Acts of Vengeance – the ultimate super-villain team-up continues here… in the storage yards of the Long Island Railroad.
With a surprised look on his face, Juggernaut remarks that he doesn’t believe this. This has gotta be a joke. He’s Cain Marko, the Juggernaut! The closest thing they’ll ever see to an irresistible force. Nothing can stop him. Not Spider-Man, not the Hulk, not even the blasted X-Men. None of them could ever truly beat him. He just flattened the Mighty Thor. Hurt him big time. They have the nerve to challenge him? Them…?! A lousy bunch ‘a kids?!
Nova responds that has-beens like him always make youth sound like it’s an insult. Marvel Boy cautions Nova to stay calm and not to let him bait him into doing anything rash. Namorita adds that Marvel Boy is right. He is only goading them because he’s afraid. He knows he can’t compete with the new generation. Night Thrasher proceeds to tell Juggernaut to back off. They’re not going to allow him to harm the Thunder God or anyone else. They’re the new players in the war on crime and they don’t take prisoners. Firestar then cautions Night Thrasher to be careful. She knows all about this man. He’s one of the most powerful villains on the face of the Earth. Speedball remarks that’s the good news. Their reps will be made as soon as they trash him. He then says c’mon, let’s do it and rushes towards the Juggernaut.
Night Thrasher tries to tell Speedball to wait, but Namorita points out that it’s no use. He’s already jumped the gun. Speedball tells Namorita not to worry. He can ricochet all around Tubbo, hitting him from so many different directions, that he won’t know which way to fall down. Juggernaut tells Speedball not bad, he’s a regular dancing fool. But it will take a lot more than a hyperactive pogo stick to stop him. With that, Juggernaut backhands Speedball into orbit.
After seeing what happened to Speedball, Firestar says they’ve got to help him. He could be seriously injured or worse. Thrasher tells her no. He, Speedball, has only himself to blame for what happened. He then tells Namorita and Nova that Juggernaut is closing in on Thor. It’s their responsibility to contain that sucker. As Namorita and Nova fly in, carrying a metal beam, Nova tells Thrash to give his jaws a rest. They’re already on the case. Namorita remarks that they’re going to wrap up the Juggernaut up in a big bow, and deliver him to the nearest police station. Once they wrap the beam around Juggernaut, he asks them that this is some kind of gag, right? No mere iron rail can stop him. Nothing can!
Just then, Juggernaut frees himself from the beam and the resulting shrapnel hits Nova and Namorita. Shocked, Marvel Boy remarks that maybe they should call in the Avengers or the Fantastic Four. Thrasher replies not a chance. This is their fight. After giving the order to Firestar and Marvel Boy to get Thor to safety, Thrasher informs them he’s going in. Firestar asks him if that’s wise. What chance does he have? Marvel Boy tells her to save her breath, the man isn’t listening. He’s into his own agenda, and they just need to hope it doesn’t get the rest of them killed.
As Thrasher goes past him, the Juggernaut mocks “a costumed good guy on a skateboard? Now he’s finally seen it all.” Smacking the ground, which causes a ripple effect, and knocks Thrasher off his skateboard, Juggernaut tells him to do himself a favor and go back to school. Be a live teenager, not a dead super clown. Grabbing hold of his skateboard in mid-air, Thrasher informs the Juggernaut that he has seriously underestimated him. He is a living weapon who has spent his whole life training and preparing for moments precisely like this. With that, he smacks Juggernaut in the face with his skateboard.
Away from the battle, Marvel Boy mentions to Firestar that it’s a real s-strain on his telekinetic abilities t-to move anything as heavy as Thor. Firestar responds that maybe her microwaves can help. She could heat the air around him, and try to cause an updraft or something. Marvel Boy tells her it’s too dangerous, she might accidentally burn him. Just then, Thor begins to wake up. Steadying him on either side, Marvel Boy says thank goodness, they can move a lot faster now. Their only hope for survival is for the others to keep Juggernaut distracted until Thor has had time to fully recover. Firestar states that’s no small task.
Elsewhere, at that precise moment, Loki angrily says that he almost wishes he had not summoned the image he sees now. Those meddlesome children are ruining everything. If not for their interference, Juggernaut would have surely completed his mission by now – the utter humiliation of the Thunder God! Still, there is no need for concern. The other phases of his grand scheme are all proceeding as planned. Each phase is a brilliant work of art, and a beautiful act of vengeance.
Meanwhile, Thrasher continues his assault on Juggernaut. As he does so, Juggernaut tells him to stop wasting his time. His acid bombs and concussion grenades barely rate a tickle on his scale. Thrasher replies that he must have a weakness. He will find it, he swears he will. Walking away from him, Juggernaut tells Thrasher yeah, yeah, he’s heard that old tune before. Enraged, Thrasher angrily tells Juggernaut not to turn his back on him. Leaping on the behemoth’s back, Thrasher yells at him not to ignore him. Pounding on his back with his fists, Thrasher says he thinks he’s unstoppable, like crime itself, but he’s dedicated his life to ridding the streets of scum like him. He’ll stop him, he’ll stop them all. When Juggernaut tells him to please give him a break, Thrasher yells at him to not patronize him. He won’t rest until he’s found a way to make him pay. To make them all pay for what they’ve done!
Upon seeing the way Thrasher is reacting, Firestar mentions to Nova and Namorita that it looks like he’s losing it. Nova tells her to get to him fast. She seems to be the only one who can calm him down. Juggernaut tells Thrasher that he’s a crazy kid, a first class psycho, and to consider this ride over, it’s time to die. With that, he grabs him by the leg and pulls him off of his back. Before he can slam Thrasher into the ground, Firestar arrives on the scene and saves Thrasher. She then tells Namorita and Nova to go now. Juggernaut asks now? Now what?
At that moment, Namorita and Nova toss boxcars at the Juggernaut with all of their power, burying him. Holding the enraged Thrasher in the air, Firestar tells him that it’s over; they won. She then tries to calm him down. They need him to get it together. He needs to release his anger and let it go. She tells him to think discipline, discipline and control. Calming down, Thrasher apologizes to Firestar; he really shouldn’t lose it like that. Firestar tells him it’s okay, they understand, they all understand. Lowering him to the ground, she adds that besides, there’s no harm done. They scored a clean win and even Speedball is all right. Speedball asks was there ever any doubt? He is one guy who knows how to bounce back from adversity and…
As the ground begins to rumble, Speedball says that something tells him it ain’t quite Miller Time. As they look over at where Juggernaut was buried under the mound of debris, mouths suddenly grow dry with disbelief. Eyes bulge with wonder and noble hearts abruptly hammer with the fury of raging pile drivers as a being whose power defies mere mortal description suddenly frees himself from a mountain of debris with a seemingly effortless shrug. Free from the debris, Juggernaut asks the heroes why they look so surprised. He told them that nothing could stop him. He didn’t lie.
At that precise moment, even as the massive being relentlessly moves forward, a profound event which will soon have a dramatic effect on the life of the Thunder God is occurring in the apartment of Eric Masterson. As the reporter on television states that a special session of Congress has been called to discuss the alleged war on super heroes, damage estimates range in the billions.
Watching the report, Susan Austin remarks that she wishes Eric would call. It isn’t safe to be out on the streets these days. The government should arrest them all. The so called “heroes” cause as much destruction as the “villains.” Hercules, in his disguise as Harry Cleese, tells Susan not to fear. The employer can easily handle any problem that confronts him. In his mind Hercules says to himself “for he is secretly the Mighty Thor.”
Just then, the doorbell rings. Upon seeing who is at the door, Susan is surprised to see them. Once she enters, Kevin rushes towards the lady and calls her mommy. The new lady asks Susan that she’s Eric’s executive assistant, correct. Giving her son a hug, she proceeds to tell Susan that she can inform her ex-husband that she is there to reclaim legal custody of her son. In shock, Hercules covers his mouth and thinks to himself that a grim challenge doth await the Thunder God, one which may o’er tax e’en his immortal powers and patience.
Meanwhile, Thor and his young allies continue to struggle for survival as their battle moves to a nearby construction site. Standing up and holding himself up next to a nearby pillar, Thor thinks to himself that at last the delirium flees his mind and strength returns to his limbs. Everyone believes his weakened state was caused by Juggernaut, but ‘twas really the result of another crippling seizure, one of the many which have struck him e’er since he returned to Earth. He must learn the reason behind them but first…
Before he can ponder his next action, Speedball bumps into him. When Thor asks him where Juggernaut is, Speedball informs him that he, er, just entered the site. And Marvel Boy is taking a shot at him. Facing off against the Juggernaut, Marvel Boy thinks to himself that he’s got to concentrate. He must mentally seize all of the surrounding debris. Maybe that will disorient him and temporarily slow him down. Charging through the flying debris, Juggernaut asks him is this the best he can do? “Yawn” Wake me up when it’s over.
Marvel Boy then remarks that the big blowhard didn’t realize that he was just trying to distract him until Firestar could get into position. Marvel Boy calls out to Firestar to get him. Flying above, Firestar tells him that she’ll do what she can. Her microwaves will keep the heat of his costume climbing, until it’s unbearable. He’ll have to stop before his body burns. Witnessing Juggernaut continuing to trounce forward, Night Thrasher tells Firestar it’s no good, the guy’s impervious to pain. His costume is already glowing white hot. He then tells her to aim for his heart. Firestar replies that would kill him and she can’t do that. She can’t, she won’t commit murder. Juggernaut calls her a little wimp and tells her not to play the game if she can’t take the strain. Besides, she can’t hurt him. Nothing can!
At that moment, Thor appears behind Juggernaut, calls forward a lightning strike, and tells Juggernaut “thou art mistaken mortal.” Many are the grand forces at loose in the multiverse, forces of which are of such power, such relentless and terrible intent that they would send e’en thee screaming in the night. Juggernaut tells him “nice light-show, Blondie.” Did he ever think of hiring out for concerts? He’s gonna need a new profession when he’s done with him. Juggernaut tells him to c’mon, he may as well accept the inevitable. Nothing can stop the Juggernaut from squeezing the life out of him.
Upon seeing Thor kneel, Juggernaut asks him if he’s praying. Thor tells him “aye, in a manner of speaking.” Smacking his hammer on the ground, he states that he is calling upon the heavens, calling upon them to release a power, a power which is the birthright of the God of Thunder. Shocked, Marvel Boy points out that Thor conjured a lightning bolt out of a clear, blue sky. Firestar states that nothing could have survived that devastating blast. Nova asks “oh really?” He then points out that the Juggernaut is still standing there, unfazed.
Juggernaut tells a surprised Thor that tickled and asks him to do it again. He shouldn’t be disappointed, nothing can stop him. Nothing! Defiantly, Thor tells him so be it. He hast forced him to unleash the most terrifying Asgardian power of all. A power which once hurled back Galactus, the World-Eater, and e’en gave pause to an almighty Celestial. He must call forth the god-force which flows through his veins and unites it with the irresistible power of his enchanted Uru mallet. And the God of Thunder shall become one with the hammer supreme. Unleashing a powerful blast from his hammer, Thor yells out “let the Juggernaut fall!”
Engulfed by bludgeoning waves of unrelenting Asgardian power, Cain Marko experiences an unaccustomed moment of vertigo and total disbelief as he unexpectedly feels himself being pushed backward. But, even as the ever determined Juggernaut strains to regain his forward momentum, the floor below him breaks open and he falls into a chasm in the ground. Once he falls inside, Nova and Namorita fill in the hole with steel girders. Firestar then uses her microwave power to melt the steel girders into a pool of molten slag. Thor adds that his enchanted hammer will summon a frigid wind to harden it. And then, Thor raises the steel cocoon with his power and says not e’en it will restrain the Juggernaut for long. Thus, he must call upon his mystic mallet to open the portals of time and space and banish this obelisk to some distant dimension.
Moments later, Juggernaut still manages to free himself from the cocoon. When he does, he finds himself somewhere he doesn’t recognize and asks where he is. He then exclaims that it doesn’t matter. He’ll eventually find a way to get home and he’ll get Thor! Because nothing can stop the Juggernaut!
Elsewhere, at that instant, Loki angrily states that the Juggernaut failed him. But he is far from beaten and he will soon have ultimate revenge on Thor and the rest of the accursed Avengers. They are all destined to perish as a result of his acts. His Acts of Vengeance!
Back at the construction site, Thor tells the New Warriors that they have fought well and that the God of Thunder shall e’er be in thy debt. He asks why thou hast gathered together. Marvel Boy answers that they wanted to help on the war on crime. Speedball adds that the adults looked like they could use a hand. Night Thrasher states that they intend to fight for justice, punish the guilty and crush them like vermin. Nova tells Thrash that’s his trip. The rest of them are a bit more mellow. Thor informs the young super heroes to take heed. True justice must e’er be tempered by mercy. As he flies off, he adds thou art young and have much to learn of honor and nobility. But, he thinks the world shall soon marvel at the stirring exploits of the New Warriors.
Stripped of Storm Breaker, his enchanted Uru hammer, imprisoned within a space pirate ship which is completely powered by psychic energy drained from its living cargo of slaves. Beta Ray Bill has just learned that the pirates have found a new source of slaves, the great fleet which he has pledged his life to protect.
Shackled, Bill thinks to himself that the survivors of his race were placed in suspended animation when a great cataclysm destroyed their galaxy. It is his responsibility, his sacred trust, to protect them until a new homeworld can be found. He shall, he must find a way to save them. He knows that he must concentrate. The device which drains his psychic energy also unites his mind and merges his consciousness with the ship. In some obscenely intimate manner, he has become one with the ship. He is the ship. He can sense everything which is occurring within his hull. Even the actions of those foolish brutes who are vainly attempting to lift his enchanted hammer and move it from the airlock where he was first subdued.
Inside the airlock, two space pirates attempt to lift Beta Ray Bill’s hammer to no avail. In the command center, Captain Orack is informed that the fleet is almost within striking distance. Orack gives the order to target the plasma cannons. The fleet contains tens of thousands of new slaves. It is a reservoir of potential energy. He wants it, he wants it bad!
Upon hearing what Orack said, Bill exclaims no. One of his fellow detainees asks him what he is doing. Why is he straining against his psychic shackles? Bill replies that they must fight the pirates and resist their commands. The alien asks him if he has gone mad. They’ll retaliate and punish them all. Upon hearing the countdown sequence beginning, Bill begins to struggle mightily against his bonds. The alien tells him to stop it, he’s endangering them all. Bill asks him what he fears. How can they hurt him any more than they already have? They are already leeching the energy from his mind and the power from his limbs. They are the source of their power. They give them the ability to dominate them. But they can also defy them, something they would never expect. They can ignore their commands, oppose their orders, and they can choose to be free. With that, Beta Ray Bill breaks free from his bonds.
Inside the command center, Orack is surprised to see that the artillery center has been caught in some kind of psychic backlash and destroyed, thus not firing the plasma cannons. After he is informed that the ship is losing power and that the psychic drainers must be malfunctioning, Orack leads them to the slave section.
In the airlock, the pirates continue to attempt to move the hammer with no effect. They begin to admit defeat, the hammer is immovable. Ripping through a nearby wall, Bill tells them they are wrong. It can be moved. When they shoot the new prisoner with no effect, Bill takes them out with ease and tells them that their petty stunners are like the annoying stings of a mere insect to one who possesses the mighty power of a living Thunder God.
Lifting up his hammer, Bill calls Captain Orack to come forward. Now that he has recovered his precious Storm Breaker, he is very anxious to greet him and the rest of his savage crew. He enslaved him, pillaged his mind, and threatened to do the same to his people. There shall be a reckoning! For justice, for vengeance, for Beta Ray Thor!