BISHOP: Page 6 of 9

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


In the aftermath of the Decimation, the Office of National Emergency declared the Xavier Mansion a secure reservation for the protection of what remained of mutantkind. Refugee mutants from all over the country, dubbed the 198, came to the X-Men seeking sanctuary. The O*N*E enforced this reservation with the aid of permanently stationed troops and the Sentinel Squad, giant battle-mechs piloted by O*N*E officers. Rachel Grey, who spent time in the Sentinel internment camps of her future, found the situation virtually untenable. Despite his similar experiences growing up, however, Bishop didn’t demonstrate an ounce of reluctance in living under the watchful eye of Sentinels once more. Indeed, he was easily the most open and understanding of O*N*E’s presence on the mansion grounds. He often served as peacekeeper between the X-Men and federal agents, and went out of his way to be courteous to their new liaison, Valerie Cooper. He respected her efforts to enforce her mandate with the minimum of intrusion into the X-Men’s lives, and thought it best to work with the O*N*E instead of constantly undermining them. What’s more, with Val he found a new challenger for one of his favorite pass times: chess, played entirely in the competitors’ minds. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #469-470]

Bishop continued to lead his X-Men squad against various threats, such as the Shi’ar Death Commandos and the Foursaken of the First Fallen. Still, his close and agreeable relationship with the O*N*E was not well-received among his fellow mutants. This friction came to a head when the 198 rioted, escaping from their internment camp with the help of X-Force. Bishop fought alongside the O*N*E to quell the riot and stop the break-out, but Cyclops and the other X-Men chose to allow their departure with minimum resistance. Breaking ranks with the X-Men, Lucas told off Cyclops and joined O*N*E in pursuing the fugitive 198. With the Superhuman Registration Act on the rise in America, the O*N*E coordinated with Iron Man and recruited sympathetic international mutant agents, Sabra and Micromax, to assist Bishop and Sentinel Squad in the recapture. [Civil War: X-Men #1]

During the hunt for the 198, Val Cooper arranged for the President to offer a full pardon for the 198. By incorporating the mutant identification and monitoring protocols of O*N*E into the Superhuman Registration Act’s jurisdiction, all mutants would be considered retroactively registered with the government and therefore legitimate. When Bishop and his team located the 198 being protected by Cyclops and the original X-Men at a desert bunker, he proposed everyone stand by peacefully until the amnesty order was officially signed into law. Unfortunately, the bigoted O*N*E director General Lazer used a mind-controlling mutant to force a confrontation between Bishop and the X-Men. When that failed, he found a way to lockdown the bunker and trigger a series of hidden WMDs, trapping the 198 inside during the countdown. Bishop and Cyclops put aside their differences, allowing Scott to strike Bishop with all his available energy, producing enough power to break through the bunker’s blast doors and pull the 198 to safety. With the crisis passed and the 198 now free to come and go as they pleased, Bishop still chose not to return to the X-Men. Instead, he took Val Cooper up on a job offer to work with the O*N*E full time, and also assisted Iron Man during the Superhuman Civil War. [Civil War: X-Men #2-4, Civil War (1st series) #3, 6-7]

Despite their rather terse parting, Bishop remained in touch with the X-Men while at O*N*E. When a young mutant died in an everyday accident, the X-Men attended his funeral to mark the passing of one of their own, and Lucas managed security for the event. After the ceremony, Cannonball pointedly asked Bishop why he hadn’t warned them about M-Day, as surely word of an event so monumental would have lasted into his time.  Unfortunately, Bishop claimed to have little information to spare. In his future, legends lasted about the time of “the Winnowing” when mutantkind’s future was uncertain, but little else. And, as he pointed out, it was possible that his past did not coincide with their future. [X-Men: Endangered Species #1]

The X-Men were completely unaware that Bishop was unabashedly lying to their faces. He was well aware of M-Day, of the so-called “Mutant Messiah” that arose from the ashes and who, in his future, was responsible for atrocities that turned humanity against mutants once and for all. Realizing that the “messiah” would soon be born, Bishop privately swore to fulfill the vow he made as a child and kill the so-called savior if ever he got the chance. Lucas recognized that the X-Men would never agree to this, even if he told them of his future, and he began making plans to keep them out of his way if necessary.

Soon the new mutant birth did take place, and the resulting massacre in Cooperstown, Alaska by the Marauders and Purifiers made it clear to Bishop that he would have competition getting to the baby. Lucas was present at the mansion when intel came in that Cable had recovered the child from Cooperstown, not the Marauders or Purifiers. Now with a target in mind, Bishop activated his failsafe – a supply of nano-Sentinels pilfered from Cassandra Nova which infected the Sentinel Squad pilots, turning them against the X-Men. A second secret weapon downed all the telepaths at the mansion at the same time, leaving mass chaos and devastation in his wake.

As the X-Men struggled to reorganize, Bishop continued his own search for Cable’s whereabouts. When Cerebra pinpointed Cable in Texas, Bishop correctly guessed he was heading for Forge’s Eagle Plaza, and beat everyone else there. He got the drop on Forge first, and then Cable once he arrived. As Bishop was steeling himself to shoot the mutant infant in cold blood, the Marauders arrived to stop him before he pulled the trigger. They kidnapped the child, and Bishop was forced to coordinate with the unsuspecting X-Men when they arrived in order to get a new lead on the baby. Finally, on Muir Island, Bishop’s treachery was uncovered and he was prepared to kill Cable before he could reclaim the baby again. He was interrupted by the monstrous mutant-eating creature called Predator X, which assaulted Bishop and tore his right arm from his shoulder. Bishop barely managed to cauterize his bleeding shoulder by burning his nerves out on Sunfire’s fallen form. Weak from blood loss and going into shock, Lucas saw Cable planning to escape into the future with the baby, and keep her safe long enough for her to grow up and fulfill her “destiny.” Bishop fired off one last wild barrage of bullets in an attempt to stop Nathan, but only succeeded in mortally wounding Professor Xavier instead. [Messiah CompleX crossover]

Lucas’ obsession forced him onwards, enabling him to escape capture by the X-Men on Muir Island. He broke back into Eagle Plaza, assaulting Forge once again, to steal a prototype cybernetic arm to replace the one he lost. He also incorporated a time machine into his new bionics, enabling him to chase after Cable and the child. Able to move through time but not space, Bishop returned to Muir Island and began hopscotching through the future, checking for any signs of when and where Cable and the baby might have traveled. [Cable (2nd series) #1]