X-Men Black Juggernaut #1
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Shawn Crystal
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
Cain Marko is a classic X-Men villain in the truest sense of the word. He showed up early in the original series and has been involved in many pivotal storylines since then. Over the last few years, however, it feels as if Juggernaut has become more of a punchline than a feared adversary. Last we saw Marko, he had been easily defeated by Bobby Drake and had been taken back to the Temple of Cyttorak.
As X-Men Black Juggernaut #1 starts, Cain Marko finds himself outside the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters. He is not quite sure how he got there, but he knows something is not quite right as he confronts the original five students in their classic uniforms. As Marko fights his way through the mansion, we find out that Marko is indeed still in the temple where he was last seen. The ancient being that controls the Cyttorak gem is not sure that Marko is good enough to be his champion anymore. It is up to Marko to prove that he still deserves the title of Juggernaut.
While the other X-Men Black books tended to focus on the external forces affecting the main characters, X-Men Black Juggernaut #1 focuses more on Marko’s internal conflicts. As I mentioned before, the last few years it felt as if Juggernaut had become more of a joke and not as powerful as he once was. Here we get to see Marko battle those internal demons and doubts in order to try and reestablish himself as a truly unstoppable force. The dialogue between Marko’s various psyches while intriguing feels like a re-tread. The entire plot of X-Men Black Juggernaut #1 actually seems to fall within that same hole.
The art within X-Men Black Juggernaut #1 is where this one-shot shines. Juggernaut’s suit is much more stylized than his classic look, but it works. It feels like a cross between the Deadpool 2 version and the classic suit. The layout and design of the panels provides a unique feel and flow. The readers’ eyes easily follow the action. The use of lettering to portray the action throughout is one that isn’t used enough in modern comics as crashing hands are met with booms and beams.
Verdict: Skip it.
Unless you are either a Juggernaut fan, or a completionist, then X-Men Black Juggernaut #1 is an easily skippable book. The story feels like a retread of stories we have seen before. The title of the book could have easily been “Juggernaut Gets His Groove Back.” The art while engaging and unique does not make up for the bland and predictable storytelling.