Bishop : The Last X-Man #1

Issue Date: 
October 1999
Story Title: 
Time Loves a Hero

Joseph Harris (Writer), Georges Jeanty (Penciler), Art Thibert with Allen Martinez (Inkers), Jon Babcock (Letterer), Jason Wright (Color), Jason Liebig (Editor), Bob Harras (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description: 

Bishop has a nightmare of when he had the opportunity to save a group of wayward children, who grew up in a world of fear. He failed to protect them and, because of him, all the children died and his archenemy, Fitzroy, who was the one who endangered the children, escaped. Bishop wakes up from his nightmare and, the next morning, he announces to Storm that he is leaving to find Fitzroy, as with the X-Men disbanded there is no better time than now. However, before he leaves, he gives Storm his X-Men badge to keep safe. Bishop heads to NYC to find his sister, Shard, who left word of how to find her after X-Factor disbanded. He finds his catatonic sister in a poor apartment complex that is empty, except for a boy named Michael. Bishop is able to snap Shard out of her daze. Bishop also finds the apartment’s tenets’ bodies in a bedroom and discovers that Fitzroy has sucked their life energies dry. A temporal portal open and several creatures called Chronotroopers under the command of the Chronomancer attack, but Bishop recharges himself in the basement, where he uses his energy to bring the building down. Unfortunately, at the last minute, Bishop realizes that Michael is still in the building. The Chronotroopers return back to the Chronomancer, leaving Shard alone to mourn her brother’s death. Bishop, however, wakes up in the desert, without Michael, and is harassed by the occupants of a passing coach. The coach is attacked by some robbers named Scorch, Jinx and Nom; the former two wearing the M mark like Bishop’s, except theirs wipes off. Bishop falls unconscious and the coach escapes. Jinx convinces Scorch to let them take Bishop back to their camp, as he has a permanent M on his face, which signifies that he is the one who can change their future. Meanwhile, the regent is attacked by Scorch and his group reports this to the Chronomancer, who kills him. The Chronomancer, who is actually Fitzroy, realizes that Bishop is still alive and has somehow made it to his future.

Full Summary: 

Four children sit around a campfire with a man covered in a hooded robe. The children are frightened, says someone not near the fire. Could the man in the robe please tell them a story again? It sound like the children want the story, says the man with New Orleans French accent. The children want the story of the great man, who fell then rose. He was a hero in his own time, even though his time never was to be. They have… witnessed this man. The old man chuckles and decides that special children deserve a special story. He tells them to make sure the fire is tended to before they draw nearer for the story.

The man begins his tale, which starts with two mutant children who are on the run. One of the teenagers lights a bottle of alcohol and throws the firebomb at his chaser, claiming that no one will police him or his kind. The bomb explodes and the two run away. The other teenager asks if the man after them is dead, but the other boy tells him to just run. Out of the fire comes a man, undeterred by the attack. Over his intercom, Shard tells Bishop that she heard an explosion. Bishop tells her that he is fine and he can hear her just fine.

That isn’t entirely true, thinks Bishop, but a riot-in-progress often does that to communications. The streets have been wild for days as children run everywhere. They are young, strong mutants, who are quick to destroy the fragile peace built. They don’t want to be mutants and they don’t want to be told how to act. Bishop used to be just like them and he knows the kids won’t think he understands.

Over intercom, Shard tells Bishop to wait for backup, but Bishop reminds her that these children are wanted criminals, who will escape by the time the backup arrives. The kids can be saved only if he brings them in. Shard tells him not to enter the building he has arrived at alone, for they are X.S.E. agents and they do not work that way. She doesn’t want him to get killed. Bishop approaches the condemned building and pretends as if the communication is coming garbled. Taking cover elsewhere, Shard screams at him for lying, but he tells her that he will be in touch and turns off his intercom.

In the building, Bishop finds a dead boy, whose face is distorted into pain with his eyes still open in fear. The flesh has been sucked dry and Bishop realizes that kids don’t do this. In the darkness, Bishop spots several pairs of eyes. One of the children comes out of the darkness and tells Bishop that he told them that Bishop would take them away and put M’s on their faces and treat them like animals. Before Bishop can get an answer to who told them that, the boy whips out a gun and announces that their informant also told them how to defeat Bishop.

The boy starts to shoot at Bishop, who narrowly avoids the bullets. The man realizes that,since they are projectile weapons, his powers are useless. Only someone who knows him would know that. Bishop lands on the ground and thinks to himself how the children are young and unafraid. They remind him of him. Suddenly, the floor caves in beneath him and he thanks with a hard thud on the ground below. He was stupid to rush in alone and even more stupid because he would probably do it again. However, he has to stop the kids and show them that there is another way, even if he is alone and they are not.

Bishop notices a bright purple energy signature, as a voice asks him if he really did just walk into this little trap. Bishop looks at Fitzroy, who has opened a portal and tells Bishop that staying one leap ahead of the law isn’t as easy as he makes it look. Sometimes, he needs a helping hand. Sometimes, he gets it from those who hate Bishop as much as he does. He gets his power from anything living he can suck dry. He scoffs at Bishop, who marched in like a bull in the proverbial China shop. He is so predictable.

Disgusted, Bishop asks him if he is now using children. Fitzroy admits that the young would sacrifice quite a bit for their role models. Ask Shard; she knows what he is talking about. Bishop accuses Fitzroy of murdering that boy he found, but Fitzroy tells the X.S.E. officer that he needed an escape route and the boy offered his life. Fitzroy then notices Bishop eyeing a broken energy cable and realizes that he hopes to power up. However, is he fast enough to charge up and stop Fitzroy, who is already half way through his portal?

Bishop leaps at the electricity, hoping that he is fast enough. He makes contact, charges and spins around in seconds to unleash his blast. However, Fitzroy is already gone. The building begins to shake as Bishop remembers that he is not alone. He looks up at the frightened and angry children, as the whole building collapses around them and there is nothing he can do to save the doomed children now.

the Present:

At the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Bishop wakes up from his nightmare, screaming in the middle of the night. As rain pours outside, he sits in bed and rubs his head. He has been having the same bad dream and the kids die the same way every time. After months in space, he has returned to Earth, betrayed by Deathbird and then left in the desert to find his own way home. He did return home to the X-Men, but things changed and he does not feel at home anymore. In fact, the X-Men are gone, save for Storm and Xavier, the man who created the team and quickly shattered it.

Storm comes into Bishop’s room and finds him staring out the window. Bishop tells her that he is fine. Storm reminds him that he is hardly one to scream in the middle of the night. Again, Bishop tells her that he is fine, but she sees that he is shaking. Bishop tells her that he is cold, due to the nasty weather. Storm herself is cold and admits that she could alter the weather, but she has a feeling it won’t end Bishop’s chills. They are closer than this; must she remind him? Finally, Bishop admits that he hasn’t been sleeping well, not since he returned to Earth. Storm caresses a plant and tells Bishop that this mansion is empty and quiet now. It is not hard to disturb her now. She has seen this place invaded by government agents and alien hordes, but never abandoned. The feeling is a violation all its own.

Later in the morning, the two change into their uniforms. Bishop sports the regular gold and blue training uniform and carries with him a duffel bag. Outside, Storm stops the rain and comments that they have had enough rain for today. Bishop tells her that she isn’t making this decision of his any easier. Storm tells him that what she sees is someone unsure of decisions, someone who feels uncomfortable around his family and someone else who is at odds with the concept of the X-Men family. She sees another one of her family leaving and, though she can see it, she cannot bear it. Bishop tells Storm that, when he came to this time, it was for a reason. He found new purpose with the X-Men and they gave him a chance to be part of something he believes in. However, he has unfinished business. Trevor Fitzroy, says Storm. Bishop tells her that he needs to find the man, which he should have done long ago.

Storm asks if she can help him, but he tells her that he put personal agendas aside for the greater good. Now, he must finish the old fight between himself and Fitzroy. Fitzroy was once part of the X.S.E., but betrayed them with deadly consequences. Bishop thought he could take Fitzroy down, but was wrong and many died due to that. Later, he led Malcolm and Randall into the past to take Trevor down. He failed and the other two men died. He doesn’t regret his time with the X-Men, but with the way things are around in the mansion, now is a good time to pick up the chase.

Storm tells him that going alone is very reckless, but he tells her that he is older, smarter and he is not alone. He is going to find Shard and he must do with without the X-Men. Storm tells him that, though the future is uncertain for the X-Men, they take care of their own. She will be in the mansion if he needs her assistance. Bishop takes off his X-Men badge and gives it to Storm. He wants her to hold it until he returns, which he will. Hesitantly, Storm says that she knows he will, as Bishop walks off. “Goodbye,” says Storm, caressing the emblem in her hands.

Bishop reaches New York City, a place he has visited many times, though he knows he can never call this place and time his own. He is out to find Shard, though he cannot believe she is where he thinks she is. While he was gone, X-Factor disbanded and Shard was alone not knowing if he lived or not. She did, however, leave him word on how to find her if he ever did return. They were hurried, rushed and scared words.

Bishop reaches a condemned looking apartment building and double checks Shard’s letter to confirm that this despondent building is where his sister truly is. Bishop enters the building and finds the air thicker and feels as if a thousand eyes are on him. He passes a man lying awake on the stairs and enters the second floor hallway. He doesn’t like the feeling of this place but, before he can deduce why, a young boy spots him and runs away scared. Bishop pulls out his gun and thinks about catching the boy and asking him why he is the only one running around in here and why it smells like oil and sour milk. However, Bishop reaches room 215, Shard’s room, and decides that the questions can wait.


At a castle, the leader of the creatures that attacked Bishop tells their liege, the Chronomancer, that the building collapsed on Bishop. The Chronomancer asks Guardian if he saw a body. Guardian assures the Chronomancer that no one could have lived, but the man tells his servant to pardon his skepticism, but he doesn’t believe destiny to be so easily altered.

Suddenly, the regent who was attacked by Scorch and the others bursts into the room and apologizes for being late. The creatures stop the man from proceeding any further, but the Chronomancer orders them to let the man pass, as he flips an hour glass over. The man tells his liege that he was accosted by robbers, but a mysterious man saved him. He was an M-face, but different somehow. The Chronomancer tells the regent to give him his hand. Scared, the man asks if he did something wrong as he holds the Chronomancer’s hand. No, says his master as the man sucks the life force dry from the regent’s body, he has done nothing wrong at all.

The man looks down at the dried body of the regent and tells Guardian and his Chronotroopers to jump off a tower. He sighs at how finding good help is hard to find, even in this time. The Chronomancer, known previously to many simply as Trevor Fitzroy, steps out of the light and mocks his troops for thinking Bishop died, when in truth he is already here.

Characters Involved: 

Bishop, Storm (X-Men)

Shard (formerly X-Factor)

Jinx, Nom, Scorch (robbers)



Various Chronotroopers


Driver and Guard

Unknown story teller

Bishop’s Dream:



Various children

Story Notes: 

Bishop has been seen chasing Fitzroy since Uncanny X-Men #282.

Xavier disbanded the X-Men during “The Shattering” in Uncanny X-Men #372 and X-Men (2nd Series) #92.

Bishop went missing in space in Uncanny X-Men #345 and returned after being betrayed by Deathbird in Uncanny X-Men #372. Shard disappeared after X-Factor fell apart in X-Factor (1st series) #149.

Issue Information: