With the many pockets of the X-universe being explored in the current Krakoan age, it was surprising to see Juggernaut get his own mini in the midst of grander plot arcs and character explorations. It doesn’t have a great deal to do with the X-Men, but does provide a compelling method to connect Cain Marko to the adventures of his brother Xavier while giving his character room to grow and develop. I can’t imagine folks will be talking about this run in a few years, but there is much to enjoy for even the casual fan of the character in this short miniseries.
Juggernaut: No Stopping Now is an odd book — with just five short issues in the run, it moves quickly from act to act. In fact, each issue has self-contained elements to harken back to the days before comics were written with the trade paperback in mind. This is thanks to classic X-Men writer Fabian Nicieza, who knows a thing or two about crafting a focused narrative in serial format. With the multitude of projects Nicieza could shower his time and talent into, it’s clear from reading this arc that he has a love for Juggernaut and wanted to craft a redemption story (of sorts) for the character.
Within these five issues, we see Juggernaut working with Damage Control as they attempt a cleanup from an earlier superhero destructive escapade. Cain meets a young orphaned mutant by the name of Miranda Manuel, who he takes under his wing in an attempt to bring her to Krakoa. The book jumps between the current day and flashes back to where we last saw Cain in Uncanny X-Men, when he was depowered and left in Limbo by Magik. In the months that followed, he went on a colossal journey to regain his strength and power connected to Cyttorak, all while finding ways to improve as a man and chart his own destiny.
Nicieza finds appropriate ways to drop a slew of Marvel characters into the minimal pages of this series. We have appearances by the Hulk, Arnim Zola, Quicksand and even Cain’s old friend Black Tom Cassidy. The best issue has to be #3, which finds Juggernaut on trial for wanton destruction, with his attorney arguing that Spider-Man was actually responsible for the damage Marko is accused of. I’ve always appreciated these moments of distorted reality in a series like this, all while placing it firmly in a superhero tale.
Lastly, Ron Garney’s art is an acquired taste, but a style I greatly appreciate. It’s simple but expressive, with a retro blocking that gives it an out-of-time sensitivity. His linework is complemented by Matt Milla’s colors, which give the series a somber palette, heightening the tale successfully.
It’s doubtful many were clamoring for a Juggernaut mini in 2020, but it’s yet another testament to the current Hickman era that space has been given to explore the larger X-universe with purpose and vision. Juggernaut: No Stopping Now is a fine little series that is worth the price of admission, even for those with slight interest in its ostensible character.
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