Cain Marko - Phase 1
|Cain Marko - deceased|
Portrayed by Brock Lesnar
|Affiliations:||X-Men, Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters|
|Socked By:||No dedicated socker, but all logs must be cleared by the modlist before posting|
|Introduction:||November 27, 2003|
Cain Marko was the groundskeeper for Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, as well as a member of the X-Men as "Juggernaut". Cain was one of the few non-mutant superhumans in the world, his power coming instead from the influence of the now-departed Elder God Cyttorak, before giving that power away in Day Zero and reverting to his ordinary human self.
Real Name: Cain Niels Marko
Aliases: "The Destroyer", "The Human Juggernaut", Hydrant (trainee name), Guy Incognito (undercover alias)
First Appearance: November 27, 2003
Place of Birth: Boston, Massachusetts
Relatives: Kurt Marko (father, deceased), Eve Marko (mother, deceased), Sharon Xavier Marko (stepmother, deceased), Charles Xavier (stepbrother), Jezebel (cousin, presumed deceased), Delilah (cousin, presumed deceased)
Education: Associate Degree in Applied Architecture and Carpentry.
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: Groundskeeper, Elementary History teacher.
Team Affiliation: former member of the X-Men, now retired
Cain was born to Kurt and Eve Marko in 1940. His mother died when Cain was young, and his father married Sharon Xavier, the widow of Brian Xavier, one of Kurt's peers and a fellow scientist. Moving from their home in Massachusetts to the Xavier Mansion in Westchester did not sit well with Cain, nor did the sudden addition of a stepbrother in Charles Xavier, Sharon's son.
Growing up, Cain resented Charles as Kurt Marko seemed to treat his stepson with more attention and support than his own biological son. Kurt nurtured Charles' interests in science and other intellectual pursuits, while turning a blind eye to Cain's efforts to please him. While never directly abusive, Kurt's neglect towards Cain fostered seeds of hate that germinated over time into a barely-controlled rage.
After graduating from Empire State University with a degree in Architecture, Cain was chastened when his father told him that his education was good for little more than manual labor, while praising Charles' advancements in genetics and psychology. In rebellion, Cain left to enlist in the Marines.
While away at boot camp, Cain received the news that his father had suddenly passed away. Rather than take compassionate leave, Cain volunteered to ship out to Vietnam immediately following the funeral.
In Vietnam, Cain found himself excelling at soldiering, although constantly denied promotion and moving backwards in the ranks due to insubordination and an overly violent temper. Despite becoming a role model to some of his fellow Marines, Cain attempted to shirk the responsibility of leadership, but eventually accepted the position of squad leader. It was in Vietnam that Cain Marko met Colonel William Stryker, a decorated helicopter pilot.
While on a routine patrol deep into the demilitarized zones north of Saigon, Cain's squad was ambushed by a large contingent of the North Vietnamese Army (Viet Cong). In the ensuing firefight, the entire complement of Cain's squad was killed, and he found himself running for safety. Consumed by anger and shame, Cain sought refuge in an abandoned temple.
In the temple, Cain discovered a statue bearing a ruby the size of his fist. He made the decision to take the ruby and sell it on the Saigon black market, using the money to buy a ticket out of the Southeast Asian hellhole and just disappear. Instead, the moment he touched the gem, everything changed.
An otherworldly presence enveloped Cain, and the gem sank into his chest. The release of power coupled with Cain's immense rage forged a bond between Marko and Cyttorak, the extradimensional entity imprisoned in the ruby. Cain's body transformed into a massive eight-foot-tall powerhouse, strong and invulnerable. Cain collapsed into a coma, and was recovered by a search and rescue team and evacuated to a hospital. Eventually, his comatose body would be taken to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC, where he would spend the majority of the next two decades in a coma.
While comatose, the military enlisted a psychic, Aldo Ferro, to attempt to read Cain's subconscious mind to learn the details of what had happened to him and if it could be repeated. While fruitless, the telepathic invasion ingrained a severe dislike for telepaths into Cain's mind, and created an unintentionally direct link between Cain and Cyttorak. With the captive god now speaking into his thoughts, Cain awoke from his coma and walked through the walls of the hospital, disappearing into the night.
For the next dozen years, Marko wandered the North American continent, occasionally stopping at mostly-abandoned truck stops to keep some sort of human contact. Rare blurred photographs and unreliable eyewitness reports of this "Human Juggernaut" became an urban legend, often debunked as tabloid fodder.
In 2003, the global headache caused by Stryker's manipulation of Xavier triggered a desire in Cain to return to his home. Realizing that the military would still follow him anywhere he went, Cain stepped onto an Air Force base and began throwing jets around like lawn darts until the MPs showed up with an entire platoon of heavily armed soldiers, then willingly surrendered.
Cain was sentenced to house arrest in the care of his brother, since it was quickly determined that no prison could hold him. Upon returning to the house he had grown up in, Cain was initially very resistant to the idea that it had become a school. However, realizing that it could still be his home and his place to find some peace, Cain grudgingly accepted the school and eventually came to terms with the X-Men.
As a part of his sentence, Cain underwent counseling sessions with Moira MacTaggart where he attempted to reconcile his longstanding hatred of Charles with the good work that his brother had accomplished. Taking on the role of groundskeeper, Cain kept both his relationship with Charles and the truth of his age and background a secret from most of the school, with only select members of the staff knowing the truth.
In the first few months of his residence at the mansion, Cain came into conflict with X-Men, staff, and students alike, resenting them for co-opting the home he saw as his rightful inheritance, but never able to explain publicly his ire. Moving out into the boathouse to ensure some degree of privacy, Cain eventually forged unlikely friendships with some of the people in the mansion that he slowly grew to respect, including Alison Blaire and her adopted son Miles, Nathan Dayspring, and in the most unlikely of situations, his erstwhile housemate Remy LeBeau.
Eventually Cain's sentence was lifted after a deal with the government involving a trip back to Vietnam, where Cain returned with a strange bronze plate that he recovered from the same temple where he had found the ruby. Around this time, unknown to Cain, Amanda Sefton was leeching off the magical energies of the ruby without either of them realizing it. Upon discovering that the bronze plate concealed the ruby's energies, Cain confronted Amanda, threatening her with bodily harm if she ever used him for a fix again.
Cain assisted in defending the mansion against various incursions, including a commando team sent to kill Pete Wisdom and a small army of demons sent from Limbo to attack Illyana Rasputin. It was interacting with Limbo that Cain was called "The Destroyer" by one of Limbo's demons, and discovered the ability to hold open portals between dimensions simply by sheer physical strength.
While at the mansion, Sebastian Shaw offered Cain a significant amount of money to turn his son, Shinobi Shaw, over to the Hellfire Club. Cain refused, making a powerful enemy in Shaw. Around this time, Cain also received the inheritance from his father that had been gathering interest for years in a nonprofit fund that Charles had established, assuming Cain dead. Despite his wealth, Cain continued his role as the school's simple groundskeeper, living in the boathouse.
In what would be a life-changing event, Cain offered to help Alison regain control of her powers after the events of Sound and Fury. When she attempted to focus a laser through the gem in Cain's chest, he began to have flashbacks to his time in Vietnam, made into visible holograms by Alison's laser. As these flashbacks grew more and more intense, the gem exploded, ripping a hole in Cain's chest. Only through the combined efforts of Nathan, Amanda, Moira, and Charles was Cain's life saved, although he would be forever altered.
Unable to reassemble the gem that was irrevocably linked to Cain's life force, Nathan reduced it to molecule-size fragments, and using Amanda's magic and Moira's medical expertise, made the gem part of Cain's DNA. The change resulted in a significant loss of mass for Cain, as well as a lessening of his invulnerability and seemingly limitless strength. However, many of these changes would be unknown for a long while, as Cain spent nearly four months as an invalid, barely able to speak or walk. Following the destruction of the gem, Cain also appeared to no longer radiate magical energy, and was much more in control of his temper, no longer needing his therapy sessions with Moira, although the two remain fast friends.
It was not until the attacked the mansion that Cain would regain his full power, after being shot by one of the cyborg assailants who had been given orders by Shaw to get deadly revenge on Cain. Even after being fully healed, Cain's problems did not cease, as he discovered that Cameron Hodge, his accountant, had embezzled nearly all of Cain's sizable fortune. Swearing revenge, Cain resumed his role at the school.
After discovering that Nathan had the opportunity to take down Mistra once and for all, Cain offered to go with the X-Men on the mission, to attempt to repay his friend for saving his life, as well as to keep Nathan alive to come home to Moira. In the assault on the Greek island of Youra, Cain was the first strike, being dropped from the Blackbird at high speed to demolish Mistra's communications facility and throw the base into chaos. During the battle, Cain was confronted with the decision to either help Nathan in the heat of combat or to save a dozen children from a collapsing building. Feeling he had no real choice, Cain opted to save the children, and afterwards felt responsible for Nathan's near-fatal injuries in the ensuing fight. This guilt would remain with Cain for a while, and spur on his next life-changing decision.
Upon returning from Youra, Cain met with Cyclops, blindsiding the X-Men's leader by volunteering to join the team. His decision was met with shock, but support and quickly Cain was added to the trainee roster and dubbed "Hydrant" due to his size and the unique red suit that he wore to attract enemy fire on the battlefield. Cain quickly developed a rapport with his fellow trainees, taking once more something of a leadership role before graduating to full team status and the codename "Juggernaut"
In one of his earliest missions, Cain was tasked as Cyclops' second in command on a mission to retrieve a young mutant, Siena Blaze whose powers had gone out of control. In order to protect the team and an entire Utah town from destruction, Cain was forced to hit the girl hard enough to put her into a coma with potential brain damage. As a result of this mission, Cain has made every attempt to avoid situations where he is forced to be the one making life-and-death decisions, instead preferring to take orders from his field leaders. This choice has put him at odds, usually with Cyclops over the X-Men's code against killing, but Cain has always deferred to the senior X-Man.
As an X-Man, Juggernaut has been an integral part of the team, involved in various missions in Vladivostok, Seattle, and helping Nathan track down his family. Juggernaut is the primary powerhouse of the team, his strength and invulnerability rivaled only by Colossus and Rogue. Despite his unwillingness to lead, his experience is always an asset, although he has many times been thwarted by his dependence on solid ground to brace himself on.
The Enemy Within
At seemingly random times, often inopportune, Cain found himself plagued by momentary flashbacks, bouts of pain, and lapses in his strength and invulnerability. At one point, he was actually hit hard enough to bleed, which alarmed him greatly. During these events, Cain and Cyclops traveled to Oregon, on a lead from Sebastian Shaw, to find Cameron Hodge. Now a gibbering lunatic, Hodge claimed that "the devil" had instructed him to take Cain's money and use it to sow discord and chaos by funding various third-world armies and hate groups.
These occurrences of weakness and strange happenings grew greater until a supernatural event in a local convenience store revealed the cause - the Elder God once imprisoned in the gem, Cyttorak, had been forced into a physical body after the gem was shattered. His attempts to regain his power had been unsuccessful, and instead he opted for a deal with Cain - in exchange for returning Cyttorak's power, the God would leave Earth, and allow Cain to once more age and live the rest of his life free of the burdens of power. To refuse would mean, according to Cyttorak, that Cain would never fully control the power and eventually destroy everything he held dear.
Pondering this deal, Cain opted to trust Cyttorak. He came clean to the entire school about his past and his relationship with the Professor, and began squaring up his affairs while hiding his suspicions that he would not survive the encounter. Accompanied by Sam Guthrie, Marie-Ange Colbert, Wanda Maximoff, and Cyttorak himself, Cain journeyed to the temple where it all began.
Once there, Cyttorak betrayed Cain, as expected, announcing that he was going to destroy the entire Earth as revenge for his centuries of imprisonment. However, Cain had anticipated this contingency, and had previously arranged with Illyana to have himself and Cyttorak teleported to Limbo. In Limbo, where the laws of physics and magic pale in comparison to raw willpower, Cain defeated Cyttorak in single combat. Ripping his way back from Limbo to Earth, Cain emerged in the armor of Cyttorak, and claimed the power of the Juggernaut for his own. Cyttorak's fellow Elder Gods appeared, offering Cain a position among them. When Cain refused, they took Cyttorak and left Earth.
Following these events, Cain has taken a more contemplative outlook, even mentoring some of the younger X-Men. Having prepared to lose his life in defense of those things he treasured, he seems to appreciate life itself more, including the slow process of coming to terms with his stepbrother.
In February 2007, Cain and Charles learned of the death of Esmerelda Vance, their childhood housekeeper and close friend to Cain. After her funeral, Cain took a leave of absence from the school and the X-Men to travel with her remains, seeing the world as was one of Esmerelda's final wishes.
Cain's sabbatical was cut short when a nearly-destroyed Blackbird landed on a beach in Mexico, having coincidentally run across his path while rescuing Scott Summers from certain doom. Cain then returned to the school and the team.
In 2007, Cain has found his strength tested in unique situations, from fighting dinosaurs to battling a giant mystical dragon. His most disconcerting experience, however, happened when Magneto and the Brotherhood took over a Russian space station and the X-Men went into orbit to defeat them and destroy the station. In the process, Cain fell to Earth from over 250 miles in the atmosphere, landing in Sri Lanka and knocking himself unconscious for three days until he was retrieved by Wanda, Amanda, and Doug Ramsey. The experience has caused Cain to think deeply on his power and how much it sets him apart from his comrades.
2008 proved to be no simpler for Cain, as he found himself stranded in the Middle East after an X-Men mission assisting the IDF, one that resulted in a near-fatal irradiating of one of his teammates and causing Cain to question how the X-Men were operating.
When the team was unable to prevent the assassination of a mutant-friendly priest, Cain's faith in the team's mission was burdened even further. Unaccustomed to outright failure, he began taking on a more active role training the younger X-Men, as well as some of the students who were able to benefit from his mentoring, such as Inez Temple.
After the events of Day Zero, the power bestowed upon Cain by Cyttorak's presence left him permanently, as promised by the "Elder Gods" who had told him "the power is yours until you choose to pass it on". By willingly allowing Marie to absorb his abilities, Cain fulfilled this prophecy and was restored to his mortal human form, resuming his proper age in his late sixties.
Making the difficult realization that he would not be able to remain at the mansion and find any measure of peace, Cain chose to quietly retire, leaving the mansion to go on with his life.
Weight: 500 pounds (when in motion, technically unmeasurable)
Other Features: The USMC "Eagle, Globe, and Anchor" crest is tattooed on Cain's right bicep. He also bears a pale scar across his sternum where the Gem of Cyttorak was once bonded to him. Cain's right ear is also misshapen (cauliflower ear) as a result of sports injuries in his youth.
Juggernaut has been measured as being able to lift weights in the hundred-ton range, presuming that the ground itself can bear the weight. His strength is sufficient to destroy most man-made structures with only one or two blows, and he can run at speeds of up to eighty miles an hour in short bursts without becoming tired. While he does need to breathe, Cain can also hold his breath for up to ten minutes, but not while exerting himself.
A unique aspect to the Juggernaut's power is that when he is in motion, he is literally unstoppable. Short of moving the ground under him or vaulting him into the air, no known force can force Cain to stop or change course once he begins moving. At one point, Cain was able to hold back a jet fighter at full afterburner with one hand to keep it from taking off.
Despite Cain's strength, energy fields and other nonphysical barriers have occasionally stymied him. He is also vulnerable to psychic attacks, as well as intense bursts of light or sound.
Other forms of damage, from the physical to the chemical, seem to have little to no effect on Cain. At one point, he inhaled toxic spores with no reaction, and survived inhaling caustic decontaminant solvent immediately afterwards. He has survived both drops from high altitudes at over Mach 2 as well as the crushing pressures of the sea depths with no ill effect whatsoever.
Another effect of Cain's unstoppable nature is the fact that barriers between dimensions do not stop his motion. As such, he has been able to breach weak points between dimensions such as Limbo and Earth, and hold open portals between them. Due to his mystical nature, Cain also exists on various planes simultaneously, and is able to affect astral forms and entities although he cannot perceive them.
Cain has exhibited various "stunts" with his strength, such as a standing broad jump of over sixty feet, and creating small sonic booms by clapping his hands with his full strength. He has become rather adept at throwing large, unwieldy objects such as cars, boulders, telephone poles, and occasionally his teammates.
As Cain discovered in April 2007, another side effect of his power is the ability to read and understand magical writing. The full effect of this knowledge has yet to be discovered.
In October 2007, Cain fell to Earth from a space station in orbit. He not only survived the impact, but was merely knocked unconscious for a few days, walking away with no lasting injuries.
Cain can will the Armor of Cyttorak into being around him, a segmented set of black metallic armor including boots, leggings, breastplate, bracers and knuckledusters, and a domed helmet that leaves his eyes and mouth open. The mystical armor adds little to Cain's immense strength and invulnerability, it is merely a symbol of his power.
- Cain's favorite book is Walden, by Thoreau. Moira gave him a copy his first Christmas at the school.
- Cain kept in contact intermittently with Esmerelda Vance, the mansion's cook from his childhood, who passed away in February 2007. One of her final wishes was to see the world, and in accordance with her desires, Cain took a leave of absence to travel on her behalf.
- Very few people are aware that Cain is not a mutant. As of January 2008, that information is only known by Charles Xavier, Dr. Moira MacTaggart, Miles Blaire, Alison Blaire, and the late Gideon Faraday. Others who have directly interacted with the source of his power or have mutant-sensing abilities such as Amanda Sefton and Marius Laverne may have suspicions, but have not had them confirmed.
PB: Brock Lesnar
Introduced in 2003 and played until 2008 as a character, before being made a modsock.