The Juggernaut has stood toe-to-toe with the X-Men, the Hulk, and virtually every big hitter in Marvel Comics – so what if the gem that gave him his power was suddenly available for anyone to take? That’s what’s happening come January in Amazing X-Men, and the vaunted Crimson Gem of Cyttorak is ripe for the taking, bringing our the former Juggernut, Cain Marko, as well as Colossus and a host of other interested parties – both good and evil – who want it for themselves.
And let’s not forget the gem’s namesake, Cyttorak, and who he wants as his next avatar.
After writing the previous arc “World War Wendigo” with his frequent co-writer Craig Kyle, Yost returns solo with artist Jorge Fornes to Amazing X-Men with January’s #15 as the X-Men jump into action to prevent the gem from falling into the wrong hands – even if the hands might be one of their own. Newsarama spoke with Yost about this second major arc for his Amazing X-Men run, and tries to pull out hints of a few surprises the writer might have in store.
Newsarama: Chris, what do you have planned coming up in Amazing X-Men?
Chris Y ost: The goal of Amazing X-Men is to tell big, fun adventure stories, the summer movie kind of feel. And this one hopefully will hit that mark. Evil villainy, exotic locations, a threat to the world, and our heroes up against with an unstoppable foe with no hope for victory… also known as another day in the life of the X-Men!
Nrama: Coming out of New York Comic Con we know that the next arc, beginning in January, will be a power struggle over the supernatural object that gave Juggernaut his power. The Crimson Gem of Cyttorak is a unique piece of X-Men history, something totally mystical in a world of mutants and superheroes. What made it so attractive to you to base a story around?
Yost: Well, the Gem and Juggernaut have been a part of the X-Men’s world since almost the beginning. Both force the X-Men to be more resourceful than normal… hitting things isn’t going to solve this problem.
Nrama: When I hear about this new story, I think of Juggernaut and Colossus. How will they play into this series?
Yost: Cain Marko/Juggernaut is a classic X-Men villain with personal ties to the team… and given the history that Colossus has had with the Gem and the power, it made for a perfect fit in exploring what Peter Rasputin is dealing with right now.
Both men have an agenda when the Gem reappears, and the X-Men have to decide who they can trust. And given recent events, Storm isn’t feeling particularly trusting.
Nrama: Besides Colossus and Storm, what other X-Men will we see in this series -- and how will they react to Colossus, who perhaps knows the gem best amongst them but was corrupted by it before?
Yost: The general consensus is that Colossus being around the gem is a bad thing. He gets grounded immediately. But that’s not going to stop him from going after it.
Nrama: Even without the gem, Cain Marko still possesses superhuman strength and abilities. Where would you say he’s at, mentally and physically, as this story-arc opens?
Yost: Cain Marko lost the power, and has put ‘the life’ behind him. No more super villains, mutants, no more insanity. He’s at peace. And then the Gem reappears. So his motivations are a little less clear cut than everyone things. And on top of all that, the X-Men will have to deal with his reaction to Charles Xavier’s death, which isn’t what people will necessarily expect.
Nrama: There have a handful of people to possess the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, but Juggernaut and Colossus are the ones people know most. Could we perhaps see other previous holders of the gem re-appear now that this prized possession is in the wind?
Yost: Perhaps! Or future holders!
Nrama: Inside the Marvel U, how do heroes and villains think about the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak? Is it feared, prized, or what?
Yost: All of the above. Mystics like Dr. Strange can access Cyttorak’s power and use it for good, but the actual avatar of Cyttorak always seems to be a jerk. So the true motivations of Cyttorak are a little mysterious, and contradictory. We’ll touch on this a little here as the X-Men are fighting for their lives in the hunt for his power.