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‘Juggernaut #5’ (review)

Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Ron Garney
Published by Marvel Comics

 

I’m often not the biggest fan of time-jumps as a narrative device, but I think in this case it’s deployed well. If you’re going to jump around in time between the current action and previous events leading up to it, then the flashbacks have to be about why the current action is happening.

This is far better than the lazy thing of opening a story in the middle of the action, and then making the record skip and “48 hours earlier” appears on the screen.

Juggernaut #5 starts right off as “two days ago” on Krakoa, the sovereign mutants-only nation under Professor X’s control, where all mutants live in peace.

Krakoa’s inhabitants, therefore, include good guys and the criminals and terrorists who tried to kill them (or succeeded in temporarily killing – this is comics).

That’s how come Cain Marko – well, a telepathic projection of him – is able to caucus with both his half-brother Charles Xavier and his old crime partner and reformed X-Men villain Black Tom Cassidy about whether they would harbor Marko’s new teenage friend D-Cel.

Just one thing, though: D-Cel has yet to say whether she’s a mutant or not, a mystery that has dogged us since we first met her in the first issue. I mean, it seems clear she’s a mutant, but this is a world of science accidents and people stumbling on magic totems.

Ron Garney’s art remains that mix of clear figures and sketch-like shadows and detailing that has a bit of John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson in there. It keeps things dynamic, especially when Juggernaut’s in motion. If you can’t draw motion well, Juggernaut’s not the character for you to illustrate.

After tumbling with Nazi mad scientist Armin Zola and his old buddy Quicksand in the previous issue, Juggernaut keeps stepping deeper and deeper into the unstable world around the current dire state of mutants.

It’s a classic story of an anti-hero with blood on his hands who tries to do one solid for an innocent. We’ve seen this from True Grit to The Mandalorian.

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