Full Name: Cain Marko
Occupation:Former Coast Guard Junior Officer
Mutant Abilities: None
Special Abilities: Imbued with mystical power that makes him the unstoppable Juggernaut. Power grants him invulnerability, enhanced strength, healing, advanced endurance, and ability to survive without food or life support.
History: The life of Cain Marko has largely been driven by the fortunes (or lack thereof) of his family. He was the first and only child of an aspiring businessman, Kurt Marko. He was born at a time when fortune had evaded his family. His father was a brilliant man who started from nothing and worked his way through Princeton, graduating near the top of his class. He started off poised for success, founding his own consulting company that helped inventors turn their work into marketable goods. The company got off to a rocky start, but was profitable. Shortly after Cain was born, it took a turn for the worse.
When Cain was just three years old, his father’s company was hit by a series of lawsuits claiming that Kurt defrauded his clients out of royalties for their inventions. While it was never proven that Kurt Marko was guilty, the lawsuits as well as the decline in his business reputation sent his company to the verge of bankruptcy. The losses were so great that the Markos were kicked out of their home. The very next day, Cain’s mother left and was never heard from again. This left Cain isolated and put his father in a difficult position.
For the next three years, Cain followed his father from one failed business venture after another. At times they slept in dirty apartments and bus stations. Cain grew to share his father’s frustrations and became ill-tempered as a boy. He used his size and above average strength to intimidate those who looked down on him. The struggles continued until his father caught up with an old college friend from Princeton named Brian Xavier.
Brian Xavier was from a long tradition of wealth who added to that wealth through his scientific research. When Kurt Marko approached him, he promised to help make Xavier’s inventions profitable. Brian agreed to the partnership under the condition that his work would not be used to make weapons. Marko agreed and within a few years, young Cain’s fortunes were completely reversed.
Wealth returned to the Marko family in abundance. Cain soon moved into an opulent house and enjoyed all the benefits of an upper-class lifestyle. So strong was the bond between the Markos and Xaviers that Kurt made Charles Xavier, who Brian Xavier’s son, Cain’s godfather after Brian Xavier passed away. Cain’s life was fairly comfortable during this time, but he remained an angry and head-strong individual. He frequently got into trouble at school for losing his temper. He learned to cope thanks largely to his new uncle, Charles Xavier. Cain grew close to Charles and looked up to him a great deal. Charles grew fond of him as well, giving him the guidance that he so desperately needed. That fondness turned into hatred when the Marko’s fortunes reversed once more.
After Brian Xavier died, Kurt Marko was entrusted with managing his patents. He continued turning them into profitable business deals that benefited both families. Then one day Brian’s widow, Sharon Xavier, discovered that Kurt had broken his promise to his late partner. He was selling Brian’s inventions to weapons dealers. Sharon immediately put a stop to this. Kurt was furious because he had so much money tied up in these deals that terminating them would leave his business ruined. In the end Sharon wouldn’t have it. She severed ties with the Markos.
This moment was devastating to Cain, who was only 14 at the time. This loss sparked a deep hatred of the Xaviers. That hatred grew as his father’s business fell into ruin. They soon lost their house and Kurt resorted to heavy drinking. He got so upset at times that he angrily beat Cain. This fueled his raging temper, which led him to several incidents with the law that got him expelled from school. Shortly after, his father contracted liver disease and died.
In his rage, 17-year-old Cain sought vengeance on the Xaviers. He stole a gun and tried to murder Sharon Xavier, who was already sick with cancer. The attempt was thwarted when Charles Xavier used his telepathy to subdue the young man. Cain continued to swear vengeance on both him and his mother.
Worried yet sympathetic to his misfortune, Sharon Xavier chose not to press charges. Instead, she paid to have Cain enrolled in a special military school. This way he would avoid being placed in a foster home and be in a place where he wouldn’t cause harm. Shortly after, Sharon Xavier died and Cain Marko was left to fume.
As the years went by, Cain remained in military school. His fiery temper and tough attitude helped him fit in. He gained a reputation as a man with unstoppable drive. For a time he was considered for officer training, but his anger prevented him from moving forward. So he was relegated to the Coast Guard where he languished for years. Then one day during a training exercise in stormy waters, Cain got into a fight with one of his superior officers. This led to a clash that ended with him falling overboard. A rescue was attempted, but no body was recovered.
Cain was declared dead, but then he had yet another change in fortune. As his body drifted through the choppy waters of the gulf, it came into contact with a mysterious mystical gem. It isn’t known where the gem came from, but when it found him the magic within consumed his body. It brought Cain back to life and turned him into a massive, hulking figure. He was now imbued with power that made him a true unstoppable force. With this new power, he finally sought vengeance against Charles Xavier.
Cain eventually found his Uncle and attempted to kill him. The X-men eventually stopped him in one of their most seminal battles. They discovered that by removing his special helmet, he was vulnerable to psychic attacks. So once again Charles Xavier defeated Cain with his telepathy. Once subdued, Xavier paid to have Cain shipped to a special containment unit until someone could figure out how to separate him from the power that made him Juggernaut. To date, no one has succeeded. Juggernaut remains a volatile force that is kept under the strongest lock and key.
Character Breakdown: Cain’s personality has been driven by his temper both before and after he became Juggernaut. In many ways he’s a victim of forces beyond his control and he never learned how to cope with this concept. So his natural inclination is to lash out angrily. While some of this anger was learned from his father, Cain never made the effort to control it. He came to see controlling his aggression as a sign of weakness. Once he became Juggernaut, the very concept of weakness became alien to him and that only left his blind aggression.
Almost as prominent as his temper, Cain Marko is strongly driven by a desire for vengeance. He has a strong sense of entitlement after his family experienced so much injustice. It’s not pure greed that drives his thirst for vengeance. He has convinced himself that he must make right his surroundings, even it means hurting others. Vengeance is a big part of his moral sense. He’s willing to tolerate physical harm and outright destruction if it means exacting vengeance. As Juggernaut that tolerance is much greater because he now sees himself as something so much stronger.
His transformation into Juggernaut gave him the tools to fully utilize his anger and desire for vengeance. By becoming indestructible and unstoppable, the roles are reversed. Everyone else is a victim and he is part of that force that no one can control. This compliments his tough demeanor that stemmed from his angry upbringing. If nothing can stop him, everyone and everything around him loses their intrinsic value. Human life means very little and so does anything they hold dear. This allows him to vent his anger with little regard of those he hurts.