Zane Marko, Juggernaut,
5'5" (6'10" as J2)
(800 lbs. as J2)
(2nd series) #105
Sachi Yama (mother),
Mystical transference allows him to summon the power of the Juggernaut, temporarily shifting into a massive body with superhuman strength, endurance and resistance to all manner of physical injury or harm
Zane Yama was born Zane Marko, the son of the Juggernaut and Assistant District Attorney Sachi Yama. In this reality, Juggernaut reformed after a period of incarceration, acting as an agent of the law. Marko worked closely with ADA Yama and they eventually married and had a son. Zane remembered going to the park with his dad when he was little, but not much else. When Zane was still very young, Juggernaut was on a mission in another dimension with the X-Men. He stayed behind in the Crossroads of Infinity to prevent the demon hordes of the Overlords Eight from following Wolverine and the other X-Men back to Earth. Cain was believed lost and possibly dead for years after this incident. [J2 #7]
Cain and Sachi's relationship was apparently private, and she changed back to her maiden name Yama to maintain some anonymity. Zane Yama grew up hearing conflicting stories of his father's heroism and criminal behavior. His childhood was mostly uneventful and free from super-heroes. The sole oddity was a reoccurring nightmare of the Juggernaut chasing him and reaching out to him from an alien landscape. Zane long harbored the suspicion or hope that these dreams were his father trying to somehow contact him.
By fifteen, Zane was a small and bookish-looking teenager. He was a frequent target for bullies, especially the brutish Miller Hallendale. Miller was interested in dating Zane's best friend, Montana Gold. When she exploded at Miller one day for his mistreatment of Zane, Miller responded by warning Zane that he was going to kill him that day after school. Miller kept up the psychological intimidation all day long, causing Zane's stress level to rise higher and higher. After classes ended, Miller cut Zane off from the exits and teacher's lounge. Zane ran into the gym showers to hide, knowing Miller was going to find him sooner rather than later. The incredible stress caused Zane to transform into a massive muscular body resembling his father. Unfortunately, it was also a naked body. Zane panicked and crashed his way through several school walls (and Miller's motorbike) before hiding out down the street. After spontaneously reverting back to his normal (and clothed) body, Zane took stock and realized just how cool his life had become. [J2 #1]
Zane soon scrounged together a costume for himself. He raided a Big-and-Tall store for the basics and painted his father's old mystical helmet. Zane also wore his father's old favorite shirt tied around his waist, as a remembrance of better days. Rejecting the obvious choices of Kid Juggernaut or Juggernaut Jr., Zane more imaginatively named himself J2, in homage to his father and the enormous mountain K2. He began a career as a local, masked crime-fighter, building a rogue's gallery that included Rollerblast, Buffer Zone and Slippery Sam. Unfortunately for Zane's ego, Miller Hallendale was nearby when J2 beat his first opponent and took credit for the win with the kids at school. A few more misunderstandings, and Miller was widely recognized as J2's sidekick and best pal. Zane, to his chagrin, couldn't even speak up to reveal the truth. [J2 #1-4, 7]
Shortly after becoming J2, Zane got involved in a street brawl with several former Avengers and unaffiliated heroes against the Rock Trolls of Asgard. The heroes were transported to the Isle of Silence by Loki, but proved themselves in battle and managed to drive off the God of Mischief by alerting Lord Thor to their presence. After returning to Earth, J2 and three other second generation heroes named Mainframe, Stinger and Thunderstrike chose to remain together as a fighting team. With his connections to Avengers Mansion and its curator, Edwin Jarvis, Mainframe secured their role as the official, next generation of Avengers. [A-Next #1]
Zane thought it was unbelievably cool to become a member of the Avengers, and he soon found doors opening for him that he hadn't expected. Jubilee was one of the former Avengers who didn't stick around for "A-Next" but she invited him to meet her current team, the uncanny X-People. Juggie formed a friendship with the X-People after helping them best Enthralla, niece of Mastermind. However, his higher profile meant Zane also had to answer to his mom, who used her position as ADA to demand an audience with J2 and find out what he knew about her missing husband. Zane reluctantly refused to reveal his secret identity to his mom, and his evasive answers about why he chose to pattern himself after Juggernaut left her frustrated and suspicious of his intentions. Ironically, Sachi comforted Zane at home about how she wouldn't let J2 besmirch his father's name. [J2 #2]
J2 was rather cavalier with his secrets among the Avengers, allowing them to see his true form and telling them his first name. He also allowed his invulnerability to go to his head, striking out without thinking and getting cocky about how he could survive anything.
His arrogance quickly faded when the Avengers confronted the original Defenders and J2 had to face the incredible Hulk. After seeing Namor and the Hulk rip one of Mainframe's robot bodies in two, J2 panicked and attempted to run away from the battle. Mainframe and Stinger got him back into the fight, however, and Stinger's encouragement helped Zane overcome his fears and fight the Hulk solo until the heroes ended the conflict. [A-Next #2-3, J2 #3]
The fight with the Defenders introduced J2 to Doc Magus, current Sorcerer Supreme. Zane consulted Magus about his father's fate and the dreams he had been having about it. They entered Zane's subconscious to search for a psychic connection causing the dreams, but the adventure was inconclusive when a demon named Nemesus hijacked the dream in an attempt to assassinate Doc Magus. J2 was forced to fight and defeat a demon familiar posing as his father. [J2 #4]
Team-ups were always a part of super-hero life, and J2 found himself interacting with many of the past X-Men. In a training session with the X-People, he learned firsthand the story of his father's final mission from the visiting Cyclops. Juggie also became allies with Wolverine and his rambunctious daughter, Wild Thing. He was even courted by the arrogant but benevolent Magneta as a potential member of her "prestigious" new super-team. [J2 #5-8, 10]
Mostly, though, Zane relied on his teammates in the Avengers for support. He had a moderate crush on Stinger, and bonded with Thunderstrike over their lost fathers. J2 was also the first member to openly accept Mainframe after he revealed he was an android, and not flesh and blood. When they learned that a half-dozen of the original Avengers died in battle with another dimension and that the linking portal was active again, the new Avengers chose to venture through to defend their world, whatever their fate. They found a world ruled by Doctor Doom, raised by the Red Skull after the Nazis won World War II. Alongside their Captain America (who originally remained behind years ago to lead a resistance), the Avengers fought their fascist counterparts the Thunder Guard. J2 held his own against Donor, the evil Thor, but was unable to best him alone. [A-Next #9-12]
Shortly after the Avengers' climactic battles with the Thunder Guard and the Revengers, Zane received word from Doc Magus that he had found Cain Marko. J2 and Doc Magus prepared themselves to venture into the realm of the Darklings to rescue the Juggernaut. Upon arrival, however, they were attacked by Nemesus, who had arranged for Magus' locator spell to find Cain in order to set a trap. Nemesus had been torturing Cain ever since he fell before the Darklings years ago, and was inadvertently responsible for Zane becoming J2. Nemesus attempted to lift the spell of Cyttorak from Juggernaut's body and empower himself, but instead Cain had willed the power to transfer to Zane instead. With the help of the original Defenders, Doc Magus, Zane and his father fought their way back to Earth, and Zane's parents were happily reunited. [J2 #12] Although still super-strong, Cain no longer held the power of the Juggernaut. After briefly testing J2 in a fight, Cain agreed to retire and leave the power in Zane's capable hands. He took the name Cain Yama in order to remain anonymous, and took back his favorite shirt before treating his son to a day in the park again. [Wild Thing (2nd series) #2]
J2 operated as a steadfast member of the Avengers for some time after that. He attended the initiation match for Spider-Girl when she became a reserve member, [Spider-Girl (1st series) #13] and later came to her aid with the rest of the Avengers against the Savage Six. [Spider-Girl (1st series) #25] He also joined the manhunt for the Buzz [Spider-Girl (1st series) #30-31] and was part of a large gathering of heroes pitted against Seth, the Egyptian God of Death. [Spider-Girl (1st series) #58-59] Although he mostly got over his crush on Stinger, J2 remained oblivious to his teammate Bluestreak's crush on him. [Wild Thing (2nd series) #4]
On the way to visit his cousin Jimmy at Midtown High, Zane once again faced Nemesus and his Darklings. Using a magical engine of invisibility, the Darklings were invading New York City without anyone being able to detect their presence. J2's helmet protected him from the spell, but it meant the citizens of New York saw Juggie swinging wildly in the middle of the street, yelling about monsters no one could see. Luckily, Spider-Girl arrived to back-up J2 and her spider-sense was keen enough to detect danger all around them, even if she couldn't see the demons herself. J2 and Spider-Girl later met up with Doc Magus, who brought them through to Nemesus' dimension. J2 used a Fastball Special to toss Spider-Girl through Nemesus's invisibility machine, and Doc Magus reversed the spell so that Nemesus and the Darklings couldn't even see each other anymore. [Spider-Girl (1st series) #71]
J2 continued to operate with the Avengers. He got to meet another of his heroes, the original Spider-Man, and was part of the coordinated hunts for Venom and Magneto. When Loki began to systematically kidnap and corrupt the heroes of Earth, J2 joined forces with Captain America and his friends Wild Thing, Thunderstrike and Spider-Girl in returning to the Isle of Silence. J2 and Spider-Girl rescued the others after they were captured, and made contact with Lord Thor to return to Earth and stop Loki's plot. [Spider-Girl (1st series) #81, 83, 86-87, 92, Last Hero Standing #1-5]
Many heroes were injured during the battle with the corrupted Hulk and the Avengers had to rely on reservists and retired members over the next several weeks. This led to a misunderstanding between the ad hoc Avengers and Normie Osborn, who had recently tamed the Venom symbiote. Tony Stark forced a confrontation with Osborn and, in the squabbling that followed, J2 was one of the only heroes who stayed reasonable and pointed out Osborn was just defending himself. Zane was actually commended for the first time ever by Mainframe for keeping a level head. [Spider-Girl (1st series) #93-95] When Galactus arrived to consume the planet, J2 was relegated to crowd control and disaster relief duties with the street-level heroes. However, he contributed to the Avengers' victory with his version of a Fastball Special, launching the shrunken Stinger, American Dream and Spider-Girl inside Galactus's equipment to prevent the Earth's destruction. [Last Planet Standing #1-5]
The Avengers struggled to reassert themselves as Earth's Mightiest Heroes after the destruction caused by Galactus. They were visited by Thena, daughter of Thor, whose arrogance led to a battle of misunderstanding between the heroes. J2 was almost giddy with excitement when Thena broke her hammer on his skull, although she informed him her mallet was not as unbreakable as Mjolnir itself. The Avengers were targeted by Sylene, daughter of Loki, who intended to use them as pawns in her spell to restore Asgard after Galactus ravaged it. Her concoction required Asgardian blood and a "changeling," and so she intended to use Kevin Masterson, who became Thunderstrike. When Kevin was lost to her, however, Sylene spotted Zane after he reverted back from J2, and tossed him and Thena into her volcanic cauldron as ingredients. Despite the pain, Zane found his footing as J2 and used the power of the Juggernaut to press forward at the bottom of the cauldron.
He located Thena in the vat as well and, with all of his strength, battered a hole in the wall, letting the mystical mixture flow free and ending the spell. His feats reversed Sylene's spell and restored Midgard to its natural state. For his valor, J2 earned the respect and a kiss from Thena. [Avengers Next #1-5]
J2 remained an active member of the Avengers against various threats, and an ally to Spider-Girl and the others heroes of his era. [Amazing Spider-Girl #15, Fantastic Five (2nd series) #4-5, American Dream #1-5] Despite his rocky beginnings, Zane Yama grew into his own merits as a hero. He made his parents proud and confidently continued the new, heroic legacy of the Juggernaut.