X-Men #13 (last issue | next issue)

"Where Walks the Juggernaut!"

Writer: Stan Lee
Layouts: Jack Kirby
Penciller: Jay Gavin (A pseudonym for artist Werner Roth taken from the first names of his sons. He would be credited under his real name starting with X-Men #23)
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Letterer: Sam Rosen
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cover date: September 1965
Cover price: 12 cents


We begin where we left off last issue. Cain Marko, the Juggernaut, confronts his long lost stepbrother Professor X, after having swept aside the mansion's defenses and the attacks of the X-Men. The Juggernaut is pissed since he spent years digging himself out of the rubble of the temple of Cyttorak in Korea where the Professor last saw him. And the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak have transformed Cain Marko into an unstoppable force.

The Juggernaut is reeled but not stopped by the Professor's telepathic attacks. He brags about his "psionic helmet" which shields him from mental attacks, and he has so far shrugged off physical attacks. So the X-Men attack him indirectly, by blasting a hole in the floor below him. The Juggernaut falls in, but it won't delay him for long.

The Professor, Jean Grey, Iceman, and the Beast head to the lab to quickly assemble a "mento-helmet" to intensify the Professor's powers. The Juggernaut easily climbs out of the pit and Cyclops and Angel vainly attempt to keep him occupied, but Angel ends up knocked out when Juggy uses him to block Cyke's optic blast. Using the mento-helmet, the Professor sends out distress calls to anyone and everyone, including the Teen Brigade (from the Hulk) and Daredevil. Iceman and the Beast rejoin the fray. The Professor has managed to make contact with Johnny Storm, the Human Torch from the Fantastic Four.

Iceman is knocked unconscious and Cyclops's power is exhausted, so the Beast must take on the Juggernaut alone. The Professor mentally instructs him to try to remove the Juggernaut's helmet, but the Beast's attempt fails and one of his legs is incapacitated. The injured Beast manages to lead Juggy into the Danger Room and activates it. But the Juggernaut takes everything the room can throw at him, and uses one of the room's devices to knock out the Beast.

The Human Torch arrives, and he and Marvel Girl keep the Juggernaut occupied while the Professor makes mental contact with Angel, who is now barely stirring. Telepathically coordinating everyone's efforts, the Professor has the Torch temporarily blind Juggy with a bright burst of flame. Then he sends Angel into a dive, and in one of my favorite single panels, you can just feel the intensity and the strain as he swoops low, snatching Juggy's helmet off. Without his helmet, he is vulnerable to mental attack and is easily incapacitated by the Professor.

The Human Torch is sent home, and for thanks he gets a mind wipe from the Professor to eliminate any knowledge of the X-Men's secrets. Talk about ungrateful, not to mention morally dubious, but in those days the Professor was mind wiping everyone and their brother without thought of the moral implications of the act. The X-Men are bandaged up with Jean playing nurse and the Professor urges them to heal quickly, because their reward for defeating the Juggernaut is a broom for each of them. After all, someone has to clean up the mess. Can't you just imagine them all laughing as the credits roll?

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