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X-Position: An X-Men Podcast #7 - The Unstoppable Juggernaut

"Comrades, let us all work together!"


Jenny and Tim welcome Keith Langston back to the show as we cover the 8th episode (or 10th, depending on when you first saw it -- more on that below) of X-Men: The Animated Series! And it's no respite for our world-weary heroes, as they are flung from one crisis to the next. While the wrecked X-Mansion sets off television's most obvious whodunit, we can excuse this for likewise providing a handy excuse to introduce dual guest stars Colossus and the titular Juggernaut. Given the participants, this one doesn't exactly have high ambitions at being anything other than a massive throwdown. Consequently, it makes for the most boilerplate episode of TAS to date, in the sense that the show can't be said to be doing anything much different than a standard Saturday morning action vehicle. At a push, one could say that this does continue to keep some focus on human-mutant relations, by way of Colossus' quick payday and angry reprisals from the workers whose job he unwittingly swiped. It serves as a minor counterargument to Genosha's extreme answer to the question of mutation's economic utility. Why impose outright slavery when mutants are willing to be exploited and happy to be compensated for a fraction of what it would cost to employ a larger, human workforce? An all-too American solution, but not without its consequences, as the idealistic immigrant Colossus soon learns. There's also Juggernaut's single line clarifying that isn't a mutant, despite assumptions to the contrary. Still, this doesn't especially change his perception or treatment at the hands of the X-Men or the authorities. Nor does Juggernaut seem to hold any particular animus towards mutants, in a somewhat interesting change of course -- this one's personal for him. Beyond these minor signposts -- and a rather generic theme emphasizing the power of teamwork -- there's not a lot here to elevate "The Unstoppable Juggernaut" much above the surface.


That doesn't mean it isn't thoroughly entertaining, delivering on the expected action, turning in some genuinely clever one-liners, and putting in work with a memorably imposing score. Plus, we get a delightful surprise check-in with the imprisoned Beast, keeping his subplot alive. So after coming in hot, this installment ultimately pumps the brakes at least somewhat on the show's otherwise rapid-fire pace. While the matter of Professor Xavier's absence remains to be addressed, we at least know it is of his own volition, drawing a line under the nonstop conflict and dramatic cliffhangers for now. A welcome breather, then, in as much as any massive slugfest with the Juggernaut can be. X-TRA: "The Unstoppable Juggernaut" was delayed by animation issues and was originally shown slightly out of order, as discussed by the crew. That necessitated some hasty edits to episode 7's conclusion as it was first broadcast, in an effort to smooth over the continuity. The result was an even more confusing viewing experience by the time this episode did debut, following “The Cure” and “Come the Apocalypse.” For the alternate ending of "Slave Island," aired once and never again, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS8RHoTAh14. FINALLY, Stick around for our quick-hit impressions, predictions, and BIG FEELINGS on episodes 1-5 of the sensational X-Men '97!



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