Bishop : The Last X-Man #10

Issue Date: 
July 2000
Story Title: 
Preludes: part 1: Gimme Shelter

Joseph Harris (writer), Georges Jeanty (pencils), Art Thibert & Allen Martinez (inks), Jon Babcock (letters), Jason Wright (colors), Mike Marts (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

At his castle, Chronokeep, Fitzroy has gathered several of his “citizens” around him to enjoy the sunrise. The people’s impatient leader, Kendrick, doesn’t understand the idea behind this and calls out to Fitzroy, which he of course dislikes. Fitzroy attacks everyone in the room and absorbs their energy, and afterwards kills them all as well. Meanwhile, Bishop’s new army is also becoming impatient, especially now that they are getting so close to Fitzroy’s castle. Bishop gives everyone an inspiring speech, making them all battle ready. Unfortunately, he refuses to send Michael into danger, seeing the young boy as his responsibility. Michael gets upset about this, and also that Bishop doesn’t even seem to like the new “X”-tattoo Michael placed over his eye. He runs away from Bishop and heads deeper into the mountains. There, Michael encounters a dark creature, whose growls cause a huge avalanche! The avalanche results into some loses on Bishop’s part, but the damage appears not to be so big. However, as Scorch uses his powers to dig people out of the snow, he panics when he can’t find Nom anymore. But the search for Nom will have to be postponed, as a few newcomers arrive on the scene. Later that night, Nom digs himself out of the snow but has been separated from the rest of the team. He looks at the Azeroch mark on his hand, and afterwards starts looking for his friends. Meanwhile, back at Fitzroy’s castle, Bantam has a change of heart and betrays Fitzroy, no longer agreeing with his master’s evil deeds. He informs Shard that her brother is still alive, but before the tortured girl can fully comprehend the revelation, her cell door is closed again by the Chronotroopers. Bantam runs for his life, and deeper inside the castle finds a room filled with kids Fitzroy uses as slaves.

Full Summary: 

The state of the future...

“Led by Bishop, the tiny band of mutant freedom fighters found the location of the legendary X-Men’s final stand. There, they uncovered the long-hidden mutant tracking computer known as Cerebro. After activating the device, Bishop discovered the secret location of Trevor Fitzroy, aka the Chronomancer. His own legend already beginning to spread, Bishop has since gathered his growing forces into a ragtag army. He has little to offer the people of this feudal, future world... save hope. They head toward Chronokeep, nestled deep in the mountain snow, where both Bishop and his followers hope to put an end to the Chronomancer’s evil... once, and for all. But while Bishop’s forces press into the mountains and on toward battle, Fitzroy sits in his keep... and waits.”


Fitzroy has gathered a host of people at his palace. He tells them he is glad they could come in such short notice. And he assures them it’s business most pressing that has called them there this day. He looks out of a window, and asks if any of his guests would like to watch the sunrise with him, as it’s quite something to behold from this view.

An impatient man demands to know the meaning of this. For months, they petition him with grievances and concerns of which he does nothing about. And now – today – he sends his automatons to roust them all from their sleep only to watch a sunrise?! The man thinks it must be Fitzroy who hears from them all today, for they have a problem... with Fitzroy himself, more specifically.

The man shouts that Fitzroy’s problem marches from town to town beneath the cover of night, rallying the people with talk of revolution and revolt. Fitzroy’s problem gathers a reputation and grows a legend as he marches on, with his own army. The man wants Fitzroy to understand this is a real problem, which has a name: Bishop! And the exact problem is that Bishop is heading this way. The man reveals to Fitzroy that Bishop calls on the people from the Kith-ravaged city of Dunduine, and they follow. He adds that Bishop’s people rise up from the west, leaving most of their possessions behind... and they follow! The story of the “M-Face” grows, and the people believe in him. They even chant Bishop’s name!

Fitzroy calmly tells the regent that he speaks loud. He wants to know if it was before or after he organized the lot of them into a profit-turning confederation that his voice grew so much. He asks the regent if it’s true his name is Kendrick. Fitzroy remembers that now. He remembers that Kendrick has a family: a wife and a son to carry on his name. And he also knows that Kendrick has property, as well as a title, and power over the people of his property. But he warns Kendrick to make no mistake, as he has nothing which Fitzroy doesn’t allow him to have. He demands that Kendrick addresses him as the Chronomancer.

Kendrick keeps shouting, telling Fitzroy it seemed he came out of nowhere. And yet they followed him because Fitzroy said he had a plan, but they still haven’t seen anything so far. Kendrick is beginning to think Fitzroy doesn’t share their best interests at heart. He’s beginning to think that he and Bishop are two of a kind... a kind which isn’t their own. Kendrick starts storming out, quietly calling Fitzroy ‘filthy mutant scum.” Fitzroy asks Kendrick to wait. He produces a huge smile on his face, wanting Kendrick to tell him how he really feels.

Elsewhere, in the snowy mountains up ahead…

Though it is cold, the sun still rises. The wind whistles through the peaks, cutting to the bone. It cries, “go back!” and yet, like fool madmen, Bishop and his team push forward. Some people say that they do not belong there. It’s a sentient, which grows every minute. The group takes a brief moment to rest.

A follower drops his shield, and tells his friend Menzies that he’s cold, and that his fingers are too numb to hold the shield anymore. They’ve been marching out here for weeks now. He misses his farm, and not to mention his family. Williams admits that he doesn’t like the Chronomancer. In fact, he hates him, but he doesn’t understand what difference they are making. He knows the Chronomancer has powers. He heard the stories. He knows the Chronomancer sucks the life from men’s bodies and then cackles as they fall to his feet like empty husks. He thinks that the Chronomancer is more than just a human being, and he hears that goes the same for those they follow.

Nom passes by, and the man stops talking. Menzies starts smoking, and tells his friend that the people they follow mean to free them. And besides, they came with them willingly, and recalls that his friend begged to join. He suggests his friend not to let the cold kill his need to be free, and asks him to shut up. The rest of the people have gathered around a stone, on which Jinx, Link, Scorch and Michael stand. Scorch has seen how restless the people are getting. He recalls that, until a few months ago, these folks would have killed them just for who they are, and now they’ve gathered them around... with weapons! Link reminds Scorch that they share a common enemy, meaning that these people won’t kill them. Scorch believes that their leader still has to win these people over, and Scorch thinks Bishop would do that if he would just come out of his tent. And Scorch also wonders, when the fighting begins and men begin dying, if they’ll truly have brought friends at their side.

Jinx suggests that they ask the world from these people, and thinks they have every reason to feel beaten before the fighting even begins. She’s certain that Bishop will bring them together, and wants to go get him. Michael suggests that he’ll go instead.

Sitting in his tent, Bishop believes that he has pushed his people too hard. He realizes they are waiting for him in the snow with questions and hope. He thinks he has an answer... or at least prays he does. Bishop says that they don’t belong here, so close to Fitzroy’s keep. And yet, it’s exactly why they are here. Michael enters Bishop’s tent, apologizing for disturbing, but explains to him about the restless people. Bishop understands, and comes out of the tent. He realizes he’s got good men at his side, and that he kept them waiting for too long.

At the dungeons of Chronokeep...

Shard, sitting all alone and holding a blanket over her body, is thinking to herself. She can hear “them” outside the door... meaning Fitzroy’s Chronotroopers. And she knows they’re coming for her. She remembers that Fitzroy brought her there, falsely believing it was right after she lost her brother, Bishop. She saw everything that mattered to her being taken away. Now, Fitzroy keeps Shard in his tower, frozen in time, which is his to command. Shard admits she loved Fitzroy once, and heard him saying that he loves her again now. Shard hears the steps getting closer...

An exhausted Bantam enters Shard’s cell, saying that there’s little time. He introduces himself to her, adding that Fitzroy would kill him if he knew he was here. He has come to get Shard out of here. Shard crawls away from him, looking uncertain. Bantam tells Shard he knows what Fitzroy has done to her, but again reminds her there is very little time: they must find Bishop! Shard doesn’t understand. Bantam takes a look outside, telling Shard they must find her brother. Bantam is aware that Bishop is out there somewhere, and Fitzroy knows it too.

Chronotroopers arrive outside. Bantam tries to roll away from them, begging Shard to listen to him. He promises he’s telling the truth about Bishop being alive, and that she must find him, as it’s the only way to stop Fitzroy! A Chronotrooper grabs Bantam and throws him against a wall, knocking the small, yellow-skinned mutant out. Another Chronotrooper quickly closes Shard’s cell door again, with her wondering if Bishop really could be alive.


Bishop stands on a rock and calls out to his people. He announces it’s good to see so many well-dressed citizens here today. He’s glad so many of them accepted the invitation to this gathering. But, Bishop realizes he should warn them it isn’t a celebration they’ve been invited to. Their “host” is waiting for such insolent people like them, people that would stand up to him and demand their freedom back. Bishop warns the group that many of them won’t return from this campaign, and that only a few will leave unscathed. Everyone stares silently at him.

Bishop continues to say that he looks at them all with pride. He feels it. It almost melts the mountain of snow they stand upon. He congratulates them all for being proud men, men who know they have a right to more than scraps from some dictator’s table. And men who realize that the most precious things in life are definitely worth fighting for. Bishop would bleed to his last drop to stop the Chronomancer. He will march with everyone with pride. He will fight proudly with them. And, Bishop asks the citizens “will you bleed with me?” Everyone loudly cheers.

Standing among the crowd, Jinx, Nom, Scorch and Link smile, with Jinx whispering to Scorch she knew they brought plenty of friends for this. Bishop tends his attention to Michael, who is thrilled by the speech. He’s glad they all look up to Bishop. Bishop asks Michael what he’s wearing. Michael says he just found a brown cape and thought he should be wearing something other than those ripped clothes of his. Bishop wasn’t talking about the clothes: he was talking about the new black “X” mark over Michael’s eyes! Bishop angrily tells Michael that he’s his responsibility, and that the mark will only make him a target. This isn’t a game! Michael angrily replies back that he knows that, and runs away, leaving Bishop behind, and ashamed.

Meanwhile, back at Chronokeep...

Bantam has escaped the Chronotroopers and walks down some stairs. He’s freaked out, quietly whispering that Fitzroy will surely kill him now. He has to get away, but this keep is so big and he doesn’t know where he’s going. He hears the footsteps of more Chronotroopers nearby, and decides to check it out. Bantam looks behind a corner, only to find a room filled with child-slaves! What madness is this...?

One of the slaves asks his friend Gwee if he has seen their other friend, Choff anywhere, as he sure hasn’t. Continuing with his repair work, Gwee tells Roosus to keep quiet, as he will get them into trouble. A Chronotrooper overhears the two, and gives Gwee a hard whipslash on his back! Rooses tries to stand up for his friend, telling the trooper he didn’t do anything wrong and that he was just working like told. Gwee gets up, telling Roosus not to bother as he doesn’t think the troopers even heard him scream. Bantam keeps staring at the weird looking kids and wonders what kind of creatures they are. Suddenly, another, green-skinned slave tries to grab Bantam’s foot. Bantam panics and tries to free himself.

Outside the castle...

Michael keeps running away, and cries. He didn’t ask for any of this, and surely didn’t ask to get taken away from his home. He knows Bishop tends to forget he’s not the only one stuck here. Michael now thinks it’s fine that Bishop doesn’t want him around, and claims he won’t be. But then, a dark creature starts to growl. Michael panics. He takes out his bow, but is too frightened to do anything more. The creature growls again, and a frightened Michael calls out to Bishop.

Bishop hears it and runs after the boy. Michael runs into Bishop’s arms, claiming the creature was ten feet tall. Bishop tries to calm the boy down, remembering it was his own fault Michael was brought to this time. He knows Michael has seen so much death and devastation since that day, and that yet, through it all, the boy only seeks to impress him, trying to get his attention. Bishop sometimes forgets that Michael is just a child. Bishop asks Michael what’s ten feet tall exactly. Michael claims that “it” was in the snow, and that it was “like the snow.”

Out of nowhere, an avalanche of snow falls down the mountains! Men cry out, then suddenly stop – their screams choked quiet by a ton of soft powder. Bones break. But Bishop is certain the same won’t count for everyone’s determination. Neither men nor nature will stop his team, because they are too close now. Bishop grabs Michael tight, promising to protect him. But the snow gets ticker and spreads itself out. Nom tries to protect his friends by covering them with his huge body, but Bishop and Michael are too far away already. Michael apologizes to Bishop about earlier, and he does the same. He asks Michael to take a deep breath, to close his eyes, and be as brave as he can be. More snow appears, and throws itself on everyone of the group, and then falls off the mountain!


Fitzroy’s energy fills the room, and his target is none other than... regent Kendrick! Kendrick sits against a wall, telling Fitzroy he can’t do this. Fitzroy, with eyes filled with evil, claims it is already done. He reveals he gathered Kendrick and the others there today for a demonstration. He also mentions that his powers have developed so... nicely since his arrival in this time, and he no longer needs the likes of Kendrick. He has other things in mind. He tries to grab Kendrick, who cries at Fitzroy that the plan is unthinkable, and that it’s their world he’s messing with! Fitzroy corrects Kendrick that it’s his future they are talking about. Fitzroy absorbs Kendrick’s energy, with the poor man being the final target, as everyone else of Fitzroy’s former visitors have already been killed...

Beneath the snow...

Bishop waits beneath the snow. He suddenly sees a bright light and... it’s Scorch using his flame powers to dig everyone out! All around Scorch, men pluck themselves out of the snow. Some are broken; some are lost, while others lie trapped and waiting. The snow is cold, but the avalanche’s friction was enormous. Bishop gathers the energy close around him, and by re-channeling it, makes his own exit! Bishop crawls himself and Michael out of the snow, angrily stating that they can’t wait any longer.

Once out, Bishop immediately asks Jinx about their losses. Jinx reports that they are still digging people out, but the damage doesn’t appear to be too bad. She helps Bishop up and wonders how he survived. An exhausted Bishop explains that the friction beneath the sliding snow was enormous. Though, and Jinx can believe him, the impact was even greater. He asks Michael to stay where he can see him. Michael touches his “X”-mark over his face, and promises to do that. Scorch panics, as he can’t find Nom anywhere! He tells people around him to help him look, as there are still others beneath the snow. Scorch swears he’ll turn this mountain inside out to find Nom.

Bishop asks Scorch to come at his side, as it seems... they have company. Everyone looks at the mysterious newcomers. Bishop quietly tells himself that even though he and his team don’t belong here, it would seem somebody does!

Later that night...

Nom digs himself out of the snow. He looks around, but can’t find anyone. He looks at the tattoo of Azeroch on the palm of his hand, and starts taking off...

Characters Involved: 

Bishop, Jinx, Link, Michael, Nom, Scorch

Menzies and other people loyal to Williams and Bishop

Chronomancer (Trevor Fitzroy)




Gwee, Roosus and various other slaves of Fitzroy

Kendrick and various other rounded up villagers

mysterious dark creature in the snow (unidentified)

mysterious newcomers after the avalanche (unnamed)

Throughout a villager’s flashback:

The Kith (unnamed)

As tattoo on Nom’s hand:


Story Notes: 

First time Fitzroy’s castle gets named as “Chronokeep.”

More about the attack of the Kith can be found throughout Bishop: The Last X-Man #4-6.

Issue Information: 
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