Uncanny X-Men #194
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #194
Ain't you heard, fella? Juggernaut's back in town!
I've always thought that sequence was a little off - the cop is recognizing who he's talking to in that splash panel, right? I mean, he sure looks surprised, and armor or not, Cain Marko is probably about eight feet tall and four hundred pounds.
Anyway, this is one of my favorite issues of Claremont's X-Men, with the X-Men gearing up for a fight with the Juggernaut and winding up in a fight with Nimrod, Sentinel of the Future, instead.
Luckily Kitty Pryde gloms onto the idea of having Rogue absorb the rest of the X-Men, giving her enough power to drive off Nimrod for now.
It's worth mentioning, as we saw last issue, that Nimrod was a little unsure if his programming requires him to go after mutants at random, and he's only going after the X-Men because they were in the news after raiding NORAD last issue.
It's interesting to note that Juggernaut is not invulnerable to a sonic attack. File that away for your Juggernaut vs. Iron Man fanfic.
The X-Men start this issue off feeling tired and sorry for themselves, and Wolverine basically has to drag them all out of bed.
Nightcrawler is nominally the leader of the team at this time, but he doesn't really show much leadership, which is acknowledged in the issue but it's said that they don't really have anyone better (except Kitty, but she's "too young, too inexperienced").
While Rogue is showering and listening to the radio, we hear that the last song she heard was by a band called Nazgul.
A quick search of AllMusic Guide says that they wouldn't have been a real band at the time, and with a name like that they'd either be a Prog Rock or Heavy Metal band, neither of which seem like something that would be played on a radio station that Rogue would be listening to. Update: See the comments.
In response to hearing that the Avengers are on a mission, Rogue says that the X-Men have "earned a day off". If their last battle involved protecting the humanity that hates and fears them, i could potentially agree. But their last battle in fact involved getting tricked by a teenager into invading a secure US military compound because he blamed them for letting his brother die. And i don't think personal mutant vs. mutant grudge matches exempt you from going after your boss' evil step-brother.
The X-Men let the Juggernaut go at the end of the battle. Defending him against Nimrod and then letting him go does nothing to help the team's new outlaw reputation.
A subplot shows Storm in Africa, defending one of her people from some rowdy foreigners on safari.
Those blond siblings are no random white supremacists. They will turn out to be none other than Andrea and Andreas Strucker, children of Baron von Strucker of Hydra. (In this issue, they probably were meant to be random white supremacists, probably up from South Africa.)
An epilogue shows that the KGB is concerned about the rising anti-mutant sentiment in the US.
A great fight issue. Great little moments, too, like having Rogue think it's "Neat!" to phase after she's absorbed Kitty's powers and personality, or depicted Nimrod's thought bubbles almost as narration panels (and seeing him refer to Kitty as "Ariel", reflecting the changes between this reality and his own).
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: A radio announcer says that the Fantastic Four and Avengers are unable to be contacted at this time. Presumably the Avengers are in the Savage Land circa Avengers #257, and the Fantastic Four are either in space or Latveria, circa Fantastic Four #279, although you'd think a building launching into space would be at least as newsworthy as a possible Juggernaut sighting. It's said that Professor X was summoned to Muir Island "almost the moment we returned from Cheyenne Mountain" last issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAndrea Strucker, Andreas Strucker, Colonel Alexei Vazhin, Colossus, Juggernaut, Lockheed, Magik, Nightcrawler, Nimrod, Rachel Summers, Rogue, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Storm, Wolverine
I always thought Rachel and Rogue letting Juggernaut go made no sense- he wanted to KILL Professor X at this point.
Posted by: Michael | April 27, 2012 7:55 PM
Nazgul was Lila Cheney's old band, first mentioned(I think) in New Mutants Annual #1.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 28, 2012 7:05 PM
Thanks, Mark. That makes a lot more sense. I flipped through NM annual #1 and didn't see the reference, but i found this forum post, which says Nazgul was actually a band Cheney opened for:
I'll keep a lookout for mentions in the comics.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 28, 2012 7:19 PM
Found the Nazgul reference in New Mutants #29. It's apparently related to a book called The Armageddon Rag.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 27, 2012 7:37 PM
He should be invulnerable to sonic attack with the helmet still on - in other Claremont issues the under-helmet that he's wearing in that panel works just like the full helmet to prevent psychic attack. You'd think it would have the same defense capabilities as the full helmet, which you would think would be invulnerable to sound.
Juggernaut's weaknesses as I always understood them are psychic attack when his helmet is off, and (presumably) certain magic and mysticism, since those are the origin of the powers. Claremont goofed here imo.
Posted by: Paul | August 17, 2013 6:22 AM
Actually re-reading it there Nimrod does specify skullcap, so I guess that's the out. With the regular helmet on, he'd be invulnerable to sonics, but with just the skullcap he's vulnerable to the most heavy-duty concentrated futuristic sonics, etc.
I don't really like the idea of the skullcap at all, tho. Just have it be helmet or no helmet. I think they eventually go back to that; his early Excalibur appearance they take his helmet off and that's all he had.
Posted by: Paul | August 17, 2013 6:26 AM
It was about this time that Comics Journal #99 ran an article detailing why critics and longtime fans were wearying of this book. The minor point: John Romita Jr. wasn't that good an artist, did lousy covers, and was utterly horrible with costumes and fashions. The major points:1)Claremont seemed utterly incapable of writing any stories that were wholly lighthearted or pleasant; even stories that started out that way would give way to angst and death. 2)Claremont had shown so many "deaths" and personality warpings of the X-men that the characters had become unrecognizable. Two main examples were the use of magic/alien tech to wipe out deaths/torture so they didn't count, and the bit in X-Men #189 where Storm has a big goodbye scene but is still hanging around the next issue. I have no idea how much attention Claremont paid to fan articles, but this one may have had something to do with Claremont launching the more lighthearted Excalibur as well as detailing the emotional fallout of the New Mutants being killed and resurrected by the Beyonder the following year.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 30, 2013 2:01 PM
The Armageddon Ring was an early novel by none other than George R. R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 13, 2015 2:13 PM
Usually when Rogue absorbs someone's powers, her eyes turn white or she glows maybe, but that's it. This "nightcolossus" look she has in this story is the only time I can think of where she starts to look like the person whose powers she's absorbed, like the Super-Adaptoid.
Posted by: Andrew | February 6, 2017 7:51 AM
Rogue became big and green when she absorbed the She-Hulk's powers in X-Men annual 7.
Posted by: Rick | February 7, 2017 8:14 AM
Yeah, normally whenever Rogue absorbs the powers of someone with different skin colors or other deviations from the human norm, she absorbs those deviations too. See also Marvel Super Heroes #2, for example.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | February 7, 2017 8:06 PM
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