Juggernaut and Black Tom

Juggernaut is a classic X-Men villain, a physical titan who is counterpoint to his brother Charles Xavier’s mental mastery. Unfortunately, he often hangs out with Black Tom Cassidy.

Black Tom is the cousin of Sean Cassidy (not to be confused with Shaun Cassidy, the Hardy Boy), better known as the X-Men’s Banshee. Black Tom was created by veteran X-Men scribe Chris Claremont, a man responsible for many great X-Men storylines and characters. Unfortunately, he’s also responsible for many horrible X-Men characters (like Black Tom Cassidy), as well as the nightmare “alternate-reality/timeline” clusterfuck that characterizes the X-books to this day.

I have mixed feelings about Mr. Claremont. On the one hand, his X-Men work with John Byrne in the late 70’s/early 80’s is iconic. But then, in the 90’s, he created Gambit.

No matter how conflicted I feel about Mr. Claremont, my feelings about Black Tom are crystal clear. Like many of Claremont’s characters (Moira Mac Taggart, for example), Black Tom suffers from ridiculous ethnic stereotyping. He’s all “begorrahs” and “boyos” and “blimeys”.  I get that he’s a comic book villain, but fer Chrissakes, man. Black Tom also channels his powers through a shillelagh, because of course he fucking does. 

In case you can’t glean as much from the tone of this post, I actually hate Black Tom Cassidy more than I hate Gambit (I didn’t know that was possible). Nevertheless, he hangs out with Juggernaut, so….

Here are my Heroclix repaints of Juggernaut and Black Tom. I look at these and while I’m happy with the repaints, I have a slight problem…Juggernaut is way too small. According to the Marvel wiki, Juggernaut is 9’5″. The fact that he’s hunched over (no doubt plodding forward) doesn’t help, but I feel like Juggernaut should be HUGE. Take this screen shot from the Marvel Super Heroes video game:

Yeah. That’s Juggernaut. Not someone slightly larger than Black Tom Cassidy. He can fit his whole hand around Iron Man’s waist! (In the video game, he’s actually bigger than the Hulk.)

There are other Heroclix versions of Juggernaut, but, IMO, this one is the best sculpt. I wish it was bigger, but I’ll live with it.

As far as Black Tom goes, his sculpt is fine, although the flame coming out of his shillelagh (why does that sound dirty?) is made out of that translucent ‘Clix plastic I hate so much. I painted flames over it, for better or worse.

Here are my Super Mission Force builds for Juggernaut and the reviled Black Tom Cassidy:

Juggernaut: (Super) Major: Super Strength, Minor: Armor, Density Increase, Resistance, Tough

Special Rules: Unstoppable: Juggernaut’s Density Increase power is ALWAYS on. He doesn’t have to activate it, nor can he choose to deactivate it. This makes him immune to knockback at all times. It also means he can’t charge, only move at his normal rate. Juggernaut can be Entangled, but only until his next activation. He automatically wins any opposed roll to escape an Entangle. He just plods forward. Juggernaut can be grappled normally. (If you want try grappling Juggernaut, good luck.)

Black Tom Cassidy: (Blaster) Major: Power Blasts, Minor: Clever, Rapport (Juggernaut)

Note: this is the old version of Black Tom, the one I know and hate from a few decades ago. Apparently, Black Tom is now part wood, and can control wood. If you prefer, I guess you could give him Armor and Melee Specialist instead of the minor powers I gave him to reflect his current version. He’ll still suck, though, because he’s still Black Tom Cassidy.


5 thoughts on “Juggernaut and Black Tom

  1. Jeremy Winstanley

    Very nice work, Keith. Whilst the juggernaut is a touch small, it is a nice sculpt that captures the essence of the figure well. And a nice repaint of Black Tom, although as you say, he is a bit of a rubbish character. And not rubbish in a good way, like the Spot or Goldbug. I DO have a ‘minor’ claim to fame regarding Chris Claremont however. When he was briefly in charge of Marvel Comics, I wrote to him complaining about the cancellation of Excalibur and suggesting ways it could be brought back and made cool again. He very kindly responded and i still have the letter from him on official marvel headed paper. He didn’t go for my idea, but at least took the time to read it and respond, which was appreciated.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Jeremy. That was pretty nice of Mr. Claremont, to be sure. But Black Tom is a bitter pill to swallow.

      I love the Spot! His first appearance in Spider Man was one of the funniest, as I recall…

  2. Roger Webb

    Those are lovely repaints Keith, I agree that the Juggernaut is a little on the small side, but then so is the only decent figure they ever did of Ben Grim too (but don’t get me started on that). Black Tom is a bit rubbish as a character Marvel sadly isn’t above a bit of racial stereotyping, when it works (like the original Luke Cage) it’s great, but when it doesn’t it can be a bit cringy!

    Cheers Roger.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Roger. I’m curious to know what you think was the best Thing miniature. I don’t hate the original Infinity Challenge version, although I did, of course, repaint it. And I sent our mutual friend Carrion Crow a pretty cool version of Mr. Grimm menacingly swinging a hot dog cart. I didn’t find the scale to be too horrible, but that’s just me.
      On the other hand, my recent post on Killer Croc shows the disparity between Knight Models and Heroclix, both of which claim to be 32mm scale. Knight’s Killer Croc towers over my Heroclix Hulk, much to my annoyance. If I could afford a Knight Models Hulk (tough nowadays; since they lost the license they’re pretty rare and pricey) I would buy one. As it is, I think I’m going to buy Knight’s Solomon Grundy, since the Heroclix version of Grundy also looks puny next to Croc. And we can’t be having that, now can we?

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