Juggernaut In Animation - A Retrospective

Part One - Part Two - Part Three

X-Men: The Animated Series was a different beast all together. I don’t think there’s ever been a cartoon quite like it since. It hasn’t aged especially well but in it’s day, it was an exceptional show. I would’ve loved to see anyone else other than AKOM tackle it, but alas, Marvel probably couldn’t afford anything better at the time.

X-Men wasn’t just your average superhero show – it was a show about a mutants who fought for their place in the world and their constant struggle for acceptance, they rarely fought supervillains as such – usually just mutants and sometimes humans whose ideals opposed their own and caused harm to others. The Juggernaut is a notable exception though – this time it was personal. The episode in question – The Unstoppable Juggernaut sees The X-Men return to Genosha to find their mansion destroyed and The Professor missing. Upon discovering a huge footprint amongst the rubble and getting his scent, Wolverine attempts to find the guy responsible and give him what for and wrongly assumes Colossus is the one who destroyed the Mansion. It’s later revealed to be The Juggernaut, who began robbing banks after he couldn’t find Xavier.

This version of Juggernaut is much entertaining than the versions before it, and after it – truly the best animated representation of ol’ Jugs that we’ve had. The design was pretty much the Kirby costume from the comics and the casting was exceptional – Rick Bennett was brilliant in the role. When this show got it's casting right it did it perfect. They did especially well with the villains - Magneto, Juggernaut and Mr. Sinister all proved to have brilliant voices. The familiar physic blasts from Jean Grey defeated Juggernaut in the end.

His next appearance would team him up with his pal from the X-Men comic book lore, Black Tom Cassidy as they were recruited by Eric The Red to find Princess Lilandra. I realise that most people love The Phoenix Saga stories but I found them to be a little tedious – I like my X-Men fighting for a world that hates that fears them – not intergalactic races, men who were pink and space pirates so Juggernaut proved to be a welcome presence. He also proved to be a great jobber from Gladiator, as he simply picked Juggernaut up and threw him miles out into the ocean. (Look for a cameo of Juggernaut returning to American underwater in the Fantastic Four episode Nightmare In Green.)

His final appearance in the show would be his best – a welcome single episode storyline in which The X-Men race to save The Juggernaut’s life as his powers are stolen by a nerd who manages to recover the ancient Crimson Gem of Cyttorak slowly killing Cain Marko in the process. As Wolverine and Cyclops find the new Juggernaut, Xavier tries to make mental contact with a comatose Marko and we see more of their childhood and finally learn just why Juggernaut hates Xavier as much as he does. Juggernaut’s Father married Xavier’s Mother for her wealth and he felt Cain was interferring in his great plans to steal her fortune so he sent him to boarding school and generally abused him, which Marko of course blamed on Xavier. The traumatic side of the episode is nicely balanced out with some comedy as the geek who stole Juggernaut’s powers clearly has no idea how to handle them and causes humourous destruction whereever he goes. Believe it or not, the episode has a happy ending too – having saved The Juggernaut’s life, Cain simply leaves telling Wolverine that he’s not in the mood to fight, a silent thank you for saving his life.

These episodes have been infamously parioed on the internet by MyWay, redubbing the scene in which Lilandra fights Juggernaut as he constantly chooses to remind the Queen that he’s The Juggernaut B:tch! There’s also a slightly less popular sequel J2: Juggment Day, which features scenes from The Juggernaut Returns. I’d link to them, but the language is far too crude to be posted. I personally prefer the first one. The highlight is when Gladiator says he is going to crush Juggernaut… Juggernaut’s reaction is simply brilliant. I’d post what he says but again… the language is fowl. Both clips can be found on You Tube, for those interested.