BISHOP: Page 2 of 9

Publication Date: 3rd Feb 2022
Written By: Peter Luzifer and Monolith.
Image Work: Douglas Mangum.


Bishop rapidly worked his way through dozens of squad positions and soon gained the rank of Squad Commander. During his meteoric rise, Bishop learned that LeBeau had resurfaced. The Witness had gone legitimate, now operating as the head of a corporate entity specializing in exotic technologies. Bishop was putting together his first squad when Hecat'e called him into Cerebro, the X.S.E.'s homebase. He was introduced to Malcolm, who was the son of an influential businessman. Since Malcolm human-detection power was not battle worthy, Bishop stated that he had better things to do than baby-sit a rich man's son. Malcolm then let loose a verbal outcry, punctuated by occasional "sir!"s, explaining that he would be in Bishop's squad or else both Bishop and his father could go to blazes. Bishop liked his fire and recruited Malcolm, provided that Hecat'e gave him free reign for his final member choice. She agreed and they went to the training arena where new recruit, Randall, was fighting. He disabled three foot soldiers before their eyes, quoting the legendary Nightcrawler in doing so. Hecat'e asked Bishop why he wanted such an undertrained, undisciplined, reckless excuse for a soldier on his squad, especially since his immunity to radiation was equally useless in combat. Bishop countered that Randall did the unexpected in combat, which was useful.

Bishop's team, labeled Omega Squad, was the most efficient street squad in the entire X.S.E.; they routinely stopped human/mutant mobs, destroyed Emplates and brought in rogue mutants such as the Exhumes and former cadet Fitzroy's Hellions. Shard worked with Omega Squad for a time, but she was on the fasttrack for promotions in the X.S.E. while Bishop turned down any offer that would take him off the streets. The siblings often argued over his decision here. Because Fitzroy was the illegitimate son of Anthony Shaw, head of the politically powerful Hellfire Club, the X.S.E. were warned clear of him. Bishop brought Fitzroy in anyway. Deciding to strike a deal, Fitzroy told Bishop where a large group of Exhumes were hiding out. Since he recently fought with Shard, Bishop gave the tip to his sister, so that she could earn another promotion with the arrest. When Shard arrived, however, she discovered Fitzroy had set them up. The hideout turned out to be a nest of Emplates and Shard's squad were all killed and transformed into Emplates themselves. The new Emplates battled the Omega Squad and Bishop left the battle with the Emplate Shard, in an attempt to save her. He brought her to the Witness' tower, asking LeBeau to use a new holographic technology Shard had been helping to develop with one of the Witness’ scientists to save her life. The Witness agreed but only if Bishop would work for him for a year. Bishop reluctantly agreed and Shard's mental patterns were preserved and transplanted into a holographic unit. [X.S.E. #3-4]

After serving his year in the Witness' guard, along his former classmate Shirley Baylor, now calling herself Shackle, Bishop returned to the X.S.E. and Omega Squad. Trevor Fitzroy continued to be a thorn in Bishop's side, as he had been released from prison by his influential father. On what would prove to be their last case, Omega Squad tracked Fitzroy to a series of sub-basement chambers in upstate New York. They captured him and accidentally stumbled across the X-Men's long forgotten War Room in the process. Bishop triggered a last rites message from Jean Grey, which provided sketchy details about a traitor who destroyed the X-Men from within. After dropping Fitzroy off at the Pool, a high security prison complex, Bishop paid a visit to the Witness for information. The Witness managed to confirm everything Bishop already knew, while evading all inquiries for further information. Bishop began to form his own suspicions that LeBeau might actually have done more than witness the traitor’s actions.

The same day, Fitzroy escaped from his cell in the Pool, using his portals to travel backwards in time several decades. In the present, Fitzroy joined the Upstarts and began a battle with the legendary X-Men. He used the life essence of the modern Hellions to call forth ninety-three Lifers from the Pool in his own time, bringing out an army of criminals to battle the X-Men. Witnessing the portal's materialization during the jailbreak at the Pool, Bishop, Randall and Malcolm leapt through the portal and arrived in the present as well. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #287]

Still disoriented from the transportation through space and time, the three X.S.E. officers saw the escaped prisoners killing innocent people and attempted to detain them by any means necessary. Bishop even tried to send them back to the future through Fitzroy’s portal, only to discover that it functioned in only one direction. He and his partners were now stuck in the present. Even worse, they came into conflict with the X-Men, who attempted to stop the Omega Squad's brutal methods, while Bishop could not believe that they were the true legends from his childhood stories. After Fitzroy was spirited away by agents of Shinobi Shaw, Malcolm, Randall and Bishop retreated, vowing to sanction the remaining Lifers. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #282-283]

Bishop and his team caught up with the Lifers and their leader, Styglut, in a Manhattan night club. Though all the Lifers but Styglut were killed, Malcolm and Randall died as well, shielding Bishop with their own bodies. Bishop was critically wounded anyway, and the X-Men arrived and took Bishop back to the mansion to treat his injuries. When he recovered, Bishop was surprised to be still alive, as in his weakened state the “X-Men“ could have easily killed him. He finally began to realize that these indeed were the real deal. After spending half an hour with Bishop alone in his office, telepathically learning about his future timeline, Professor Xavier himself asked Bishop to join his X-Men. Bishop agreed and began to study his new time period with great interest. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #287]

When Bishop was introduced to the X-Men he had not met so far, another surprise was in store for him – Gambit, whose features and Cajun accent made him believe that this was none other than the Witness. Bishop instantly irritated Gambit by shouting out his real name, which LeBeau had kept from the X-Men up until that point. With the immediate enmity between the two, they even started a fight during one of the X-Men’s picnics. Though Bishop was unable to convince the X-Men of Gambit's past/future treachery, Bishop continued to mistrust Gambit and keep a watchful eye on the man's activities. [X-Men (2nd series) #8]

Bishop was slow to acclimate to the X-Men's less aggressive tactics. During a trip to Manhattan, he spotted Styglut and started a brawl in the streets. Bishop used one of Storm’s lightning bolts to kill his final target, not caring for any innocent bystanders as he thought the threat of the escaped murderer needed to be dealt with once and for all. Storm, the leader of the Gold team of the X-Men, lectured him about his behavior and Bishop had to admit that in this era he had no authority and lacked the necessary cultural background to correctly respond to threats the X-Men faced on a daily basis. In a symbolic gesture, Bishop handed over his X.S.E. command insignia to Ororo, and vowed that he had much to learn. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #288]