Marvel’s villain/antihero the Juggernaut is famously unstoppable, but it turns out his powers get a major upgrade under one condition. Cain Marko is the usual holder of the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, but when his patron god didn’t feel like sharing him with another master, his powers were transferred to Piotr Rasputin, the mutant powerhouse known as Colossus.
Cain Marko, the Juggernaut, was one of the X-Men’s earliest enemies, introduced in 1965’s X-Men #12, with his half-brother Charles Xavier explaining his background. After deserting the army while fighting in the Korean War, Cain stumbled upon the Temple of Cyttorak, where he found and touched the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak. This connected him to an otherwordly demon who feeds on destruction, transforming Cain into a super-strong being whose magic momentum means he can’t be stopped even by stronger opponents. However, when Colossus took this power, he became far stronger than Cain. Cyttorak eventually explaining that heroes – not villains – are his most effective avatars.
Juggernaut Is More Powerful As a Hero
When Cain Marko was possessed by an Asgardian demon, Cyttorak withdrew his support, and the X-Men successfully argued for Colossus to receive it. Colossus quickly displayed immense strength beyond that which Cain ever showed as the Juggernaut, and while at first it seemed like this was due to Piotr’s natural mutant ability, it quickly became clear that Colossus was accessing a different level of Juggernaut power, even transforming into monstrous new forms when truly lost to his destructive side. Colossus later petitioned Cyttorak to take back his corrupting power, but Cyttorak refused, saying that the reason he had given Colossus more power than Cain was because as a hero, he was channeling far more destruction to the demonic being.
Cyttorak Confirms a Dark Truth About Marvel Heroes
Cyttorak explained that since villains are often in hiding or locked up, Cain’s gifts of destruction had been sporadic, whereas as a superhero, Colossus causes endless destruction that serves as “an eternal banquet.” The more destructive energies that flow through the Juggernaut to Cyttorak, the more power the demon sends back to his avatar, allowing for more and more destruction. This was a disturbing revelation for Colossus, explaining why he had been able to access more power as the Juggernaut than Cain ever had, and once again proving to Piotr that the world might be better off without him as a hero.
Cyttorak’s revelation on Colossus’ power, and the nature of destructive heroism, means that Cyttorak’s avatars can only reach the full potential of the Juggernaut while operating as heroes. It’s a development that says a lot about the damage superheroes do to the world around them. As a being who purely desires destruction, regardless of the moral reasoning behind it, Cyttorak would much rather be served by a hero than a villain. In the context of stories like Civil War – where superhero collateral damage kills hundreds – this dark perspective seems both accurate and damning to otherwise noble heroes like Colossus.
Despite his penchant for destruction, Juggernaut can only access Cyttorak full blessing while working as a hero – not because the demonic being has any moral preferences, but because taken individually, Marvel’s superheroes cause far more destruction than its supervillains ever will.
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