HULK VS JUGGERNAUT
The Definitive Write Up on the Biggest of the Big and the Baddest of the Bad
John “THE MEGO STRETCH HULK” Cimino
In the annals of comic history, very few names can inspire intimidation and fear like The Incredible Hulk and The Unstoppable Juggernaut. That is because they are both at the top of the food-chain when it comes to total mass-monsters with tremendous raw physical strength and pure high-end durability. Their levels of physical prowess is so far off the charts that they have become the standard in the comics world. Despite what even obsessive fanboys think of them personally, these two brutes will always be in their conversations when talking about the subjects of strength and durability. That is because they are the hypothetical “irresistible force” and the equally theoretical “immovable object”. And regardless of the occasional low-end showings to fit a story or situation (something writers do to all characters), these two forces of nature are widely considered the “be all, end all” prime examples of the comic terms “brick” or “team-buster.” Because their respect is legendary and we read it all the time in comic after comic, “My god, he hits almost as hard a the Hulk!!” or “I can’t believe anyone could do that to the Juggernaut!” Yup, when either one of them shows up you can bet the Avengers will be calling in their most powerful members because very few characters have ever garnered as much awe and respect as the Hulk and the Juggernaut.
Despite the crazy intrigue of this match up today, it really didn’t take form until the mid 1990′s. That was almost twenty years after the first and only time they clashed in The Incredible Hulk #172 (Feb. 1974). Even the letters page in The Incredible Hulk #176 (June 1974) when discussing the issue surprisingly didn’t really mention anything about their immortal clash. And even the writer of this historic issue, Tony Isabella said this to me about it; ”I’m amazed that this is such a big deal. For me, it was one of several “bail out the schedule” jobs I did for Marvel and I didn’t always take credit for them. I scripted it in two days over the weekend. I might not even have seen it again until it was published as I didn’t always get a chance to proof read my own work.” I always believed it was because “Hulk vs Thing”, “Hulk vs Wolverine” and “Hulk vs Thor” were so classic, heralded and in demand (plus the Juggernaut was more of an X-Men villain) that comic fans and writers just pushed this match up into the background and went onto the more popular ones. Yes, it’s hard to imagine such a cataclysmic rivalry would only be mentioned or acknowledged in just eight issues from 1974 to 1993 until they fought again:
* The Incredible Hulk #200 (1976)
* The Incredible Hulk Annual #7 (1978)
* The Amazing Spider-man #229 (1982)
* The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #5 (1983)
* The Incredible Hulk #314 (1985)
* The Uncanny X-Men #194 (1985)
* The Mighty Thor #412 (1989)
* The Incredible Hulk Annual #16 (1990)
|The Incredible Hulk #200 (1976). This is one of only eight issues that say anything about the Hulk and Juggernaut being adversaries and rivals during an almost 20 year span.|
(I’ll also have to give a shout out to the “Spider-man and his Amazing Friends” cartoon episode “A Firestar is Born” (1982) where the X-Men guest star and they all fight the Juggernaut. What makes this interesting in the comparison between the two brutes is that the Juggernaut although voiced by William Marshall for dialogue, had the same stock grunts as the Hulk did in his Animated Series at this time voiced by Bob Holt)
Juggernaut started reaching all new levels of popularity being associated with Wolverine and the X-Men in the 1990′s. He now begins to feature more prominently in Marvel titles, even starring in a one-shot as well as cartoons, toys, posters, video games, etc. because lets face it, Juggernaut was cool as hell! He was a big and nasty individual who get’s what he wants, when he wants. He is one of the roughest and toughest men on the planet, who knows it and enjoys it. How could you not love the guy? The Hulk was always the legendary “most powerful being walking the face of the earth” tormented by the world around him. But that Hulk was long gone and a new Hulk of the 90′s was walking around (thanks to writer Peter David) who comic fans would come to call the “Professor” Hulk. This Hulk incarnation was much more handsome, intellectual and wise-cracking than ever before (plus he had a habit for always wearing boots and a stupid belt…UGH!!) but he had lost his savage-edge. He was too analytic to get madder and stronger and somehow he would bleed all the time until his healing factor power would kick in and put him back together again…UGH!! He also had a bunch of friends, was reluctant to fight, always thinking things through and so emotional that he cried like a baby all the time…UGH! To tell you the truth, I HATED this Hulk and all the changes Peter David made to the Hulk’s mythos that unfortunately happen to stick and ruin the character forever. This was a new Hulk that Marvel advertised to the masses and this Hulk was not the one I wanted to remember. But still the curiosity factor was always there. Both brutes at their best wrecked other characters and caused so much destruction that they were very comparable. You couldn’t help but ask; Who was truly physically superior Hulk or Juggernaut? Was the Hulk really the strongest one there is when compared to the Juggernaut? Was Juggernaut really unstoppable when compared to the Hulk? It was all so intriguing to comic fans.
|A letter from The Incredible Hulk #183 (1975). As you can see, just about no one is going to match the “Savage” Hulk of this time period in pure physical strength…not even the Juggernaut.|
But it was the coming of The Marvel Superheroes arcade game by Capcom in 1995 that would take the mythos of “Hulk vs Juggernaut” and change it to make it a public mainstay. After this game hit the world, it brought along a bunch of new controversies and debates to this match up. Now it was more than who could beat who, it was also who is bigger than who? For many years they have been very comparable in size and mass and always drawn that way; the Hulk was listed at 7 feet tall and weighing 1,040 pounds and Juggernaut was 6 feet 10 inches and weighing 900 pounds. As this new “Professor” Hulk incarnation, the Hulk was even more bigger at 7 feet 5 inches and weighing 1,150 pounds. And when this “Professor” Hulk tangled with the Juggernaut in some recent issues, The Incredible Hulk #402-404 (1992/1993), artist Gary Frank clearly drew the Hulk the bigger of the two. But the Capcom designers took it upon themselves and decided to make the Juggernaut much more massive and devastating in this video game than the “Professor” Hulk was (and much more fun to play I might add). But what was also strange is that the Juggernaut could “power up” and increase his strength and durability even higher while the Hulk could not. Although the Hulk could do a lot of damage with his moves in his own right, one-on-one the Hulk got his gamma-butt kicked just about every time by the Juggernaut. Now why does this game have anything to do with the real ”Hulk vs Juggernaut” mythos in the comics? Because this game became incredibly popular on a world-wide scale. It changed the perception on how people looked at the Hulk and Juggernaut not only in strength and power but also in size and mass (plus Marvel artist were occasionally drawing Juggernaut looking well over 10 feet tall in some comics. And in the Capcom X-Men: Children of the Atom (1994) fighting game where Juggernaut was first introduced in this video game series, he was already developed to be looking incredibly huge and dwarfing all the other characters). And since the majority of the mainstream audience would rather play video games than read comics or any Marvel Handbook for that matter, this video game would influence and educate them. And it did! Now the response to who was truly the biggest and baddest heavyweight in the Marvel Universe was open for debate.
|The Marvel Superheroes Arcade Game by Capcom from 1995. The game that truly changed the appearance of the Hulk and Juggernaut forever to the public.|
Capcom spawned more sequels to their Marvel vs Capcom video game series (up until Marvel vs Cacom 2: New Age of Heroes in 2000) and they did make the Hulk more powerful with each new release eventually matching the Juggernaut, but he always stayed the same size. Plus the damage was already done. All the influence that happened from this video game and the Juggernaut’s rise to fame in the 90′s was what changed perception of the “Hulk vs Juggernaut” rivalry forever. To be honest, I have to say more people who never picked up a comic were leaning towards Juggernaut as being the stronger and more powerful of the two and I couldn’t blame them. As for the hardcore comic collector, no one really knew who was bigger or stronger and fanboys from both sides made their claims of each character’s superiority over the other. But there could be no doubt to the educated reader, these two brutes were evenly matched and peers until the end.
As we enter into the mid 2000′s, Wolverine and the X-Men were no longer the most popular on the block with Spider-man taking back the mantel as the icon and symbol of the Marvel Universe (as it should be). And even the Marvel vs Capcom series ended and dwindled away. The only public reminder of this rivalry was at the Hulk Roller Coaster Ride at the Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. While you waited in line, the screens above would show a short animated feature of the Hulk fighting the Rhino. But before the Hulk and the Rhino clash you got to see a few of the Hulk’s rouge gallery of villains and Juggernaut makes an appearance. Shortly after this, Juggernaut wasn’t even a villain anymore in the comics. During his streak to fame, Juggernaut became such a likable character that creators had to make him a good guy. Courtesy of a ruse engineered by Juggernaut’s friend Black Tom Cassidy to destroy the X-Men, Juggernaut allies himself with the team and then eventually official joins them. The Juggernaut would reform and join other teams from time to time. Now Juggernauts origin grows deeper as stories reveal that Marko is only the most recent of a series of incarnations of Cyttorak’s avatar, with each battling a challenger to the death for the right to retain the entity’s power. And to be granted the full-power of the gem of Cyttorak, Marko must do his bidding as the Juggernaut. This seemed to explain the height and weight difference that Juggernaut now has because when he doesn’t have full-power he is smaller (at his old listed statistics) and when he is at full-power he is now officially listed at being 9 feet 5 inches and weighing 1,900 pounds. So I’m guessing that Juggernaut is now considered bigger than the Hulk…right? Well maybe not because when they fought in their most recent showings and Juggernaut was at full-power, they looked about the same size to me. I’m sure artists have their own interpretations of each the Hulk’s and Juggernaut’s muscle mass and could care less what any Marvel Handbook has to say. So I guess we’ll never know.
A view of walking through the line to the Hulk Roller Coaster in Orlando Florida. You can see all the screens on the wall that show an animated Hulk short that features a glimpse of Juggernaut. For a while, this was the only reminder to the masses of Hulk and Juggernaut as adversaries.
Today, Hulk and Juggernaut don’t seem to have as much of a grudge as they did back in their heyday. With Juggernaut liking his new life as a good guy despite his smaller size and lesser power there’s almost no point for them to fight (it would just be a lopsided win for the Hulk and no fanboy wants to see that). Seeing the Juggernaut walking around destroying things and doing petty crimes at full-power is going to be a rare occurrence (such a shame). It would be fun, as the current Hulk looks stronger than ever and doing feats of strength that even a “Silver Age” Superman would be impressed with. But tomorrow is another day and with another day comes another comic. And fanboys know with another comic comes eventually another “Hulk vs Juggernaut” slugfest that will inspire more questions, controversies, debates and of course, capture our imaginations. Isn’t that why we love these rivalries and funnybooks anyways?
Enough background, let’s see the combatants...
TALE OF THE TAPE
Height: 5’9 ½” (Banner), 7’ (Hulk)
Weight: 128lbs (Banner), 1,040lbs (Hulk)
Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner
Origins: Gamma bomb explosion at Desert Base New Mexico
Home Base: Earth
Nicknames: Green Goliath, Jade Jaws, Annihilator, Captain Universe, Joe Fixit, Mr. Fixit, Mechano, Green Scar, Jade Giant, The Jolly Green Giant, Green King, Holku, Green One, Eye of Rage, Harkanon, Haarg, Once-Savage, Two Minds, Professor, War, Maestro, Two-Hands, Greenskin, Gray Goliath, Mighty Bob, Anti-Hulk, Friday, Green Golem, Golem, Man-Monster, World-Breaker, Sakaarson, Nul: Breaker of Worlds, The Strongest One There Is
Powers: Possesses the potential for near limitless levels of physical strength, depending directly on his emotional state, particularly his anger. He is also extremely resistant to physical damage, psychic assaults, temperature extremes, and is completely immune to disease and poisons. He can breathe underwater, survive unprotected in space, and when injured, heals from almost any wound within seconds. His powerful legs allow him to leap into lower Earth orbit or across continents. His durability, healing, endurance, and possibly speed, likewise increase in relation to his adrenaline levels. As Bruce Banner, he is considered one of the greatest minds on Earth. He is the foremost expert on Gamma Radiation and has developed expertise in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physiology, and has a PhD in Nuclear Physics.
Favorite Expressions: “Hulk Smash!” “Hulk is the Strongest One There is!” “Nothing Can Stop Hulk!” “Don’t make me angry, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”
Incarnations: I listed the “Savage” Hulk’s stats up above because it is generally considered that this Hulk persona is the most popular and most powerful of all the incarnations. But his height, weight and powers can change from time to time depending on his current incarnation. Within each “Hulk vs Juggernaut” comic description listed below, I included which incarnation of the Hulk was present for that fight. To understand this and to see some of the other strengths and weakness each incarnation has click on this link below.
Height: 6’10″ to 9’5″
Weight: 900lbs to 1,900lbs
Real Name: Cain Marko
Origins: Temple of Cyttorak, Korea
Home Base: Earth
Nicknames: Avatar of Cyttorak, Examplar of Physical Power, Juggie, Jug-Head, The Unstoppable One, Captain Universe, Kuurth: Breaker of Stone
Powers: The Cyttorak Gem empowers Cain Marko with magical energies and transformed him into an immortal avatar. As Juggernaut he possesses extreme superhuman strength and durability, he is also amplified by a mystical force field that grants him near invulnerability (even with the force field removed Juggernaut’s natural durability proved to be sufficient enough to exchange blows with Thor), when in motion and moving forward he is considered physically unstoppable, he does not tire and is able to survive without food, water or oxygen indefinitely and is immune to all poisons, toxins and diseases.
Weaknesses: Cain must constantly do the will of Cyttorak, in which he must cause destruction and become essentially a villain to the world to utilize the full-power of the gem. When he does not meet this criteria his size and powers sufficiently decrease. Despite Juggernaut’s full-power invulnerability, he is vulnerable to mental attacks, a weakness that has been exploited via the removal of his helmet. He has circumvented this weakness by on occasion wearing a metal skullcap inside his main helmet. If he loses his helmet he can recreate it by touching certain materials (as long as he possesses full-power of the gem). He has also been known to be vulnerable to certain magical items. It should be noted, that it is also possible for an opponent with a sufficient amount of strength on their own to turn his irresistibly against him by redirecting his motion so he gets stranded in a position in which he has no purchase.
Favorite Expressions: “Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut!”, ”I’m Unstoppable!”, ”I’m the Juggernaut Bitch!”
The comics listed in this section is each time the Hulk and Juggernaut have squared off and fought each other in actual official Marvel continuity. I will also explain each encounter in detail. Unfortunately, all fights are not always so clear cut and I’ve tried my very best to be fair, objective and unbiased about the outcome of each battle. At the end, I tallied up the totals so you can come to your own conclusions and be the judge to see who holds the overall edge in this incredible match up. I also spoke with a few creators to shed some light on the more controversial issues and hopefully it will clear up some of the arguments that they spark off.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #172 (1974)
This legendary first fight between the two behemoths has been debated on in the past by fanboys. The question that always seems to come up is if the Hulk increased his strength high enough to overpower Juggernaut when he was on the Hulk’s back. So to answer this lingering question I asked the issues writer Tony Isabella about the fight; “From what I see, the Hulk got stronger and was able to swing Juggy around by his helmet. The helmet came off. I don’t think the helmet was mystically attached or anything since the X-Men removed it in their first meeting with Juggy. Without the helmet protecting his head, Juggy sustained some damage when he slammed into the mountain head first. That and the subsequent fall probably knocked him out.” So take that answer as you will fanboys. But now onto the issue itself…
With the “Savage” Hulk locked up in a Hulk-Buster cell, the military attempts to use an experimental space-time warp transporter to transport the Hulk into another dimension where he can never do damage to the Earth again. As they turn on the transporter and manage to transport the Hulk away, at the same time it allows the Juggernaut to make his way back to Earth. Soon the Juggernaut starts hitting the walls of the cell the Hulk was in to break out. Then the military tries to use the teleporter again but its feedback causes the Hulk to reappear. The Juggernaut recognizes the Hulk and says they should escape together. The Hulk doesn’t trust Juggernaut but decides to help him as they bust out of the cell and defeat the Army. After the Hulk leaps away he sees the Juggernaut cause a family to drive off a road and threaten them. This causes the Hulk to confront Juggernaut and fist start to fly. Both brutes knock each other around until the Juggernaut gets on the Hulk’s back and tries to break his neck. The Hulk will rage, get stronger, grab Juggernaut by the helmet and spin him around in the air to throw him back to the Army base. But the helmet becomes loose and the Juggernaut flies into a mountain. The Hulk walks away thinking that the fight is over but Juggernaut recovers from his fall and is about to attack the Hulk again when Professor X, Cyclops and Marvel Girl show up and easily defeat him since his helmet is off. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 1 HULK: 0 – JUGGERNAUT: 0
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #402 (1992)
The “Professor” Hulk takes it upon himself to check out why acres upon acres of the rain forest are being leveled. When he gets there he gets ambushed and attacked by a huge man in plain civilian clothes. The Hulk thinks this is just a construction worker and he will keep asking this man who he is while never getting a direct answer. Not wanting to fight back the Hulk gets knocked around until he is eventually knocked unconscious. Juggernaut takes such pleasure in this advantage that the Red Skull has to tell him to stop or he’ll kill the brute. RESULT: WIN JUGGERNAUT (This wasn’t a definitive “win” by any means as the Hulk questioned who he was fighting and never really fought back. When he realized it was Juggernaut it was already too late.)
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 2 HULK: 0 – JUGGERNAUT: 1
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #403 (1993)
With the “Professor” Hulk locked up, he finds out it was the Juggernaut who attacked him in the previous issue. Then he will taunt Juggernaut into trying to fight him without any tricks. Of course, Juggernaut steps up but the Red Skull will stop him. Soon Red Skull uses Mentallo to take control of the Hulk’s mind by sending images of his greatest enemies to beat him down mentally. Juggernaut is among the enemies that attack and try to pound on the Hulk. RESULT: NONE
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 3 HULK: 0 – JUGGERNAUT: 1
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #404 (1993)
As the “Professor” Hulk was being mind-controlled by Mentallo to team with the Juggernaut to battle the Avengers under the pretense that Juggernaut is his father, Juggernaut will compliment the Hulk. Now the Hulk knows that Juggernaut can’t be his father because his father would never do that. The Hulk fights the mental control by raging and attacking Juggernaut. The Hulk is now mad enough to pound on Juggernaut (knocking his helmet off in the process) and fight off the mental control. Finally the psychic backlash from the Hulk breaking free of the mind control will knock Juggernaut out as well as all the other Avengers. RESULT: EDGE HULK (While the Hulk clearly had Juggernaut hurt and humbled, it was the psychic backlash that would actually knock him out and not the Hulk’s attacks.)
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 4 HULK: 0 – JUGGERNAUT: 1
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #457 (1997)
Enhanced by the science of the villain Apocalypse, the “Heroes Return” Hulk has become his super-powered pawn called War! Juggernaut charges and crashes into this Hulk and keeps pushing him backwards. That is until War manages to completely stop him dead in his tracks! Juggernaut cannot believe what just happened and begins to get pummeled. Soon War beats Juggernaut down and will take out his sword to decapitate him. Luckily the Absorbing Man crashes on top of War and saves Juggernauts life. War will then hit Rick Jones by accident and the impact sends him into a brick wall. The Hulk then comes to he senses and rips off his armor and leaps away screaming in shame. RESULT: WIN HULK (even though the Hulk got the “win” in this fight by having the Juggernaut helpless and almost beheading him, he was enhanced by Apocalypse. This cannot be considered a definitive “win” due to this advantage.)
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 5 HULK: 1 – JUGGERNAUT: 1
DEFENDERS #10 (2001)
The “Savage” Hulk with the Defenders are attacked by villains under the control of Orrgo. Juggernaut is among the many that attack and try to overwhelm the heroes. The battle royal will end when the spell is finally broken and the villains become free of the mind control. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 6 HULK: 1 – JUGGERNAUT: 1
WORLD WAR HULK: X-MEN #2 (2007)
Ever since Cain Marko refused the bidding of Cyttorak he became a depowered Juggernaut. And now with a raging mad “World War” Hulk beating up every X-Men in sight looking for his step-brother Charles Xavier, Cain Marko knows its up to him to try and stop the brute. Marko makes a plea to Cyttorak, to amp his powers back up, ostensibly so he can rescue his step-brother. But as Marko makes an all out attack on the Hulk, he ends up getting dropped into the action still at half-strength. The Hulk will pound on Marko unmercifully and decisively. RESULT: WIN HULK (Although the Hulk totally humbled Juggernaut in this fight, he was not up to full-power.)
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 7 HULK: 2 – JUGGERNAUT: 1
WORLD WAR HULK: X-MEN #3 (2007)
This issue has some controversy to it and has been debated on by fanboys. Did the Hulk stop Juggernaut’s forward movement or was Juggernaut slowly pushing the Hulk back when they were locked up? A panel shows a close up of their feet but it is still hard to judge so I asked writer Christos Gage about it to end this debate once and for all, this is what he told me; Hulk stopped him for a moment…whether he could have stopped him for long, I don’t know. More likely the ground would have caved in first, which is why Prof X yelled at him to stop. Hey, I’m not gonna take sides here!” So in conclusion to what Gage said, the Hulk did stop the Juggernaut’s forward movement with his physical strength and redirected it’s irresistibility in another direction (in this case down) to actually give the Juggernaut pause. So that debate ends with another one beginning…How long can the Hulk stop the Juggernaut for? I guess we’ll save that for another time because now lets see the issue…
With the “World War” Hulk continuing to pummel the rest of the X-Men, Marko asks Cyttorak why he let him fight the Hulk at half-power. We learn that Cyttorak wants his avatar back to being vicious, and realizing on some level that’s what Marko wants as well. Cain agrees to go back to being the one-true Juggernaut at full-power, armoring back up and charging at the Hulk for a battle of the century! The two behemoths go back and forth until they are in a deadlocked stand off pushing against the other. Soon Professor X comes running out and yells at the two brutes to stop their pushing match because the extreme force they are using is breaking the foundation of the school and it will collapse. The Hulk will take this moment of hesitation and sidestep Juggernaut who topples forward and gets pushed in the back by the Hulk which sends him running wildly into the bottom of a lake. RESULT: EDGE HULK (While this is not a definitive “win” for the Hulk, he gets the “edge” because he did remove Juggernaut from the fight long enough for him to encounter Professor X and set things straight with him. This fight is debated on especially by Hulk fans who consider this a “win” for the Hulk, but IMHO it was just too close to call.)
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 8 HULK: 2 – JUGGERNAUT: 1
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #602 (2009)
This is an interesting match up between the Hulk and Juggernaut because this fight has more to do with “Bruce Banner and his son Skaar vs the Juggernaut.” But since Bruce Banner is essentially the Hulk in his normal form, this issue counts and makes the list (I know it’s confusing so please bear with me).
Bruce is training Skaar to take on the Hulk when he eventually turns into him (Yes, the Hulk’s son wants to kill him). So, in preparation Bruce has Skaar take on the Juggernaut to test his skills. But Skaar shows no interest in the fight so Juggernaut attacks Bruce and starts to pound on him. Bruce uses his electronic shield to save his life from Juggernaut’s assault. Soon Skaar attacks Juggernaut and they battle it out while Bruce yells out directions on how Skaar must fight him. Eventually Skaar tricks Juggernaut and at the last moment hits him so hard that he flies into space. It ends with Skaar and Bruce in a comic shop looking up Conan to see why the Juggernaut called him that. RESULT: NO CONTEST (Or it should actually say Bruce Banner and Skaar with the “win” because they used teamwork and tricks to defeat Juggernaut. But in truth, this has to be a “no contest” when talking about “Hulk vs Juggernaut” because even though Bruce Banner was involved in this fight the Hulk wasn’t ever present…or was he…who knows.)
FINAL TALLY: MATCH UPS: 9 HULK: 2 – JUGGERNAUT: 1
The Hulk and Juggernaut have fought a few times in non-cannon stories. I’ve noticed throughout the years that both Hulk and Juggernaut fans often make arguments showing these comics to make claims to their debates. But truth be told, despite some interesting stories, these issues don’t count. I see them as writers interpretations of “Hulk vs Juggernaut” battles without continuity restraints so they always have fun twists of “What could have been.” Listed here are the best of the best of the Hulk and Juggernaut battles that occurred outside of actual Marvel continuity.
DRAKES MINI-COMIC #3 (1993)
In this promotional mini-comic we see a glimpse at how some artist interpret Juggernaut’s size (here he is looking about 10 feet tall) which dwarfs the “Professor” Hulk. In the comic, the Hulk teaming with Wolverine and Spider-man can’t even hurt the Juggernaut as they all get knocked around. But once Spidey and Wolverine use tactics to remove the Juggernaut’s helmet (and despite his plea to surrender), the Hulk will step up and knock him out with a huge haymaker!!
SPIDER-MAN MAGAZINE #7 (1994)
Once again the Juggernaut is drawn to look like a giant (about 10 feet tall) and dwarfs the “Professor” Hulk. In this story, Juggernaut wants to have the solar collector to boost his strength, but it’s up to the Hulk and Spider-man to stop him. After a short battle the Hulk will knock Juggernaut out with a huge punch. Eventually Juggernaut wakes up for round two and while the Hulk has to make sure the solar collector doesn’t explode, it’s up to Spider-man to take him on alone. Spidey tricks Juggernaut into crashing into the solar collector and then knocks it on top of him for the victory.
SAVAGE HULK: ONE-SHOT (1996)
Stories that include some of the Hulk’s greatest rouges. In this tale with the “Professor” Hulk standing trial, he gets attacked by just about every enemy he’s fought in the past. The Juggernaut is among the villains that attack and brawls with the Hulk.
MARVEL ADVENTURES #14 (1998)
A dying Juggernaut seeks out Dr. Strange for the Cyttorak crystal to bring him back to full-strength. As he takes it from the magician a portal to Cyttorak’s dimension opens up and Bruce Banner will tackle Juggernaut through it. When they land Juggernaut powers up and becomes more powerful than ever. Dr. Strange who is now in astral form fights Juggernaut until he weaves a spell to change Banner into the Hulk. Both brutes then have a huge back and forth fight until the Hulk punches Juggernaut near a Cyttorak ruby which he tries to absorb to give him even more power. But Juggernaut will get overloaded with power and explodes and then dissipates to another place.
MARVEL ADVENTURES: THE AVENGERS #7 (2007)
With the Juggernaut looking for a man who double crossed him, he is met up by the Avengers. After Captain America, Spider-man and Iron Man are defeated Juggernaut is now faced with the Avengers strongest member, the Hulk! The two behemoths trade blows with Juggernaut eventually knocking the green brute out (or so it seems). Wolverine would then attack and fair no better. Storm, watching all this tries a different approach and begins to talk the Juggernaut down. It almost works but the Hulk roars back into battle, knocking himself and Juggernaut off the clifftop into the sea below. Soon the Hulk swims to shore asking where the Juggernaut is and he is nowhere to be found.
MARVEL ADVENTURES: THE INCREDIBLE HULK #10 (2008)
Bruce Banner is in South Korea looking for the Amulet of Cyttorak to see if it can stop him from changing into the “Savage” Hulk. He is met by an American guide, who happens to be Cain Marko in civilian clothing. He is willing to show Bruce, Rick Jones and his pet monkey, Yoink the way for a price. Eventually they find the Shrine of Cyttorak and the amulet, which Marko takes for himself! He transforms into the Juggernaut and now wants to destroy the amulet so there won’t be anyone to stop him. But before he can, Banner tries to grab it and is easily tossed aside and while Juggernaut is distracted, Jones and his monkey steal the amulet from him. As Juggernaut chases them to retrieve it, Banner changes into the Hulk and the battle begins! Juggernaut’s first blow sends the Hulk crashing out of the caverns and when the Hulk gets up and attacks again he cannot stop the Juggernaut’s forward movement and is pushed back. Juggernaut will then land another tremendous blow which sends the brute flying off the mountain. Soon Jones and Yoink put the amulet around Juggernaut’s neck and it magically binds him helpless. But the Hulk comes attacking again, fueled with rage, he punches the amulet that has Juggernaut trapped, destroying it and freeing him. Juggernaut thanks the Hulk for his luck and they brawl again. While the Hulk punches Juggernaut over and over and has no way of hurting him, Juggernaut will begin to push the Hulk back again. But this time the Hulk picks Juggernaut up and throws him back into the cavern causing a massive avalanche. The Hulk will grab Rick and Yoink and leap away to safety. Next time we see Juggernaut, he is buried alive in the cave trapped but slowly he begins to move.
1985 #2 (2008)
Small Town America, 1985: Toby Goodman is a thirteen year old boy who weathers the storm of his parent’s separation, his mother’s choice of new boyfriend and his father’s indolence by immersing himself in the minutiae of the Marvel comics universe. Toby soon becomes possessed with this world and his humdrum existence takes a turn for the bizarre when he spots a creature that resembles The Red Skull, gazing out from a window of the local nexus of suburban folklore, the abandoned Wyncham house. Before long, more characters from the pages of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s fictional universe begin showing up in the flesh. With Toby now confronting the Hulk with Bruce Banner’s mind, the brute asks if he has seen the Juggernaut. Soon the Juggernaut tackles the Hulk from behind and a brawl ensues with Toby watching in awe and then eventually running off.
Listed in the section is every time the Hulk squared off against Juggernaut in a movie, cartoon, video game, etc. Now this category might not be in actual comic continuity but it plays a very important role in how the mainstream audience views each character and where they stand when facing off with one another. It should be noted that it was the media that had more of an impact on the “Hulk vs Juggernaut” mythos than even the comics did.
MARVEL SUPERHEROES VIDEO GAME (1995)
The arcade fighting game released by Capcom that brought the “Hulk vs Juggernaut” rivalry into the public eyes and started a whole mess of controversies and questions especially when talking about their size and strength.
The game is loosely based on the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, with the heroes and villains battling each other for the Infinity Gems. The main antagonist is Thanos, who steals whatever Gems the player had collected (at that point, all but the sixth gem, Mind) and uses them against the player, but with each gem having a strange, new effect when used by Thanos.
The game played similar to Capcom’s previous Marvel-licensed fighting game, X-Men: Children of the Atom, but with a more simplified use of the super combo gauge, and the addition of the Infinity Gems. Each Gem could be activated in battle, giving the user a different power for a few seconds. In addition, each character had a Gem that he had a special affinity for, and would get additional abilities whenever he activated it.
Juggernaut is a total powerhouse in this game and when used correctly, rarely will he be defeated. The “Professor” Hulk, who can do some tremendous damage in his own right is a far second choice. Never has “Hulk vs Juggernaut” been so lopsided before.
X-MEN THE ANIMATED SERIES (SEASON: 3 EPISODE 46 THE JUGGERNAUT RETURNS 1995)
While storming the mansion to find his step brother Charles Xavier, Juggernaut is met up with it’s defenses. He get’s attacked by a Hulk robot that is easily destroyed and defeated. Soon Juggernaut’s life is at risk when someone else uncovers the Cyttorak ruby and claims the powers of the Juggernaut and uses it to pick up girls. Eventually Professor X and the X-men help Juggernaut out and stop this rouge-Juggernaut. Due to the X-Men’s help, Juggernaut leaves them in peace and walks away.
MARVEL VS CAPCOM: CLASH OF THE SUPERHEROES VIDEO GAME (1998)
This was the third game in the Marvel vs Capcom series. A new twist featured back up characters that would assist your team. While the Hulk is a playable character with improved strength and durability from the previous game, Juggernaut was only an assisting one. And even though he cannot engage the Hulk fully, he can still attack the Hulk while assisting an opposing team with his headcrush maneuver. It was kind of a let down because fans would have perfered to see Juggernaut as a usable character to engage this newly improved Hulk as well as other characters in this game.
The game takes place within the Marvel comic continuity, as Professor Charlies Xavier calls out for heroes to stop him before he merges with the consciousness of Magneto and becomes the being known as Onslaught, the final boss. The game was developed in late 1997 and first released in January 1998 to both the arcade and then to home game systems.
MARVEL VS CAPCOM 2: NEW AGE OF HEROES VIDEO GAME (2000)
This is the fourth overall game in the Marvel vs Capcom series. Now Capcom simplified the controls to make the gameplay more accessible for casual players. The button configuration was trimmed down to 4 main buttons and 2 assist buttons. The game also features a different air-combo system and 3 on 3 tag, compared to the 2 on 2 tag from previous games in the series.
The game was highly anticipated upon its release and achieved criticial acclaim due to its graphics, fast action, storyline and enormous cast. The game scored and 8.8 on ign, a 91.1 on Metacritic, and has frequently been called one of the best fighting games ever by Gametrailers, particularly by the Screwattack staff. The only complaints seemed to be the ability to stack teams as well as the jazz soundtrack, but many reviewers managed to overlook it due to the game’s impressive achievements.
The “Professor” Hulk was even more improved in this game than any other previous and seemed to balance out the power levels between him and Juggernaut. Both could take and deliver huge amounts of damage with the Hulk possibly being the favorite now with his quicker movements and more range. But Juggernaut of course, still had the size over him.
SUPERHERO SQUAD CARTOON (SEASON: 1 EPISODE 5 ENTER DORMAMMU 2009)
This episode starts with Hulk and the Superhero Squad fighting it out with Juggernaut and Sabertooth to take back the infinity frackles. Thor and the Hulk make some attacks on Juggernaut but he can take it (to the Hulk’s surprise) and tries to escape through the Great Wall where he is ambushed by more heroes. Soon a magical ray shoots into the hole of the wall and some the heroes (except the Hulk) into wacky things. When everything turns back to normal and the heroes and villains (now with Dr. Doom) square of we see it turns out to be Dr. Strange!
SUPERHERO SQUAD VIDEO GAME (2009)
While this game has two options of play; Adventure Mode, where Hulk along with the other members of the Superhero Squad go through various levels defeating waves of enemies and bosses (where Juggernaut is a boss) to eventually fight the final boss Dr. Doom. The other option is Battle Mode, where you pick one character to use in free-for-all fighting action. Players defeat their opponents by depleting their health or knocking them out of the arena! Hulk fighting Juggernaut has never been cuter than this!
(watch the episode by clicking link below)
SUPERHERO SQUAD CARTOON (SEASON: 2 EPISODE 38 TOO MANY WOLVERINES 2011)
The episode starts off with the Juggernaut rampaging through the city and then the Super hero Squad shows up to stop him. They “Hero Up!” and then attack with the Hulk charging the running Juggernaut to no avail. Juggernaut will continue to pound on the Squad and destroying the city until Firestar shows up and melts the street around his feet holding him there. He grabs a streetlight and swings it at all the heroes until Wolverine is thrown by Reptil in dinosaur form and uses his claws to cut it down to size. Iron Man will then blind Juggernaut with a light ray as The Hulk and Thor beat him down (off screen of course) and then tie him onto a truck flatbed that hauls him off to jail.
SUPERHERO SQUAD ONLINE VIDEO GAME (2011)
This online PC game has a ton of features where Hulk and all the other Marvel heroes can be used to play. Have level games and battle minions until you meet up with the Juggernaut and other villain bosses, team up with other players online, train your heroes and interact with the entire Marvel Universe. Also there is a fun option for fighting each other in a card game style format. This game is in the style of many of the popular card games for kids, where you try to trump the card your opponent plays, or stop them from being able to put one down at all. You’ll begin by building your deck, choosing cards with a high damage potential, or cards that might help you block your opponent’s attack. Your chosen hero will face off in an arena with one opponent. Each turn you have the chance to attack, block an attack, or pass if you have nothing to play. Make your opponent lose all of the cards in his hand to win the game. With each card you play, the character on the card will enter the battle arena and perform an action. It’s really fun to see your favorite characters attacking, blocking, or cheering their victories. When you win a game, you’ll be rewarded with a new card for your deck. Have Hulk go through the levels or fight others in a battle royal of the ages, either way this game is super fun to play!
So what’s the conclusion between these two powerhouses? Even though the Hulk has the overall edge 2 to 1 in 9 official match ups, it really is a dead even draw. Because despite some controversial wins and loses to each, neither brute can claim a definitive victory over the other. I think it’s because they are very similar in styles and almost exactly the same in their physical attributes. They both have the biggest egos, they both talk huge amounts of trash, they both have the same style of fighting (just keep moving forward, brawl and pound your opponents until they become nothing but meat sauce), they both never quit, they both cause trillions of dollars in real estate damage and they both put the fear of god into everybody they face. But in my opinion, I have to give the Hulk the edge on pure physical strength over Juggernaut (full-power or not) because that’s his bread and butter. The Hulk showed his superiority in strength in their first meeting and he has shown that he is quite capable of stopping the Juggernaut’s forward movement with his physical power and that speaks volumes because before his encounters with the Hulk, the Juggernaut was always considered unstoppable. So who has the better durability? Both of these guys can take a ground level nuclear blast and keep on going! The Hulk has increased durability and healing with his near-limitless rage and Juggernaut has the near-limitless magic of Cyttorak to keep him invulnerable. It’s so close, but I’ll give the edge to Juggernaut because that’s his bread and butter. I will admit that both brutes have been shown to be able to hurt the other physically on a consistent basis despite the reputation of their high-end invulnerability. But I have to give it to the Juggernaut because outside of the Hulk, he has been able to use his force-field with awesome results in other appearances. Plus his durability seems to be portrayed much more consistently than the Hulk’s (which fluctuates from comic to comic and is related to his current adrenaline levels). So looking at these facts with unbiased eyes, it’s no surprise that this match up is a solid draw. And if fanboys want to get technical and talk about their powered-up versions like “Worldbreaker” Hulk or “8th day” Juggernaut, then please argue among yourselves because I’m outta here!
And for personal reasons I want to point out that finally the Hulk looks like his ol’ savage self in the recent Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (2011) video game that has returned after an almost eleven year layoff. The good part is that the horrid “Professor” Hulk is long gone and the “Savage” Hulk has taken his place! He also is one of the strongest character in the game with some great moves that do crazy damage (nobody but Galactus can beat him hit for hit). The gameplay, graphics and technology has never been better. The downside is that the Juggernaut was not included in this 46 character fighting game. And I got even more upset when they looked passed him again when Capcom released an improved version of this game with twelve more characters later in the year called Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 (2011). I would have been interested to see how big they would have made Juggernaut and how he would match up against the Hulk (or even Thor). What this does show you is that the Juggernaut’s fame is not what it used to be like in the 90′s despite appearing in the movie X-Men 3: The Last Stand (2006). And one more thing that I can’t stand about this game that get’s my blood boiling…the Hulk still sports a silly belt buckle…UUGGHHH!!
Agree? Disagree? Let’s hear it fanboys!!
John “The Mego Stretch Hulk” Cimino - “Hero Envy” Central
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age Marvel comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert and has been writing and starring in the “Hero Envy” webisode series. He is also the host of the Reckless Sidekick “Swass-Cast” and has contributed to the “Hero Envy” comic book. He also thinks he’s really Captain Marvel, people just don’t have the heart to tell him he’s just an obsessed fanboy that borders on the insane.