depth and some sympathy.
Cain Marko, aka Juggernaut, is out of limbo. That’s both literal and metaphorical. The character was left there in a previous volume of the X-Men’s adventures and has been absent from the current status. Now, he’s attempting to figure out his life and has taken a job with Damage Control to do what he does best, wreck things. Yes, the Juggernaut is now Wreck It Ralph. But, it completely works and delivers a debut that’s a surprising humanizing look at the character.
Writer Fabian Nicieza presents a pretty straightforward story. The Juggernaut has found work and somehow escaped his prison. The latter is teased throughout the issue but it’s the combination of the two that creates the success of the comic. Nicieza focuses on the man in the suit. This is a character that doesn’t have a lot of options in life and has found a path that works. He’s broken in many ways and there’s a hurt that’s present. He’s the criminal that’s hoping to reform but knows he has a slippery slope ahead of him.
And that’s the balance of the debut issue. The reader is left to wonder at what point, if any, does the Juggernaut screw up? Is he really in a place of peace or is this just a way to make more money until he’s presented with a more tempting offer. That temptation is in the form of squatters in a nearby building threatened by gentrification and the promise of internet fame. The use of a YouTube clone and instant celebrity and potentially money is a carrot that feels like it’s perfectly crafted to tempt Marko. There’s a teasing of the apple from the tree of knowledge aspect to it all, and that’s extended to what we know of the Juggernaut’s escape from his prison.
Ron Garney delivers fantastic visuals. Joined by Matt Milla on colors and Joe Sabino on lettering, this is a Juggernaut that’s imposing and feels full of mystical energy. The new costume design fuels the mystery of how Cain Marko regained his power and gives a nice updated look to the classic character. The art’s details are fantastic as well as they bounce between the past and present. Locked away, we see Cain Marko whither and suffer and he seeks to escape his prison. Armor is lost, body mass withers, hair grows. You can “feel” his struggles through the visuals. In the present There’s an imposing gentleness about his actions and movements. He tosses debris to find someone trapped with a sense of urgency. You can “feel” his shock as someone actually slows him down. But, it’s with his helmet off we get a human take on the character that makes him come off as tired, out of touch, and broken internally.
Juggernaut #1 is a fantastic debut of a comic. It adds a lot of depth and emotion to a character who has at times lacked it. There’s a fantastic mystery here of a man who’s at his lowest and is attempting to get his life in order. In many ways it’s a story of addiction, failure, temptation, and possible redemption. It’s aspects we can all relate to and helps take this classic villain and a much welcome direction.
Story: Fabian Nicieza Art: Ron Garney
Color: Matt Milla Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review