X-Men (2nd series) #168

Issue Date: 
May 2005
Story Title: 
Golgotha - part 3: The Crazy Gang

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

Brief Description: 

Emma regains consciousness and warns the X-Men in Calvary, who are fighting a second “Golgotha” that there is still trouble in LA, and Boy and his gang kill restaurant patrons, before making their own headquarters at a Western film set, and later kill some television executives. After Wolverine comments that Havok does have a problem with Iceman and Polaris, the three of them go to LA and after Wolverine gives Bobby some advice on how to deal with Polaris and Havok, they locate Boy and his followers, and bring Boy back to the Institute. Boy’s arrival sparks some trivial problems between the friends and teammates in the X-Men, and he jibes Wolverine by telling him he is too old to be hanging around the X-Men. Later, Wolverine considers what Boy said and decides to leave to clear his head - only to discover that Emma has imposed a twenty-four hour quarantine on them all.

Full Summary: 

The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Salem Center, New York. Deep within the high-tech Cerebra, Emma “the White Queen” Frost lies still, but her subconscious begins to operate as she comes round, and telepathically triggers Cerebra, and of course Cerebra responds by harnessing the awesome multi-zillion dollar technology at its disposal. Silently investigating a process of polyphenol oxidative-dependant polymerization. Cerebra evaluates exact chemical compositions, monitors temperature - for Cerebra knows just how critical temperature is.

As Emma assumes full consciousness it is done. Emma takes her seat, and wonders what she was up to. Placing the Cerebra helmet on her head, she telepathically informs Rogue, who is in Calvary with some other X-Men, and has a warning for her. Emma explains that they have been reading Golgotha all wrong, and reveals that it is more complex and dangerous than they thought.

In Calvary, Rogue stands by as her handsome teammates Wolverine and Alex “Havok” Summers attack another Golgotha, and Rogue tells Emma that if she is going to reveal to them that there is more than one of the creatures - then she is too late! Alex blasts the creature with his powerful stellar energy beams and tells Rogue to ask Emma how there can be two Golgothas - and what this second one is doing hiding under the rock where Jesus was crucified.

At the Mansion, Emma calmly replies that she heard “Alexander’s” request and that she is working on it, before informing them that they will be interested to know that there are still outbreaks of Golgotha rage in Los Angeles. Emma suggests that some of them might like to drop in there on the way home, as this sort of thing is very bad for baseline / mutant relations.

In Los Angeles, the mutant known simply as Boy and his followers look on at a fancy restaurant. Boy recalls how the craziness tore their skulls off for twenty-four hours, and all they could think of was Golgotha - that word filling their heads like an evil mantra. Now, Boy has managed to get back a little sanity - which is more than he can say for his crazy gang - but that is good, as it makes them easier to manipulate, and the savage mutants rush towards the patrons at the restaurant.

Later, the mutants hole up in the hills, on the set of an old Western movie, ‘Yes, the western symbol of white colonialism.’ Boy tells his followers that they should try to get together a coherent political manifesto - but he is about to learn how much his mutants care about his political agenda, as suddenly, one of them attacks another, telling him to stop looking at him.

Boy rushes to the mutant with long claws, Frankie, and tells him to get off the other one, but it is too late. Motioning to the mess of green goo, Boy asks Frankie why he did that, to which Frankie replies that the mutant was looking at him funny. Boy tells Frankie to listen to him, and points out that the other mutant was an Albino with practically no skeletal matter, and that compared to him, no one look funny. ‘You’re got to try not to be so sensitive,’ Boy suggests.

Meanwhile, the X-Men are returning home, with the second Golgotha attached to the X-jets. Wolverine is leading the investigation of the riots in LA, and tells his teammates that he needs a couple of them to come with him, and the others to make sure one of their own jets pick them up, ‘You wouldn’t believe how tough it is getting these things through airport security’. Havok agrees, and tells Gambit to go down with Logan and Lorna.

Remy “Gambit” LeBeau says goodbye to his teammate and girlfriend Rogue, who tells him that she expects a present. Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman tells Havok to let the lovebirds be, and that he will take Remy’s place. The handsome young Bobby calls out to Lorna to wait for him. Logan turns to Havok and informs him that he is looking a little green, and that he didn’t know he gets airsick. Alex replies that he doesn’t.

As Wolverine is about to leap out of the X-jet, he declares that Alex does have a problem with Bobby and Lorna. Polaris follows Logan out of the jet as Alex shouts out that people’s private lives are their own affair so long as it does not affect their performance.

The beautiful Lorna Dane lowers herself to the ground using her phenomenal magnetic powers as Logan sky-dives down and Bobby creates an ice-sled. Lorna mentions that this is a big city and that there were lots of crazy people even before this Golgotha thing so they should get started. Bobby asks where they should look, to which Logan replies ‘Where any desperate gang of insane killers might hide - rebel country!’

Motioning to the mess surrounding them - small fires, smashed windows, “Golgotha” graffiti, abandoned cars and broken power lines - Lorna declares that one would think the authorities would have started cleaning up by now. Logan suggests that this neighborhood is way down on the list of their priorities, to which Bobby jokes ‘You mean they’ll clean Rodeo Drive before they get to Watts?’

Suddenly, Iceman notices the “reception committee”, and as the X-Men approach the strange mutants, Wolverine tells them to take it easy. Polaris asks the mutants what happened to them, and if they can remember who they are, or if they can help them. Calling Lorna “Babe” Iceman tells her not to get to close, as they might be dangerous. Annoyed, Lorna points out that they are just empty shells, and suggests that they take them back to the Institute so they can help them. Wolverine apologizes to Lorna, telling her that they have another agenda - a gang of psycho killers.

Suddenly, one of the mutants walks up behind Lorna, and Bobby warns her to get down, freezing the mutant to protect her. Polaris turns to face the now frozen mutant and grabbing the flyer from his hand, she points out that all he was doing was handing her this - an invitation to a service at the 110th Street Baptist Church. Bobby claims that he thought he was attacking, and asks what he was supposed to do.

Soon, the trio begin their search for the other mutants, Logan and Bobby walking behind Lorna as Wolverine gives Iceman some advice, telling him that he might be a little less jittery if he were more upfront about him and Lorna. Bobby replies that it isn’t a state secret, but Logan replies that it might be better if he told Alex. ‘Better for who?’ asks Bobby, ‘Alex for a start,’ replies Logan. Bobby declares that he doesn’t care about Alex’s feelings after the way he treated Lorna.

Iceman reminds Logan that Polaris has been through so much, it is like all he wants to do is protect her from everything. ‘From everything?’ ‘Everything’. ‘In this business? Good luck,’ replies Logan.

Later, Boy and his gang drop in on a board meeting of a major television network. They kill four executives, two producers and are responsible for nixing three so-called “edgy” cop shows. ‘I really hate that word!’ exclaims Boy. Frankie attacks a man who claims that he is only a comedian, and trying to reason with him points out that comedians and mutants are alike - both outcasts, and their only power is the ability to make people laugh. Frankie tells the man to prove he is a comedian by saying something funny. ‘Ah, okay…there’s this Jewish guy, an Arab and a mutant -…’

Back at the new headquarters of Boy and his followers, a mutant tells Frankie that he thought the joke was funny, but Frankie replies that he found it offensive. ‘So offensive you had to do that to the guy?’ Frankie smiles as he points out the man said he was a mutant, so now he really looks like one. Several other mutants laugh at that comment, before Frankie asks what it is they are going to do next. Boy suggests that they boil the governor alive and stick his head on a flagpole, but his followers think that is boring, that Boy is becoming middle-class America.

Suddenly, Logan, Lorna and Bobby make their presence known. Frankie sees the X-Men and asks if that is Wolverine - or some kind of actor, ‘You never know in this town’. ‘I think it’s him…’ another mutant says quietly. Frankie lunges at Wolverine, declaring that he looks so short in real life. ‘Think you’re confusing me with Tom Cruise!’ exclaims Wolverine as he slices Frankie’s bone claws off.

Boy calls to his followers, telling them not to be intimidated, as once you take away the fancy costumes and brand names, the X-Men are the same as any other mutant, ‘like us…more than us than they’d care to admit. Cut them…and they holler!’ Boy fires a blast from his eye, hitting Logan in the chest and knocking him back. Iceman comes over to him and starts to put some ice on the wound, but Logan tells him to forget it, and ‘ice those crazy @!$&!’.

Lorna steps up and declares that she has them - and using her phenomenal powers she shoves all the mutants back, and knocks them out. Wolverine tells Lorna that it was ‘nice’, to which Iceman says ‘Nice? That was superb!’ Logan agrees, before motioning to the sky, where their superb ride home hovers. ‘Can I have a window seat this time?’ asks Lorna.

Back at the Xavier Institute, Havok and the White Queen stand before two massive tanks, each one holding one of the “Golgothas” within it. Emma declares that they are pretty…’In a repulsive, flesh-creepingly, counter-intuitive kind of way’. Havok replies that the Golgothas are as ugly as sin, and that he has seen some pretty ugly sin in his time, before asking Emma if she knows what they are yet. Emma smiles and declares that she knows what they are not: ‘What they are not are two creatures named Golgotha’.

Soon, Logan, Lorna and Bobby arrive back, and lead Boy out of the X-jet, with a device over his head preventing him from using his optic powers. Boy boasts that the X-Men are contravening his human rights, to which Logan mutters that he is not even sure if their type have any human rights officially. Rogue and Gambit have joined Havok and Emma now as Wolverine introduces everyone to “Boy”, leader of the crazy gang who got LA’s rich and famous all hot and bothered.

Havok asks what is with the Cyclops impersonation, to which Wolverine explains that Boy has ‘this power thing’ going on with his eyes, so he fitted him with an early prototype that Xavier built for Cyclops, adding that it was abandoned because it didn’t let anything in or out, so it suits their purposes. Logan tells Alex that he hopes his brother won’t mind them using it. Alex replies that he doubts it, before asking where the rest of this “Crazy Gang” are.

Polaris reveals that the others are howling their lungs out in padded cells as their minds are disintegrating and there were worse cases than them! Boy smiles and boasts that there were much worse, before telling the X-Men that they better hope and pray that the same things doesn’t happen here, before asking ‘How sane are you, X-Men? Let’s be honest now…’.

Boy announces that he can feel it coming, as he has been through it once so perhaps he will be immune, and remember in the land of the insane, ‘the somewhat disturbed, but not entirely fruit cake is king‘! He mutters that maybe he will end up as leader of the X-Men!

Alex asks if someone will please shut Boy up, ‘gladly,’ replies Wolverine as he approaches Boy. Boy senses Wolverine coming up to him, ‘Ah, the mighty Wolverine! What is Wolverine? A tired, superannuated mutant running around with kids, hoping some of their youth might rub off on him. Pathetic’ exclaims Boy. Logan kicks Boy between the legs, causing him to fall over. Gambit pulls Logan away before he can do anymore damage, telling him that Boy isn’t worth it.

Wolverine lunges at Gambit, Boy, still on the floor, muttering that Wolverine no doubt moves fast for an old timer, as Gambit fends Logan off, asking him what has gotten into him. Gambit gets Logan in a headlock, but Logan shoves his claws right up to Remy’s face, telling him not to ever put his ‘filthy Cajun hands on me again’. Rogue comes to her boyfriend’s rescue, pulling Logan’s arm away from Remy’s face and telling him that if he hurts a hair on her man’s face then she will kill him!

Boy just starts laughing wickedly, muttering that this is how the fun begins - friends falling out and tiny enmities blown all out of proportion. He grins, as he declares that the demons they keep buried in the dark are now crawling out like maggots towards the light.

Later, Logan lies on his bed, thinking ‘Demons? What demons?’ He believes his demons were left behind somewhere long ago - somewhere cold and wet, somewhere full of howling dogs. His demons were transformed into six sharp, shining, retractable, bone nails. ‘My demons are all healed up’. Logan looks in a mirror, and lifting his shirt up to see where Boy hit him, and reminds himself that he is a good healer, nothing marks or cuts him for too long - Logan’s whole body can turn into a scab and he can pick it right off.

Suddenly, Wolverine punches the mirror, shattering it as he wonders why he went for Remy the way he did. ‘What’s my problem?’ Putting on a jacket, Logan decides that he needs to be left alone, and wonders why he hangs around these kids so much anyway. Walking through the corridors of the Xavier Institute, Logan wonders if that crazy Boy was onto something, maybe he does hope that some of their youth, some of their optimism will rub off on him. ‘Now that’s just crazy’.

As Logan tries opening the front door, a message comes across the intercom from Cerebra, informing everyone that this building is sealed for the next twenty-four hours and that any attempt to escape will be futile and possible serious. ‘What the hell is this?’ wonders Logan, who quickly turns around when Emma, Havok, Gambit and Rogue come up behind him. Emma reveals that she has imposed a twenty-four hour quarantine on everyone - ‘We’re going to sweat this craziness out’.

Characters Involved: 

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


Boy, Frankie and other mutants

Television Executives


Story Notes: 

Iceman has had a crush on Polaris pretty much from the day he met her, yet never got anywhere with her, as she was nearly always with Havok. However, recently, Havok dumped Polaris on their wedding day [Uncanny X-Men #425], so that he could go out with Nurse Annie.

The “crazy gang” referred to in this issue have nothing to do with the classic Excalibur enemies the Red Queen, Knave, Tweedle-Dope, Executioner and Jester who were collectively known as the Crazy Gang.

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