Chuck Austen’s X-Men: The Trial of the Juggernaut

Need some time to calm down after the Draco?  So do the X-Men – so this edition we’ll be focusing on just one member as he goes on trial.  You’ll never guess which one.

Took Place In
Uncanny X-Men #435-436

Team Line-Up
Juggernaut – No other X-Men have any role in this story.

Others You Should Be Aware Of
Professor X, Sammy the Fish Boy, Sammy the Fish Boy’s Mum, She-Hulk (Attorney at Law)

In a Nutshell
Juggernaut is being put on trial, gets sent home with She-Hulk for the purpose of sex, then fights another Juggernaut.

Before we begin, allow me a moment for a brief word.  Turning longtime villains into heroes (or “heroes” as the case may be) may be somewhat popular with fans for a bit, but runs itself into the problem of the villain having to make up for all the crimes committed while being a villain.  The longer a villain has been around, the more crimes have to be accounted for before a true redeeming can be done.  And if those crimes are not dealt with, the heroes running with the former villain reflects badly.

So to Chuck Austen’s credit, he did realize that he would need to clear Juggernaut’s name to get full distance out of using him as a member of the team.  It’s just the execution that falls apart.

In Vancouver (eh?) She-Hulk in full attorney mode, is going over her new client, Juggernaut’s, rap sheet.  Here, I’ll toss the mentioned crimes (not limited to) here for future reference.

  • Damage to Hulkbuster Base One
  • Destruction of US Army property
  • Sinking of a mothballed liberty freighter
  • Grievous bodily harm to one “Madame Web”
  • Damage to Metro Bank construction site, New York
  • Destruction of property at Long Island Rail Road storage yards
  • Assault and battery on Marvin T. Rocksalt (awesome name)
  • 15 counts of grand larceny
  • 22 counts of unlawful entry
  • 116 counts of major property damage (all three of these in one city)
  • Damage to genetic research facility in France
  • Destruction of Achmed’s nightclub in Cairo
  • Damage to several public streets and buildings in Sayville, Long Island
  • Damage to public and private property in Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Damage to Auger Inn in Salem Center
  • Grievous bodily harm done to Marie Cavendish
  • Complete destruction of Gary’s Gas and Max’s Pet Store in Junction, New York (with one count of animal cruelty)

And then there’s the matter of the attack on Sammy the Fish Boy’s house which got Juggs arrested to begin with.  So with all that out in the open, She-Hulk flat out asks Juggernaut what is wrong with him.

And a monkey face.

As his attorney, She-Hulk recommends Juggernaut do a plea bargain and give up info on his villain buddies and maybe he can get out with 30 or 40 life sentences, which his powers might keep him alive long enough to serve.

You might notice that thus far I haven’t been my usual sarcastic self when it comes to this matter.  That’s because all of this makes sense.  Juggernaut has a ridiculously long list of offenses and he’s been captured.  He should be put away for a very long time.

But now we’re done with that.

The X-Men have gathered with Professor X’s attorney Jack White (who you may remember from Rules of Engagement) looking for options.  Jack thinks extradition to the United States is a good idea, even though the majority of Juggernaut’s crimes were in the United States, but he doubts it’ll work as the Canadians are using the capture of the Juggernaut as a huge PR boost.

White comments that he wishes Professor X could just use the psychic whammy to fix everything, as his own “mutant photographic memory” doesn’t help as much.  And man, what a lame power.  Non-mutants can have photographic memory.  That’s like saying your mutant gift is being double jointed in your pointer finger.

But I can’t give Jack too much crap as he finally becomes the only character to tell Professor X that in the entire stint of Chuck Austen’s X-Men, he’s been oblivious and sort of a dick.  Jack tells him he may be facing charges for harboring a wanted fugitive, then tells him he should never have let Cain go to Canada knowing he was still unstable.  Hey, I think that I said that too after Juggernaut shattered a wall while asking to go.

Jack continues to give Chuck crap about all the stuff he’s done wrong and Xavier takes it like a little scolded child.  He’s really screwed this whole deal up.

Charles, you’re oblivious and kind of a dick.

Meanwhile, back where Juggernaut is being held, another prisoner is making a loud ruckus which gets on everyone’s nerves.  Unfortunately, in a super prison for containing villains like the Juggernaut and guarded with soldiers decked out in space suits and laser rifles, they only have one “energy dampener”, so the other prisoner easily breaks out of his cell.  That prisoner?  The Rhino…uh, I think.

I mean, it LOOKS like a rhino.

Spider-Man fans may know Rhino as a guy in a ridiculous Rhino suit, not as a man-rhino seen here.  I called up Comicdom Wrecks! cohort Casey for his Spider-Man knowledge and he had no idea that Rhino had ever been an actual rhinoceros creature at one point.  So that’s dumb.  Anyway, Rhino attacks looking for a way out of the prison, and the battle with the space canucks just happens to free Juggernaut from his bindings.  Juggernaut attacks Rhino and manages to defeat him by shooting one of the laser guns into his mouth, because whatever.

With Juggernaut free and armed, the cowardly Canadian space soldier tells him to just leave, but Juggernaut has a moment of goodness within him and surrenders.

Awkward…

Reviewing the footage, Jack White shows that Juggernaut isn’t a flight risk and in exchange for a reduced sentence, they won’t reveal that the Canadians have been experimenting on Rhino.  So is that it?  We have our finish?  Who is this guy Jack dealt with?  A judge?  A government official?  And why would this prison have the technology to mutate someone like Rhino and incapacitate someone like Juggernaut, yet not have the foresight to have more than ONE power dampener?

She-Hulk goes to Juggernaut and asks him flat out what his game is.  He’s been a villain forever, so there has to be some sort of  scam going as to why he would want to be siding with the good guys now.  Cain replies that he’s got depth of character – views on politics, social reform, children’s welfare, women’s rights and religion.  And being that we are in the realm of Chuck Austen’s X-Men, She-Hulk has just heard smart words come from an unlikely source and a scant mutual interest, so…

Whore.

You will recall that I bullet-pointed 17 items being charged against Juggernaut, some with multiple counts of criminal acts.  He’s been a villain since the 1960’s and he’s been arrested in Canada for violating a restraining order, beating the holy hell out of a man, fighting Alpha Flight, and causing great property damage.  But that’s okay – he didn’t run away after Rhino broke a hole in the wall, so the Canadians just let him out of prison to go bang She-Hulk.  Just walk right out of prison and go have violent super-strong sex.

So just as the post-game cuddling begins, ANOTHER JUGGERNAUT SMASHES INTO THE SCENE!!!!

And then it’s all punch! punch! punch! punch! and She-Hulk drives a truck into the house to attack!

Meanwhile, Professor X and Jack White are sitting with a new character named “Ms. Shinigawa” who are apparently ignoring all of the Juggernaut’s crimes save for the attack on Sammy’s dad from the last story.  Ms. Shinigawa lists the injuries caused, and also says there was $428 million (Canadian) worth of property damage.  That’s a really expensive house the Pare family seems to have, hmm?  And I just thought about this, but where’s Northstar?  Wasn’t he a big part of getting Juggernaut to Canada and fighting Alpha Flight?  Oh well.

But Jack’s got a good argument going.  He knows the damage caused by the Juggernaut, but as long as he reeaaaaaaly meant it in a nice way, all crimes should be covered, right?

The crack logic of “C’mon!”

But Ms. Shinigawa flat out refuses, saying its too high profile of a case for the Canadians to just let Juggs go and that she personally believes that he should be locked up forever and is beyond redemption.  Hopefully, her being a woman won’t factor into something that will benefit the male characters of the story, yes?

I have no idea who this Ms. Shinigawa is supposed to be.  There is no trial going on here – it’s basically three characters sitting around a table and talking. Originally this seemed to be about Juggernaut getting caught for the first time and put on trial for all of his crimes since becoming the Juggernaut.  Now that we’ve gotten the sex out of the way, it seems to be only dealing with the attack that happened during the Draco.

Anyway, back in the sex-release building area, Cain is fighting the Juggernaut through the streets causing the usual damage that he does.   She-Hulk runs up and starts yelling at Cain about how stupid she was to get him out of jail for the sake of sexing, which really I have to agree with.  But finally while she’s still ranting and raving about how stupid she was to put out for her client, Cain remembers the chapter in the heroes guide on defeating the Juggernaut.  Step 1 (and only): yank off helmet.

Women, am I right?

So Cain rips the Juggernaut’s helmet off and the fake Juggs turns into a little kid.  Cain recognizes the kid as Xavier’s next door neighbor who was killing animals on the school grounds.  And that’s it.  No explanation as to how the kid got the powers, why he attacked Juggernaut, no battle between hosts of the Cyttorak, nothing.  The fake Juggernaut loses his helmet and becomes a little kid.  The end.  And that’s the end of She-Hulk’s role in this story too.  Goodbye, farewell.

You are a plot point that will be ignored?

So, back in office, Ms. Shinigawa is introduced to Sammy the fish boy and his mother, who has come with an impassioned plea.  She had reported Sammy’s father for violence numerous times, but the police wouldn’t do anything and told her to “honor her husband”.  So even though she was terrified and ran and called Alpha Flight when Juggernaut showed up at her house, she really wanted him there because he could protect her and Sammy.  Because she’s a woman and women are hopeless in the world of Chuck Austen’s X-Men.

Who cares if he is a lifetime criminal with anger issues?

So we end our story with Jack White and Ms. Shinigawa standing on the roof talking about how the system doesn’t protect the people it should and sometimes bad things happen to good people.  And because of that – one woman not getting help from her abusive husband – the Juggernaut is released from the charges of:

  • Damage to Hulkbuster Base One
  • Destruction of US Army property
  • Sinking of a mothballed liberty freighter
  • Grievous bodily harm to one “Madame Web”
  • Damage to Metro Bank construction site, New York
  • Destruction of property at Long Island Rail Road storage yards
  • Assault and battery on Marvin T. Rocksalt (awesome name)
  • 15 counts of grand larceny
  • 22 counts of unlawful entry
  • 116 counts of major property damage (all three of these in one city)
  • Damage to genetic research facility in France
  • Destruction of Achmed’s nightclub in Cairo
  • Damage to several public streets and buildings in Sayville, Long Island
  • Damage to public and private property in Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Damage to Auger Inn in Salem Center
  • Grievous bodily harm done to Marie Cavendish
  • Complete destruction of Gary’s Gas and Max’s Pet Store in Junction, New York (with one count of animal cruelty)

But he gets to serve like “a billion” hours of public service.  So there’s that.

Good day, Cain Marko.  You are free to go.

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5 comments

  1. I like how the Ms. Shinigawa wears nothing but Asian floral dresses despite the fact that she’s obviously Canadian and a government official, on the job, discussing official matters with, assume, complete strangers. Maybe in Chuck Austen’s world, all Canadian women of Asian descent are required to dress like Asian stereotypes despite societal status.

    Like

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