Most people get excited when jewels enter their life. The shiny arrival usually indicates new fortune—but not when the bauble in question happens to be the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak.
The Juggernaut-creating gem will return to Earth in the pages of AMAZING X-MEN starting with issue #15 thanks to writer Chris Yost. The story, called “The Once and Future Juggernaut” finds former wielders Cain Marko and X-Man Peter “Colossus” Rasputin getting the call to become the inter-dimensional power’s external force once again, but they’re not the only ones invited to the party.
“Cyttorak wants an avatar,” Yost explains. “It’s a status thing among the other mystical entities/gods. All the cool other-dimensional powers have one. The return of the gem is part of the mystery, but the X-Men know that whatever Cyttorak wants, it’s probably not good.”
If you’re unfamiliar with Juggernaut history, Marko, Professor X’s half brother, first filled the helmet for many years. During Fear Itself, he transformed into another being which led Colossus, his sister Magik and Kitty Pryde to visit Cyttorak’s dimension to make a deal. Peter Rasputin walked away with the power of Juggernaut, which he retained while absorbing some of the Phoenix Force in Avengers Vs. X-Men. That eventually left him and Magik removed the Juggernaut powers putting him back to normal in some respects, but very different in others. For both men, the gem’s return complicates their lives.
“For both Cain and Colossus, it’s potentially life-changing,” Yost says. “That gem gave each of them unimaginable power, but truth be told, it brought along with it nothing but trouble. So, is that power worth it?”
Needless to say, both Marko and Rasputin have been trying to get used to their new lives, so the return of the Gem upsets them both in different ways.
“Cain is in a very different place now that he’s lost the power,” Yost says. “For the first time in a long time, he’s out of the game. Super villains, gods, never-ending fighting—it’s all behind him. So when the opportunity to reclaim it arises, Cain’s motives are unknown.
“Meanwhile, Colossus is trying to get his life back together after his brush with the power of the Juggernaut as well as the Phoenix Force. Some think that he’s going to want that power back. They’re not quite sure they can trust him with it either; last time he had power, it didn’t go so well for the planet.”
Colossus won’t be dealing with all this on his own, of course. His teammates on the X-Men will help him, but they also know the dangers the Gem holds.
“The X-Men can’t trust anyone with the gem, and it really brings to a head some of the personal issues that have been lying dormant with Colossus’ return, and for Cain since the death of his step-brother Charles Xavier,” Yost notes. “Trust, responsibility—Storm’s of a mind to take no chances these days. She grounds Peter and will do anything to stop Cain from getting the Gem. But there are other people in play that are going after it as well.”
While Yost remains tight-lipped about who those other characters might be he does give a few hints about what kinds of folks are being called.
“A few of the strongest characters in the Marvel Universe get the call,” Yost teases. “But Cyttorak needs a specific kind of person… someone they can manipulate. Someone who craves the power.”
Yost remains elusive when asked about whether or not readers will get to see different characters “Juggernaut-ized” in the story.
“There’s a good chance,” he admits. “The story is very much the hunt for the gem. It’s there, waiting, calling for someone to take it. The question is who will get there first.”
For all the latest from New York Comic Con 2014, including live interviews, panel recaps, a full photo gallery, and more, visit marvel.com/nycc2014 for our full coverage, brought to you by Marvel Contest of Champions from Kabam!