Amazing X-Men (2nd series) #18

Issue Date: 
May 2015
Story Title: 
The Once and Future Juggernaut, conclusion

Christopher Yost (writer), Jorge Fornes (artisit), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Jorge Fornes & Rachelle Rosenberg (cover artists), Xander Jarowey (editor), Mike Marts (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

X-Men created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

The Living Monolith has been transformed into the new Juggernaut, and looms over Southeast Asia. The X-Men are at a loss for what to do, particularly Storm, who decides to just sit down. The others soon sit down with her, and starts remembering the past. They discuss other large foes, and a possible plan for how to deal with the Living Monolith. Colossus and Storm make up after their recent argument. The Living Monolith doesn't appear to be doing anything, and Colossus explains that it is actually about Cyttorak, while Cain Marko tells the X-Men that Cyttorak wants pain and suffering, so Colossus suggests that they give Cyttorak a new game to play. While most of the X-Men keep the Living Monolith busy, Colossus, Pixie, Rachel Grey and Cain Marko are transported to Cyttorak's realm, where Colossus offers the demon a new scheme, promising that if Cyttorak makes him the Juggernaut once more, he will show him what unstoppable means, and kill him. Cyttorak is intrigued by this and accepts the offer. The Living Monolith is stripped of his Juggernaut abilities, and the Juggernaut returns to Earth and takes the Living Monolith down. When Colossus, Pixie and Rachel arrive back on Earth, the other X-Men realize that although the plan worked, the players changed, as Cyttorak didn't want Colossus – he wanted Cain Marko, who is once again the Juggernaut!

Full Summary: 

Southeast Asia, the sun rises, and soon they will feel it. A new avatar had been chosen, more powerful than ever. Waiters bring resort-goers relaxing on a beach their drinks, while children play in the sand.  His power had returned. This is what they wanted, he knew. Chaos. Fear. Destruction. Cyttorak would give it to them, and mankind would love him for it. People look up, and then start to run from the beach in fear. For the Juggernaut had returned, and he would shake this world to its core. And yet... in his crimson heart, Cyttorak was discontent.

The Living Monolith, transformed by the ruby red power stands over Southeast Asia, pink clouds billowing behind him, as Rockslide suddenly emerges from the ruins of the temple, calling out to the X-Men: 'Guys? The temple fell down. I'm worried someone else got the gem, has anyone seen – aw, dang' he mutters as he looks up and the Living Monolith's foot prepares to stand on him, missing Rockslide by inches as the young mutant dives back under the rubble. The Living Monolith turns and starts to walk towards the water, while Rockslide gets out of the rubble and shouts 'That's mine! The gem is mine! Give it back! You bastard!'

'Well, Rockslide made it out alive' Nightcrawler points out as he stands with fellow X-Men Storm, Northstar, Iceman, Colossus, Firestar, Pixie and Rachel Grey, as well as Cain Marko. 'Are you trying to make us feel worse, Wagner?' Northstar snaps. Firestar turns to Iceman and asks 'Killjoy, isn't that right? Isn't that what you called me, Bobby?' Firestar reminds her teammates that none of them took this seriously and now some thousand-foot-tall giant is the Juggernaut. 'You're being totally ridiculous, Firestar. He's probably like eight hundred feet, tops' Bobby replies. Storm announces that he will keep growing, as Ahmet Abdol is a mutant who absorbs cosmic energy, and he was called the Living Monolith. 'Wonderful' Northstar mutters, while Rachel reports that she can't read him. 'I don't know if it's him, or the helmet...' she explains, while Pixie asks 'So what do we do?' Storm looks at her teammates and frowns, 'I'm...going to sit down over here' she announces as she walks over to some grass and sits down, resting her head on her hand and looking unhappy.

Rachel glances at Colossus, while Nightcrawler approaches Storm and asks 'Do you think that maybe we should, you know... go fight him?' Storm responds by admitting that she has been in a foul mood lately, and that she is tired of being in the foul mood. 'I'm a joyful person' she declares. 'No you're not' Northstar tells her as he and Firestar sit down next to her. 'Jean-Paul!' Firestar exclaims. 'What? She's horrible. You're all thinking it' Northstar tells the others. Storm hangs her head and asks Nightcrawler if he remembers when she was  upset and he would dance with her and make her laugh again. 'Ja, I remember. I also remember when you were in your “clothing optional” phase' Nightcrawler smiles. 'Haha, yes' Storm exclaims, smiling.

Rockslide finds the others and rushes over to where Cain Marko and Colossus are standing separate from the rest of the group. 'Hey... hey, guys, you're not going to believe this, but there's like a ten-thousand-foot-tall guy out there who... what the hell are you all sitting around for?' he asks. 'Don't ask me. They're all insane' Cain declares.

The Living Monolith spins a fist around over his head and boasts that the stars themselves quiver at his power. 'You believe the X-Men can stop me? I am unstoppable! I am -' he shouts, before noticing that everyone has gone.

Back where the X-Men have stopped to rest, Firestar has started a fire and remarks that the New Warriors' foe, the Sphinx, got pretty big, and asks Northstar what the biggest thing that Alpha Flight ever fought was. 'The Great Beasts. Perhaps you recall them, Jones. We fought them last week' Northstar replies. 'Right! Right, sorry!' Firestar exclaims, before Northstar tells her that it is fine, and asks if anyone has wondered what one of them would do if they actually ruled the world. 'This idiot here, what do you think his actual plan is?' Northstar enquires. Bobby has shifted to his human form and replies 'Enslave us, make us build pyramids or something. That was his thing, right? He thought he was a pharaoh'. Rachel suggests that they should just go and ask him what he wants. 'Well, Rachel, you could just read his mind... oh, wait. You can't' Bobby points out. 'I hate you' Rachel tells Bobby.

Pixie remarks that the New X-Men never really fought a giant thing. 'Crazy people, future robots, big metal dogs, demons... no giant, though, I don't think'. Rockslide bets that they could have, and wishes he had marshmallows. 'You know that I can take us home any time you want, right?' Pixie points out, to which Nightcrawler tells her that they know, before calling out to Cain, who is standing away from the group, and asks him 'What's he doing now?'

Cain informs everyone that the Living Monolith is just standing there, but with his back turned from them. 'Well, that's something' Nightcrawler supposes. Northstar asks how one defeats a Living Monolith anyway, and Bobby explains that Thor usually chucks him into space, or something. 'Wonderful. Anything else?' Northstar asks. Rachel suggests that you deprive him of cosmic energy, perhaps, before asking how you beat the Juggernaut. 'Call Spider-Man' Bobby replies. 'He got lucky, you overgrown popsicle!' Cain calls out. 'Sure he did' Bobby mutters. 'It was always psychics, they'd ripp my helmet off and then it was lighs out' Cain explains, adding that even if Rachel could read this guy's mind, he doesnt think they are getting the helmet off him.

Sitting back from the main group, Storm tells Colossus that she is sorry, and that she should not have been so harsh with him. Colossus assures Storm that it is okay, as he needed to hear it. He adds that every time he thinks he is taking control of his life, something happens and it all falls apart. 'You're hardly alone there, little brother' Storm remarks. She informs Colossus that she didn't want him to come because she did not want to put him in a position where he took this burden on himself again. 'You have a tendency to sacrifice yourself for the greater good' Storm reminds Colossus. 'It's like your go-to move' Bobby adds. Colossus assures everyone that the things he has done he has not done lightly, to which Bobby tells him that he is martyr-prone. 'I am not!' Colossus retorts.

Nightcrawler intervenes, remarking that they would all give their lives for each other, but that Colossus does seem to really leap at the chance. 'No offense, it's very noble' Nightcrawler adds. 'Next time your life needs saving, I'll reflect on this' Colossus tells everyone, asking if they think the Avengers give each other such a hard time. 'They do' Firestar, who served as an Avenger, announces, before asking about magic, as the Juggernaut's power is magical. 'Do we have any magic people' she asks. Northstar grins and exclaims 'Wait, I know! Let's call the Scarlet Witch! That should work out just fine. Wagner, what's her number?' 'Her actions were not her own' Nightcrawler begins, as someone asks 'Are you so sure?'

Colossus changes the subject by informing the others that his sister's Soul Sword was able to separate him from the gem, but given the Monolith's size and his own resistance, he isn't so sure. 'I have a Soul Dagger!' Pixie exclaims, displaying the Soul Dagger. 'Go try it. We'll wait here' Bobby tells her. ' don't have to be mean about it' Pixie replies. 'Whoever said that would should ask the Living Monolith what he wants...' Colossus begins. 'Me!' Rachel exclaims. '...they were wrong' Colossus finishes. 'Ha ha! Rachel's dumb!' Bobby laughs. 'Argh!' Rachel mutters, before Storm asks Colossus what he is saying. Colossus announces that it is not about the Monolith, but it is about Cyttorak. 'What does the demon truly want?' he asks.

'You know what he wants. Chaos. Destruction. Pain. Suffering...' Cain begins. 'But then what? Everything done in his name, it's never been enough. But over and over again, he plays this game. What if we give Cyttorak a new game to play?' Colossus suggests. 'You're going to make me get up and fight this thing, aren't you?' Storm asks. 'Just for a little while. It might cheer you up' Colossus suggests. 'A nice dinner out might have, too. But did anyone suggest that?' Storm responds. Colossus smiles and tells Storm that if they survive, he will buy her dinner. 'Thank you' Storm replies.

Shortly, Storm and Firestar fly towards the behemoth, with Storm unleashing lightning blasts at him, and Firestar firing streams of microwave energy towards him. 'FINALLY!' the Living Monolith exclaims. Iceman slides towards the Living Monolith on an ice-sled and tells him, just so he knows, that nobody is doing pyramids anymore. 'Do you believe your insults will defeat me?' the Living Monolith asks. 'No, we're planning on going for your eyes' Bobby tells him. 'Look into the light, big guy!' Bobby adds, while, up above 'You are an idiot, Drake' Northstar mutters, before releasing a brilliant surge of light directly at the Living Monolith, who stumbles, and raises his hands. 'I said I didn't want to do this!' Rockslide declares as Nightcrawler teleports him onto the Living Monolith's face. 'I might have misheard you! Remember, go for the -' Nightcrawler begins, 'Yeah, yeah, I got it!' Rockslide replies, as he stands on the area of helmet between the Living Monolith's eyes and shouts 'This is what you get for taking my stuff', and he makes himself explode, causing the Living Monolith to roar.

Standing in the ruins of the temple are Rachel, Pixie, Colossus and Cain, and Rachel asks 'Do we really think this is going to work?' Colossus declares that it will work, and Pixie asks 'So what do we do now, just call him?' to which Colossus tells her 'Yes'. 'Cyttorak! Now you will hear my call!' Rachel and Pixie look at each other. 'For real, you're just yelling at the sky now' Pixie points out. 'Do we have a plan B? Because this -' Rachel begins, when suddenly, she and Pixie both stare blankly ahead, their eyes glow red and they shout 'You dare command me?' Colossus and Cain look shocked: 'It worked?' Cain asks, confused. The four then find themselves transported to the realm of Cyttorak, and they stand before him as he sits on his throne. 'I would say so' Colossus points out, while Cyttorak  grins, eyes glow red and declares 'My avatars. My failures. You are no longer necessary. I have a new champion now. And he will teach humanity of my power.

'And then what, demon? How long until this new Juggernaut fails you as well?' Colossus asks. 'All this chaos, all this destruction... how long until it bores you yet again? You want humanity to worship you? They won't.. You want them to kneel before you? They would die first. You know this. You've always known' Colossus tells Cyttorak, while at the same time, the Living Monolith slams a fist to the ground, knocking Iceman, Northstar and Rockslide about. Storm and Firestar continue to pour their energies on at the behemoth, who starts to fire some circular beams in response.

Colossus continues to address Cyttorak, telling him that he lacks the imagination to do anything else. 'You dare speak to me so?' Cyttorak replies. 'More than that, I am here to give you a gift. Make me the Juggernaut again' Colossus announces. Cyttorak frowns and asks why he would do that, as Colossus is nothing compared to his new avatar. 'The destruction he will bring -' Cyttorak begins, but Colossus interrupts him: 'You misunderstand me. I will not use your power to cause chaos and destruction, or to bend men to your will. I will use it to kill you' he announces. He tells Cyttorak to give him more power than he ever has before, and he will show him what unstoppable means.

Cyttorak pauses, then stands up, and announces that he accepts this offer. Ruby red energy starts to flow from Cyttorak, and outside, 'No... no...' the Living Monolith utters, as the energy starts to fade from him. 'I'm pretty sure that wasn't us' Bobby tells the others. 'Piotr. Goddess help him' Storm utters, as the Living Monolith is returned to his regular form, 'I don't understand...I answered the call... I won the gem... I was the Juggernaut' he announces.

Suddenly, a beam of energy appears from above, brilliant red, a voice from the energy declares 'No' and a form emerges from the energy, 'I'm the JUGGERNAUT!' a voice exclaims as the Juggernaut is propelled towards the behemoth that is the Living Monolith, striking him directly, the Living Monolith topples to the ground, but boasts that it does not matter. 'I am the Living Monolith! I am a god walking the Earth! I will destroy you!' he boasts. 'I don't think so' the Juggeranut, glowing with the energy of Cyttorak replies as he slams his fists down on the Living Monolith, there is a massive THOOOM!, and the Living Monolith goes silent.

'It worked... Colossus' plan worked!' Firestar exclaims as the X-Men gather together. 'It would seem so' Nightcrawler replies, but Storm remarks that something is wrong. The Juggernaut moves towards the X-Men, eyes glowing, he announces that the plan worked, Cyttorak accepted the offer – just not the players. An instant later, Colossus, Rachel and Pixie are transported back to Earth. 'Piotr...' Storm begins. 'But if you're...then who...Ah. Right. Him' Nightcrawler mutters, as the X-Men stand before a transformed Cain Marko a.k.a. The Unstoppable Juggernaut, who frowns at the X-Men, while Storm admits that, in retrospect, she may have been hasty about the whole martyr thing....

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Firestar, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Northstar, Pixie III, Rachel Grey, Storm (all X-Men based at the Jean Grey School)

Rockslide (student at the Jean Grey School)

Cain Marko / Juggernaut


The Living Monolith




Story Notes: 

Firestar references the Sphinx, a foe of the New Warriors who the teen heroes fought several times. In their first series.

The X-Men fought the Great Beasts in Amazing X-Men (2nd series) #11-12.

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