I recently reread this story as reprinted in “Wizard Spider-Man Masterpiece Edition.” Spider-Man gets a call from Madame Web, who has just had a vision of a monster coming for her. That monster happens to be the Juggernaut. Coming out of the harbor and creating a path of destruction, Juggernaut heads straight for Madame Web. Unsuccessfully, Spidey tries multiple times to stop Juggy. When Juggernaut reaches Madame Web, he realizes she can’t live without her life support systems and leaves her to die. Of course, this causes Spider-Man to try to stop the behemoth before he escapes back into the harbor.
Why is this such a great story? Here are some reasons:
It’s the typical David-versus-Goliath story. Juggernaut is an unstoppable force. With the Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men and even Dr. Strange all busy, Spidey is the only one who can save Madame Web. And, Juggernaut is unknown to Spider-Man, so Spidey must guess what could possibly stop this brute.
The first issue is about Spider-Man trying to stop the Juggernaut, but the second issue is about seeking justice. The first issue ends with Spider-Man thinking, “I’m going to find a way to stop that ‘unstoppable’ human tank — or die trying.” This harkens back to the burglar Spidey didn’t stop, who killed his Uncle Ben. Once again, Spider-Man may have failed at saving someone’s life. So, he’s going to do whatever he can to keep that off his conscience.
Peter Parker uses his brain. He uses brute force at first, but realizes he must use his intellect to stop something that is unstoppable.
There is little else going on. Aside from three or four pages devoted to side stories, this whole story is about one thing: stopping the Juggernaut.
Romita’s art is amazing. From the small things – like the close-ups on Juggernaut’s eyes – to the big, two-third-page fuel truck explosion, Romita does some great things, including the two covers, which I will never forget.
Finally, one of my favorite things, Spider-Man’s costume gets destroyed. All great Spider-Man stories end with his costume in some form of disarray.
And, that’s why “Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut” is such a great story.