Bishop : The Last X-Man #3

Issue Date: 
December 1999
Story Title: 
Walk This Way

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 hides Michael in the forest and tells him to stay, while he fights off the Chronomancer’s troops in the refugee camp. Bishop joins the battle with Nom, Jinx and Scorch, the latter revealing to Bishop that the Chronotroopers came looking for him. Jinx falls down a slope and finds herself by a mass grave, filled with the burning remains of the camp’s residents. Nearby in a tent, Link tells the Witness that they must go, but the man cryptically tells her that he is not escaping this time. He tells Link to tell the survivors to go to Dunduine and tells her not to worry about the leadership, which will work itself out. A Chronotrooper attacks the two and Link escapes, while the Witness charges up the attacker with kinetic energy and both are obliterated. Michael is attacked by two Chronotroopers, but Bishop saves him, though he is disheartened after discovering the bloody body of Merrian. The battle ends with few survivors: Michael, Bishop, Nom, Scorch, Jinx and Link. Bishop tells Michael that they will work on a plan to go home immediately, but Michael convinces the despondent Bishop that these people did not die at his hands and he cannot blame himself. What he can do is find whoever is responsible. Bishop agrees and, upon hearing where the Witness wanted them to go, he rallies the survivors and wipes away their M’s and, instead, replaces them with X’s. Meanwhile, Bantam voices his concerns to Fitzroy, who dismisses him and claims that he is not mad. Bantam is not so sure, though, as Fitzroy kills five children prisoners, after convincing them that they are playing a game.

Full Summary: 

Michael remembers running, the kind where you know that stopping isn’t an option. It was the running where you know your life depends on it. He doesn’t remember much before that. He just woke up in the future and thought that it was funny. He always thought that the future would be… futuristic. Instead of mass technology, he found himself in a forest with a refugee camp nearby. Maybe this place was futuristic once upon a time. Michael wanted to ask Bishop so many questions, but decided not to as he blamed Bishop for bringing him to the future. That is, before he knew better. Bishop was running too, as if stopping wasn’t an option for him either. Michael runs after Bishop, who is rushing towards the refugee camp that has erupted in flames.

Michael loses sight of everyone and wonders where they all went. Before he can reach the camp, he is suddenly grabbed by Bishop, who is hiding behind a tree. Bishop introduces himself and tells Michael that he knows that the boy is scared, but it is only going to get worse and that is why he has to listen. Michael has to stay behind this tree and cover his eyes, making sure he doesn’t make a sound. He cannot come out until Bishop tells him to. Michael starts to ask a question, but Bishop covers his mouth and asks if he understands. Michael looks around the tree to see a group of eight Chronotroopers killing one of the refugees with their energy weapons. Jinx runs at super-speed past the two and Bishop tells Michael to stay one more time. Michael interjects, but then agrees.

Michael watches as Jinx, fierce, strong and beautiful, tells a Chronotrooper to die, as she slices him in half with her staff. Nearby, Scorch creates two “arms” of fire and asks the Chronotroopers to step into his parlor. Michael notes that Scorch like to talk, but he can also walk the walk, displayed by how easily he burns three Chronotroopers to death. There were so many Chronotroopers and, by the time Bishop reached there, he knew the damage had been done. Bishop comes to Scorch’s side and asks the man what happened. Sarcastically, Scorch thanks Bishop for coming, especially considering the troops came looking for him.

From the Witness’ tent, Link sees the massacre and tells her mentor that she has to get him out of here. The Witness tells her that he is not escaping this time. Confused, Link asks him what he means. The Witness does not answer her question and just tells her to remember what she learned. She is strong and will need to be soon. As it turns out, Bishop is not the only target. The Witness was crafty and Michael gets the impression that he had it coming from a long way back. This wouldn’t be the last time the Witness would move Link to tears, but it would change her soon enough.

Elsewhere, Nom looks beaten. He isn’t one of these people, but he is an outcast nonetheless and they took him in, only so he can watch them die. Even if he could speak, Michael is not so sure that Nom would be able to spit out the words. As Jinx impales another Chronotrooper, Nom is overcome with rage and begins to rip the Chronotroopers to pieces. Jinx falls down a slope and lands on the bottom with a hard thud. She regains her composure, which is quickly lost at the sight before her. Jinx looks at the mass grave of the burning bodies of her fellow refugees; men, women, and children. All Jinx can do is ask Nom what happened.

In the tent, Link tells the Witness that she can feel their fellow kinsmen die. What can she do? The Witness tells her to remember what he told her. She needs to take the survivors to Dunduine, the city beyond the plains. Link, unsure of his decision, reminds him that the others won’t follow her. Witness tells her that she is right, but she shouldn’t worry, as leadership will work itself out soon enough. Link argues that no one has survived the trip to Dunduine through their forest, but she is cut off when a Chronotrooper rushes in. The Witness rises and tells her to leave. It has been a while since has done this trick and it has been a while since he has seen playing cards. As he charges up the Chronotrooper with kinetic energy, the Witness tells her to leave. Link runs out and, just as she exits the tent, the entire area explodes with kinetic energy, killing the Chronotrooper and the Witness.

Link lets out a telepathic shriek, which is heard by all. It was the first time that Michael felt something like that but, unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the last. Bishop felt the shriek too, but couldn’t discern the location of Link, as there were people screaming all around him. Suddenly, Bishop becomes preoccupied when he finds the bloody body of Merrian, the woman he had recently met. Michael watches Bishop sit there with Merrian for minutes, though it felt like forever. He tries to stop the bleeding, but it isn’t enough. It takes more than a brave heart to fix broken bones and torn flesh. These refugees only knew now to hide, not fight. Those with powers were spread thin and those who didn’t have powers simply died. Michael could swear he could hear Bishop mutter that this was his entire fault. He never told Bishop he heard him say that, for he had his own problems.

At Chronokeep, the Chronomancer’s castle, the man known as Bantam runs through the twisted halls of the castle, worried of the punishment he will suffer if he is late. Bantam trips and drops all his scrolls, much to his dismay. The little man scoops them all up and reminds himself that, even though Fitzroy needs him, he has to hurry up for he cannot be late. In his chamber, Fitzroy turns over an hourglass, as Bantam comes in, though the two Chronotrooper guards refuse to let him in. As Bantam squeezes through the two, he tells his master Fitzroy that the nobles have some concerns.

Fitzroy looks out the window and comments that he loves sunsets. From up here, one can appreciate it from a new light. He then reminds the man that he is late and he is preoccupied with the concerns of the nobles, instead of the concerns of his liege. If Bantam would come closer, Fitzroy would whisper his concerns into Bantam’s ear. Hesitantly, Bantam approaches Fitzroy and tells him that the nobles have sent petitions, for they are all worried about his intentions. Fitzroy asks Bantam what he thinks about the concerns. Bantam replies that this attack he has launched looks bloodthirsty and mad. Fitzroy lifts Bantam up by the throat and tells him that he is beyond mad and he will show the irreverent man how beyond that he is.

Back at the refugee camp, the sounds of battle begin to disappear, as it is clear that almost everyone is dead. Bishop sits on his knees and wonders how man eras must he and Fitzroy fight through. How much time do they have to cross? Bishop has chased him, yet he always comes back. All this destruction and all the lives lost are because of Fitzroy. Suddenly, Michael screams for help. Bishop turns to see the boy being dragged into a temporal portal by two Chronotroopers. Angered, Bishop leaps at them and drop kicks one of the Chronotroopers, crushing his head. Michael screams that he is being pulled through the portal, but Bishop grabs the Chronotrooper’s staff, admitting that he doesn’t understand how this works, but he knows energy when he sees it.

Bishop grabs the tip of the staff and is immediately blasted with energy, which he absorbs. Bishop unleashes the energy, which rips the Chronotrooper apart and closes the portal. Bishop asks Michael if he is all right, to which the boy replies that he is. Bishop tells Michael that he told the boy to stay put and asks the boy to repeat what he told him earlier.

Back at Chronokeep, Bantam cringes in the corner of Fitzroy’s chamber and asks his liege why he keeps on doing this. Fitzroy needs him to anchor him when he warps time. Bantam has worked so hard for him. Fitzroy needs him. Why, asks Fitzroy. His entire life he has been running, striking from the shadows and then scuttling back afterwards. He was never strong enough to fight face to face. Bantam tells his liege that he is strong now and if Bishop is a threat then Fitzroy should kill him. It would be mad not to.

Annoyed, Fitzroy tells Bantam that he thought he told the man that this was beyond madness. Fitzroy wants to break Bishop slowly. Then, Bishop will be so focused on hating him that he will come for him. That is when he can show Bishop how strong he truly is now. Bantam mutters that Fitzroy is mad but, out loud, announces the he needs his service. Once upon a time, he needed Bantam, says Fitzroy, but now he is more powerful and he knows what he needs and what he does not need.

Two Chronotroopers come in with five prisoners, which are children from the refugee camp. How very precious, says Fitzroy, as he wipes off the M mark off a girl’s face. Fitzroy tells Guardian and the Chronotroopers to leave. Fitzroy looks at Bantam and announces that he wishes all his servants were so valuable. The Chronotroopers and Bantam leave the room, as Fitzroy sits in his throne. He tells the children that there is no need to be afraid. Why don’t they play a game? He asks the children to hold hands. Do they understand? The children slowly hold hands and Fitzroy wonders how many of them who wear the mark on their faces are actually special. The young boy and four girls are frightened, as Fitzroy extends his hand and he asks the last girl to take it. It will only last a moment. The girl extends her hand and, outside, Bantam looks away as Fitzroy kills the children when he absorbs their life energies. “Beyond madness, I think, is a very bad place to be,” says the terrified Bantam.

At the camp, Michael sits for hours, while shallow graves are dug by the survivors of the refugee camp: Bishop, Jinx, Link, Nom and Scorch. Michael has never felt so useless in his life and is all the more changed by the sight of the shallow graves that Bishop digs with his X-Men badge. Later on, Bishop would tell Michael all about his life and Michael would truly understand this X-Man. However, looking at those graves and the soft fingertips poking out of them did something to Michael. He saw plenty of destruction today.

When Bishop finishes his work, Michael asks him if he is okay. Bishop tells the boy that he is not supposed to be there and that this is his fault. He swears to get him home somehow. Michael admits that he doesn’t know how he got here either and he doesn’t know how to believe any of this, but he doesn’t have a home or anything and, since Bishop saved his life twice, he just wanted to say thanks. Michael touches Bishop’s hand, but the man simply tells him that, tomorrow, they will find a way home for both of them.

Michael asks if he is going to go after the bad guy first. He did kick butt today. He isn’t going to let whoever is responsible get away, is he? Bishop yells at Michael and asks how many Chronotroopers he saw today, because Bishop bets his life that there are plenty more where they came from. They work for a man who hates him for than anything else. They will go through anyone, such as his sister or these poor people, to get to him. People died today because they met him. Does Michael know how hard it is to live knowing that?

Michael tells Bishop that these people died thinking they were hiding one of the good guys and, because of that, they were good guys too. Michael had heard that they thought he was special. Michael does not know who he is but, if he is special, how is he going to sleep, knowing these people died for nothing? Bishop did not kill these people. They were looking for something to believe in. He picks up the X-Men badge and tells Bishop that he saw him kick butt and doesn’t blame the refugees for believing in him at all. He asks the X-Man if he dropped his badge. As Michael hands it back, he thanks Bishop again for saving him. This time, Bishop says you’re welcome.

Nearby, there are only the sounds of tears and sobs, as Link kneels on the scorched earth that the Witness’ tent used to be on. Scorch announces that he is open for suggestions. Link snaps at him and asks what that is supposed to mean. Is she to assume that he is taking charge? Scorch apologizes, but Link interrupts him and knows that he is just ready to move on. Scorch interrupts her in turn and tells her that the Witness is gone and he is just trying to make things better. She knows that. Link cries and tells Scorch that he cannot make things better. After a moment, she tells the group that the Witness wanted them to go to Dunduine. Scorch is shocked and realizes that the place is far away and the trip is dangerous. How can they go to Dunduine? Jinx reasons that it if what the Witness said, then they must go. How, Scorch asks again. What do they do now?

They ride to Dunduine, announces Bishop, as he puts his badge back on. They will walk, if necessary. Calling Bishop a stranger, he asks him how they can go to Dunduine. Having enough of Scorch’s anger, Bishop tells him that his name is Bishop and, if necessary, they will crawl to Dunduine. What then, Scorch asks. Will they sit and wait? They have been broken today. The Chronomancer’s forces are too strong. Bishop tells them that they will pull themselves back together. He will make them if he must. He has been broken too. However, he sees in them the makings of something stronger. Their hearts want vengeance and they should never forget their rage. He won’t let them. They are all born special and it is time they knew what that meant. He is Bishop and he doesn’t know what they thought he was like, but this is him now. The Last X-Man? A hero of the past? Wash all that away. Michael looks on and realizes that what Bishop does next he will never forget.

Bishop wipes off the M mark on Link’s face and tells the group that they have hidden in the shadow too long. He wipes off Jinx’s M and tells them that they hid from a world that fears them and they wear a mark as heave as the shadows. As Scorch wipes off his M, Bishop announces that they are stuck here but, together, they can make it work. This is the first lesson he will teach them. There are other marks they can rally behind. They call him the last X-Man, but he says no longer. They call him a legend, but he says that they should be one with him.

Bishop uses the ink he wiped up to make a new mark on each of their faces. Bishop steps away from the three, who now have X’s on their faces instead of M’s. Bishop announces that he is coming for Fitzroy and he is not alone.

Characters Involved: 

Bishop, Jinx, Link, Michael, Nom, Scorch, Witness


Various children

Various dead refugees



Guardian, Various Chronotroopers

Story Notes: 

Bishop and Michael mysteriously wound up in this time in Bishop: The Last X-Man #1.

Bantam was last seen in Uncanny X-Men #283, where Fitzroy killed him. Could this Bantam be an alternate timeline version, or is this an editorial mistake?

Issue Information: