Juggernaut is getting the solo series treatment this week, and it’s written by none other than illustrious X-Men writer Fabian Nicieza, who along with comics legend Ron Garney aims to bring the famous character back into the limelight as well as capture the antihero aspects of his personality. He’s not all bad! You might want to read our exclusive interview with Nicieza, as this comic is not only unique but well worth investing time in.
This issue helps us understand how Juggernaut made it back to our realm of existence, but also how he found something to believe in and care about. Typically a loner, and a tough guy to befriend, Nicieza does a great job characterizing Juggernaut as a believable and at times likable character. He’s tough on the exterior, but when you get to know him there’s a kind person underneath. This is aided by a key scene to another place that shows a true trial he had to endure. He has a tumultuous past, but he grows on you here.
A new character is introduced that seems like the perfect pairing with Juggernaut in more ways than one — you can tell a lot of thought went into creating an interesting dynamic between the characters. There’s a clear age gap between the two, but in the few scenes, we see them both on the page there’s are a connection and similarity that will help form a bond. It’s early yet, but I’m getting Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Deadpool team-up vibes from the pair.
The art in this book is exceptional, made even better by colorist Matt Milla. The red on Juggernaut and his new costume is quite cool, making it look like rivers of blood make up his suit. He has a leaner build, too, which creates a less bulky and monstrous look and makes him relatable as a hero. Visually, the book is quite dark, which helps highlight the glowing effects of Juggernaut’s costume.
If you enjoyed Garney’s recent work on Conan, you’re going to dig this book. It has a dark sense of atmosphere with fantasy-inspired scenes that change this from the usual superhero yarn to a mystical and supernatural one. That fits right in with Juggernaut, and since he’s fighting Hulk next, issue will likely continue.
As far as downsides go, the book is decompressed comparatively to most comics today. Not a lot happens in each scene, even though every one is good and valid. It’s typical of miniseries to spread the story out a bit, and despite the decompression, for the most part, Garney and Milla make each panel count in other ways.
Juggernaut #1 is a good first issue in a new solo miniseries. Typically, these types of comics have a cheap hook or an easy way to gain the trust of the reader, but here you’ll be swayed by the interesting character dynamic, a Juggernaut with secrets to tell, and an art style that has a great atmosphere. Garney doesn’t have your typical clean superhero design aesthetic, but something that imbues a sense of deep calm or contemplation. That works well for this book. Juggernaut mixes fantasy and superpowers in an unstoppable package.