New Excalibur #13

Issue Date: 
January 2007
Story Title: 
Unredeemed – part 1

Frank Tieri (writer), Jim Calafiore (penciler), Mark McKenna (inker), Tom Chu (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Nick Lowe & Mike Marts (editors), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Juggernaut has been getting progressively weaker to the point where he gets beaten up by the Wrecking Crew, who considers Cain a traitor to the cause. He even has to be saved by his teammates. Fearing the reason for his weakness, Cain heads to Wormwood Scrubs prison to talk with his old partner and best friend, Black Tom. Saner than the last time they met, Tom believes that there is no redemption for either of them and hints at dark crimes Cain has committed that his teammates aren’t aware of. A voice in Cain’s head tells him he knows where he must go and Excalibur soon learn that Juggernaut is heading to Korea, the temple of Cyttorak, where he gained his powers in the first place.

Full Summary: 


The Juggernaut finds himself on the receiving of the beating of a lifetime. Man what the hell happened to you? asks his attacker, the Wrecker, leader of the Wrecking Crew, half disgusted, half disappointed, while his teammates Bulldozer, Piledriver and Thunderball stand behind him and smirk at Cain’s predicament.

Thor stopping him he could see, Wrecker continues. The Hulk maybe, Avengers, X-Men, FF… but them? Come on, they are the Wrecking Crew, for crying out loud. Hey! Bulldozer protests. Wrecker tells him to shut up. He knows what he means. Time was Cain would wipe the floor with them with as much effort as it would take to tie his own shoes. But after this pathetic display…geez. How embarrassing. He’s embarrassed for him, he remarks accusingly. Guess he’s gotta change the “un” from “unstoppable Juggernaut” to “very,” Piledriver quips to the others’ amusement. Only Wrecker doesn’t laugh. Thunderball addresses him, remarking that Juggernaut has gone soft, went all hero on them. He’s a traitor.

Wrecker asks Cain to tell him it ain’t so, to tell him he ain’t sold out. He’s heard the stories, Thunderball reminds him He heard what Rhino’s been saying to anyone who’d listen. He couldn’t bring himself to actually believe it, Wrecker replies. Until now. He still doesn’t want to believe it. Not Cain. He was one of the great ones. One of the guys they could count on to clobber Iron Man or put Captain America in his place, even get that friggin’ Spider-Man to shut up for once.

I hate Spider-Man, Piledriver remarks unnecessarily. Everybody hates Spider-Man, Bulldozer agrees. Thunderball interjects again that Cain has done something even worse. They said he turned his back on Black Tom. Bulldozer now directly accuses Juggernaut too. Juggernaut and Black Tom were more than friends… they were like brothers. How could he do that? Man turns his best friend in, he’s capable of anything, Thunderball tells Wrecker. Bulldozer and Piledriver suggest they make an example of him.

Wrecker orders them to shut up. The guy’s a friend of his, ok? Addressing Cain directly, he informs him that everybody else has given up on him, deleted his name out of their cellphone and crossed him off the Christmas card list. Bullseye even said he’d whack him for free, adds Bulldozer.

Kneeling down besides Cain, who is slowly recovering, Wrecker remarks that maybe he is mindcontrolled. Xavier maybe… He didn’t look mind-controlled to him, Thunderball insists. Then maybe he got tired of the life, Wrecker continues. Happens to all of them sooner or later. Ya get tired of always living outta ratty motels, of not being able to eat in a freakin’ restaurant because you are afraid of someone recognizing you or jumping every time you hear a siren. Just plain tired. The hero life? He could see where that might be attractive. But it ain’t Cain. So how about he pick himself up and they hit one of these pubs or strip joints or something… like the old days… talk this thing out. What does he say?

Cain hits him in the stomach. That’s what he says. Holding his stomach Wrecker agrees with his team. Frowning, he tells them Juggernaut is all theirs and orders them not to be gentle like before.

The Wrecking Crew proceeds to beat him up, finishing it with tossing a bus on him. That’ll be enough of that, a voice announces as they are fired at with hotknives, courtesy of Pete Wisdom. The other members of Excalibur (plus the Black Knight) have arrived. They don’t really take too kindly to their teammates getting literally “thrown under a bus” Nocturne continues. Unless it’s Wisdom, Sage adds.

Captain Britain begins to bellow orders, telling Nocturne to handle Thunderball. Oh no, he won’t do this again, Wisdom spits. What’s the problem? Cap asks while Nocturne, Dazzler and the Black Knight are fighting the Wrecking Crew. Seeing the more immediate problem, Sage tries to suggest this is the wrong time.

The two ignore her as they fiercely glare at each other, while Bulldozer is about to attack. Cap asks whether this is about this stupid “who’s the leader” thing again. It’s not stupid if he’d caught the hint the first soddin’ time, Wisdom retorts. It’s not his fault everyone automatically recognizes him as the superior field leader, Cap points out. They all “recognize” him because he never stops belting out orders, Wisdom accuses him. Both of them ignore the Bulldozer coming at them and Sage’s attempt at a warning, as their argument grows more heated.

Cap spits that this isn’t about leadership but about Pete being sore, as Brian never wanted him on the first Excalibur. If Cap is saying he was a tosser then and is a tosser now, he’s finally starting to get it, Wisdom retorts. Calling Wisdom “cigarette breath,” Cap suggests he get out of his face. He quit, Wisdom points out.

Bulldozer is almost upon them. Sage shouts at them. Simultaneously, Cap hits Bulldozer and Wisdom tosses hotknies at him. They tell her to cut down on the caffeine. Those two are gong to be the death of her, Sage sighs as she turns to her virtual computers, checking data. She informs the others that Wrecker is the source of the others’ power. They must take him out.

Piledriver has snuck up on her. With a smirk, he announces that he realizes she is letting those two goofs argue about who is boss, while she is actually the one calling the shots. Using martial arts moves to keep him off-balance, she smilingly tells him not to spoil her secret.

The Black Knight is facing the Wrecker, who inquires how Dane went from Avenger to Excalibur. Did he flunk the Power Pack try-outs? Technically he hasn’t joined yet, Dane replies. “Yet” being the key word, Cap chimes in.

Focusing on Thunderball, who is swirling said ball around, Nocturne advises Dane not to mind Wrecker. He’s one to talk, hanging around a guy who is named after a stupid James Bond movie. Wisdom takes offence at this. “Thunderball” is a Connery Bond movie after all. What is it with men and their Bond movies? Dazzler sighs. Shaggin’ eight chippies per film might have something to do with it, Wisdom points out. Thunderball interrupts their banter, protesting that he is not named after a Bond movie. Maybe the giant ball he is whirling around might have something to do with that. The three take him out.

Only Wrecker or “Captain Skimask” as Dazzler calls him is left. Bring it on, X-Men lite, he goads them. Suddenly, there is an ominous rumble. The heroes and Wrecker look astonished, a moment before the bus from before lands squarely on the Wrecker.

The others hurry to Cain’s side, Nocturne being the first. She asks him if he is okay. Groggily, he assures her he is, calling her “Alison.” As TJ is taken back at this, Dazzler points out he is probably just a little shell-shocked. “Yeah, whatever,” Nocturne announces with a sour smile.

Now you did it a voice remarks in Cain’s head. No smurf action for him. Not after he called her the wrong name. Damn, not this again, Cain swears. And don’t give me that “you don’t see her that way” crap, the voice continues. Cause he’d have to be blind not to notice how she sees him.

Dazzler addresses Cain and the voice continues that she is the one he really wants. The one that teases him. Wouldn’t he just like to rip her clothes off right here and now? The friggin’ tease. Would serve her right.

Cain stutters as his teammates surround him and the voice continues, giving vent to all his darker feelings about them, suggesting he kill them. He could have done that… in the old days.

Captain Britain asks Cain what is going on. Without looking at him, Cain mumbles that he’s fine, just a little dazed from the bus landing on him. Sage wants to examine him, but Cain insists he is fine. It’s not like anything can hurt him anyway. He’s the Juggernaut. You used to be the Juggernaut, the voice corrects him.

Hours later at Wormwood Scrubs prison, Cain visits an old friend … his former partner Black Tom Cassidy.

Tom admits it’s good to see Cain, though he believed the other man would never want to see him again. A part of him still doesn’t, Cain admits. Tom doesn’t blame him. He asks about Cain’s beaten-up face, but Cain is evasive. He admits that Tom is his best friend and, as somebody told him today, he’s his brother. It took a while, but he’s forgiven him for what happened with Sammy. He knows Tom wasn’t in his right mind. Tom has enough bad in him, but not something like that. Not like …well …

That boy’s death is a stain upon his soul, Tom admits. He never killed a child before. He sees Sammy’s face when he sleeps. He sees that terrible day over and over. Tom taking his life but it’s like he’s watching some kind of terrible movie. And he’ll be watching it in his mind for the rest of his days. And he’ll have to live with that. But they both know that’s not why Cain is there. He knows him too well. Cain is there because he is hearing the voices again, because he’s getting weaker every day, is wondering if it’s all worth it.

Well, is it? Can asks. Tom hasn’t got an answer That ain’t for mere mortals like him to decide. But if he he’s wondering whether Tom thinks if he can be truly redeemed? No. They can pretend there’s redemption for the things they’ve done, but is there really? Can he ever redeem himself in the eyes of Sammy’s mother? He took that woman’s child away, Tom continues. What can he possibly say to her? “I’m sorry?” He doesn’t want her forgiveness. He can’t possibly earn it.

Then what the hell’s the point, Cain wonders bitterly. Why should he even bother? Tom asks him about one last thing. Do the members of Excalibur know all the things he’s done? The full ugly extent of it? Cain doesn’t reply and lowers his head. He didn’t think so, Tom remarks. Watching his friend stride away, Tom wishes him good luck, wishing he had better answers for both of them.

Outside the prison, the voice accosts Cain again, mocking that this was a grand waste of time. Shut the hell up, Cain shouts. C’mon now, pal, the voice continues. He’s been through this before. He knows there’s only one way to do this and only one place he can go to for it.

Back at Excalibur’s HQ, while some members are sure they shouldn’t have let Cain leave, Wisdom tells them they are worrying over nothing. Cain probably just wanted to clear his head over the walloping he took. That’s all. Working on her computers, Sage sharply asks how it feels to be wrong all the time. She just located Juggernaut and he is heading to Korea, and more than likely his destination is where the Juggernaut was born, the Temple of Cyttorak. And Lord only knows what awaits him there.

At the Temple of Cyttorak, several armed masked warriors dressed in crimson arise from the Earth, waiting…

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain, Dazzler, Juggernaut, Nocturne, Sage, Wisdom (all Excalibur)

Dane Whitman / Black Knight

Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball, Wrecker (Wrecking Crew)

Black Tom Cassidy

Story Notes: 

Sammy Pare was killed by Black Tom in X-Men (2nd series) #162.

Issue Information: 

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