BISHOP: Page 9 of 9

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


The fight with X-Man ended with Nate Grey going a step further than Legion, using the Lifeseed to create an entirely new reality populated by the X-Men who fought him and other people grown through millions of years of compressed time and evolution. This reality was a mutant utopia where everyone on Earth had powers and lived in relative peace. However, the price was an end to interpersonal relationships and connections. New mutants were born in hatcheries as family ties and love became outlawed. The desire was still there, however, and the laws were enforced by the thought-police of Department X, brainwashing violators back into compliance.

Bishop was a member of the X-Men in good standing at first, but he committed repeat violations of the law through a secret romance with Jean Grey, rekindled even after they were made to forget. X-Man had him removed from the X-Men by Department X and sent to the Danger Room prison facility, wiped from the memory of the X-Men and the world at large outside. Bishop clashed with the warden, Forge, and Legion who was secretly influencing events in the prison. His true memories began to peak through the layers of false memories and brainwashing, and Bishop reached out to other X-Men in the prison such as Beast, Moonstar, Scout and Polaris. They managed to escape and were part of a mass confrontation with X-Man after his false reality was uncovered. Ultimately, the new mutant lives in Grey's reality were allowed to continue, but Bishop and the X-Men returned to their original universe. [Age of X-Man crossover]

Events took a dramatic turn once the X-Men were reunited. Charles Xavier stepped forward with a new vision for mutantkind, establishing an independent nation for mutants on the living isle of Krakoa. Pharmaceuticals based on plants grown only on Krakoa provided leverage for mutants to get Krakoa recognized by the United Nations, joining the nations of the world with a voice at the table. Krakoan flowers were planted around the world, growing into teleport gates allowing access to the island from mutants virtually everywhere. Knowing they would still be hated and feared, Xavier and the ruling Quiet Council of Krakoa established protocols for warfare and defense of the state. Bishop, Magik, and the former Hand assassin Gorgon were designated as Great Captains, under the overall direction of Cyclops as Captain Commander, with the authority to militarize and mobilize the citizens of Krakoa on behalf of Krakoa. [House of X #5]

Bishop continued to act as an investigator as part of his duties to Krakoa. When Taiwanese millionaire Chen Zhao claimed her husband touched one of the Krakoan gates and disappeared, Lucas got involved to find out the truth. He requested help in his investigation from Kate Pryde and her new crew of Marauders who were running Krakoan drugs and refugees on more traditional channels than the gates. They surprisingly discovered Lim Zhao was being held captive by his own wife. Lim had become part of the new mutant-worshipping cult Order of X, and Chen had him locked up to avoid the social stigma and embarrassment. Lucas and Kate publicly returned Lim to his wife during an anti-mutant rally, ruining her narrative.

Kate had a surprising offer for Bishop as they worked together. Emma Frost had named Kate as the Red Queen, one of the three heads of the Hellfire Trading Company with a seat on the Quiet Council. The two of them would be forever at odds with Hellfire's necessary evil, Sebastian Shaw the Black King. Kate wanted Lucas as her second, the "Red Bishop" of Hellfire. Bishop's initial answer was not only "No" but "Hell, no." Still, Hank McCoy and Kate convinced him it was a worthwhile opportunity. The Hellfire Club notoriously lacked transparency, even supposedly being their allies these days. As Red Bishop, Lucas would have inside access to individuals he would feel compelled to keep an eye on anyways. [Marauders #1-4]

Bishop relented and joined the Marauders as well as "taking the Red". His position with the Hellfire Trading Company folded neatly into his role as Great Captain too. The royalty of the HTC made up the Spring seats of the Quiet Council, and so the Red Bishop was their official liaison, bodyguard, and general for exerting Krakoan authority in times of war. [X-Men (5th series) #4] A quorum of the Great Captains would also meet for war college discussions. Bishop monitored use and activity on "Danger Island", the secondary Krakoan site in the Atlantic, to determine the combat-readiness of the nation's people. In addition to formulating emergency plans for escape and defense to be telepathically downloaded to the population, Bishop and the Great Captains also workshopped power combination of "mutant technology" to be deployed in wartime. [X-Men (5th series) #11]

When the Black Bishop, Shinobi Shaw, came under fire delivering drugs to the black market in Madripoor, Bishop and the Marauders sped out to rescue him. Bishop uncovered an organization in Madripoor named Verendi offered bounties for dead mutants, in conjunction with mercenaries wearing Russian power-dampening armor. The Red Queen confiscated a boat filled with this armor while Bishop and the other Marauders sailed Madripoori mutant refugees to safety independently.

Days later, however, Kate had yet to make their rendez-vous at Island M, so Bishop backtracked to Madripoor. He discovered Kade Kilgore's young Hellfire Club had rebranded as Verendi. Worse, Kate had never made it out of Madripoor harbor. He infiltrated a Verendi ship to recover Kate's dead body and the sunken ship full of armor. A telepathic alert to the Marauders brought the rest of Bishop's team out to recover their Queen and skuttle the salvage operation. Emma and Bishop also extracted a size-changing mercenary named Yellowjacket who had been injected into Pyro during the Madripoor fight in the interests of acquiring surveillance on Krakoa. Verendi had struck first blood, and their puppet nation of Madripoor was now an active enemy of the mutant homeland. [Marauders #5-9]

Fortunately, the Red Queen's difficulty using the Krakoan gates did not prevent her from passing through resurrection protocols. Still, Bishop felt he failed his captain by letting her die (even temporarily), and he continued investigating the circumstances of her death. Bishop's detective work eventually showed that Sebastian Shaw was Kate's murderer, and he brought the information to Storm. Kate and Emma already knew, and together they kept it an "internal Hellfire matter" as Sebastian was maimed, poisoned and crippled for his misdeeds. [Marauders #11,17]

Bishop's work on behalf of Beast and Krakoa was darkly pragmatic at times. When the King in Black called Knull invaded Earth, he possessed many heroes, including Cyclops and Storm. The Marauder sailed to New York to help rescue their friends, but Bishop's eyes-only orders were to prevent an Omega Mutant and Great Captain Commander from falling permanently into enemy any means necessary. When the Marauders got waylaid by a refugee crisis, Bishop conscripted a pack of mercenaries including Deadpool and Conan to strike at Knull's pawns. Luckily, Bishop did not have to go through with any final sanction, and his friends were released from Knull's control. [King in Black: Marauders #1, Savage Avengers #18-19]

The Hellfire Trading Company continued to push back against Verendi's control of Madripoor, buying up land in Lowtown to keep it from being demolished by the rich human interests of Hightown up the slopes. Verendi retaliated with a new batch of Reavers, bio-mechanically enhanced mercenaries all recovering from injuries imposed on them by Krakoan forces. As Madripoor's ambassador Donald Pierce used politics to bring United Nations sanctions against the Marauders' actions in Madripoor, Callisto help sneak some "unaligned" Morlocks into Lowtown to balance the scales. Meanwhile, Bishop located Verendi's Black Bishop and his laboratory, destroying the assembly line producing more Reavers. [Marauders #18-19]

Lucas grew to love his role as Red Bishop for Hellfire Trading. Even after several Marauders and HTC associates moved on or took leave of absence, Bishop remained with Captain Kate and her crew. [Marauders #27] He also took his role as Great Captain seriously, and expanded upon the Captains' earlier workshopping to propose a regular war college for Krakoan citizens to plan for the inevitable. His dedication and aptitude spoke highly of Bishop among his fellow Captains. When Cyclops stepped down as Captain Commander to focus of his extraneous duties as X-Men leader, the Captains unanimously voted Lucas Bishop to be the new Captain Commander. [Marauders #25, Inferno (2nd series) #1]