Monday, 26 January 2009

X-MEN #167

X-MEN #167
“Golgotha Part 2: The Night Of The Mutant”

Featuring: Havok, Rogue, Polaris, Emma Frost, Gambit, Wolverine and Iceman.

A mutant walks through the streets of Los Angeles, as an unknown narrator assures him that he’ll be just fine out on his own in the big city. Even as the narrator tells him that “they won’t try to hurt you”, two large mutants jump out of the shadows and attack him. Nonplussed, he casually fires hot lasers from his eyes and burns them to death before walking on. He has demon eyes! Alternatively, he’s a mutant. His name is Boy, he tells us, and he’s been working as a servant for a snooty family who treated him as if he were a sub-human. When they retreated to their bomb shelter once LA became a breeding ground for crazies (as Emma Frost informed us last issue) they had no desire to have their mutant servant live with them, so they chucked him out. Since then he’s hit the streets and recruited a small army of maligned mutants, and he is their leader. His army walk past a wall with “Golgotha!” written on it.

Back in the South Pole, Emma leads the team to Golgotha, which turns out to be a giant fungus-thingy encased in a large tank... Rogue asks her what the point of keeping a giant fungus thing in the colony, and Havok calls the dead inhabitants of the colony “crazy mutants”, which seems a bit harsh under the circumstances; and in fact Gambit of all people calls him out on it. Havok refuses to apologise. Suddenly Gambit smells the creature, and he starts to reminisce about a dead body he once found, which makes him feel sick. Emma explains that Golgotha is triggering random memories for no real reason, and must therefore be telepathic. She finds it interesting, but Havok doesn’t agree with her and is about to start an argument when Golgotha cracks the containment unti it lives in and swipes a tentacle at the blonde eejit (Havok, not Emma). He blasts it away.

Gambit, meanwhile, is in a state of panic for some reason, and Iceman tells him to “relax, dude. I’d feel like that too if my girl didn’t let me touch her.” Rogue is immediately fired up, because she rules, and gives him a thorough telling-off for being a twat. Polaris, meanwhile, is unhappy at everything around her and suddenly uses her powers to blast the fungus into submission. Havok tells her to “stop it! This is crazy!”, and she stops, upset at being called crazy. Iceman fails to console her, and Havok – who has had enough – tells them to take the fungus into the open, so they can destroy it. Cue a splash page of Iceman, Gambit (who is on all fours), Havok and Rogue all pulling Golgotha outside, while Emma is fabulously absent. Happy with where they’ve taken it, Havok tells the team to blow it up – but Emma stops him.

She wants to study it at the mansion, but Havok insists that it should be killed. He talks a lot of nonsense, while she mocks him repeatedly. It’s going nowhere, but then Wolverine appears from the wilderness and offers them a compromise. That’s right: Wolverine turns up. Yay for that. They hang Golgotha from the jet and fly home, and whilst en-borde Lorna starts talking about eating Gods, and Havok worries about her, and about his skills as a leader. Meanwhile Iceman apologies about his no touching comment to Gambit, who forgives him – but he sighs that the no-touching thing is perhaps becoming an issue for him. Rogue tries to look concerned by this news.

Back in Los Angeles, the posh skanky family are having a dinner party when they hear a sound outside. Boy has turned up, with his army behind him…

The team have put Golgotha in the bottom of the Cerebra room. In there, Emma frowns on Havok for having naughty thoughts about Polaris “after what you did to that poor girl”. And because she is now completely in charge of him and he’s a pushover, she tells him to go with the team to Calvary, which is the original site of Golgotha. He goes, and Rogue and Gambit meet an old man there selling trinkets. She starts to ask her beau (ha!) about the no-touching deal, but they’re distracted by a trinket which looks suspiciously like Golgotha. After showing it to the rest of the team, Havok decides that they should go deep into the underground caves nearby, to see if they can clear up the mystery any further. Emma, meanwhile, is still at Cerebra, and her probing of Golgotha’s mind backfires when it telepathically knocks her out. She collapses on the floor of Cerebra, with Golgotha leering from below.

On the news is a bulletin called “Night Of The Mutant”. Boy and his army have killed all the members of the dinner party, and left a message on the wall. In blood. It says “Golgotha”.

To Be Continued!


This issue was downright confusing! I had to reread it several times, and fill in a fair few parts, in order for things to make sense. Lorna’s attack on Golgotha is poorly conveyed by both Milligan and Larocca so it’s hard to know what’s going on, and the later scenes in Calvary don’t make any particular sense at all. The relevance of the trinket is unknown and never really explained, which makes their decision to go further into the underground completely irrelevant to everything else. If you take it simply then the plot moves along reasonably well, but look too closely and you’ll realise that there are a lot of holes about. Further to the point, Golgotha is a bizarre thing, and isn’t yet explained properly. Hopefully Milligan will remedy this later on, because at the moment it makes the story hard to read.

However, the one thing which is clear is that Milligan has a fantastic grasp on character – Emma is on fantastic form throughout, and Rogue gets a chance to show off her fiery side, which makes Milligan the best portrayer of Rogue in a very very long time. Iceman is an idiot, Havok is a child, and Gambit is nonsensical. Just how it should be! If he can fix the plotting in future issues, he’ll be set.

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