It’s been about three weeks since the premiere of DEADPOOL 2, so I guess the cat’s out of the bag. And by cat, I mean Juggernaut. As it turns out, the champion of Cyttorak actually made an appearance in DEADPOOL 2. He even had his own dramatic choir theme song and everything. It was pretty cool.

Now, originally, the goal of this article was to compare DEADPOOL 2’s Juggernaut to other silver-screen depictions of the character. But that didn’t work out since the only other movie he’s been in is X-MEN: THE LAST STAND. In that film, Juggernaut was a scantily clad thug whose power was running into things. It was pretty dumb.

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Well, I suppose I should explain why it’s dumb. You see, Juggernaut isn’t just some run-of-the-mill mutant thug.

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Comics

In the comics, his origin story is that he’s the stepbrother and childhood bully of X-men founder Charles Xavier. To really drive this point home, Juggernaut’s actual name is Cain Marko. That’s a pretty blatant reference to everyone’s favorite Bible story about brother-killing, the Mark of Cain.

If that seems a little too heavy for you, don’t worry, it gets goofier from here.

The Origins of the Juggernaut

Charles and Cain get drafted by the military, which sends them to Korea. While they’re there, Cain stumbles across a hidden mystic temple containing the Gem of Cyttorak. The temple caves in, and years later, Cain emerges as a nigh-invulnerable armored monster-man.

This is because the gem of Cyttorak contains the power of, well, Cyttorak, a vaguely defined war demon/god. He single-handedly takes on the X-Men and almost defeats them. But his psychic-proof helmet gets knocked off, and Charles is able to use his telepathic abilities to knock Cain out.

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Comics

Since then, Juggernaut’s gone on to become one of the X-men’s best-known villains. He even fought against Thor, Hulk, Spider-man, and Dr. Strange. So, if you want to see more Juggernaut on-screen, THE LAST STAND’s watered-down rendition isn’t going to cut it. We’ve got to dig deeper than superhero movies; it’s time to look at superhero kids’ cartoons.

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SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS: “A Firestar Is Born!”

Firestar and Iceman, AKA the “Amazing Friends” in the show’s title, go to an X-men reunion party at the X-mansion. When they get there, Firestar tells a long-winded story about her childhood and how she discovered her mutant powers. Meanwhile, a pantsless Juggernaut is rampaging across town, trying to find and destroy Professor Xavier.

Juggernaut
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Pantslessness aside, the show actually does a pretty good job with Juggernaut here. Most of the episode is dedicated to Firestar’s past. But it still manages to fit in a concise explanation of Juggernaut’s backstory, including his relationship to Xavier and the gem of Cyttorak. It also helps that Marko is portrayed here as the unstoppable monster he is in the comics.

Both Spider-man and the X-Men have to throw everything they’ve got at him to bring him down. Obviously, it’s not perfect. The animation and the voice acting can be pretty awkward at times. Wolverine has an Australian accent for some reason, and both Cyclops and Juggernaut sound like startled old men. Also, Firestar’s life’s story seems to revolve around an over-exaggerated childhood bully named Bonnie, which is pretty goofy.

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

But, none of those things are particularly irritating. It actually adds a certain charm to an episode that already does a surprisingly great job of getting Juggernaut right.

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PRYDE OF THE X-MEN

In case you were wondering, the 90’s X-MEN cartoon is on here. We’ll get to it in a moment. But, before we can do that, we have to bring up its failed television pilot prototype, PRYDE OF THE X-MEN. You know, because Juggernaut was in that too.

Juggernaut
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

I suppose the best way to describe PRYDE OF THE X-MEN is as a series of rushed character introductions. As the title indicates, the premise of the pilot is naive teenager Kitty Pryde joining the X-men. In this iteration, the X-men consists of Cyclops, Storm, Dazzler, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Colossus, and of course, Professor X himself.

Later in the pilot, you also meet Pryde’s Pokemon-esque sidekick Lockheed. But before that, we get to see PRYDE’s version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Not to be outdone, the Brotherhood has Toad, Pyro, Emma Frost, Blob, and their leader, Magneto (obviously).

Another member of Brotherhood is Juggernaut himself, who acts as Magneto’s right-hand man.

Juggernaut
Images courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The show introduces all of these characters and their abilities all at once. So, as you’d expect, Juggernaut doesn’t really get a whole lot of screen time. He’s also pretty weak here in comparison to how he usually is. In fact, he gets stuck in a one-on-one fist fight with Colossus.

Still, while the gem of Cyttorak is nowhere to be found, the show does acknowledge Marko being Xavier’s step-brother. As a side note, it’s also kind of funny that Wolverine still has an Australian accent here. I guess someone in corporate predicted that Hugh Jackman would play the character, but they weren’t quite sure what to do with that information.

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X-MEN (1992)

For those who haven’t seen it, the 90’s X-MEN cartoon is considered to be the gold standard for X-Men cartoons. It did a good job of taking itself seriously and was pretty spot on when it came to characterization and adapting major storylines from the comics. That being said, I feel like the first two Juggernaut episodes in the series, “The Unstoppable Juggernaut” and “Phoenix Saga (part 3): the Cry of the Banshee” were a bit underwhelming.

Sure, the plot of “The Unstoppable Juggernaut” revolves around introducing Juggernaut as a character, and the X-men having to rescue Charles Xavier from him. However, a considerable amount of “The Unstoppable Juggernaut” is dedicated to introducing Colossus as a character, only to have him leave at the end of the episode.

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

In “The Phoenix Saga (Part 3),” Juggernaut and his pal Black Tom Cassidy got hired by aliens to abduct an alien princess Xavier had fallen in love with. At least, that’s what I picked up without watching the other parts of “The Phoenix Saga”. Juggernaut here plays the role of hired dumb muscle and terrorizes both aliens and mutants alike. An alien supersoldier then knocks him out at the end of the episode.

Juggernaut
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

“The Juggernaut Returns”

However, Juggernaut’s last appearance in the series is by far his best. In “The Juggernaut Returns”, Juggernaut does his usual schtick of marching over to Xavier’s house to bully him. But, just as he’s about to crush Xavier once and for all, he loses his powers. It turns out a geek named Eugene Turbot Wiederspan managed to get his hands on the gem of Cyttorak. Juggernaut’s powers transfer to Eugene, and the depowered Juggernaut goes into a coma. Because of this, Charles and the X-men reluctantly have to get back the gem of Cyttorak to save their enemy.

Now I know it doesn’t sound particularly exciting that Juggernaut’s in a coma for most of this episode. But he is definitely the focus of the episode the whole way through. The opening sequence of Juggernaut stomping over to Xavier’s mansion is a great over-the-top display of his abilities.

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Then, the rest of the episode has Xavier go inside Marko’s mind to figure out what’s going on. This, in turn, reveals and adds a lot of depth to both characters and their relationships. The subplot involving the power theft is also pretty fun. You get to see what Juggernauts’ powers would be like in the hands of a nerdy wannabe Casanova like Eugene. 

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

X-MEN: EVOLUTION

The core concept of X-MEN EVOLUTION is that X-men are now a bunch of pretty looking high schoolers. Now, instead of just worrying about Magneto and/or sentinels, they have to balance mutant superheroics with public school teen anxieties. To be fair, given that the X-men originated from Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, the premise isn’t that far-fetched.

But, I do think EVOLUTION missed the mark in their portrayal of Juggernaut. 

Juggernaut
Does his face have to be that small? Anyways, image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Life Lessons With Juggernaut

Juggernaut appears in three episodes: “Survival of the Fittest,” “Fun and Games,” and “The Stuff of Heroes.”

In “Survival of the Fittest”, Juggernaut is attacking Professor Xavier because Brotherhood member Mystique freed him from jail. But the main plot is that the X-men and their fellow teen mutant archrivals The Brotherhood have signed up for a boot camp training session.

Most of the episode has them competing in activities like river rafting and rope climbing. However, the two groups end up working together after the Brotherhood trap themselves in a mine during a mountain climbing race. The teens learn about Juggernaut, so they fly home from camp, and use the power of cooperation to defeat him.

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

In “Fun And Games”, the X-men throw a party at the mansion while Charles is out of town visiting the unconscious Juggernaut in his maximum security jail cell. Disappointingly enough, Juggernaut never comes conscious enough to cause any trouble. But the X-teens learn that throwing parties and breaking rules just to seem cool isn’t a cool thing to do.

In “The Stuff of Heroes”, Juggernaut starts attacking a dam for no real reason in the second half of the episode. The X-men step in to stop him, and their fight ends up on video. The video helps puts a stop to the mutant-hunting military stuff that was going on earlier in the episode. Because of this, the X-men learn that as long as they keep fighting for good, mutant-human coexistence is still possible.

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Lessons Learned

Look, in practically every form of fiction, the villain usually coincides with a life lesson the hero needs to learn. But X-MEN EVOLUTION’s take on Juggernaut just seems a little too on the nose in that regard. Instead of being an actual character, he seems more like a convenient plot device for bringing about the moral-of-the-week. It doesn’t help that this version doesn’t have much personality other than being tall and mean.

But, at least in this series, Juggernaut’s still a high-level threat. Which is more impressive than you’d think, considering some of the other entries in this list.

X-MEN DARKTIDE

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

X-MEN DARKTIDE is 9-minute short film that came out in 2006 to promote Minimates’ X-men figurines. Minimates are lego-esque miniature action figures, and DARKTIDE is pretty much what you’d expect from a cheap-looking CGI toy commercial. The X-men fly to an oil rig to stop Magneto, who plans on stopping the rotation of the earth using superpowered oil drills. Also, Mystique and Juggernaut are there as Magento’s henchman. Juggernaut doesn’t do much here. In his only fight scene, he tackles Archangel, and both of them fall into the ocean.

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Archangel emerges soon after that, but Juggernaut doesn’t even bother to get out of the water until the last scene, where he climbs out onto a beach after everything else has already happened. Admittedly, the Lego-esque visuals do have a sort of “so bad, it’s good” charm to them. But overall, this is a pretty weak Juggernaut entry.

WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN/THE SUPERHERO SQUAD SHOW

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

In WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN, Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters gets blown up for mysterious reasons, and Jean Grey and Professor Xavier mysteriously disappear. So, it’s up to Wolverine to reassemble the X-men. Which is tricky, given the increased anti-mutant government policies, and Magneto forming his own country for mutants on Genosha. Overall, it was pretty heavy stuff for a kids’ show.

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Both these shows premiered in the US in 2009. Another thing they have in common is that Juggernaut appears in both shows as a fairly minor character. In WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN, Juggernaut is one of Magneto’s thugs, and he only appears for a couple of minutes in about two episodes.

In THE SUPERHERO SQUAD SHOW, Juggernaut is just one of the many, many villains working for Dr. Doom, and again, whenever he shows up, it’s only for a minute or two. Admittedly, I haven’t seen enough episodes of either show to tell you how they are overall. But as far as their use of Juggernaut goes, they’re pretty forgettable.

BLACK PANTHER

Another series that premiered around that time was Black Panther’s motion comic mini-series BLACK PANTHER. And Juggernaut was in it. Specifically, T’Challa’s arch-nemesis Klaw hired Juggernaut and bunch of other super villains to help him take over Wakanda. As I said in my review of the series, BLACK PANTHER has good visuals and fun setpieces, but it doesn’t really tell a satisfying or complete story. The same goes for Juggernaut here.

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

On one hand, you’ve got great moments like Juggernaut beating up the X-men on his own, or when he wins a charging contest against a rhino. But despite these dynamic introductory scenes don’t last. Ultimately, sleeping gas rockets from afar knock Juggernaut out. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the series, but I’m pretty sure he never even gets to meet T’Challa in person. Despite that, Juggernaut still manages to be an over-the-top powerhouse here. While they could’ve done more with that, it’s still a pretty faithful rendition of the character.

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ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN

Well, we already have SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS on here, so why not? Coincidentally enough, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN is actually pretty similar to AMAZING FRIENDS in certain ways. Instead of just focusing on Spider-man as a solo hero, both series are all about Spidey interacting with the rest of the heroes in the Marvel Universe. Right from the get-go, several other teen superheroes attend Spidey’s high school, and they’re all being supervised by SHIELD agents.

With all that going on, I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that in the series, Juggernaut is a minor villain who only appears in three episodes. In “Awesome” and “Swarm,” Juggernaut’s a muscle-headed crook that Spidey can’t quite take down on his own. Not that he needs to though. In both episodes, science-experiment monsters end up incapacitating Juggernaut and they then take his place as the villain of the week.

Juggernaut
Images courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

 In “The Next Iron Spider,” Juggernaut falls further down the totem pole when Squirrel Girl manages to take him out on her own. When he gets back up afterward, Spider-man tasers him.

Juggernaut
Images courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

If you couldn’t tell already, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN has a pretty wacky tone to it. But if you’re not a fan of the comedy, Juggernaut certainly won’t be the one to win you over.

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MARVEL DISK WARS: THE AVENGERS

No superhero cartoon appearances list would be complete without a toy commercial anime, so here’s MARVEL DISK WARS. In this anime series, Loki has trapped the souls of most of the Marvel superheroes and villains into brightly colored plastic collectibles called DISKS. 

Juggernaut
Images courtesy of Marvel Entertainment and BANDAI

The Avengers’ DISKS end up falling into the hands of a bunch of generic looking anime kids. Thus, they all set off together to collect the rest of the DISKS and reverse what Loki did. Which brings us to episode 12 of the series, “The Unstoppable Juggernaut!” If you decide to watch this just to see Juggernaut, you might want to lower your expectations.

Most of what happens doesn’t have a whole lot to do with him, and he only appears in the last third of the episode. Before that, “The Unstoppable Juggernaut” is focused on Ed, the owner of the Hulk DISK. For whatever reason, Ed is too scared to activate it.

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

But, he eventually learns to have faith in himself once Juggernaut’s DISK is sprung and almost crushes Iron Man to death. Juggernaut is pretty over-the-top and goofy here, and his invulnerability to Iron Man’s attacks does make him into a respectable threat.

However, once Hulk comes out, he knocks out Juggernaut by hitting him really hard on the head.

Juggernaut
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

It’s not the worst entry on this list, but you could certainly do better.

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Final Ranking

Juggernaut
In descending order from best to worst. Image courtesy of myself.

Well, if you want more Juggernaut after seeing DEADPOOL 2, and you don’t want to watch THE LAST STAND, then this comprehensive guide to Juggernaut’s small screen appearances should have helped you out. I wouldn’t recommend watching all of them, but hopefully, there’s something there that matches what you’re looking for.

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