(New Mexico, the Recession, circa last Tuesday)
A bartender talks to his customers about what happened to Jimbo, who has been brutally defeated and hospitalized. Luckily, the doctors say that the guy can eat solid foot in about a month or two, but they all agree that someone has to stop that freak of nature. Suddenly, a few loud bounces are heard. The entire bar shakes. Clarke, the bar owner, takes out his gun and is ready to defend himself. Marvin T. Rocksalt enters the place, and he’s a dictionary of trouble. Clarke tells him to go away, but Marv mocks the poor guy, telling him to fetch him a beer.
Marvin and his goons start to rumble in the bar, but are stopped by a guy sitting in the shadows, enjoying a beer. The man tells Marv that the jukebox finally started playing some good old country music, and now Marvin has ruined that. And now, he’s angry. An unimpressed Marvin tells the man to shut up and stay at his light beer. The man gets up, and reveals himself to be the unstoppable Juggernaut! Marvin panics. An angry Juggernaut tells Marvin that no one who says that he drinks light beer shall live on. While Marv still tries to mock Cain, the bartender calls 911.
Juggernaut throws Marvin out of the window, and destroys his truck. Cain laughs and drinks a whole can of beer. A beautiful woman with a large snake-tattoo on her body talks to Cain, telling him how impressed she is by his actions. She introduces herself as Alex, and Cain is immediately caught in her beauty. Cain tells Alex that she’s got a smart lip. Alex corrects that she has actually two lips, and gives Cain a kissing gesture with them.
Cain jokingly remembers that his mom used to tell him to stay away from girls like Alex. Alex gets up, stretching herself, and tells Cain that his mom sound boring to her. Cain mentions that his mom is dead now. Alex asks Cain if he can run with her, and he confidently confirms, since he’s got his armor for protection. After finishing another whole can of beer, Cain asks Alex if she wants to go do something bad. Smiling, she tells Cain that she thought he’d never ask it.
They hold hands and walk out of the bar, agreeing that this might be the start of a depraved and destructive relationship. Alex wants Cain to talk about himself for a while. Juggernaut explains that his origin started in the war. Alex finds that confusing, since Cain doesn’t look old enough to have been in a war. Cain smiles that the Marko’s age gracefully. Cain continues to say that his step-brother “Charlie” stumbled onto a temple, and…
Meanwhile, in a fetid dungeon hidden far from the eyes of man, a white hand of a pale white, evil man watches through his viewing orb at his sister “Alex.” The man is happy that she has emerged on Earth, which to him means that she will seek him out as soon as the Juggernaut has fallen under her thrall. But the man is confident that will not come to pass, at least not according to her designs. D’Spayre steps out of the shadows and is anxious to start their reunion. He bolsters his arcane servants with a spiritual repast.
On Earth, Sheriff Howitzer approaches Clarke, who cries over his destroyed bar. Howitzer hates this, as he’s got to call the F.B.I. now, whom he hates, to inform them about the Juggernaut. D’Spayre teleports in front of them and strikes out at the men, making them scream.
After ventilating Alex’ old high school, nailing her old rival Amber DelMarco’s house, set fire to fifty acres of cropland belonged to that guy who stared at her chest last week, Cain and Alex decide to stop for a while. Cain mentions that he has met some spiteful woman in his time, but tells Alex that she’s the most fun of them all. He truly enjoys this night.
Cain admits that he didn’t have this much fun since the last time he tussled with the X-Men. He asks Alex if she heard what happened in New York with Onslaught last year. Alex didn’t, since she lived in Sirocco at the time, which is pretty much like living under a rock. She asks if there was a fight. Cain lies that he kicked Onslaught’s butt, and that the monster was begging for mercy!
While drinking on a bottle, Alex asks Cain if he finally got revenge on his brother. Cain confirms and fakes that, afterwards, he also finished off the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. Alex congratulates him and mentions that she too has a brother who deserves a good trashing, but she can’t do that alone. Cain asks what the guy did to her. They are interrupted by Clarke, the sheriff, and any other citizen of New Mexico. They give him the order to immediately kill them all!
Cain is confused, but Alex thinks that she knows what’s going on. She recognizes the suicidal feeling and the scent of hopelessness everywhere. And something worse. There’s that tingling at the base of her spine, like cold needles. Alex realizes that her brother has found him. She takes a closer look at the town, using her powers to find out that her brother hides in the Steel Mill. Alex admits that she’s still to weak to confront her brother now, and that she needs more time with the Juggernaut, but doesn’t see another choice.
Juggernaut runs away from the people, telling them that they can kill themselves if they want, but he’s on a date. Alex tells him that the date’s over now. Cain is confused, but Alex doesn’t really want to tell. She fears that, if she does, the man who’s after her will put her in a world of hurt and kill her. She doesn’t know what to do. Juggernaut says that’s simple: Alex just has to tell him her enemy’s name, and he’ll smack him for her.
A familiar sounding voice to Cain suddenly calls out to him, telling him to stop sending out misguided chivalry. It’s Black Tom Cassidy! Cain can’t believe that his old friend is actually there, looking all better, and with no more of that wood crawling over him. Tom smiles and feels good to be back with his old friend. Cain introduces the Irish man to Alex, but Tom claims that they already know each other. Alex thinks she’s busted.
Tom smacks Cain on his head, and is angry that he changed in the few months he left his side. Cain doesn’t understand. Tom is angry at Cain for blowing into this town like an idiot, and drawing all the attention to him. Cain defends himself that Tom doesn’t know what happened. Tom also doesn’t like that Cain lies about Onslaught. Alex still believes Cain, and asks him to walk away with her.
Cain tells her to shut up, and asks Tom why he’s so mad. Tom isn’t mad. He’s furious because Cain lets Alex treat him this way. He charges his staff and hits Alex with it! Cain screams, and wants to know why Tom did that. Tom tries to make Cain understand that Alex was just messing with him. Cain looks closer, and finally recognizes Alex as… Spite!
Spite yells and can’t believe her eyes. She almost had the Juggernaut! Cain recognizes Spite, who nearly fed him to the god Cytorrak when Onslaught trapped him in the gem. He hates the fact that he was almost used again. Juggernaut charges his Cytorrak powers, and glows in pink energy. Tom’s eyes glow red, and he mocks Cain that the man he used to know would have never let himself be used like this, and calls him useless and isn’t surprised that his father never loved him. Spite tries to warn Cain that Tom is just trying to manipulate his emotions.
Cain slams Tom away, shouting that he’s not useless, or worthless. He’s the Juggernaut! Tom slams through a wall and a spike flies through his back, rendering him unconscious. Spite notices the scrumptious energy around Cain, but she can’t believe that it belongs to him. She realizes what’s wrong and begs Cain to listen to her. Cain’s startled, and now believes the curse that told him that he would destroy his loved ones.
Juggernaut holds Spite responsible for Tom’s death, and fights her. She defends herself with her powers, trying to make Cain understand that Tom was never there. Suddenly, Tom starts glowing green, and tells Cain that normally he would applaud the battle, but he wants to deal with his sister himself. Tom transforms into… D’Spayre! D’Spayre congratulates his sister Spite for her escape from the ruby of Cyttorak, but she would rather spend today torturing her to death!
Cain still doesn’t understand, and wants to know where Tom’s body is. Spite shouts that there never was a Black Tom present today, and that it was all just an illusion of D’Spayre. She silently swears that, next time, she’ll try to seduce someone with a fully developed cerebellum. Cain wants to know what’s going on, and why his head feels so weird. D’Spayre laughs and finds it impressive that Cain has just got a headache. He mentions that most mortals have suffered a coronary rupture if they had lost as much life essence as Cain just did.
Cain reveals that he isn’t like most mortals. D’Spayre reveals that both he and Spite thrive on the energy of human misery. It is the wellspring of their power. They tempt. They tease. They taunt the victim to elicit certain responses, and then, when he emotions flow freely, he and his sister feed! D’Spayre says that the energy he consumed from Cain is tantamount to the misery culled from over a thousand cities. He mentions that his sister had hoped to use Cain as an agent of vengeance, but instead has supplied him with a nigh unlimited supply of power!
Cain tries to fight the demon, and asks Spite why he suddenly feels so weak if D’Spayre was just eating on his feelings. Spite reveals that when Cain destroyed the ruby of Cyttorak, releasing them both, his soul became the vessel for its crimson might. D’Spayre says that, therefore, to dine on Cain’s emotions is to dine on the power of the ruby.
While the townspeople try to figure out how to kill themselves, they find themselves ambushed by D’Spayre’s demon army. D’Spayre continues to explain to Cain that he has waited millennia for this moment. He says that he has been existing on the emotion pittance offered by the disenfranchised of the Earth, until such time as he had amassed enough of his own arcane reserves to transform the domain of men into a realm of fear and loose eternal damnation upon the entire planet!
Cain doesn’t care and wants to fight D’Spayre. But first, he wants to some payback, and throws Alex into the demon army and they fight her. She screams. Cain jumps at the demon, but he turns into smoke and Cain flies right through the villain. D’Spayre uses his powers to transform the ground Cain stands on into molten steel, and traps him inside it. He wants to return to the townsfolk, thinking that they are tenderized by now.
Spite has survived the demon attack, and furiously strikes out at her brother. She wants to fight until the death. D’Spayre mocks Spite that she had a thousand years to plan her revenge, and he can’t believe that tearing out his throat is the best she can do. He grabs her throat and tells her that he is still unimpressed. D’Spayre tells Spite that, the last time they fought, he simply imprisoned her, but this time he promises that her she will experience suffering of a legendary nature.
Cain won’t let that happen. He’s still alive and rises up from the molten steel! He doesn’t know what D’Spayre did to him, but he’s actually hurt! And no one hurts the Juggernaut! D’Spayre hates this. He traps Spite into an energy ball, and throws her at Cain, making them crash into a wall!
Spite doesn’t understand. This wasn’t supposed to happen. She had plans. She doesn’t know how D’Spayre suddenly got so powerful, as he never was before. Spite wants to give up, telling Cain that a brother always wins. Cain gets up, remembering something. He won’t let it happen this time.
Cain wants to go back to D’Spayre, but Spite tries to stop him. Cain tells her he knows how to deal with despair, as they go way back. Cain tells Spite that it’s over, since her brother beat him. That’s tough luck. D’Spayre explains that with the crimson magicks he has plundered from the Juggernaut, the very fabric of the universe is his to command. He releases his demon army at Cain, telling him to behold the gateway to oblivion! He says that when his conduit is complete, the denizens of Hades’ deepest circles will inundate the Earth and serve his will. He will be master of all. Emperor of the Fear Lords!
D’Spayre attacks Cain, but he won’t stop, no matter what power D’Spayre throws at him. Cain reveals that he still stands because despair has ran his entire live, and sometimes hatred is all you need. D’Spayre drains everything from Cain, until only his skeleton is left, but the Juggernaut is still alive! Spite uses a spell and drains D’Spayre’s energy away from him. Spite saw her chance when D’Spayre turned his attention only to Cain, and has also opened a portal to his dimension. The hands of the Fear Demons come through the portal, and gesture angrily. D’Spayre begs his sister not to throw him to him, as they won’t tolerate his failure. Spite thinks that her brother is impressed now, and throws him into the portal. It closes and a final scream from D’Spayre is heard.
Though he now has got permanent air conditioning, Cain is ready to face Spite. She instead gives Cain what he deserves, and uses her powers to give him his body and armor back! Spite admits that the thought of killing Cain did cross her mind, but even she pays back debts. After all, Cain saved her live, so she decided to spare his. And she even threw in the restoration of his power as a bonus, because she is kind of a she-devil.
Spite tries to charm Cain, but he tells her not to, as he hasn’t forgotten how steamed he is at her. Spite flies off, kissing Cain’s helmet, and is ready for the day they’ll meet again. Clarke and the Sheriff approach Cain, wanting to thank him for the rescue. Cain likes that idea.
Later, people gather for a third day in a row for Juggernaut appreciation day. Cain enjoys it, and gets drunk. He asks for another can of beer, but Clarke says that they’ve only got light beer left, and asks if that’s okay. Cain becomes angry, since he hates light beer! He attacks in a furious rage, and says that no one offers the Juggernaut light beer and lives! The people ask what they’re going to do about Appreciation Day, but Cain instead runs after them, sarcastically telling them that he’ll give them something to appreciate!