Move over Wolverine, because the unstoppable Juggernaut has just joined the X-Men. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Cain Marko is Professor Xavier's half-brother and traditionally one of the X-Men's most fearsome foes. Transformed by the power of Cyttorak, he's an incredibly powerful destructive force, and has successfully matched the likes of Thor and the Hulk in brutal hand-to-hand combat.
Over the last few years, the Juggernaut has gotten something of a power-up. Tested by Cyttorak, Cain Marko proved worthy, and demanded that his monstrous benefactor grant him the full measure of his might. As a result, the modern Juggernaut is strong enough to take on any of Marvel's mightiest heroes. Now the list of heroes who could stop the Unstoppable Juggernaut just got a whole lot shorter.
In this week's Uncanny X-Men #16, Cyclops' team head out to confront Magneto's latest incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Or at least they think they do; neither the X-Men nor the Brotherhood are aware that this is actually a Magneto doppelganger. Juggernaut is part of the Brotherhood, and he doesn't take well to learning that he was working for a Magneto impostor. To the X-Men's surprise, he helps them subdue the false Magneto, and then declares he wants to join the X-Men.
A bewildered Jamie Madrox points out this is a pretty bad time to identify with the mutants, but it turns out Juggernaut had joined up with the Brotherhood because he genuinely believed something needed to be done to quell the hate. "What's the saying," Juggernaut reflects. "First they came for the mutants and I didn't speak up..."
It's quite surreal seeing the Juggernaut come up with this kind of argument, but oddly enough it does make sense. Marko's hatred of the X-Men was originally driven by the fact he despised his half-brother, and then - in an amusing twist - by his blaming Cyclops for killing Charles Xavier. With that issue settled, and the resurrected Charles Xavier no longer involved with the X-Men, the personal animosity is gone. Meanwhile, it's worth noting that the Juggernaut has always tended to side with mutants, has countless friends who are mutants, and has even been a member of the X-Men once before.
The interesting question will be whether or not Juggernaut can make it stick. The last time he joined up with the X-Men, he found himself on the wrong side of Cyttorak, who was disgusted at the way Juggernaut was using his powers. In the end, Marko had to surrender to Cyttorak's destructive urges - ironically in defending Xavier himself - and was committed to a more brutal path once again. Given the relationship between Cain Marko and Cyttorak is a lot more strained right now, it's likely the two will go head-to-head sooner rather than later.
Uncanny X-Men #16 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.