X-Men #168

Reviewer: Jesse Baker
Story Title: The Crazy Gang: Golgotha Part 3

Written by: Peter Milligan
Penciled by: Salvador Larroca
Inked by: Danny Miki
Colored by: LIQUID!
Lettered by: Cory Petit
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The nightmare of the Chuck Austen run now behind us, Marvel has assigned now out of work X-Statix writer Peter Milligan on the bastard step-son of the X-Men universe: The adjectiveless X-Men book. To be fair, Milligan has his work cut out for him. He’s inheriting a team which none of the other X-Men writers have any interest in save for Rogue, Wolverine (who’s pressence in all three X-Books strains the credibility of the shared universe of the X-Men), and a trio of fan-favorite but hated by editorial characters who Chuck Austen single-handedly ruined during his tenure as writer. The fact that he’s essentially inheriting a book with no say in it’s roster alone is enough to fear that Milligan will not even TRY as writer, since essentially he’s got little to no control over the book’s status quo until the next X-Book reshuffle.

So we start with the first arc “Golgotha”, which is basically is two decent story ideas hamfisted together in a manner that makes both plots come off weak and half-assed. On one hand we’ve got a plot involving a newly discovered species of creatures that can drive people to commit violence with the X-Men going to the cliched abandoned base located on the South Pole, where one of the creatures has set up base and driven the residents to murder-suicide. The other (and far more interesting) is a story about a mutant manservant who one day decides to pull a Charles Manson and gets a gang of mutants together to kill his employers and to plunge LA into chaos with a killing spree.

Separate the stories and things would be interesting but merged together, they are pathetically carried out with little rhyme or reason. Luckily X-Men #168 focuses on the Charlie Manson-lite gang getting busted and taken into custody. This of course leads to our “Bondage Moment of the Month” as the X-Men put “Boy” (the mutant leader of the Mutant Manson Family) in a straightjacket and metal bondage helmet that you’d expect Emma to make Cyclops wear when they are alone at night and playing S&M sex games.

The issue ends with Logan being forced to stay at the X-Mansion (after a rather decent monologue explaining why Wolverine is working at the school as an administrative member) as Emma declares a lock-down at the mansion to make sure they aren’t affected by the Golgothian Mutant Madness.

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