Bishop's Comic History in 15 Stories
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Lucas Bishop—former cop, reformed renegade, and time-traveling powerhouse. Since joining the X-Men’s ranks, Bishop has proven a soldier time and again, no matter the duress, or which side he’s up against (see: ONSLAUGHT, MESSIAH COMPLEX).
Bishop’s mutant powers allow him to absorb, and then release, any psionic energy. His output can range from low-grade explosives to concussive blasts, and anything from a laser to a walloping punch can charge up his internal battery.
90’s cartoon favorite ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ featured more than a few Bishop cameos, and while his appearances on the show are faithful to the source, Bishop’s comic history is even more involved, considering there are at least 4 major events that he’s influenced.
For those of you needing the nuts and bolts: Bishop hails from a timeline that is a tangent to the "Days of Future Past," first seen in the pages of UNCANNY X-MEN #141-142. The only exception is that in Bishop’s future there is still a human influence over the persecution of mutants, including mandated branding, and forced internment in relocation camps.
As a kid growing up in one of these mutant slums, life was bitter, family was fleeting, and morale was starved. But still, there was a kernel of hope in the X-Men’s legacy, and fables of Bishop’s childhood heroes helped pave his way.
Want more of the backstory? Try any of these comics for 101 reading.
Bishop’s first appearance! Friend, enemy, or something in between? On the trail of an unhinged fugitive named Trevor Fitzroy, Bishop, alongside fellow XSE agents (Xavier’s Security Enforcers), portals to the X-Men’s present from the mid-2000s.
We don’t find out much about him here, but we do get the sense that he belongs to a police force, one that hires mutants to hunt their own kind.
You could start with his first appearance, but we recommend this origin series that is equal parts gut-wrenching and foundational. Read Bishop’s earliest encounter with the “Witness,” and see his first days as a rookie recruit with the XSE alongside sister Shard. A child of war, Lucas would overcome the trauma of his parents’ loss to carry forth Charles Xavier’s dream.
After a brutal back-and-forth in the pages of UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #287, Bishop joined the 20th century team at Xavier’s request. But a heavy-handed approach to the “Fitzroy problem” didn’t earn him any brownie points, and a night out in New York City proved disastrous. Thanks to Trevor Fitzroy, 93 “lifer” inmates from Bishop’s time were released, with 1 hanger-on in the present.
Here, Bishop was placed under Storm’s tutelage, and he admits for the first time that he has much still to learn about this strange, new world.
One of the ongoing themes behind Bishop is his feud with Gambit.
In his own timeline, Bishop was warned of a betrayer amidst the X-Men’s ranks, with all signs pointing to Remy LeBeau. This assumption was later debunked in ONSLAUGHT: X-MEN (1996) #1, but it’s still fun to see these hotheads boil over.
We also recommend UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #298 where the two are forced into a Danger Room sesh and ish gets personal.
In true timey-wimey fashion, the job is botched. Xavier is killed instead of Magnus, and Legion inadvertently plunges the entire X-Men universe into the AGE OF APOCALYPSE, a timeline ruled by En Sabah Nur. Try the entire event.
Fun fact: Bishop was the sole time traveler left in the present once AoA kicked off. He is also responsible for restoring the X-Men’s timeline by halting Legion’s attack on Magneto (see: X-MEN: OMEGA #1).
Yet another event starring Bishop in a key role.
The psychic force known as Onslaught remade the Marvel Universe in the 90’s, springing forth from the fractured psyche of Charles Xavier, paired with the might and willpower of genetic terrorist Magneto.
Basically, Onslaught was a Xavier/Magneto two-in-one, except purely evil and with unlimited rein.
Here, Bishop pulled off his most defining moment as an X-Man. He absorbed a full blast from Onslaught, saving his teammates from the force of “a thousand mutants.” Onslaught was impressed enough to let the X-Men live, while Bishop had some serious recovering to do…
Try the complete event.
Bishop stepped into the role of detective in this series that featured the “Books of Truth” arc, a storyline that hinged on the recovery of the precognitive Destiny’s diaries.
Consider this supplemental Bishop reading. His design is so dang cool here, plus we get to see him under Storm’s leadership—these two make great partners.
Special Agent Bishop once policed the going-ons in District X, New York City’s squalid tenement community home to so many mutants trying to eke out each day.
This is street-level X-Men with Bishop in the lead. If you want to revisit some of the characters introduced here, continue with X-MEN: THE 198 (2006).
But Bishop’s got a complex of his own. As covered by X-MEN: THE LIVES AND TIMES OF LUCAS BISHOP (2009), Hope is the harbinger to Bishop’s bleak timeline, and her eventual attack on over a million humans will, someday, justify the mass incarceration of mutants.
To keep it short and sweet: Bishop wanted Hope Summers dead. He loses an arm in that endeavor (X-MEN #207). Fellow time traveler Cable protected this “messiah,” believing her potential to replenish mutant life.
Cable eventually ferried Hope away to a dystopic near-future so she could be raised in “safety” as a kid soldier. But as Cable vanished into thin air, Bishop got an accidental kill shot on the wrong target, perpetuating yet another timeline-altering event.
Cyclops sent off X-Force to retrieve Cable from the future where he’d been living with Hope in exile. Slight hitch was that the team had finite time and a limit on time-jumps, so screw-ups were out of the question.
Continue through X-FORCE (2008) #16 to see where in time Cable and Hope eventually land.
A supplemental read, but a great issue nonetheless.
Bishop’s desperate scramble to hunt down Cable and Hope culminated in him questioning his life’s purpose.
Bishop blurred the lines even more in the series that brought him back into the fold, this time as a no holds barred commando in Psylocke’s crew of outcasts and scoundrels.
Following a merciless manhunt in the future, Bishop returned to the present under the influence of a psychic menace, one who clouded his mind enough to compel him to kill his friends (or try to).
Complicated histories and relationship statuses abound in this team book featuring Bishop.
Shadow King, one of the world’s ancient evils, attacks the world’s most powerful minds, including Charles Xavier’s. With the Professor in astral limbo, Bishop teamed with Psylocke, Old Man Logan, Archangel, Fantomex, Rogue and Gambit, to pull the Prof out of a brain-bending mindscape.
But when you play in the Shadow King’s realm, you’re bound to confront some nasty memories, often an echo of your darkest self…
When Bishop got word of an imminent disaster soon to implode the X-Men’s world, his trail for answers led him straight to Sugar Man, a refugee from the same timeline as Dark Beast. But when Sugar Man’s split in two by an as-yet-unknown assailant, his secrets of catastrophe to come are taken to the grave…
There you have it! Read these uncanny tales and other X-Men stories in Marvel Unlimited today, along with thousands of other comics starring favorite mutants and more. Tell us which of these comics you’ll be reading @MarvelUnlimited. And remember to stay posted to our Twitter and Facebook for more weekly announcements and updates!
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