X-Men (2nd series) #167

Issue Date: 
April 2005
Story Title: 
Golgotha - part 2: The Night of the Mutant

Peter Milligan (Writer), Salvador Larroca (Penciler), Danny Miki (Inker), Liquid! (Colorist), Cory Petit (Letterer), Stephanie Moore & Sean Ryan (Assistant Editors), Nick Lowe (Associate Editor), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor-in-Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The X-Men find Golgotha and debate whether or not to bring him back to the States. The White Queen wants to study him, but Havok thinks he is too dangerous, eventually Wolverine convinces them to compromise. Some of the X-Men comment about Polaris’ mental stability, while Iceman makes a joke about Gambit and Rogue not being able to touch - Gambit admits that it is getting to him, and later Rogue reveals that it is getting to her also. Some of the X-Men travel to Calvary, which turns out to be only one of several possible Calvary’s, but while there, Rogue and Gambit discover a small trinket shaped like the Golgotha they found in the South Pole. The White Queen hooks herself up to Cerebra and links to Golgotha - and suffers for it, as she is collapses while trying to leave and warn the others of something. Meanwhile, a mutant called Boy is let go by his rich human employers who used him as a servant. He recruits dozens of mutants in Las Angeles, and later they murder the rich family and their friends, leaving “Golgotha” scrawled on the wall in blood.

Full Summary: 

Los Angeles, a boy walks down an unsavory avenue, thinking back to what he was told before - ‘You’re one of them, Boy,’ ‘You’ll be okay,’ ‘They won’t try to hurt you, Boy,’ ‘Your kind stick together’. Suddenly, he is attacked by two mutants that leap out at him. He turns to face them, and blasts one of them with beams that are fired from his eyes, and thinks back to a time in the past.


A rich family stand in front of Boy, informing him that space down here is limited, as is food and drink, and ask him if he understands that. The wife smiles and tells Boy that he would rather take his chances out there, instead of being stuck in this shelter with ‘us boring rich normal people, wouldn’t you, Boy?’


‘Boy - that’s what my employers called me. “Boy, get this, Boy, do that”…until Boy became my name. Not Cat-Eyes of Split-Vision or Green Shine…Boy’. He continues to walk through the slums, thinking that his employers liked having a low-level mutant as their houseboy, as it made them feel so modern and liberal. Of course he couldn’t eat meals with them and he slept in a shack behind the swimming pool which was his job to clean. They sure did not want him sharing their shelter with him when the craziness hit LA - their air-conditioned state-of-the-art shelter bought in case of a large-scale terrorist attack.

But his former employers were right - he was okay. Maybe he was already half crazy, so whatever happened left him unscathed. Walking through the rubbish-filled streets, and past looted shops, Boy soon recruit’s a few scatter-brained mutants, pleased to be told what to do. Pleased to have a leader. Golgotha is spray-painted on a wall that Boy and his followers walk past….

Meanwhile, at a mutant colony at the South Pole: Six members of the X-Men walk towards what is apparently, Golgotha. Emma “the White Queen” Frost tells her teammates that she promised to take them to it, but didn’t say it would be pretty. Rogue asks what it is that they were doing down here, ‘digging for gold?’ This X-squad’s leader, the handsome Alex Summers points out that they may never know what the crazy mutants they fought were up to. Remy LeBeau a.k.a. Gambit tells Havok that if he heard a baseline human refer to them as “crazy mutants”, he would blow a fuse, but Alex defends himself, claiming that as he is a mutant he can say it, before asking Emma how big this thing is.

Suddenly, Gambit announces that the smell is turning his stomach, and informs everyone that it reminds him of a dead body they fished out of the Mississippi river - bloated to three times his size and with little white fish crawling out of his eyes. Gambit gags as he admits he hasn’t thought about that incident for years, and Emma informs everyone that Golgotha is triggering random receptors in their brains, and in Remy’s case, a powerful memory.

Looking up at Golgotha, Havok asks how it is doing that, so Emma explains that there are very faint and sluggish telepathic signals, a type she has never encountered before ‘Interesting‘ she remarks. Havok reminds Emma that there are dozens of dead mutants upstairs, all massacred by this creature, and is about to tell her that if this is her idea of interesting then she is very sick - when suddenly, Golgotha moves a tentacle towards him.

Lorna Dane, Alex’s ex-fiancée calls out to him, and Alex turns and blasts Golgotha with his solar energy powers. Lorna goes over to Alex and asks him if he is all right. Alex replies that he is fine, before asking Lorna how she is.

Suddenly, Gambit declares that he cannot stand it down here, and points out how much he is sweating, He wonders what is happening, before Bobby “Iceman” Drake tells him to relax, and that he would feel the same way too if his girlfriend didn’t let him touch her. Gambit asks Bobby what he just said, but Rogue comes between the two, telling Bobby that she is disappointed in him, and asks how he could say something so heartless and nasty.

Iceman claims that he didn’t mean it, and doesn’t even know why he said it, that it was like someone else said it. Suddenly, Lorna declares ’I want to go home!’ and using her awesome magnetic powers she starts to blow a hole in the roof. Havok tells her to stop, as this is crazy, and asks her what is wrong with her. With the giant hole now open, Lorna seems shocked that Alex called her crazy.

Iceman comes to Lorna’s defense and tells Lorna that Alex meant it in a figure of speech, like crazy as in rash and unrestrained as opposed to…he starts searching for words. ‘Mentally unhinged?’ suggests Lorna. ‘Right,’ replies Bobby. Emma points out that she did say they had to be careful, and Havok suggests that it is not healthy down here, so they should get the fungus out in the open - and blow it to pieces.

Soon, Golgotha has bee lifted onto the ice covered ground outside, pulled along by Polaris’ magnetic powers, the others physically pulling and pushing it. With Golgotha no longer putting up a fight, Havok congratulates his team, and as everyone looks at it, Iceman jokes ‘Another one for the memoirs - how I fought a giant mushroom and lived to order dessert’. Havok frowns and declares that they have to make sure it is good and dead, and orders everyone to hit it with everything they have - until Emma interrupts, and declares that she needs to get Golgotha back to the mansion and hook herself up to Cerebra so she can get into Golgotha’s central nervous system.

The White Queen points out that this creature is either alien, or unlike anything on the planet, therefore it needs studying, not killing. Angry, Havok exclaims that he thought the air around here was pretty cold, but it is sizzling compared to the stuff that runs through Emma’s veins. ‘Really, Alexander, your seduction technique leaves a little to be desired,’ mocks Emma. A snow storm begins to set in and Alex reminds Emma that this thing wiped out a whole colony, so there is no way he is risking taking it back home. Emma points out that they do not know how or why it killed, but Alex declares that his decision if final.

Emma smirks and tells Havok that he is beginning to sound like his brother, to which Alex turns away and tells her to leave his brother out of this. Emma asks what of the X-Men’s hallowed rule of not taking life, to which Havok explains that the rule has its limitations on bugs, germs and fungi. Putting on his jacket, he asks Emma if she will lose sleep over murdering malaria, or slaughtering tuberculosis. He adds that he can be called a fascist, but there are a few other bugs he would gladly bump off.

Suddenly, through the icy wind, the rugged X-Man known as Logan and “Wolverine” makes his presence known. He points out that the storm is closing in and tells his teammates to finish up - or else they will be stuck here all winter. Alex asks Logan what he is doing here, to which the handsome X-Man replies that he got a ride with Emma, and jokes that she is a lot of fun when she lets her hair down. Logan admits that he hates to be the voice of reason as it makes him feel so old and sensible, but that they do need a compromise.

Soon, both X-jets are tied together and Golgotha hangs from one of them as the fly back to civilization. Wolverine points out that they better not fly any higher, as the thing could start breaking up and cause an international incident. Polaris declares that it might scatter over some remote South American village, and thinking it a kind of manna, the people would eat, thanking their fierce gods. ‘Which culture is it that eats its own god?’

Wolverine asks Alex if Lorna has been in this state for long, to which Alex replies ‘Off and on,’ before admitting that he is a little worried about her. Alex then asks Logan if he noticed how pleased everyone was to see him, and how keen they were to follow. He exclaims that he tries so hard - to which Wolverine points out that maybe he is trying a little too hard.

In the other plane, Iceman approaches Remy and tells him that he is really sorry about what he said back at the colony, as it was ‘second-rate locker-room B.S.,’ and admits he was a jerk. Remy tells Iceman that he may have been right, as this no-touching thing is getting to him more than he thought - but adds that it doesn’t make him any less of a jerk for saying it. Rogue overhears this, and stunned, looks at Gambit speechless.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Jim Collins and his wife are throwing a party. Everyone is sitting around the large dining table, and one of the guests asks ‘Where’s that to-die-for mutant you used to have?’ Mrs. Collins replies that they had to let Boy go when all the craziness happened. A loud banging noise is heard, and one of the guests ask what it is. Mrs. Collins replies that it could be their son Johnny, as he has taken to sleepwalking since they got out of the shelter.

An attractive young woman asks ‘Has anyone here ever done it with one of them?’ The noise is heard again and someone declares that the think it is coming from outside. ‘Had sex with a mutant? Is that legal?’ asks one of the guests. Looking out the window, another guest replies that it is legal…or at least he thinks. One of the guests declares that in some ways he enjoyed the craziness, as it was like the riots reminded them that the great god Pan still exists just beyond the manicured lawns and BMW’s.

One of the guests replies that he speaks such nonsense, but someone points out that he is a movie producer and therefore it goes with the territory. Suddenly, ‘Oh God…’ declares a guest - as Boy, and dozens of other mutants are standing outside the window.

At the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Westchester, New York, Havok and the White Queen stand in Cerebra, with Golgotha below the platform. Alex asks if there is really no chance of this thing spreading any diseases, to which Emma replies that there is less chance than either of them, as it is completely, hermetically, clinically sealed. ‘Unlike your head I’m afraid. Those pesky little thoughts you try to suppress…oh really, Alexander? Polaris? After what you did to that poor girl?’ Emma remarks, trying to stir a reaction from Alex.

Havok tells Emma to stop and reminds her that she shouldn’t read his thoughts unless he invites her to. Emma declares that when thoughts are as loud as his they can be hard not to hear, and tells him that hopefully he will be more in control of them when she gets back. ‘From Golgotha?’ asks Alex. Emma tells him that he and the others shall take the Latin route - ‘Calvaria’.

Later, in Calvary, an archaeologist informs Wolverine and Havok that they are still finding body parts two weeks later - bone and clumps of hair, and this morning he had a big toe floating in his coffee. He explains that most of the archaeologists were at another dig when the suicide bomb went off, and that killed two poor young volunteers - and it was madness two days later that killed another twenty. Alex motions to a tunnel and asks if he can take a look down it, to which the archaeologist agrees, pointing out that the X-Men have the kind of security clearance that he has never seen, adding that he knows they have their enemies, but that they must also have some friends in very high places. However, the archaeologist reminds the two X-Men that this is only one of few possible Calvaries, as two thousand years on, they are still not completely sure where the crucifixion took place.

Nearby, Rogue and Gambit come across an old peddler who is selling religious trinkets - Christian, Jewish…and then Rogue cannot help herself. She brings up what has been on her mind - ‘This no touching thing…’ Gambit tries to interrupt, but Rogue reminds him that it how he described their “unique predicament” to Iceman, and she says that it might be getting to him - but has anyone considered that it might be getting to her as well?

Gambit motions to a pendant and tells Rogue to take a look - Rogue tries to continue her discussion when she also sees the trinket and asks if it is what she thinks it is. Rogue asks the man if she can hold it, and reaching out to take the trinket from him, she touches him - and feels it. She feels the memories, the ancient stories handed down from generations - stories of a creature that lived inside the rock shaped like a skull - a creature they named…Golgotha!

Back at the Institute, the White Queen is hooked up to Cerebra and tells it to give her its dirty secrets. Suddenly, below the platform, Golgotha reaches up, and Emma’s eyes flash red and she screams as power surges through Cerebra.

On television, a reporter is informing viewers of a recent event. She exclaims that it is called “The Night of the Mutant”, as it is an event so horrific that it has sent shockwaves through the Hollywood Hills. The reporter, Tammy, turns to another reporter, Frank, who is standing in front of the crime scene, informing viewers that the massacre is already being compared with the gruesome Manson Murders in 1970. Tammy informs viewers that last night, Jim Collins and his family and guests were all brutally slain in his five-million-dollar home once owned by movie legend Burt Reynolds.

Back in Cerebra, Emma feels that something is wrong, a small green thing is floating before her, and she pulls Cerebra off, as she tells herself to concentrate on what she knows, what it cannot deny…’The theories include…Calvary, or Golgotha, may have been named for the skulls strewn over it…a place of public execution’. Emma wonders if the victims were abandoned, preyed to the birds and wild beasts…’Desolate Jezebel…Pharaoh’s Baker…crying through the night…flesh torn….

Emma throws her hands up in the air, ‘No, no! Get away! All of you! Get away from me head!’ she cries, before struggling to walk along the platform, declaring that she must warn them all.

Back in Calvary, the X-Men examine the trinket, Wolverine suggesting that there is some explanation - but that he doesn’t know what it is. Havok suggests they go deeper, as Iceman asks what it is they are looking for. As he starts down the tunnel, Wolverine declares that something is alive down there.

Back at the mansion, the White Queen continues to struggle along the platform and out of Cerebra - when she passes out.

At the Collins’ home, statues of angels lie broken with their heads smashed off - and “Golgotha” is scrawled across a wall in blood.

Characters Involved: 

Gambit, Havok, Iceman, Polaris, Rogue, White Queen, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Boy and other mutants

Jim Collins, Mrs. Collins, Kirsten, Tad and other rich people

Tammy & Frank (Reporters)

Archaeologist, Peddler and others in Calvary

In Flashbacks:

Boy and other mutants

Jim Collins, Mrs. Collins and their son Johnny

Story Notes: 

Emma’s remark about what Havok did to Polaris refers to him dumping Lorna before the altar.
Pan is the son of Hermes. He is not completely human in form, but part man and part goat.
Pan is a god of creativity, music, poetry, sensuality and sexuality, or panic and nightmares, who haunts forests, caverns, mountains, brooks and streams.
Pan represents unbridled male sexuality, and is the equivalent of of a greek "green man". He is also (along with Herne the Hunter) an early model for the images of the Christian Devil.

While Jezebel was torn apart by wild dogs, Pharaoh’s baker was actually hanged.

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