Juggernaut In Animation - A Retrospective

Part One - Part Two - Part Three

X-Men: Evolution took the X-Men concept and adapted it to suit the networks needs – mainly take their characters, make the majority of them teenagers and place them in high school to make them more relatable to their target audience. Many of the X-Men comic book nerds balked at this and refused to watch the show – their loss. By the end of it’s run, X-Men: Evolution was one of Marvel’s best ever shows after what was a very rocky start.

Most of season one featured both of the X-Men and The Brotherhood recruiting new mutants who were struggling to accept/control their powers. The majority of these episode were pretty tedious, so in Survival Of The Fittest, it was a refreshing change to see something, anything different. Here, The X-Men and The Brotherhood are pitted against each other in a series of athletic contests in the woods whilst Mystique frees Juggernaut so he can steal Cerebro from Professor Xavier. It was refreshing to see a villain who wasn’t a member of The Brotherhood – in this season, the BH was really, really annoying. They were revamped in season two and they all became a hell of a lot more interesting - come to think of it, a Brotherhood would make for a very good retrospective, there’s another one to add to the list.

Juggernaut proved to be better than most villains in the season – if I were to go out on a limb I’d say he was the best. He once again kicks Wolverine’s ass when they go one on one in what proved to be a very entertaining fight. In the end, The X-Men and The Brotherhood put their differences aside and defeated The Juggernaut together – again, it was something different and it proved to be one of the more entertaining episodes of the season.

Once again, we got a very good voice for Juggernaut. I have issues with some of their casting, but Paul Dobson proved to be great for ol’ helmet head. If Dobson sounds familiar to you that would be because he currently provides the voice of The Thing for Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes. Unfortunately, his design isn’t all that great. The one thing that I usually can’t fault X-Men: Evolution on is its designs – the vast majority of the time, I think they are ravishing. Evo’s designs for Wolverine, Cyclops and Magneto are the best I’ve ever seen for the characters. The problem with Juggernaut is that he is simply too skinny for my liking. The majority of the characters were skinny teenagers but Juggernaut is supposed to be absolutely huge – he simply didn’t look tough enough for my liking. I did like the helmet through – it actually looks like a helmet, rather than just an extension of his costume.

His next appearance, The Stuff Of Heroes would be a hell of a lot better than this – I rank it as my second favourite episode after On Angel’s Wings. Season three really did turn the show on its head and the increase in quality was exponential. With mutants now public knowledge, the world at large became increasingly weary of them, and with the mansion blow up and the Professor missing, The X-Men were on their own in the wild and worse yet, The Juggernaut escaped and went on a rampage. Realising that they were needed now more than ever, the X-Men braved it and went to defeat Juggernaut on their own, with no adults around to help them. Then, it what was easily the show’s finest fight scene, The X-Men defeated The Juggernaut when Cyclops took off his visor and unleashed all his power on Juggernaut, and Rogue absorbed his power and Iceman froze him into the dam. It was absolutely stunning sequence and still stands as the best sequence in Cyclops’ lengthy animated history. Just wait until I get started on that Cyclops retrospective, I could go on for days about how brilliant I think Evo’s version of Scott Summers is.

And there you have it. Every single last animated appearance of The Juggernaut covered. He also appeared in X-Men 3: The Last Stand as one of the new recruits to Magneto’s Brotherhood. He was played by Vinnie Jones and was great fun. There’s no mention of his relationship with Xavier and he is pretty much just a super strong thug for Magneto but he does take part in one hell of a fight scene with Wolverine in the childhood home of Jean Grey. My favourite part is when he throws Logan through the roof and you see him land in the next room – I thought that looked great. Jones proved to be very good in the role but to be honest, Vinnie Jones playing a thug isn’t much of a stretch but one can’t deny the brilliance of the casting. He had to wear a full on prosthetic suit for the role and it did actually look very cool. To mimic Juggernaut’s costume from the comic would’ve been stupid – it more than likely would’ve looked ridiculous and it no doubt would’ve greatly hindered Jones’ performance. He even gets to shout the infamous “Don’t you know who I am? I’m The Juggernaut b:tch!” line in the movie, which got a huge laugh in the theatre when I went to see the movie. On the region 2 version of the DVD, they have an animatic of the scene in which he chases Kitty through the walls, and the voice over is actually taken from the MyWay parody, which got a big laugh from me the first time I saw it.

Given how popular he’s always been and how the majority of the people loved his appearance in X-Men 3, one would be foolish to assume that The Juggernaut won’t be back on the small screen again soon. With Wolverine And The X-Men premiering in the fall, it really is just a matter of time.