BISHOP: Page 5 of 9

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


Bishop left the X-Men shortly after this with a splinter team of heroes gathered by Storm to seek out the late Destiny‘s Diaries, to contain and control the vast knowledge they possessed. Their quest had a bad start with Psylocke being killed by the mysterious Vargas, who was also after the books. Before departing, Psylocke’s spirit pulled Bishop into the dreamtime and the unique experience made him aware, for the first time, that the X-Men's ally Gateway was his direct ancestor. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #4]

Bishop also made it his personal task to tutor his new teammate, Thunderbird III, in the use of his powers. When Thunderbird asked Bishop why he made such a big deal about him, Bishop replied that Neal was an important figure in his history books.

When the team learned of their ally, Gambit, being charged with murdering an Australian crimelord, they interrupted their quest and traveled to Sydney. There, Bishop used his police training to help uncover evidence that cleared his friend. While doing so, Bishop met an extraordinary young officer by the name of Teri Baltimore. In the X-Men’s short stay, Lucas and Teri became close friends, possibly even more. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #5-9]

The team of "X-Treme X-Men" took more detours on their quest for the diaries and had achieved little overall success, until Rogue proved that the diaries need not dictate the future - only suggest it. In fact, the prophecies inside were a self-sustaining trap.  By trying to prevent the predicted events, one would actually ensure they would happen. With their primary goal rendered moot, this adjunct team of X-Men dissolved, with many membersleaving to pursue personal quests or just to take time off from "super-heroing." Bishop and Sage took some personal downtime and Bishop tried to get his teammate to open up a bit, which turned into an easy-going friendship. In return, Sage taught him to surf and swim, as he had never learned to do so during his upbringing. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #19, X-Treme X-Men X-Posé #1]

Together, they started performing freelance police work in cases involving mutant activity. One of these cases had them tracking down Jeffrey Garrett, a teenage teleporter suspected of murder. Bishop and Sage came into conflict with the X-Men at the Xavier Institute, who were offering Jeffrey sanctuary. The situation became deadly when it was discovered Jeffrey was a plaything of Elias Bogan, a long-lived mutant predator, who had a past with Sage and Emma Frost and was known for using catspaws to do his dirty work. Though Jeffrey and the various X-Men involved survived Bogan's intervention, they had made a powerful new foe and, worse, a rift between those living at the mansion and those who weren't developed over the fate of Garrett and the X-Men's overall responsibility in mutant affairs. The X-Treme X-Men then left, thinking it more important to improve human-mutant relations rather than further isolate mutants by hiding them at Xavier’s school. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #20-23]

The "X-Treme X-Men" reformed as a group shortly thereafter, and continued carrying out their own interpretation of the dream, separate from the Xavier Institute. Bishop and the others relocated to Valle Soleada, California - a community where mutants and humans peacefully co-existed - and resided at a beach house owned by Rogue and Gambit. They made connections with a mutant rights lawyer named Evangeline Whedon, interacted with X-Corporation Los Angeles, and Storm established official ties for her team with the world's governments. Given official sanction, this group of X-Men was re-christened the X.S.E, X-Treme Sanctions Executive, and given worldwide jurisdiction to intervene on mutant affairs. This felt extremely odd for Bishop, as he had been a member of a similarly named outfit in the future timeline he came from, and now wondered whether their becoming the X.S.E. was a step towards preventing that nightmare future, or helping create it. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #36]

With a terrorist mutant attack on New York, during which major parts of the city and Xavier’s mansion were destroyed, the X-Men put their differences aside and the X-Treme Sanctions Executive returned home to help rebuild. Although the new headmasters, Cyclops and Emma Frost, reorganized the X-Men teams, Storm’s group remained semi-autonomous and kept their official X.S.E. status, using the Institute as headquarters for their global police activities. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #46, Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #444]

Meanwhile, Bishop began familiarizing himself with Manhattan’s 11th Precinct, otherwise known as “Mutant Town.” An area on the Middle East Side that the growing mutant population had carved out for themselves, the normal police were having difficulty keeping the peace in this hotspot of superhuman crime. Things were becoming particularly unruly as a pair of mutant gang bosses – "Shaky" Kaufman and "Filthy Frankie" Zapruder – had begun grabbing up territory. Bishop was in contact with Commander Alexi Vazhin thanks to his X.S.E. status, and was assigned to the 11th Precinct as a federal detective, partnered with local patrol officer Ismael “Izzy” Ortega. [X-Men Unlimited (2nd series) #2, District X #1-2]

The tensions in Mutant Town boiled over not long after Bishop’s arrival as Zapruder and Kaufman went to war over possession of the Toad Boy, a young mutant whose body secretions could be marketed as a potent (and profitable) hallucinogen for the club and drug scene. The gang war itself would have been bad enough, but Bishop and Izzy also learned that “Toad Juice” was only safe for mutant use – non-mutants faced a quick and violent death if they tried to get high off of T.J. A party full of human kids died from the Toad Juice, and the Mutant Town gang war spilled over into the streets. Kaufman and Zapruder were arrested and basically shut down, but an x-factor named Absolon Mercator meant the city was still in danger. Mr. M was an Omega-level transmutator who had kept a low profile his entire life, but recently began taking action in the neighborhood. He intervened in the drug trade, and neutralized Toad Boy’s powers, but was forced to kill a gangland thug in the process. After a confrontation with Ortega’s family at their home, Mr. M started to see himself as a destroyer instead of a savior, and Bishop and Izzy raced to stop Mercator before he unleashed an atomic explosion in Mutant Town with his powers. Bishop managed to absorb the energy and prevent the catastrophe from taking place, re-releasing the energies harmlessly into the atmosphere. Realizing what he had almost done, Mr. M regretted his actions and willingly turned himself in to police custody. [District X #3-6]

As Bishop continued working with the X-Treme Sanctions Executive for mutant affairs around the globe, he started displaying signs of more-than-platonic feelings for his long time partner and teammate, Sage. Hardly the emotional type, Lucas nevertheless showed increased concern for Sage while in battle, and would hotly defend her if he felt she were being slighted. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #447-448]

Why he never chose to act upon these impulses is unclear – perhaps he believed them to be unprofessional feelings, or perhaps he thought Sage was either unable or unwilling to reciprocate. When Sage chose to renew her association with the Hellfire Club to help guide Roberta Dacosta as the new Lord Imperial over Sebastian Shaw, Bishop expressed concern over her tactics, but no more. He was still distracted by her absence, though, and showed a short fuse for a while after her departure. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #454-455]

Still, Bishop wasn’t all business all the time – he developed a good partnership with Izzy Ortega in Mutant Town and even began socializing with him and his wife, Armena. Lucas was a guest for a traditional Cuban dinner with Izzy and Armena at their home, and later attended an art opening with the Ortegas hosted by Izzy’s sister, Laline. [District X #5,7] It was in part because of his close friendship with the Ortegas that Bishop stepped in after an assassin nearly murdered Mr. M in Mutant Town. Mercator had renounced his criminal acts and even saved Izzy’s daughter from a stray bullet, but Commander Vazhin considered this potentially unstable and nuclear-capable mutant living in the heart of New York City too much of a threat, and ordered him sanctioned. After Mr. M survived the attack, Ortega was savvy enough to reason out who might want Mercator dead, and confronted Bishop about it. Lucas in turn went to Vazhin and made it abundantly clear that he would not tolerate Vazhin acting outside the law, whatever “greater good” might be served. [District X #8]

Lucas and Izzy continued to work cases together in Mutant Town, including a hunt for the cannibalistic abandoned child called the Worm and putting off a war between social services and the underground dwellers known as “Those Who Live in Darkness.” [District X #9-12]

Back with the X-Men, Bishop and the team became involved in a mission in the Canadian Rockies, and an invasion by Raptor Saurians of the Savage Land. Storm was incapacitated in the raid and Rachel was brainwashed, leaving Bishop and Nightcrawler to step up as leaders of the group. After escaping from the Hauk’ka, they were forced to establish an alliance with Brainchild and the Savage Land Mutates in order to forge a resistance to the Raptors. When the Saurian scientists began using Storm to set off a global cataclysm, Lucas managed to convince a captive general they had gone too far, and the united group infiltrated the citadel to stop Storm’s catastrophe. Although Brainchild inevitably attempted to betray the X-Men when his scientific expertise was needed to disrupt Ororo’s hyperstorms, Bishop planned for his antics and tasked X-23 with bringing him down at the necessary moment. Ororo and Rachel were freed, the storms abated, and the X-Men negotiated a truce with the Raptors on behalf of humanity. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #456-459]

Bishop and Nightcrawler retained their roles as unofficial co-leaders once the X-Men returned to the States, as Storm reduced her active role with the team after being forced to watch Jean Grey die again. This promotion for the duo became permanent when Ororo chose to remain in Africa after M-Day, watching out for Decimated mutants on the continent who faced retaliation now that their powers were gone. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #460, 466]

Mutant Town was one of the places hit hardest on M-Day, and Bishop had his hands full keeping order as the mutant population in the area went from hundreds to a half-dozen at best. Even worse, his partner Izzy Ortega’s daughter, Chamayra, was fatally wounded when reality flipped over from the House of M. Her death nearly destroyed the Ortega family, and Bishop tracked Ismael down just as he was planning to commit suicide. Lucas stopped him, and successfully convinced Izzy that, no matter how bad things were, he could not abandon his family at this point. Ismael returned to his wife and son, and Bishop closed down his operations in District X. [Mutopia X #5, House of M: Decimation – The Day After #1]