golgotha_race-xmii169-swarmGOLGOTHA
(see comments)

Classification: Apparently fungal extraterrestrial race 

Location/Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    a large pod/swarm of the creatures dwelled in space (and were apparently utterly destroyed outside Earth's atmosphere);
    three different Golgotha formerly dwelled in subterranean regions in Antarctica; Jerusalem, Israel; and Los Angeles, California, USA;

Known Members: None identified;
    Antarctic creature; Jerusalem creature; Los Angeles creature;
    although all observed Golgotha were apparently exterminated, it is quite possible that others exist

Affiliations: Group of mutants led by Boy (including Frankie)

Enemies: Antarctic mutant society (notably "Butterfly-Bore," High smith, "Sinner"), Gazer, X-Men (Emma Frost, Gambit/Remy LeBeau, Havoc/Alex Summers, Iceman/Bobby Drake, Polaris/Lorna Dane, Rogue/Anna Marie, Wolverine/James Howlett/Logan);
    people of Los Angeles, California and Jerusalem, Israel

First Appearance: (Mentioned, behind-the-scenes) X-Men II#166 (March, 2005);
    (seen)
X-Men II#167 (April, 2005)

Powers/Abilities: The Golgotha are apparently fungal creatures that feed on negative psychic energy, particularly in mutants; this feeding causes insanity, hallucinations, and extreme violent behavior to
manifest in those nearby.

    The Golgotha “pods,” which are pea-sized and capable of flight, use that collected energy to construct massive, heavily-armored shells.

    They discard their shells after 24 hours and fly away, searching for new sources of sustenance, although when psychic energy is scarce, they can apparently reside in their shells for millennia, at least.

    While regrowing their shells, they are vulnerable to attack and psychically influence others to avoid them (such as making others think they have checked a location), keeping them safe from harm.

    Within their shells, they are large and powerful, able to assault others with their tentacles. They are capable of interstellar travel, indicating both an ability to survive the frigid vacuum of space and the ability to achieve faster-than-light travel (presumably via warp speed or accessing space and/or time portals, etc.)

Traits: Golgotha travel through space within their shells in large groups (pods? swarms? schools? packs?).

    They apparently have no qualms about generating suicidal and/or murderous insanity in those around them.

Type: Somewhat unique fungal entities in the form of something resembling a cetacean-cephalopod hybrid
Eyes
: Multiple, black
Fingers
: None
Toes
: None
Skin color: Blue-gray
Average height: The pods were apparently only 5-10 mm in size, while shells grew to great size, perhaps 40-100' in length
Other Distinguishing Features: The Golgotha have multiple tentacles extending from the lower/back portion of their bodies.
golgotha_race-xmii167-antarctic-dragged

History:

(X-Men II#167  (fb) - BTS) - Golgotha apparently arrived on Earth at least 2000 years ago, with one below the site of Golgotha (aka Calvary), the Jerusalem hill on which Jesus Christ was crucified.

(X-Men II#166 (fb) -BTS) - A group of mutants attempted to establish a Mutant Utopia in an Antarctic base.

    Influenced by one of the Golgotha, the society committed mass suicide (one mutant even ripped out his own heart) and murder and wrote the word "Golgotha" in blood on the walls within their society.

    Additionally, the Golgotha in Jerusalem caused an outbreak of violence in the region.

    The Golgotha in Los Angeles caused local humans and mutants to wreak havoc.

(X-Men II#167  (fb) - BTS) <Two weeks before the main story> - A suicide bomb at an archeological site in Jerusalem killed two young volunteers.

    Two days later, the madness killed another 20 around the archeological site.

(X-Men II#166  - BTS) - Investigating the Antarctic mutant site, X-Men Gambit, Havoc, Iceman, Polaris and Rogue appreciated that something inside the society had caused their deaths.

    The few surviving mutants they encountered committed suicide soon after, while Polaris apparently slew one who assaulted her mentally.

    The X-Men encountered and battled a trio of mutants whose memories had been degraded by the Golgotha.

    A captured mutant bit off his own tongue and then died of a heart attack rather than discuss what had happened to him.

    Emma Frost told them she knew who and where Golgotha was...

(X-Men II#167) - Emma led the others to the deeper levels to locate Golgotha, although they suffered progressive irrationality and hostility. The creature apparently extended a tentacle toward Havoc, who blasted the tentacle apart.

    They then dragged it to the surface and, while Havoc wanted to destroy the creature, Emma (and Wolverine, who had accompanied her) convinced the others to bring it back to the X-Mansion so she could study it.

    They towed it beneath the Blackbird.

(X-Men II#167  - BTS) - In Hollywood, a mutant known as Boy recruited a few scatter-brained mutants.

    Gologtha was written in graffit on a wall. golgotha_race-xmii170-spacebattle

    Boy felt that he was half-crazy already, which left him less-affected by whatever was affecting the sanity of others left him pretty much unscathed.

    Overwhelmed by the Golgotha's influence, Boy subsequently led the mutants to slaughter a group of humans in their shelter, included Jim Collins and his family, who had formerly used Boy as a servant.

    Golgotha was written in blood on a wall at the site. 

(X-Men II#167) - Back at the X-Mansion, the creature was apparently hermetically and clinically sealed to prevent it from spreading further madness.

    After sending the other X-Men to investigate Calvary (one of the locations suspected to be the site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ), Emma hooked up with Cerebra and tried to probe the creature's mind, but she suffered some degree of insanity instead.

(X-Men II#167  - BTS) - In Jerusalem, Rogue and Gambit encountered a man selling religious trinkets; touching the man while reaching for an amulet in a form similar to Golgotha, Rogue gained his memories of stories handed down from generations of a creature that lived inside the rock shaped like a skull.

    Wolverine sensed that there was something alive below them. 

(X-Men II#168) - Cerebra cleared the chemicals affecting Emma.

    As the X-Men battled the creature beneath the alleged site of Christ's crucifixion, Emma reported the outbreaks of Golgotha rage in Los Angeles and asked the X-Men to look into those after they had defeated the creature.

(X-Men II#168 - BTS) - Regaining some clarity, Boy struggled to control the still-affected mutants, who continued to battle and injure each other.

(X-Men II#168) - As the X-Men towed the creature from Jerusalem back to the X-Mansion, Iceman, Polaris, and Wolverine dropped down to LA.

(X-Men II#168 - BTS) - Boy's group slaughtered multiple humans at a major television network's board meeting, after which Polaris subdued the group, and the X-Men contained them and brought them back to the X-Mansion. 

(X-Men II#168) - The captured Antarctic and Jerusalem creatures were placed within stasis tanks in the X-Mansion.

(X-Men II#168 - BTS) - As the other captured mutants howled in padded cells, the creatures continued to affect the X-Men, causing in-fighting. golgotha_race-xmii170-selfannihilation

    The X-Men quarantined themselves to the mansion for 24 hours before the source of madness would apparently wear off.

(X-Men II#169 - BTS) - The Golgotha inside the Blackbird continued to madden the X-Men. Emma nearly cut up her own face with scissors, and she saw Havoc as Cyclops. 

(X-Men II#169) - When Iceman and Polaris went to check the Blackbird, the Golgotha made them believe that they had already checked it.

(X-Men II#169 - BTS) - Wolverine kissed Rogue, weakening him and causing her to believe she was Logan. 

(X-Men II#169) - Polaris located the Golgotha and led the others to it.

    They then located and destroyed the pod to prevent it from starting another cycle.

    Gazer subsequently reported from Space Station Eight, notifying them of a swarm of Golgotha headed for Earth.

(X-Men II#170 (fb) - BTS) - The X-Men determined that there were 362 Golgotha headed for Earth. 

(X-Men II#170 - BTS) - The X-Men met with General O'Shea in NASA HQ, Houston, Texas.

    Although the US military had nuclear missiles intended to stop the creatures, Emma argued that the creatures would evade the missiles and then cause mass insanity on Earth.

(X-Men II#170 (fb) - BTS) - Believing the X-Men would die in space, O'Shea agreed to let them take a NASA rocket up to Space Station Eight.

(X-Men II#170) - Borrowing some power from Havoc and Polaris, Rogue joined the other X-Men in spacesuits destroying the giant Golgotha shells.

    Once most of the group was dying, some atavistic swarm instinct apparently caused the others to commit self-annihilation.

(X-Men II#170 - BTS) - The X-Men returned to Earth. 

Comments: Created by Peter Milligan, Salvador Larroca,and  Danny Miki.

    The name of the race may not really be Golgotha, but that word was used repeated in the heads of those manipulated by the creatures, so that's what we're going with.

    They were referred to as mushrooms by the X-Men in-story. Looking at them, I would have called them squids or something more like a mollusk than a fungus, but apparently the X-Men analyzed them and considered them to be fungal organisms.

    Golgotha

    From my half-ass research, Golgotha was the term used by St. Jerome to replace Calvary (derived from Latin words meaning "skull" or "place of the skull," like calvarium) in his translation of a number of Bible verses.
    As far as I can understand, Golgotha is the Greek translation of the Aramaic Gulgatha or the Hebrew Gulgoleth, which both mean "skull."
    Apparently the site was a little knoll rounded like a bare skull.
    The actual location of Golgotha is under contention, and you can do your own research on that...

    I don't see where the X-Men captured the creature under Los Angeles (the one that was sending Boy and his group on their rampages).

golgotha_race-xmii168-twotanksThe X-Men brought the one from Antarctica back in #167 (and it was put in Cerebra, where it continued to affect Emma Frost until she contained it), and then in #168, they brought the one back from Jerusalem.
Then they took down Boy and his maddened mutants in LA and bring them to the X-Mansion.
Havoc and Emma Frost were then seen looking at a pair of Golgotha shells in stasis.

They should have three in stasis, but maybe the Antarctica one was elsewhere, still within Cerebra, and the two Havoc and Emma were looking at in #168 were the Jerusalem and LA ones?
    They just weren't shown taking down the LA one?
     Perhaps the one that hid itself from Polaris and Iceman in X-Men I#169 was the one from LA?

    While I have enjoyed a lot of Peter Milligan's work, I did not enjoy this story arc. The madness seemed more the focus, and battles with the creatures were largely glossed over.
    They were described as mushrooms but looked like mollusk/cephalopods...and when traveling through space, they certainly looked more like cetaceans/whales with tentacles on their lower half...not unlike the Giganto variant (the red, tentacled creature in the bottom left of the composite image in the comments section of Giganto's profile.
    Apparently they weren't much of a physical threat, and once they were found, the X-Men could easily subdue them despite their massive size...it was their madness generation that made them dangerous.
    Anyway, I read the original stories back in 2005 and then re-read them all twice for this profile...but, if you can provide clarification/explanation/correction, please do...just be certain to cite your sources so I can confirm.

    It is interesting that when the Golgotha approached Earth, no effort was made to turn them away and/or convince them not to travel to worlds and cause insanity there. The X-Men just slew them.

    Even more oddly, when the Golgotha started exploding in space, and Emma Frost noted that they were having some atavistic swarm instinct causing self-annihilation, Wolverine asked her if she was making this stuff up, and she said "maybe a little."
    I guess the mass suicide was good for a joke...
    The X-Men also seemed relatively flip about the mass murders and suicides in the Antarctic mutant society...
    Maybe the Golgotha madness-influence can be blamed?

    Perhaps I missed the point, but I believe part of the point of the story was that the Golgotha beneath Jerusalem was responsible for the unrest in the Middle East for the last 2000 years. Wouldn't it be nice if it were that simple?

    When did the Golgotha arrive in Los Angeles and Antarctica, and why did they only cause unrest in the present?

OK, LA, like any city, has plenty of unrest, but why did the Golgotha only start causing unrest recently?
Maybe the one under Jerusalem had settled into a certain level, but then the Antarctic mutant society stimulated the Golgotha dwelling beneath that area, and that creature's activity further stimulated the Golgotha under LA and Jerusalem?

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Golgotha should be distinguished from:


Antarctic creature

golgotha_race-xmii167-antarctic-towedgolgotha_race-xmii167-antarctic-cerebra     One of the Golgotha lived in Antarctica, and at some point, after a mutant society was established there, the creature drove them all to mass insanity culminating in murder and/or suicide.

     This slaughter attracted the attention of the X-Men who futilely sought to save the survivors.

     Emma Frost subsequently arrived and led the X-Men to locate and capture the Golgotha.

     They transported it back to the X-Mansion, and Emma Frost tried to examine it via Cerebra. Emma initially fell under its influence, but eventually Cerebra nullified its influence.

 --
(BTS) X-Men II#166; (full) X-Men II#167 (168

Note: The creature being dragged across the frozen wasteland in the Antarctic is this creature.

     After it was brought to the X-Mansion, its existence became less clear...



Jerusalem creature

golgotha_race-xmii168-jerusalem-battlegolgotha_race-xmii168-jerusalem-towed

(X-Men II#167  (fb) - BTS) - Golgotha apparently arrived on Earth at least 2000 years ago, with one below the site of Golgotha (aka Calvary), the Jerusalem hill on which Jesus Christ was crucified.

(X-Men II#166 (fb) -BTS) - The Golgotha in Jerusalem caused an outbreak of violence in the region.

(X-Men II#167 - BTS) - Emma Frost sent the other X-Men to investigate Calvary (one of the locations suspected to be the site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ)

(X-Men II#167  - BTS) - In Jerusalem, Rogue and Gambit encountered a man selling religious trinkets; touching the man while reaching for an alien form similar to Golgotha, Rogue gained his memories of stories handed down from generations of a creature that lived inside the rock shaped like a skull.

    Wolverine sensed that there was something alive below them. 

(X-Men II#168) - The X-Men battled the creature beneath the alleged site of Christ's crucifixion, Emma reported the outbreaks of Golgotha rage in Los Angeles and asked the X-Men to look into those after they had defeated the creature.

(X-Men II#168) - As the X-Men towed the creature from Jerusalem back to the X-Mansion, Iceman, Polaris, and Wolverine dropped down to Los Angeles.

(X-Men II#168 - BTS) - Boy's group slaughtered multiple humans at a major television network's board meeting, after which Polaris subdued the group, and the X-Men contained them and brought them back to the X-Mansion. 

(X-Men II#168) - The captured Antarctic and Jerusalem creatures were placed within stasis tanks in the X-Mansion.

--
(BTS) X-Men II#167; (full) X-Men II#168



pod and shell forms

golgotha_race-xmii169-trueform-withinblackbird

golgotha_race-xmii169-shellatopblackbird(X-Men II#169) - When Iceman and Polaris went to check the Blackbird, the Golgotha made them believe that they had already checked it.

(X-Men II#169 - BTS) - Wolverine kissed Rogue, weakening him and causing her to believe she was Logan.

(X-Men II#169) - Polaris located the Golgotha and led the others to it.

     They then located and destroyed the pod to prevent it from starting another cycle.

--X-Men II#169



Los Angeles creature

The creature below Los Angeles creature notably caused a mutant known as Boy to lead other mutants to slaughter people hiding in a safe house, Jim Collins and his family, who had formerly used Boy as a servant; as well as those present at a major television network's board meeting. The X-Men subdued and captured Boy and his group and apparently captured the associated Golgotha creature

--X-Men II#167 (168



amulet

golgotha_race-xmii167-jerusalem-amulet.
.
(
X-Men II#167  - BTS) - In Jerusalem, Rogue and Gambit encountered a man selling religious trinkets; touching the man while reaching for an amulet in a form similar to Golgotha, Rogue gained his memories of stories handed down from generations of a creature that lived inside the rock shaped like a skull.

--X-Men II#167




images: (without ads)
X-Men II#167, story pg. 8-9, panel 1 (X-Men dragging Antarctic creature);
       pg. 12-13, panel 1 (Blackbird towing Antarctic creature);
       pg. 16, panel 2 (Antarctic creature within Cerebra);
       pg. 19, panel 3 (Jerusalem necklace);
    #168, story pg. 3, panel 1 (X-Men vs. Jerusalem creature);
       pg. 6, panel 4 (Jerusalem creature towed under Blackbird);
       pg. 16, panel 1 (two creatures in stasis tanks);
    #169, story pg. 7 (Golgotha true form/pod within Blackbird);
       pg. 19 (previously hidden Golgotha shell now visible);
       pg. 22 (Golgotha swarm headed toward Earth);
    #170, pg. 11 (X-Men vs. Golgotha in space);
       pg. 17, panel 1 (Golgotha self-annihilating)


Appearances:
X-Men II#166 (March, 2005) - Peter Milligan (writer), Salvador Larroca (penciler), Danny Miki (inker), Stephanie Moore & Sean Ryan (assistant editors), Mike Marts (editor)
X-Men II#167 (April, 2005) - Peter Milligan (writer), Salvador Larroca (penciler), Danny Miki (inker), Stephanie Moore & Sean Ryan (assistant editors), Nick Lowe (associate editor), Mike Marts (editor)
X-Men II#168 (May, 2005) - Peter Milligan (writer), Salvador Larroca (penciler), Danny Miki (inker), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (associate editor), Mike Marts (editor)
X-Men II#169-170 (June-July, 2005) - Peter Milligan (writer), Salvador Larroca (penciler), Danny Miki with Allen Martinez (inkers), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (associate editor), Mike Marts (editor)


First posted: 11/12/2023
Last updated: 11/12/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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