Was Juggernaut Amped During "The Eighth Day"?

Short answer: No

Long answer:

Note: I'm serious when I mean long answer. I'll include a TL;DR in the form of some bullet points at the bottom if you can't be bothered reading all of it.

So pretty much everyone on Comic Vine treats Juggernaut during the Eighth Day storyline as a separate incarnation of the character (called "8th Day Juggernaut") who is more powerful than Juggernaut's standard versions. Now while that's not technically untrue, people claim that he was physically amped far beyond his normal levels, so none of his feats would ever apply to his usual incarnations. The bottom line is while Juggernaut was more powerful in practice, it was due to his mental state, not any form of physical amp.

Disclaimer

Something I want to mention straight away - if you're one of those people who takes any part of any handbook entry as law and don't really care about anything else, then you should know that in Cyttorak's first and currently only handbook entry in 2010, it actually states that Cyttorak did indeed amp Juggernaut's power during Eighth Day.

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However, this is written ten years after Eighth Day, is not corroborated in any other handbook entries (including an entry for the Exemplars, and two for Juggernaut), and not only that but this particular handbook entry has quite a few other contradictions that I spotted that are flat out incorrect, so in other words - I wouldn't trust this at all. Take a look at the three handbook entries I just mentioned.

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All of these mention Cain being controlled by Cyttorak or having a compulsion to follow a psychic call to some degree (more on that later) - none of them even so much as hint at Cyttorak giving Juggernaut a power increase.

So yes if you only care about the most recent relevant handbook entry, then sure, go ahead and continue to believe that he was amped. If you're interested in what actually happened in the comics themselves however (and what was mentioned in those other handbook entries), then read on!

With that out of the way, let's start by going over the story for those of you who haven't read it (and honestly I don't blame you, it really wasn't that good):

Thor Vol. 2 #17

Juggernaut is, as usual, making a huge mess of a town. Luckily Thor is nearby, and goes to try and stop him. Unfortunately for Thor, he is easily overpowered, as Cain claims that he is being drawn somewhere and will march through anyone to get there. Loki observes two individuals becoming Conquest, the Warrior Exemplar, and Bedlam, the Exemplar of the Mind at their respective temples. The issue ends with two Conquest and Bedlam appearing and teleporting Juggernaut away.

Iron Man Vol. 3 #22

This issue provides a lot of backstory for what exactly is going on. Iron Man encounters Inferno, the Exemplar of Fire. Meanwhile, two more individuals become Decay, the Exemplar of Death, and Tempest, the Nature Exemplar. Iron Man briefly fights with yet another - Carnivore, the Hunter Exemplar. While this is happening, Dr. J Vernon deciphers some runes and learns about the history of what is known as the Wager of Octessence, and the Exemplar's plans for the world. The issue ends with Dr. Vernon explaining to Iron Man that the Exemplars are building a great mystic engine which will enslave humanity.

Peter Parker: Spider-Man #11

The final human becomes Stonecutter, the Builder Exemplar, and begins construction on the Godmachine. As chance would have it, Spider-Man finds this underneath the Daily Bugle. He sees all of the Exemplars together for the first time, and as any sane person would, runs the hell away to get backup. He goes to the Avengers Mansion and gets a hold of Thor and Iron Man, and then due to Juggernaut being involved decides to go find Professor Xavier for some additional help, who comes along in his Astral form. They show up at the location of the Godmachine, a bit of fighting, Spider-man tricks Decay into destroying some indestructible material, blah blah blah, but long story short, they lose. Juggernaut also reached through Xavier's astral form and pulled his physical self into the place they were fighting, however that's supposed to work. The issue ends with the heroes being captured.

Juggernaut: The Eighth Day

The grand finale. The Exemplars and captured heroes are teleported to the south pole, Juggernaut ends up in a mental battle with Cyttorak, eventually overpowers him, and proceeds to beat up all the other exemplars and destroying the Godmachine, saving the world. Good job Juggernaut.

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Now on to the good stuff.

The Thor Fight

The first issue is probably the one most people point to when they claim that Juggernaut was amped, and that's mainly due to the fact that he quite easily stomps Thor, who claims that his power has increased a hundred-fold.

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Now for some reason, people automatically assume that because Thor said this, Juggernaut must have had some kind of amp. But all you have to do is take a look at the dialogue, and you'll find that there is absolutely no mention of this, rather Juggernaut states multiple times that he simply has an irresistible compulsion to follow a psychic call, and that he can't let anybody stop him.

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In fact, he quite clearly states that he is simply cutting lose.

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Thor even notes that Juggernaut appeared to have lost all of his sense and sanity.

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This is further backed up by Loki, who called him a "berserker Juggernaut".

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Simply reading the issue should be evidence that this was simply an out-of-his-mind Juggernaut going, as Loki put it, berserk. He was forced to follow his psychic call and was cutting loose against anyone who got in his way. However, I know some people aren't simply going to be pleased with this explanation. "Why would he suddenly be able to stomp Thor? Why would simply not holding back increase his power so much?" Well, there's an equally simple explanation for these too. Let's take a quick look at Juggernaut's first (and last) two sets of fights against Thor.

Thor Vol. 1 #411 - #412

Juggernaut... actually kind of stomped Thor here too. To be fair, Thor was suffering from random sudden waves of nausea, but it was still quite clearly shown that Thor was incapable of harming Juggernaut whatsoever, while Cain was definitely strong enough to bring down Thor. In the first issue, Juggernaut knocks him out by grabbing onto his hammer for the return journey.

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In the second, Juggernaut again tanks Thor's most powerful attacks (including the Godblast, though it does stop his charge), and is BFR'd to a random asteroid in space. Juggernaut never actually got around to hitting Thor here though, due to him being knocked out up until the very end while Juggernaut was being pestered by the New Warriors.

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So from the first set of fights, it would seem that nothing in Eighth Day was inconsistent or indicative of an amp. Now onto the second set.

Thor Vol. 1 #429

Remember that asteroid Juggernaut got BFR'd to that I was talking about 10 seconds ago? Well while he was sitting around, he was lucky enough to be picked up by a random spaceship from a nearby planet. Being the classic villain he is, he decided to take over the world. As you would expect, Thor tries to stop him. Once again, Thor is shown to be completely unable to harm Juggernaut, despite not holding back.

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Then in true Classic Thor fashion, he pulls another power out of his ass, and deactivates Juggernaut's force-field. Yet after an entire minute of punching, Juggernaut is still standing. The fight ends just like you might expect, with Juggernaut being BFR'd into space yet again.

So again, nothing about this is inconsistent with his fight during Eighth Day. Thor was incapable of hurting Juggernaut, and Juggernaut was very capable of hurting Thor. This whole idea that Juggernaut stomping Thor is evidence that he was amped is quite ridiculous to me, given that in both other times they have fought, the fights played out virtually the same, with Thor needing to resort to some special strategy in order to win.

But maybe that's still not enough. What about Thor claiming his might was increased a hundred-fold? Surely Thor having fought Juggernaut before would be able to tell that he was far more powerful than normal, obviously that can't have simply been from his mental state right?

Well, it's important to note that Eighth Day took place after Juggernaut received a major amp in X-Men Unlimited Vol. 1 #12, where he was infused with the power used to bind a destructive aspect of Cyttorak into his own Crimson Gem.

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Funnily enough, Juggernaut also describes himself as feeling "a hundred times better". So not only was Juggernaut quite... unhinged in his fight, but this was also Thor's first time facing off against a Juggernaut far more powerful than his classic self, who was already more than a match for Thor.

And to be clear, this does not mean Juggernaut was "amped" during Eighth day - this was his standard level of power at the time, right up until his depowerment. A story-specific amp is very different from a general power-increase for a character, much like you wouldn't say post-WWH Savage Hulk is "amped" despite receiving a permanent increase in his physical power from the core breach.

The Eighth Day & The Wager of Octessence

Now that we've gotten his fight with Thor out of the way, we can look at some of the other evidence in the story. Maybe this section should be before the Thor part but eh, I wrote the Thor bit first so I'll just do it this way.

Let's establish exactly what The Eighth Day and the Wager of Octessence is.

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Essentially, Cyttorak was one of eight deities who entered into this "game". Each one created an object, such as the Crimson Ruby of Cyttorak, with which someone would come into contact and receive a tiny portion of the deity's power. Now as explained by Dr. Verdon, the 'Eighth Day' is simply a call for the other chosen individuals to be drawn to their respective temples and gain their powers.

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And we see this happen quite clearly:

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This isn't all of them, but I'm lazy and it's enough to get the point across.

So there's nothing to suggest the actual 'Eighth Day' involves amping any of the characters involved. I also see quite a few people claim that Cyttorak increased Juggernaut's power in order to win against the other exemplars, but this doesn't really make much sense to me either. For a start, I could maybe understand this logic if the Eighth Day was straight into a fight to the death between each of the exemplars - but that's not what it is, at all. Back to Dr. Verdon for an explanation.

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At no point is it a straight brawl-to-the-death between the Eight exemplars. First off they construct the Godmachine, then use it to mind control all of humanity, then each Exemplar takes 1/8th of the Earth's population as an army, and then they fight it out. Now sure when it comes down to it most of the exemplars could probably solo the entire population of the Earth on their own, but the main point to take away from this is that it wasn't a case of "The Eighth Day has started therefore must amp Juggernaut because they're about to start fighting", they were working together as a team to construct the Godmachine the entire time.

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Perhaps the argument would hold more merit if the Eighth Day was a straight up battle to the death, but that's clearly not the case - and more importantly, there is no evidence for it. Furthermore, if you payed attention to the first scan under this section, it states that each totem held a fraction of each god's power - if they were capable of just amping their chosen characters out of the blue, then really you would think that all the gods would amp their respective exemplars as much as possible. Something I'd like to quickly point out is that the first time Cyttorak being able to actually adjust (specifically the idea that he can increase) Cain's power at will was much later during Fear Itself, which happens to be right around the same time that the Cyttorak handbook entry came out.

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Cain's Mental State

So now we get to juicy bit - Cain's mental state.

If you remember from the start, we know that Juggernaut was compulsively following a psychic call. Xavier examined Juggernaut and found out that Juggernaut was in fact under some sort of spell.

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The question is, of course, what exactly is this spell? Well luckily for us we get to take a close-up into Cain's mind, and straight away we get out answer.

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He was engaged in a mental battle with Cyttorak, who was trying to get Cain to "release his humanity", which is exactly what we saw happening in his fight with Thor where he was cutting loose and going berserk. This is further called a battle of wills inside Juggernaut's tortured psyche.

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Of course, in the end he beat Cyttorak in the mental battle and regained full control over himself.

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If this isn't clear enough, we get more of an explanation by Xavier after he takes a visit inside of Cain's mind. Xavier states that when Cain became the Juggernaut he wasn't simply given powers, but instead fused with Cyttorak's personality. For all this time Cain had been the dominant personality and kept Cyttorak's influence under control, but after the Eighth Day happened, Cyttorak managed to become the dominant one.

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Xavier goes on to state that Cain has been fighting for control of his body, which is exactly what we saw before.

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In fact, it turns out that every exemplar was under the same spell by their respective Deities. In Avengers Vol. 3 #25 in a story very cleverly titled The Ninth Age, we see the exemplars return, and long story short Cap manages to make Bedlam remember who she is and overcome her own spell, and she proceeds to free the other 6.

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(TL;DR People look here!)That about wraps it up for all of the relevant scans in the comics themselves. So what do we know from this?

  • There is not a single mention anywhere in any of the issues that Cyttorak increased Cain's power
  • The actual Eighth Day itself was simply a "call to arms" of sorts
  • Cain, along with all of the other exemplars were under a sort of spell where the wills of their respective Deities were battling their own for control of their body
  • Juggernaut was simply in a "berserker rage" state during his fight with Thor, had received an amp a few issues before, and even so his performance against Thor was not inconsistent in the slightest
  • The idea that Cyttorak amped Cain's power, or even the idea that Cyttorak could amp Cain to begin with didn't appear until over ten years after the Eighth Day was written, and the handbook entry for Cyttorak which makes the claim is full of other inconsistencies. This claim is not corroborated in any of the 3 other relevant handbook entries.

And yeah... not really much else to say about it. If you want to believe the one Cyttorak handbook entry written ten years after the story you're more than welcome to, but the point of this was simply to showcase that all of the evidence from the actual comics themselves (and what was said in the three other handbook entries) is that Cain was merely in an altered mental state which made him much more "berserk" than normal and he was cutting loose.

If you're curious about the implications of this in terms of his feats transferring over to the battle boards, I would say that, as far as striking power goes, it would apply to basically any situation in which Cain is bloodlusted, because that's pretty much all it was. Durability on the other hand would not change just because his mental state was altered, meaning that those feats would be relevant for standard Juggernaut.

With that said, it's not like he has particularly impressive feats during the story anyway. Lots of people here talk about how "Oh 8th day Juggernaut is insane he would stomp if it was 8th day!" but I would assume that 99% of those people haven't read the story itself and are simply going off of the statements and hype he gets. If you're interested, here are basically all of his feats from Eighth Day:

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Easily no-selling hits from Thor, physically overpowering him and leaving him questioning how he could possibly defeat Cain (You could have just tried to BFR him again Thor, you know)
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Having Mjolnir harmlessly bounce off of him, no-selling some more all-out hits, and nearly killing Thor with a bear hug before the fight is interrupted and he's teleported away

And... that's it, really. It's quite literally just the Thor fight, unless you include an ambiguous hyperbolic statement which suggests that his fight with another of the Exemplars caused the most powerful earthquakes in history.

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So yeah... even if you disagree with everything I've written here, essentially his only feat is stomping Thor which is pretty much what he did the last two times they fought anyway.

Well, that's all I have to say. Hope you enjoyed the read.

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