Juggernaut #4 Review

Written By: Fabian Nicieza
Art By: Ron Garney
Colors By: Matt Milla
Lettering By: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 9, 2020

Review By: Gabriel Hernandez

Long Story Short

After the failed attack by a mind-controlled Quicksand in issue #3, Juggernaut and the “Get Wrecked” crew head off to the last known research facility that housed the radioactive material needed to create the mind-controlling substance. Juggernaut finds long-time Marvel villain, Armin Zola, orchestrated Quicksand’s attack in a bid to capture D-Cel for an as-yet-unrevealed purpose. While Juggernaut fights Zola’s minion, Primus, we get a nice flashback to resolve how Marko got his full powers back.

Was It Good?

Not great, not terrible. We kick off the issue with Juggernaut, D-Cel, and the team in a military chopper headed to the abandoned research facility. Juggernaut jumps out of the chopper mid-flight to puncture through the underground facilities structure and search for whoever is behind the attacks. The jump, the crash, and the recovery look great, but D-Cel is live streaming the entire time and making so many quippy statements that even Juggernaut asks to have her muted.

So far, D-Cel is one of the two big downs for both this issue and the entire series. She inserts herself into every moment to stream for Internet views so much that even the characters in this comic are getting sick of her. I don’t understand why D-Cel is in this book, or more confusingly, why Juggernaut is following her lead. At one point, he even refers to her as “the boss,” which makes no sense when you consider she has consistently given him bad advice, gotten in the way, or not helped when she could have because she couldn’t put her camera down.

Moving through the facility, Juggernaut is jumped by Primus. He’s captured pretty quickly and dropped off at the feet of Armin Zola, encased in a snazzy and much more intimidating mech suit. Through typical villain monologuing, we learn that Zola is intent on capturing one of the few “mutants” left that haven’t migrated to Krakoa. Zola doesn’t make it very clear why he wants D-Cel (who continues to insist she’s NOT a mutant) specifically but vaguely references that he has a “yearning for power.”

D-Cel, realizing Juggernaut’s been captured, performs her own, less graceful mid-flight jump from the chopper to rescue him. She’s promptly captured by Primus and restrained as Zola initiates “sample collection” to test whether or not she is a mutant. Juggernaut, seeing D-Cel subjected to the procedure, gets mad, gets loose, and kicks robot butt. Defeated, Zola begs for mercy as he explains there’s somebody more powerful forcing him to take these actions; pointing to a hidden mastermind at The Dungeon, a for-profit super-villain prison.

The fight sequences throughout this part of the issue are great. Primus is a cross between Mr Fantastic and sentient goo, so Marko has to use some chemical smarts to defeat him. It’s nice to see Juggernaut use his brain rather than acting like a knockoff Hulk that tries to tackle every problem with smashing.

D-Cel is a hindrance rather than a help, but at least we’re starting to confirm that she’s the main plot of the story. And that’s the second big down for me in this series. We’re four issues into a five-issue story and just now finding out that D-Cel is important to the plot, but we don’t know who wants her, why they want her, if she is or isn’t a mutant, or why that matters. In other words, 80% of the way through a story arc and it’s all setup for a character that’s more annoying and ineffective than a caffeinated chihuahua pulling a dog sled in the Iditarod.

The main story aside, a highlight for this story is the flashback between Juggernaut and Cyttorak where we learn Juggernaut’s role as an avatar has been severed since the gem that powered his original armor was broken. In this sequence, we see Juggernaut take responsibility for his life and his decisions without feeling beholden to some boss.

Ironically, Juggernaut playfully refers to D-Cel as “the boss” at the end of the issue which somewhat contradicts the personal growth moment that came out of the confrontation with Cyttorak. Juggernaut confronts a god to proclaim he’s his own boss and then turns right around to give boss authority to a super-powered, obnoxiously self-possessed teenager that’s caused him nothing but trouble. I don’t get what Nicieza was trying to do by setting up the big flashback moment to then turn right around and negate it. At the very least, I can’t wait to read issue #5 to see how this all gets cleared up.

Final Thoughts

Juggernaut #4 has great art and great action sequences. The flashbacks explaining how Juggernaut got his mojo back are meaningful, but the main plot is still way too unclear this far into the series. And wrapping the unclear plot around an annoying (for me and the other characters in the book) character is making this series too convoluted to truly enjoy.

6/10

3 thoughts on “Juggernaut #4 Review

  1. “We’re four issues into a five-issue story” — in every interview I did running up to the release of this series, I specifically and strongly stated that I wasn’t writing an overall 5 issue story. I was writing 5 self-contained issues with running subplots that reach a climax. Each issue has been its own little self-contained story in service to a larger story: what does power mean and what do we do/sacrifice to attain it?
    I knew some individual issues would be stronger than others, but I stick to my decision to do the limited series the way I did. Mostly because it was a fun challenge for me!

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    1. That’s cool! I personally don’t bother reading creator interviews since most only go as far as “My book is great”. I wish there was a way to spell that out in the issues themselves because I have a feeling that at least 80% of the readers have no idea that is a thing. I will give you credit for going at it that way and was wondering how a mini with Juggernaut could be 5 issues strong

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  2. I agree with most of what you are saying. I do want to say that I had a conversation with the author and he told me that Cyttorak is dead and that whole sequence is in Cain’s mind. I was disappointed to hear that.

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