As Doctor’s Strange shocking death continues to reverberate across the Marvel Universe, a familiar X-Men enemy has been multiplied into an army.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for The Death of Doctor Strange: Avengers #1, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
As Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange’s death was always going to have untold consequences for the Marvel Universe. His demise led to a magical barrier he secretly maintained around Earth to fall, allowing multiple extra-dimensional threats to emerge, sending the Avengers scrambling to defend the planet. And, as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes mount a last stand, they face off against an army of enemies linked to the X-Men’s virtually unstoppable foe: the Juggernaut.
As chaos reigns over the Marvel Universe, with the heroes barely able to keep up with the paranormal crises, a cadre of supervillains takes a particularly potent bomb to the Nexus of All Realities, intending to destroy this world. However, that plot is interrupted when a group of Juggernauts emerges from the magical portal deep within the Florida Everglades, smashing anyone in its path before turning its attention to New York City. In The Death of Doctor Strange: Avengers #1, by Alex Paknadel, Ryan Bodenheim, Rachelle Rosenberg and VC’s Cory Petit, the Avengers are reminded of one of the magical sources from which Strange draws his spells, while Iron Man makes a discovery that could save the world — or destroy it.
As the Juggernauts make their way to Manhattan, they face off against the Avengers in an epic showdown. The Juggernauts are primarily interested in erecting a magical spire in the heart of the city, gathering construction materials, and initially only fighting when engaged. As the Avengers break apart the Juggernauts’ signature crimson armor, the heroes discover their opponents are empty shells, and are puppeteered by an external force to construct the spire. That revelation makes them no less dangerous, of course, because the Juggernauts are able to reconstruct themselves mere seconds after being torn apart, and can overwhelm even the Avengers’ strongest members, like Thor.
The Juggernauts are powered by the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, one of Doctor Strange’s more common spells, often employed to restrict and confine opponents through powerful, magical bands. Cyttorak himself is one of the gods existing in a pocket dimension, having fought both the Ancient One and Doctor Strange while imbuing a fraction of his power to Cain Marko, who created the Juggernaut persona as he became virtually unstoppable. Within the pocket dimension from which this hollow army emerged, Iron Man discovers their true nature, and why they are erecting the spire.
The Juggernaut army provides a crimson twist on the Mindless Ones, extra-dimensional monsters long associated with the classic Doctor Strange villain Dormammu. Earning their name from possessing no autonomy, the Mindless Ones have been known to faithfully carry out their dark master’s wishes and overwhelm anyone who stands in their way.
Here, the Juggernauts’ controller is far less sinister than Dormammu, although the Juggernauts certainly carry out their share of destruction before the nature of their origin and plans is revealed. And that makes all the difference when the crimson army completes its single-minded mission.
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