Comic Book Review – J2 #4 ( Jan 1999)

What If? #105 featured the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson Parker, May Parker. The first appearance of Spider-Girl was such a hit that the MC2 line was created. Spider-Girl got her own title, and other titles were spun off, which included Avengers Next, Fantastic Five, and J2.

Zane Yama is the son of the Juggernaut. Cain Marko. The Juggernaut gave up his villainous ways some time ago; he went on a rescue mission with the X-men and ended up zapped into a strange, alien dimension and has been missing in action ever since. Zane has been searching for dear old dad shortly after gaining superhuman powers and going by the codename J2.

In J2 #4, written by Tom DeFalco and drawn by Ron Lim, Zane goes to see Doc Magus, Sorcerer Supreme. Zane has been having a recurring dream where the Juggernaut is chasing after him. Doc Magus puts Zane to sleep and enters Zane’s dreamscape via astral projection. Doc Magus enters the void and can see the dream taking place but before he can do anything about it, Zane wakes up and Doc Magus is trapped- the dream continuing, which Doc discovers is no simple nightmare.

As Zane rises from his slumber, Doc’s assistant, Deacon, notes that Doc Magus’s body is violently thrashing about, which means he’s being attacked in the astral plane. Deacon puts Zane back to sleep and encounters Doc Magus being attacked by creatures led a man called Nemesus. Nemesus sends the Juggernaut after J2, while Doc Magus learns that Nemesus is trying to find a way to Earth via a gateway created by Doc Magus. J2 is getting beat down by the Juggernaut, who is taunting Zane. It’s not until the Juggernaut says something about J2’s mother that J2 finds the strength to pummel and defeat the Juggernaut. However, this is not Zane’s father, but an evil impostor made to look like him.

Knowing he is defeated, Nemesus hastily retreats from the astral plane and Doc Magus and J2 return to their bodies, safe and sound. The issue ends with Doc Magus promising Zane that they will work together to find the Juggernaut.

The Juggernaut is one of my favorite X-men villains and it was one of the reasons I picked this series up back in January 1999. Doc Magus has a few incantations that he uses to fight evil that are a nice nod to the architects of the Marvel Universe, including Ditko and Lieber. I really enjoyed the MC2 and I think it was the best way to introduce legacy heroes and villains. Some of the heroes introduced were used years later, albeit, in different ways. For example, J2 #5 introduced the character Wild Thing. Wild Thing was revealed to be the daughter of Wolverine and Elektra. In recent years, Marvel Comics introduced a new daughter of Wolverine, Laura Kinney aka X-23. It would be nice to see the heroes and villains of the MC2 dusted off and brought back once again, maybe in the pages of Exiles or an anniversary one-shot.