The Small Lebowski:
Uncanny X-Men #12-13
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #12, Uncanny X-Men #13
Cerebro sets off an alarm, even though the Juggernaut is not a mutant; he gained his powers when he stumbled upon the Ruby of Cyttorak during the Korean War.
The X-Men fortify the Mansion against his attack (in a Seven Samurai sort of way, with trenches and booby traps). Meanwhile Xavier tells the story of his father's death and his childhood raised with his step-brother, Cain Marko. Xavier was raised by the Juggernaut's father, Kurt Marko, after his father Brian was killed at the Alamogordo nuclear testing field.
The Juggernaut arrives...
...having easily bypassed all of the X-Men's traps. He overwhelms the group (note Jean's use of the word "teleport" below; she gets it right in the next panel).
The X-Men only defeat him with the help of the Human Torch, who was mentally summoned by Professor X.
Xavier had also been "charging" his brain waves with some device, and the residual effects of that charge was noticed by the Teen Brigade and Daredevil but they don't follow up. Without his helmet, the Juggernaut can be blasted.
The helmet thing was misinterpreted on a few occasions by later writers, having the Juggernaut weakened or defeated just because his helmet was removed. Juggernaut is vulnerable to mental attacks, but his helmet protects him from the same. So you have to get his helmet off and then you can hit him with a mental blast.
After the fight the Professor mind-wipes Johnny for no good reason.
There's nothing in Xavier's newly revealed backstory here that adds anything to the character, and the insertion of a bullying step-brother who just happens to acquire his own (non-mutant) powers that only Xavier can stop is a little too convenient. The X-Men and the Torch are basically only in this story to show how useless they are against the Juggernaut. It might have worked better if Xavier had prepared them so they were specifically focused on getting the helmet off, and then they could show off how all of their training made it possible for them to help defeat a superior foe, but the inclusion of Johnny Storm negates the teamwork angle and all the silly stuff with the pit traps is a big distraction.
I'm a little unclear on how the art credits break down. Kirby must have been doing only the most basic sketches if there was both a "finisher" and a pair of inkers on each issue.
It's really a disappointing appearance by what will eventually be an awesome character.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Human Torch's appearance take places between FF #37-38. See the Considerations note on FF #37 for more. I unfortunately have FF #37-38 in a single reprint, so i've placed these issues immediately afterward. Also takes place before Reed and Sue's wedding in FF annual #3, per the footnote.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Uncanny X-Men #67
Inbound References (9): show
Longtime DC artist Alex Toth drew #12. He was so disgusted over how his work was inked that he vowed never to work for Marvel again.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 2, 2011 4:22 PM
The Toth issue was heavily inked, as I recall. Very dark art. I still thought it looked great.
Posted by: Paul | May 9, 2012 12:25 PM
I missed it when Mark first commented, but i've belatedly added Toth to the credits.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 9, 2012 12:41 PM
Is it possible that Professor X made the Torch forget all that to protect the location of the school?
Posted by: Ronaldo Merhaj | July 17, 2013 12:30 AM
Kirby's original Juggernaut design supposedly was more monstrous-looking with spikes.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 6, 2013 4:48 PM
This is about the only X-Men story line, along with the first Sentinals, I actually care about before the awesome 1975 revival.
Posted by: David Banes | October 31, 2013 7:25 PM
There are several bizarre things about this issue that I noticed when I finally read the whole thing in Masterworks.
1 - Xavier's whole plan is so ridiculous. They barricade the mansion and then just sit back while he tells them his story. Then Juggernaut arrives and the barricades delay him a little and he tells them more story.
2 - They set up Alamagordo and hint that Xavier's mutant power comes from radiation from nuclear testing. We know Xavier fought in Korea (that comes out in this issue). Exactly how early did nuclear testing begin in the Marvel Universe? Sometime in the late 20's?
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 2, 2015 12:28 PM
Erik, I assume that while Xavier's family was involved in the Manhattan Project, that his father was involved in radiation experiments earlier as the build up to nuclear physics. There were a lot of scientific breakthroughs in the twenties and thirties involving radioactive materials even if they didn't produce nuclear fission. At least that is my no-prize version. In truth, I don't think Stan gave much thought to these timelines!
Posted by: Chris | January 2, 2015 10:00 PM
After PADs Hulk run I always wondered whether Brian Xavier and Brian Banner had come across one another!?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | January 3, 2015 12:29 AM
In Uncanny X-Men #12, as Xavier rushes after his step-brother Cain Marko into the sacred lost temple of Cyttorak there is a mural to his right with a Sun and a ringed planet like Saturn.
By this stage, Cyttorak had not been established as a mystical entity/ demon.
Could the crimson bands have originally been planned as the rings/ bands of a planet called Cyttorak?
What system was this ringed planet in?
And what was the scaled figure holding the ruby? A guardian, and if so where from? The ringed planet?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | February 4, 2015 5:41 AM
Curious where you're gong with this, Nathan. I know you're aware that Cyttorak had been invoked by Dr. Strange and Baron Mordo almost a year prior to this, and those guys aren't normally in the habit of calling on aliens.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 4, 2015 8:46 AM
@fnord12: I'm wondering if Kirby had something else entirely intended for the Ruby Gem, and Stan just hung Cyttorak on it. A contact from the KM has suggested that Kirby intended something else in the margin notes of page 20. So he obviously planned some connection with the ringed planet otherwise why place it there on the temple wall.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | February 5, 2015 12:53 AM
I actually liked this story and consider the Juggernaut to the X-men's #2 villain after Magneto. I liked the reference to Cyttorak because I really liked how everything in the early Marvels all fit together. The name Juggernaut by the way comes from the Hindu Jagganatha whose idols were massive and placed on wheels to use like battering rims giving rise to the idea of a juggernaut being an unstoppable force.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 31, 2016 10:46 PM
Just mentioning here because someone has to: In the late nineties, it will be revealed that 8 of the mystical entities sometimes mentioned in Dr Strange had a contest to decide who was the most powerful. In addition to Cytorrak, there were other double-letter characters usually only known from Strange's spells, like Ikonn, Raggaddor, Valtorr, and Watoomb. Each will have an avatar (or "Exemplar") on earth to embody their powers and define their awesomeness. Juggernaut, empowered by Cytorrak is the first, and pretty much the only memorable, Exemplar. Cytorrak himself will eventually get a on-screen appearance and become something of a recurring character in Kieron Gillen's X-Men.
Posted by: Andrew | July 11, 2017 6:45 PM
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