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Oct 23

Juggernaut #2 annotations

Posted on Friday, October 23, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

“How Green is my Valley”
by Fabian Nicieza, Ron Garney & Matt Milla

COVER / PAGE 1. The Juggernaut fighting the Hulk, obviously. This is a pretty straightforward issue, by the way – I don’t expect this to be a very long post.

PAGE 2. Recap page. The equivalent page in issue #1 was tinted red, to match the Juggernaut’s colours. This one is tinted green for the Hulk. If we’re doing a colour theme, then there’s still three issues to go.

We’re told that this issue takes place before Immortal Hulk #30. That’s a slightly odd reference point, because Immortal Hulk #30 was the middle chapter of a storyline. Presumably it’s nothing more than an acknowledgement that this story is lagging a bit behind the Hulk’s status quo in his own book.

PAGE 3. The Juggernaut is fighting the Hulk.

Marion, North Carolina is a real place. It’s a city of about 8,000 people.

PAGE 4. Flashback to D-Cel’s pitch.

This is a continuation from the previous issue. D-Cel’s pitch here kind of makes sense – yes, Juggernaut could establish himself as a star by taking down the Hulk, and sure, there are people who would be very interested in supporting that. It’s a little less obvious why she thinks Damage Control could be guilt-tripped into helping out, but perhaps they really do only go for it because they want to test some equipment. And I’m not sure it really works for D-Cel to say this must be a good idea because one of her thousands of followers happens to have an interest in the Hulk. Thousands of followers also suggests she’s more of a successful hobbyist than a YouTube star.

PAGE 5. D-Cel livestreams the fight.

Maria and Niket are the same two Damage Control employees that we saw working with Juggernaut last issue.

PAGE 6. More fighting.

PAGE 7. Flashback – Professor X telepathically visits Juggernaut in the hospital.

We’re picking up from the flashback in issue #1 which covered his escape from Limbo. Professor X tells Juggernaut that he can’t come to Krakoa because he isn’t a mutant. In fact, we’ve seen at least one exception being made before, for Northstar’s husband (and we’ve still not had any real explanation of why), so you’d think they could allow in a guy who was actually in the X-Men and has nowhere else to live. But rules are (mostly) rules, apparently.

PAGES 8-12. The Juggernaut actually beats the Hulk.

Kind of. He certainly succeeds in his goal, which is to lure the Hulk within range of Damage Control’s devices so that he can be temporarily weakened and captured. Even as he’s doing this, D-Cel’s narration acknowledges that we all know he isn’t really going to win.

PAGES 13-14. Flashback – Cain tracks down some sort of shrine to Cyttorak.

This is meant to be the labyrinth under Buda Castle in Budapest. That’s not actually Buda Castle in the establishing shot – it’s the Hungarian Parliament Building, which is on the other side of the river. Parts of the labyrinth used to be open to tourists – that’s where the photo in my Twitter avatar was taken. The real thing does have statues and wall paintings, but they’re more in the vein of an art exhibition.

PAGES 15-20. The Hulk listens to everyone complain, breaks out and leaves.

This version of the Hulk doesn’t regard himself as the same person as the classic savage Hulk and so feels no responsibility for any of the complaints he’s hearing. Whether he’s really entitled to draw that distinction is neither here nor there – what matters is that he believes it, and otherwise the scene wouldn’t work. Juggernaut himself is more struck by the rather better point that the “savage” Hulk persona is a child and simply can’t be held responsible for his actions.

Roxxon are the Hulk’s recurring enemies at this point. Shadow Base is basically his back-up crew. McGowan is Dr Charlene McGowan, one of the Shadow Base staff.

“Hulk like beans.” The savage Hulk was very keen on baked beans back in 1970s Defenders stories.

PAGE 21. Cain gets sued.

Not much to say about that, really.

PAGE 22. Trailers.

Bring on the comments

  1. Bengt says:

    Don’t know if you read FF, but in the latest issue Franklin used the last of his cosmic juice and couldn’t go through the Krakoa gates anymore. Rules be whatever…

  2. SanityOrMadness says:

    Paul> We’re told that this issue takes place before Immortal Hulk #30. That’s a slightly odd reference point, because Immortal Hulk #30 was the middle chapter of a storyline. Presumably it’s nothing more than an acknowledgement that this story is lagging a bit behind the Hulk’s status quo in his own book.

    Actually, it’s significant – at the end of Immortal Hulk #30, Xemnu puts a mind-whammy on everyone that leads to, in the short term, everyone forgetting that “Robert Banner” is Hulk, and by the time that’s over, this Hulk persona is locked away and various other status quo changes are in progress.

    (The arc to that point has plenty of gaps to plug this sort of guest appearance in anyway.)

  3. Joe says:

    I noticed a continuity error. In Juggernaut #1, it’s Roxtube. In 2, it’s Youroxx. Someone was asleep at the wheel, or had a better idea. I kind of hope they keep it going, and have a third name in 3.

  4. Chris V says:

    The first one was a mistake because someone was unfamiliar with Ewing’s Immortal Hulk.
    Someone caught the error and corrected it to what it is in Immortal Hulk.

  5. Si says:

    I imagine it will be revealed that Franklin was never really a mutant after all, so he doesn’t have to worry about the current X-nonsense. Just as we saw with Scarlet Witch. Though neither will beat Squirrel Girl, where the big retcon was “mum has a certificate from the doctor”.

  6. Ben says:

    Like the first issue, perfectly fine but feels like about ten pages of story.

    Devil Hulk really is the best.

    I hope they keep him.

  7. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I really like the effect D-Cel has on speech bubbles.

    Also, Hulk pointing out to the assembled people that Juggs is just as guilty was a bit too on the nose for me. The scene might have worked better with just Cain’s realization, without spelling it out.

    Still, this is… I like this mini so far. There’s a lot more thought and character focus here than I expected.

    As for Xavier, I wouldn’t be surprised if he just didn’t want Cain around and used Krakoa’s laws* as a cover.

    *- ‘they’re more like a set of guidelines, anyway’

  8. Dave says:

    How do any of the ‘x was never a mutant’ retcons work with the big retcon that Xavier has been backing up mutant minds/memories/personalities for years, and that the whole resurrection thing doesn’t work on non-mutants? I’ve taken this to mean Cerebro, being a mutant-only thing, can’t do the backups, but is that just me making a wrong assumption? Maybe it’s the eggs that only work when the husk has an X gene?

  9. Bengt says:

    For Franklin in particular they could easily say that he subconsciously used his reality warping powers to appear as a mutant because he thought he was a mutant. And when they are out of fuel he appear as a human. If Reed/Valeria/Doom discovers this and tells him he’ll presumably still appear human when his powers return.

  10. SanityOrMadness says:

    KC> Also, Hulk pointing out to the assembled people that Juggs is just as guilty was a bit too on the nose for me. The scene might have worked better with just Cain’s realization, without spelling it out.

    To be fair, it’s in “Devil Hulk”‘s nature to spell it out. He wants to rub this sort of thing in, not leave it unsaid.

  11. Luis Dantas says:

    @Dave: I have to assume that the eggs work just fine for normal humans. It should be possible for the Five to ressurrect humans as long as there is at least one record of the brain patterns available.

    We don’t know that Cerebro can record non-mutants, but again it is at least reasonable that it should have the ability to. It is Xavier who lacks the interest to do that.

    There is implicit, indirect evidence pointing towards that, as well. Xavier and Cerebro were never shown to wonder why any of those retconned into not being mutants did not register. For Wanda and Pietro at least that would be a significant plot hole.

    Although I suppose that you could retcon an explanation similar to that proposed by @Bengt above for Franklin: they were never mutants, but Wanda believe them to be and unconsciously hexed them both into registering as mutants.

    However, that still fails to explain whether Cerebro had the ability to record their brain patterns, and whether such records are in any way less suitable for use by the Five than those of your garden variety mutant.

    From a plot perspective, it just works better if non-mutants can be ressurrected as well. It is far less disruptive than the alternative. The only drawback is that it implies that Cerebro can sometimes be fooled into a false positive reading for mutancy, and that may be more of a solution than a problem. There is even precedent for statements that all humans in the Marvel Universe are at least latent mutants to some degree. They are inconsistent with other stories, but what is one supposed to do about that?

  12. Chris V says:

    I got the feeling that Cerebro could only record the minds of mutants.
    Cerebro can only detect mutants, so it only recorded the brain patterns of mutants.
    I think that works better with Krakoa.

    However, it does create problems with characters who might have once been considered mutants but are no longer.
    Perhaps Xavier never checked Cerebro’s recordings until there was a need for resurrection, so he never noticed that Wanda and Pietro weren’t being recorded.

    It’s weird they would make this decision with Franklin now.
    It cancels any point to that X-Men and FF mini-series.
    Franklin was listed as one of the Omega-level mutants.
    I wonder if this was an editorial decision by someone involved with FF.
    “I don’t want any part of this Krakoa mess. I’m taking proactive steps to keep characters from FF free of those titles.”

  13. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    We can just as easily assume that the Five’s powers somehow interact with the x-gene of the growing husk and a body without an active x-gene wouldn’t develop properly.

    Wasn’t the argument for ‘kill no man’ – for the fact that it doesn’t cover mutants – specifically because mutants can be resurrected and non-mutants can’t?

    Though to be fair, I’m not sure whether that’s from the book or from our neverending theorizing in the comments. 🙂

  14. Dave says:

    “Cerebro can only detect mutants, so it only recorded the brain patterns of mutants.”

    That was the logic I was using.

    I skimmed through HoXPoX again, and it did seem to be part of the reasoning behind ‘Kill no humans’.

    There’s also the issue that if they could resurrect non-mutants, you’d think Banshee would be asking for Moira to be brought back.

  15. Si says:

    Please note that I’m only guessing about Franklin Richards having a retcon, based on a single page of comic. But it would make good sense, there’s a lot of status quo changes happening with mutants right now, why complicate an unrelated comic with continuity snarls and so-on? But Franklin’s plot might just as easily see him going to Krakoa to have a swordfight with Apocalypse and get reborn (imagine the reactions of his far more sane family!), or Doom messing with him for some reason, or anything really.

    As for Cerebro, I imagine that to record the brains of mutants it has to locate them first, and it’s only calibrated to locate mutants.

    Um yeah, and Juggernaut looks like a good read, I suppose?

  16. Chris V says:

    I don’t know. It seems weird to me.
    That Incoming comic Marvel released, which hinted at future comic plots, had a story about Sinister saying he had access to every mutants’ DNA except for three Omega-level mutants.
    Sinister said that two of those mutants were missing, but he knew where to find Franklin’s DNA.

    So, it seems like they were planning towards something involving Franklin and Krakoa.
    I’m not sure why they’d make sure to move away from that story.

  17. Luis Dantas says:

    Krakoa is a mutant-chauvinistic society by design. We do not know whether it can not ressurrect baseline humans, because the premise is that it will not want to.

    I don’t actually recall the rationale for “Kill No Man”, but it seems to me to be something that you would expect to be said even if they do not actually mean it.

    I still maintain that it makes more sense to me that it can. Maybe I am too attached to real world conceptions of mutancy.

    For all we know Banshee has indeed been pestering the Council and the Five for Moira to be brought back. We just don’t know otherwise. We do know that Mystique has been pushing for Destiny to come back, but it has been months since we had any news on that front. Has Banshee even had any speaking lines since his appearances in the latest Uncanny X-Men series?

    As for the FF/X-Men connection, I assume that Tom Brevoort wants to distance himself from it, and so should the X-books editors.

    It serves neither group to emphasize a connection that runs counter to the directions they want to pursue. You would have to ask why the FF won’t try to bridge the diplomatic disaster that is coming, or why Franklyn is not hoping for the Five to restore his powers. I doubt anyone wants to tell those stories, at least for the time being.

    For a short while in 1995 or so those books actually had different Editors-In-Chief (and there were four others as well). It did not actually work, by the attempt was made.

  18. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    There’s a new interview with Jordan D. White on AIPT today where he spells out Xavier’s position:

    Q: Why Charles Xavier said Cain isn’t allowed on Krakoa because humans aren’t. […] We’ve seen that some humans have been allowed on Krakoa, specifically Northstar’s husband Kyle and Jubilee’s son Shogo.

    A: […] At first we were like, well, it’s for mutants. It’s not for humans. And so everybody thought it was like, OK, there’s a hard rule. Like literally humans cannot set foot on Krakoa.

    Well, no, that’s not the case in the same way that my house is for me and my family. No, you can’t just come into my house. But that doesn’t mean no human being who isn’t my family can’t be in my house. I have to let you in. It’s the same for Krakoa. Why does that mean that Charles can say that? Well, because he doesn’t want to invite him. I mean, it’s that simple. […] I think Charles in that scene is showing he cares about Cain, but not enough to go, “Hey, come live at my house.”

    Oh, and this was discussed elsewhere, but I don’t remember where exactly. Regarding the ‘Doug keeping Warlock secret’ non-mystery:

    Q: Can we expect an answer to why Doug’s been hiding Warlock? In Giant-Size X-Men: Nightcrawler, Magik learned the truth, but they never got a chance to talk about it. Then in the Giant-Size X-Men: Storm, Doug used him as armor and nobody seemed to notice. Is this a future plot point or just something that was resolved between the panels?

    A: I wouldn’t say it’s a future plot point. I would say I’m sure more will be discussed about it, in general, but it’s not like this is a big conspiracy that everybody should be waiting for a shoe to drop. I think it has more to do with the fact that Warlock was dead and it turns out he wasn’t. And that probably was a secret that Doug was keeping. But I think that, as you’ve mentioned, the more people see that Warlock is alive–I don’t think anybody’s upset about it. They’re happy that their friend Warlock is alive. So I don’t think it’s going to be a huge issue that he kept it a secret.

    So, no big overarching mystery connected to Hickman’s alleged master plan after all.

  19. Alex Hill says:

    In my headcanon Cerebro had brain scans of Pietro and Wanda until recently, when they mysteriously disappeared. Similarly, Xavier has gotten frustrated over the years over how his scans of Cloak and Dagger keep disappearing and reappearing for no obvious reason.

  20. Chris V says:

    Well, that’s disappointing about Warlock.
    I realize he is a member of the Technarchy and not the Phalanx.
    It still seems like they would be interested in having a being made up of the techno-organic virus.

    See? That’s the problem with Hickman’s run. Everyone is so interested to figure out the deep, dark secrets of Krakoa. They have no idea if things are hints or not.
    So, Warlock being there is a huge surprise. Why? Because Warlock is supposed to be dead.
    Why is Doug keeping Warlock a secret? Well, no reason really.

    I don’t think there is a big deep, dark secret of Krakoa.
    I think, for the most part, we’re meant to take this at face value.
    Moira’s final plan is somewhat of a secret, but we’re supposed to accept that it is for the best.
    There are all these questionable things happening on Krakoa, but they are reminders that Moira has failed every time.
    We are meant to worry that Krakoa is going to fail too, and these things are there to set up potential future problems on Krakoa.
    We are supposed to be hoping that Moira’s plan for Krakoa succeeds.

  21. Dave says:

    Jean in HoX #6: “The highest crime would be killing someone who cannot come back — it would be a mutant killing a human.”
    Five panels later Xavier makes it a rule that they won’t kill humans.
    You can still argue that ‘cannot come back’ means ‘we won’t do it’, but the emphasis of it being the HIGHEST crime doesn’t really jibe with something they could reverse if they felt like it. Plus, why not bring back the whole Grey family? If there’s an issue with bringing some humans back before mutants, that’s something that should be addressed (that’s the waeker part of my argument, though, when they’ve decided other things like Warlock don’t need addressing either).

  22. Chris V says:

    Dave-I agree with you.

    The law also fits with Moira’s plan.
    She sided with Magneto and (then) Apocalypse to use war and violence against humans, and both of those strategies failed.
    Moira learns from each of her prior lives.

    Krakoa wouldn’t work if you had evil mutants going to sovereign nations and killing random humans and then fleeing back to Krakoa for safety.
    It would lead to another mutant/human war, which Moira is trying to avoid in this life.

    The law is a way to stop the evil mutants from fighting with humanity, which is only going to hasten the rise of post-humanity and the extinction of mutants.
    It gives Moira and Krakoa time to slow down human progress and focus on fighting the machines.

  23. MasterMahan says:

    I expect the reason only some humans are allowed on Krakoa is the same reason only some clones are allowed to be resurrected. The Quiet Council could make an exception; they just don’t want to.

    Honestly, I presume that’s why the resurrection process only works with mutants. Cerebro was built to detect mutants, but it enhances psychic powers to interact with non-mutant minds just fine. Of course, you could handwave it. Xavier needed alien tech for the ability to back up millions of minds – expanding that to 7 billion might not be feasible or within his power. Hope’s powers specifically interact with other mutants, and she might be essential to the process.

    I assume the system is also a black box – it explains things like Wanda and Pietro not being noticed as missing from the downloads, and this Xavier seems like he’d shuffle through downloaded memories if he could.

  24. Adam says:

    The secrecy of Warlock’s survival is pretty clearly a dropped subplot and reads awkwardly for it. I don’t think you can infer from it that all of the new status quo’s peculiarities have no meaning, though.

  25. Chris V says:

    It could also show how little foresight Hickman has with this project.
    Hickman is in complete charge of what happens in any of the X-titles.
    If there was a major plan for Warlock, Hickman could have easily vetoed moving ahead with Warlock before that story was told.

    Instead, it looks like Hickman dropped in a possible future sub-plot (amidst about one thousand) without any real end goal in mind.
    Then, Tini Howard came up with this “X of Swords” event, and it was like a new shiny penny which lured Hickman’s attention away. He just allowed Warlock to become Doug Ramsey’s sword, instead of bothering with any follow through.

  26. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I can’t wait for the event in which Scarlet Witch will reveal that Moira, in fact, is not a mutant.

  27. Luis Dantas says:

    To be fair, it is entirely possible that events entirely outside of Hickman’s power or ability to predict (such as a Covid-19 pandemic) made it necessary to drop a hypothetical plot about Warlock in order to make the publishing schedule remain viable.

    I still think that he is much too ambitious for his own plots good, but it is not like Krakoa would change forever due to Doug having hidden Warlock.

  28. Chris V says:

    How many wasted issues of “Dawn of X” have there been though?
    It’s been a year worth of comics and Hickman even had five double-sized Giant Size X-Men issues, and yet nothing has happened.
    It would have been easy to fit in the Warlock story somewhere.

    I would accept the pandemic as an excuse if Hickman was struggling to contain all his plots since Powers of X #6 ended.
    Instead, it was a year with nothing happening.

    As you said though, Luis, how major could a plot involving Warlock on Krakoa ended up?
    If Hickman was always going to be fine with Howard using Warlock as a freakin’ sword, any dropped plot must not have concerned the Phalanx or anything major we saw hinted towards during House/Powers.

  29. Si says:

    @Chris V Considering Warlock’s species turns people into phalanx as part of its feeding process, the plot could have been very important. Add to that the dark future shown a few years back where the world is a techno-organic hive mind under Cypher’s rule, where everyone wears “Locktech”, and it’s right in line with the entire theme of the Hoxpox mission statement (though that story was turned into some kind of ill-defined demonic possession story before it ended).

    Whatever was in mind, Cypher and the arm that nobody seemed to ask about were being set up as a big deal. What happened to that infected plant?

  30. Chris V says:

    That idea about the Technarchy turning brings in to Phalanx was ret-conned by Hickman.

    The Phalanx travel the cosmos looking for sentient life forms. Once they discover a planet, they judge a society, and if the world passes the Phalanx’ judgment, the species of that world is turned in to a hive-mind which is uploaded to become a part of the Phalanx.
    From there, all the knowledge of that species will live on for eternity as part of the singularity known as Titans (who are like machine-gods to the Phalanx).

    If the Phalanx rejects the society, they create a Babel spire on the planet which calls the Technarchy to invade the world.
    The Technarchy infects the entire species with the techno-organic virus and then feeds on the world’s population.

    The Phalanx hides the truth from the Technarchy. The Technarchy believes that they created the Phalanx, but they are really a servant race to the Phalanx.

  31. Si says:

    I can’t wait til that Phalanx retcon/subplot is abandoned so that future writers can ignore it.

  32. Chris V says:

    Si-Apparently, based on some readers on the internet’s thoughts, the scene in Powers of X involving Doug which looked sinister really wasn’t what it appeared.

    Based on the latest thoughts, the payoff to that sub-plot from Powers of X was revealed during the issue of X-Men where Cyclops sees Doug and Warlock together.
    Doug left a piece of Warlock on Krakoa when he arrived.
    Later, he went and found Warlock on the island.
    Simple as that.

    Apparently, it was supposed to be a surprise that the techno-organic arm of Doug Ramsey was really Warlock.

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