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Thor (1st series) #428

Issue Date: January 1991

Story Title: If This be Juggernaut!

Staff: Ron Frenz & Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz (plot, pencils, & words), Joe Sinnott (finished art), Mike Heisler (lettering), Mike Rockwitz (coloring), Ralph Macchio (editor)

Brief Description:
At the shipyard, Code: Blue surrounds the trapped Thor, who looks like Juggernaut to Excalibur, while Excalibur and the Wrecking Crew face off against each other. Interfering, the invisible Enchantress uses her power to escalate matters. While Code: Blue begins to battle Excalibur and the Wrecking Crew, Thor is able to free himself and begins to defend himself against Phoenix and the rest of Excalibur. Eventually, Enchantress and Ulik use their magic to entrap the Wrecker’s hands and feet in stone. At that moment, Lockheed discovers Enchantress and Ulik and blows their cover. Once they are discovered, they flee. Upon seeing Bulldozer rushing towards an unknowing Kitty, Thor saves her. The Wrecking Crew, sans Bulldozer, leaves which in turn shows Thor who he really is. Excalibur, minus Kurt and Rachel, then join Thor to the asteroid where Thor banished Juggernaut. Once there, the heroes are taken captive and transported to another world where they discover its leader – the Juggernaut!

Full Synopsis:
Excalibur, the British super hero team, has journeyed to New York City in search of the deadly Juggernaut. Mere moments ago, in a desperate attempt to incapacitate the unstoppable brute, Shadowcat employed her mutant abilities to temporarily make him intangible. Phasing his body into the ground, she released Juggernaut so that he would become permanently fused with it. However, Shadowcat and the rest of Excalibur are the victims of a mystical spell that has scrambled their perceptions. The man they believe to be the Juggernaut is really the Mighty Thor. Unfortunately, this is the good news. Things are about to get decidedly worse for both the Thunder God and the Brits as they all become embroiled in the four-way war! Wrecking Crew vs. Excalibur vs. Thor vs. Code: Blue!

Surveying the situation, Thunderball laments if they don’t have enough heartache facing off against Thor and Excalibur, here come those blasted Code: Blue cops. At the same time, Mad Dog, a member of Code: Blue says to his teammate Fireworks that he recognizes the Wrecking Crew but who are the other costumed clowns. Fireworks replies that they’re supposed to be the English equivalent of the Avengers or X-Factor. Rigger asks why they are they hitting on the big guy.

Their weapons aimed at the Crew, Lieutenant Stone orders everybody not to move. When he does, Wrecker tells him to get real. His toy shooter is about as useless as a spitball against them. Flying above, Phoenix tells Brian something’s wrong. The police have assumed a defensive posture around the Juggernaut. Captain Britain notices it and remarks that they seem to be protecting him. Shadowcat says maybe she think she overreacted. Meggan adds that she doesn’t like the way they’re eyeing them. Nightcrawler cautions them to stay cool. They mustn’t give them cause for alarm.

As the tense standoff continues, the invisible Ulik tells Enchantress to look at those fools. They do not realize that they drew them there. Enchantress tells Ulik to keep his voice down. Her spell of invisibility only prevents them from seeing them. She adds that the Wrecker is the one they want, ‘tis he whom they sought to entrap. But, they can easily use the others to subdue him for them. All they need is the proper stimulus.

With that, Enchantress shoots at the feet of the Wrecker. While the blast knocks the Wrecker to the ground, he says that somebody’s taking a cheap shot at the wrong guy. And that somebody’s gonna pay. Cops don’t fire beams like that, so it can only be Excalibur. With that, Wrecker fires a beam from his crowbar which hits Captain Britain, causing him to be flung backwards into a wooden shed. With that, Stone informs his team that it’s really hit the fan.

After ordering Fireworks and Jock to cover Thor, he tells Mad Dog and Rigger to come with him. As they rush off, Mad Dog tells Rigger ‘hubba hubba lady,’ they get to help tackle the Wrecking Crew. Rigger replies that it must be their lucky day, too bad she forgot to play the lottery. She adds that she could always even the odds by only shooting with her left hand. But she’d hate to give the slobs a break.

Even as Code: Blue launches forward, Nightcrawler challenges the pounding fury of Piledriver. As Piledriver continues to swing away at Nightcrawler he calls him a freak and tells him that duckin’ ain’t gonna save him. Not when he can topple the whole pile a’ crates on him. Nightcrawler replies in that case, he’d better make himself scarce. Once he teleports away, Piledriver asks what gives and wonders where he went. Reappearing behind him, Nightcrawler tells him to trust him, he won’t like the answer. Punching him out, he says see, he was right.

Nearby, as Jock Johnson attempts to apprehend Shadowcat, he points his gun at her and tells her to raise her hands. He tells her that he’s placing her under arrest for disturbing the peace until they can sort things out. Kitty replies all right, she’ll put her hands up, but the rest of her is going down. With that, Kitty phases into the dock. When she does, Jock asks ‘what the?’ Kitty proceeds to ask him to put his tongue back in his mouth. He should know better than to wave it at a lady.

Sliding underneath Jock undetected, Kitty makes her way behind him. When she does she notices that he has nice buns and seems sweet. She then wonders why he is trying to help a monster like the Juggernaut. She doesn’t know if he’s a real cop so she’ll just remove him from the field of play before he gets hurt.

Just then, Kitty grabs Jock’s ankle and phases him through the dock and leaves him hanging on a wooden beam below. Holding onto the beam, Jock asks her how she did that. Kitty tells him sorry, but it’s a trade secret. She hopes he can swim. Jock informs her not that it matters, but he can. Flipping himself up onto the beam, Jock tells Kitty that his real specialty has always been gymnastics. He then tells her that he hates to be rude and leave her without an escort, but he really must rejoin his friends. He’ll see her topside.

Meanwhile, Thor mentions to Fireworks that the pain he is in is greater than any he has known before but the God of Thunder shall prevail. Fireworks states that he’s never seen anything like it. His body seems to be bonded to the ground. He’s afraid of what could happen if he tried to blast him free. Thor proceeds to tell him to stand back, he can’t aid him. Fireworks tells him “whatever he says.” He’s only a simple demolitions expert. He’ll leave the miracles to him.

As Fireworks rushes off, Thor begins to spin his hammer high over his head and replies aye, ‘tis a miracle which Thor must unleash if he is to be free. A miracle and a power that is far beyond the ken of the mortal mind. A miracle in which the heavens have named Mjolnir, the enchanted hammer of Thor! With a loud blast, Thor stands on the dock freed from his “prison.” He then tells all to take heed. There be no power on this world, be it of man or mutant, which is greater than the Asgardian magic which resides within his sacred mallet. The Son of Odin is now free, free! Free to wreck his righteous vengeance. Free to strike in the name of justice.

After witnessing the fact that the “Juggernaut” (Thor) is free, Kitty mentions that something is seriously wrong there. There’s no way the Juggernaut could have broken free like that. She also notices that he seems to be mumbling but she can’t make out what he’s saying.

Phoenix tells her that it doesn’t matter. He’s still vulnerable to a psychic attack and that’s what the Phoenix does best. Flying into the air, Rachel shoots a telepathic bolt of unmentionable fury instantly toward the still groggy Avenger. As it races towards him, the mighty Thor uses his reflexes honed in a thousand deadly battles and instinctively raises his hammer. Deflecting the blast back at Rachel, Thor tells her great is her power but it is less than nothing when compared to one who is Asgardian born.

When the blast fires back at Rachel, she loses consciousness and begins to plummet towards the water. Before she lands with a splash, Nightcrawler arrives in the nick of time and when he notices that she is out for the count, saves her. He mentions that he doesn’t know how he did it, but Juggernaut managed to bounce her own fireball right back at her and caught her in some kind of psychic backlash.

Up on the dock, Rigger points her weapon at Bulldozer and orders him to freeze. The party’s over as far as he’s concerned. Turning around, Bulldozer asks what do they “have heah.” He then tells her that she’s gotta be kiddin’ with that overgrown pea shooter. They call him Bulldozer ‘cause he has the power of a living one. Rigger informs him that this is no mere pea shooter. She rigged it special for him. It functions along the lines of a super taser, but she thinks even a bonehead like him will get the general idea. Once it hits him, the charge causes Bulldozer to yell out in pain. Rigger replies that she knew he’d get a big charge out of it.

Just then, Thunderball uses his wrecking ball to destroy Rigger’s weapon. As he does, he tells her that her fancy toy has done enough damage. The Wrecking Crew takes care of their own. Rigger tells him that’s real touching, especially from a slimebag like him. Swinging his wrecking ball in the air, Thunderball tells her that he doesn’t care if she is a woman. She’s going to pay for what she did to Bulldozer.

Perched atop some nearby crates, Mad Dog begins to fire his rifle at Thunderball. As he does, he tells him not to be hasty; the lady’s got friends in high places, friends with automatic weapons and mean dispositions. When Rigger thanks him for the assist, Mad Dog asks her if she’s serious. He’s seen in her action. He probably saved the poor slob a month in the intensive care ward.

At that moment, Bulldozer rams into the pile of crates and knocks Mad Dog to the ground. As Bulldozer rushes with a full head of steam towards Mad Dog and Rigger, he tells them that he hopes they’ve been enjoyin’ themselves, ‘cause he’s gonna pulverize them. When Rigger mentions to Mad Dog that they could be in trouble, Mad Dog agrees. He can’t find his comb and he wants to look his best when they flatten these creeps.

At that very instant, Stone arrives on the scene and shoots Bulldozer with a grenade launcher. He then asks his officers what they’re waiting for, an engraved invitation. He then tells them to stop goofing off and find themselves some cover. His grenade launcher won’t hold these yahoos back for long. Mad Dog tells Stone way to go. Others may think he sounds like an old foghorn when he’s barking orders, but it’s music to his dainty ears. Rigger tells Dog to stop buttering the brass and to move.

As the valiant peace officers fall back, Captain Britain rockets forward with the speed and accuracy of a ballistic missile. Directing his attention towards “Juggernaut” (Thor), he mentions that he seems to have learned a few new tricks since the last time they fought. A pity they won’t save him. Thor replies that trickery is for those without honor. A true warrior needs only his strength of limb and heart.

Meanwhile, Meggan faces off against the Wrecker. As she punches him, she angrily says to him that he hurt her Brian. Taking her punch, Wrecker tells Meggan that she packs a nice wallop but she’d better make tracks before she gets hurt. Meggan exclaims that she does not fear him. She can easily mimic his size and power. Wrecker tells her it sounds like a personal problem to him. She oughta write Dear Abby.

When Lockheed breaths a blast of fire at the Wrecker’s crowbar, Meggan tells him to stay back, the Wrecker is hers. Wrecker tells her fat chance. She’s just lucky his mama raised him ta respect women. Otherwise, he’d be aiming the shock-blast at her head instead of the ground. With that, the Wrecker slams his crowbar onto the ground, knocking Meggan down.

Watching the proceedings, Ulik mentions to Enchantress their enemy still stands. Enchantress replies aye and the fault is his, ‘tis him who foolishly taught him to unleash his true Asgardian powers. But her magic is without peer and it will soon bring him to his knees.

At that exact moment, the Wrecker finds his hands and feet encased in rocks. Upon discovering this, Wrecker exclaims that this has gotta be some kinda illusion. It can’t be real. He then adds that Ulik is the only creep he knows who could pull off a crazy stunt like this. Wait’ll he gets his mitts on that blasted Rock Troll. He’s gotta be somewhere nearby but where? Where? Looking over at a nearby ledge, Lockheed knows where Ulik and Enchantress are.

Meanwhile, Thor and Captain Britain continue to trade blows. As they do, Thor mentions that he thinks that the Captain’s senses betray him. He dost behold another in place of Thor and he fears that mere words will not convince him of thine error. Captain Britain tells Juggernaut that he can’t understand what he’s saying, but his actions speak loudly enough. Thor says to himself “Juggernaut?” He then realizes ‘tis most obvious to him that a spell of delusion covers him. He must gain a moment’s respite to shatter it. And yet, he must hold back for fear of seriously injuring the valiant warrior.

With that, Thor punches Captain Britain away. Stopping himself mid-air, Captain Britain tells him not bad, but he expected much better from a foe who is supposed to be unstoppable. Shocked, Thor thinks to himself Od’s blood! Captain Britain has already recovered from his blow. He is truly a stranger to defeat. Flying in and punching Thor out, Captain Britain tells “Juggernaut” that his bully boy tactics won’t work with him. He intends to find out if he can take as much punishment as he gives. He adds that no one is truly invincible. Everyone has a weakness, a point of vulnerability. He’s going to keep hammering at him and relentlessly coming back at him until he finds his. With that, Captain Britain knocks Thor into a nearby wall.

Making his way over to check on him, Cap states he doesn’t believe it. It just doesn’t seem possible. The Juggernaut is one of the most powerful beings on this planet. Could he really have beaten him so easily? Bursting out of the rubble, Thor exclaims nay, he says thee, nay! There breathes not the mortal who can defeat the Son of Odin with a single blow. But beware, his patience is not without limit. His resolve to spare him lessens with each new onslaught.

Just then, Lockheed makes his way over to the ledge where Ulik and Enchantress stand hiding. When he does, Ulik mentions to Enchantress that the winged creature seems to sense their presence and…

Once Lockheed breaths fire at the duo, Enchantress blocks it with her magic and proceeds to call Ulik a fool and an unthinking brute. His bellowed warning only confirmed their presence. Ulik tries to tell her he only mean to… but Enchantress tells him to be silent, she must concentrate. However, no sooner is the Enchantress distracted by Lockheed’s flames, than the Wrecker becomes free from his bonds.

Realizing that he’s free, Wrecker mentions that five’ll get ya ten it’s got something ta do with the commotion on the roof. And he’d bet the ranch he knows who is causin’ it. After he fires his crowbar at the roof, Enchantress tells Ulik to get behind her. They are discovered and must away. Ulik asks about the Wrecker but Enchantress tells him to fear not, his day of reckoning is fast approaching. With that, the duo dissipates into thin air.

Meanwhile, Bulldozer speeds towards Kitty Pryde with her unaware. Continuing to engage Captain Britain in battle, Thor notices that Bulldozer is preparing to strike her and she heeds him not. With a desperate, mighty shrug, the golden-haired Avenger rips free from Captain Britain’s steel-like grasp and flings his hammer at him. As he does, he calls out to Kitty to get down, death lurks behind her.

Phasing into the ground, Kitty wonders to herself why the Juggernaut would be concerned for her safety. Is he really trying to help her, or is this some elaborate ruse? Continuing to move forward, Bulldozer exclaims that he doesn’t care if the broad did get away. He’s still a living bulldozer and it’ll take a whole lot more than any stupid ol’ hammer to…

Once the hammer strikes him, it bounces back to Thor as Bulldozer collapses to the ground. Kitty then exclaims to the other members of Excalibur that she doesn’t get it; the Juggernaut saved her life – why? Nightcrawler adds that there’s been something weird about this battle from the very start.

Using his Asgardian powers, Wrecker tells Piledriver and Thunderball to gather ‘round. They’re zapping out while their foes play guessing games. There’s no sense hanging there with Ulik gone. Piledriver remarks that they can’t leave without Bulldozer but Wrecker tells him wanna bet and they disappear.

At that very precise moment, Kitty and the rest of Excalibur are shocked to see Thor standing there in the Juggernaut’s place. Captain Britain remarks that something tells him they’re about to hear a long explanation which they won’t enjoy. Sometime later, Code: Blue takes Bulldozer away on a forklift. As they do, Stone tells Thor and Excalibur not to worry about their little playmate; they’ll take good care of him. He adds that he’s real glad they managed to play nice before any of the good guys got hurt. Thor replies ‘twas only a misunderstanding caused by sorcery most foul. Stone answers whatever, just keep it off his beat.

Once Code: Blue departs with Bulldozer in tow, Captain Britain tells Thor that they may have settled their differences, but Excalibur still has a mission. The Juggernaut recently escaped a British prison. Their government wants him back and he was last seen fighting him. Thor responds aye, but he is no longer a menace to planet Earth. Captain Britain tells him they don’t doubt his word, but they still need verification.

When Thor tells him so be it, Nightcrawler pipes up and states that, if it’s all the same to everyone, Rachel and he will sit this one out. Rachel hasn’t fully shaken off the effects of that psychic backlash. Rachel replies that h-he doesn’t have to baby sit her, she’ll be fine. Captain Britain tells Phoenix that Kurt may have a point. A little rest will do her good.

As Thor begins to spin his hammer over his head, Kitty asks Thor where he left ol’ Juggie at. Thor informs her on a distant, deserted asteroid. He then informs the remaining members of Excalibur to stand together. His enchanted hammer will instantly transport them there by piercing the veil of time and space. While they are being transported, Kitty thinks to herself that this guy takes himself way too seriously but he is the hunkiest.

For an instant, which seemingly stretches on into infinity, they are enveloped within a protective cocoon of enchanted energy and they arrive on the asteroid. Once there, Thor states ‘tis there that their quarry first materialized on this world. Captain Britain asks how he can be so certain he found the right asteroid, much less the exact spot. Thor asks was this not his desired destination? Holding up his hammer, he tells his friends to stand back. Mayhaps the hammer supreme can sense Juggernaut’s current location.

At that moment, Kitty asks that this world was supposed to be lifeless, right? If so, how come they’re standing on an area that has obviously been camouflaged? Just then, the heroes are blasted with a beam which causes them to fall to the ground unconscious. Soon, a number of aliens arrive on the scene and take the heroes captive just like the master predicted.

Lying on the ground, Kitty says to herself that she barely became intangible in time. She realizes that she has to play possum. She can’t reveal herself without endangering the others. The leader tells his followers to hurry. They must confine them all before they recover from the effects of the depolarizer. Once they are all sealed within an unbreakable priso-sphere, they are loaded onto a nearby spaceship and transported to their homeworld. As they do, they continue to talk about their master and how he will be pleased with the results of their labors. They add that his plan was perfect; the fools stumbled right into his trap.

Uncounted moments later, the heroes arrive on the aliens homeworld and are transported down the streets to the fortress before them. When the heroes begin to stir, Thor asks what hath occurred, what manner of madness have they encountered? Captain Britain replies the very worst by the look of it. They seem to have drawn a crowd. Describing them as hostile would be too much of an understatement for even the most reserved Englishman.

While they are paraded down the streets, the onlookers call out “death to the invaders.” “Praise the master and slay his enemies.” “Rip the skin from their bones.” Entering the fortified structure, Captain Britain states that at least there’s one comforting thought. Considering the warm reception the populace just gave them, he sincerely doubts their situation could get appreciably weaker.

Just then, they hear laughing and a voice telling them that’s what they think. They ain’t seen bad yet, but it’s coming. In shock, Thor sees Juggernaut sitting on a throne. Juggernaut then informs him that this world belongs to him. He is the master there, the absolute law. This time, they’re the criminals!

Characters:
Thor II (Eric Masterson)
Captain Britain, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Phoenix III (all Excalibur)
Lockheed

Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball, Wrecker (all Wrecking Crew)
Ulik, and the Enchantress

Lieutenant Stone, Mad Dog, Rigger, Jock, and Fireworks (all Code: Blue)
Juggernaut

Various unidentified aliens

Notes:
Captain Britain faced off against the Juggernaut back in Excalibur (1st series) #3.

“Dear Abby” is the name of an advice column since 1956.

Juggernaut was broken out of the Crossmoor prison by Loki back in Thor (1st series) #411.

Thor sent Juggernaut into space back in Thor (1st series) #412.

Code: Blue faced off against the Wrecking Crew in Thor (1st series) #426.

Issue Summary written by: Wendigo (David M.)


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