Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #288

Issue Date: 
May 1992
Story Title: 
Time and Place

Jim Lee/Whilce Portacio (Plot), Byrne/Lobdell (Script), Andy Kubert (Pencils), Bill Sienkiewicz (Inks), Starkings (Letters), Joe Rosas (Colors), Bob Harras (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description: 

Jean overhears a conversation between some of the men and Cyclops and is troubled to learn that there may be something going on between him and their teammate, Psylocke. Cyclops and Beast meet Bishop, who is soon put under Storm’s tutelage. Bishop demands that Storm takes him to New York City so he can get accustomed to the culture. Reluctantly, Storm agrees but decides to take the rest of her team as well. The team goes out, along with Bobby’s girlfriend, Opal Tanaka. However, Opal does not tell Bobby that an old rival of his is coming to visit her soon. Bishop takes in the wonders of the city but also finds Styglut, the last living criminal from the future. Bishop attacks Styglut and the two get into a fight, neither noticing the massive damage they are causing. Storm tries to stop the two but ends up incidentally fueling Bishop’s powers, which he uses to kill Styglut. Storm shows Bishop all the damage he has done and all the civilians he has injured. Bishop is horrified by what he sees and realizes that there is much he needs to learn. That night, Bishop gives Storm his combat insignia from his uniform and promises to listen to her more.

Full Summary: 

In the dark halls of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, there are no quiet halls. In strategic positions, three X-Men stand ready to jump two approaching figures. Colossus stands to one side of the doorway leading to his target, which Archangel stands on the other side of the doorway. Iceman sits upon a railing next to Iceman. Colossus tells his friends that the targets are approaching them. Iceman tells Colossus that they will be ready, but warns Archangel that he is almost into the light. Archangel tells Iceman not to worry, as an advantage to his hue is that he can blend easier into the darkness than a normal man. Colossus shushes his friends once again and Archangel tells the two to get ready and to attack on his mark.

On three, the three men jump on top of the unsuspecting Cyclops and Beast, who enter the room. Cyclops hits the floor and asks Warren about what he is doing. Warren laughs at the notion that Scott is the one always telling them to be on constant alert. Colossus smiles and tells Beast, whom he has in a headlock, that he would never expect one of the original X-Men to be caught off guard. Beast tells Colossus that he would never have thought the Russian to be so strong when he is not in his armored form. Beast and Cyclops get up and Beast tells Scott that he admits that the three did catch them off guard. Iceman smiles at Scott and tells him that it has been a long time since they had a little fun.

“Fun…” repeats Cyclops. In the spirit of fun, Scott tells Colossus that he was foolish to attack in human form, because Beast could have instinctively used his superior strength before he realized who was attacking him. What if he cut loose with his optic blast? Upon hearing the words cutting lose, Archangel tells Scott to cut loose, for there is no reason to be on duty every second. Iceman chuckles and tells Scott that it looked like, for a second, that he was about to crack a smile. Scott tells Warren that he appreciates the need for downtime and is about to add a “but” when Beast joins the side of Archangel and the others and tells Scott that he, of all people, needs to relax. Iceman asks Scott to tell them if Psylocke is as gorgeous in person as she is on the training videos.

Uncomfortable, Scott begins to stutter but, luckily, he receives a telepathic summons from Professor X. Scott and Hank excuse themselves, for they still have to tell Xavier about the Omega Red situation. Warren waves goodbye to Scott but tells him that he is not getting off that easy, because Iceman is on to something. None of the men notice Jean Grey hiding at the top of the staircase, worried what Warren meant about them being on to something concerning Scott and Psylocke. “Yes…” says Jean, “I believe he may be…”

In the Danger Room, Bishop goes through a scenario in a city that is in ruins. In anger, he lashes out with his powers on an unseen attacker and demands that he or she shows him or herself. He whips out an energy gun and begins to shoot blindly until he is content. He stops and looks at the wreckage he has caused. Suddenly, Professor Xavier comes to Bishop’s side and tells him that he can relax now. Xavier tells Bishop that he did well, considering the Danger Room was designed to test the mettle of the strongest man.

Bishop puts his gun away and hesitantly thanks the Professor. Speaking as a well-trained soldier, he tells Xavier that next time he won’t be inclined to doubt the man’s words. Xavier tells him that he also shouldn’t overestimate his resources. The Danger Room scenarios are all illusions. They both understand that this is a form of therapy for him. What they did not anticipate was that he would feel so frustrated in a place so similar to his own environment.

The Danger Room scenario fades away, revealing Cyclops, Beast and Storm walking into the room. Bishop falls silent and watches the people of legend approaching him. Smiling, Cyclops tells Bishop not to feel depressed. None of the X-Men did well the first time in the Danger Room. The program has been improved quite a bit over the years too. The two men shake hands and Bishop apologizes to Cyclops for standing in awe in the presence of the man who embodies the dream of Professor Xavier like no other. Xavier tells them that there will be enough talk about that later, for he has business to attend to with Beast and Cyclops.

As he leaves, Xavier tells Bishop that he is under Storm’s tutelage, so it would be best if he spent the quiet time to get to know her better. She has much to teach him of their methods and their world. Bishop agrees that he has much to learn. Bishop makes reference to the smoldering city the Danger Room recently portrayed him in and Bishop demands that Storm takes him to the real New York City. Storm tells Bishop that she had different plans for his commencement to his training. Bishop tells Storm that he has had a lifetime of training. What he needs is to familiarize himself with the time and the world. Reluctantly, Storm agrees. However, they need not go alone, for a trip to the city may be something they all could use.

In her home in New Jersey, Opal Tanaka sits despondently in her bedroom, reading a letter in her native Japanese. She puts down the letter, just as a familiar voice calls her name. She turns to her door, just as Bobby Drake walks in with a bouquet of roses. He excuses himself for just walking in but is interrupted in the middle of this thought when Opal jumps to him and hugs him. Happily, Opal asks Bobby why he didn’t call, because she missed him so much. Bobby smoothly tells Opal that a phone call would have wasted time better spent getting to her. Bobby tells her to grab her coat, because they have some catching up to do. The two leave the room, walking past a letter Opal was recently writing to the person who has made her so sad. Opal does not mention the letter, especially since, in the letter, she asks whoever she is responding to make peace with Bobby.

Elsewhere, Archangel’s answering machine goes off. Charlotte Jones leaves a message and tells Warren that she doesn’t know if he checks his messages often, but she just wanted to let him know that she misses him and can’t wait to have her Archangel back. Warren, who is naked, turns off the answering machine and goes back to his broken full-length mirror and holds up the remains of his tattered costume. He repeats his name over and over again until he is screaming to himself that he is Warren Worthington. He tells the computer in his room that he wants freedom and on cue the walls pull apart allowing Warren to fly out into the night sky, for right now Warren desperately needs to believe that he is human.

That evening, Jean, Peter, Jubilee, Ororo, Bishop, Forge, Bobby and Opal go out to the city. Bishop is immediately awestruck to see the city so different from his time. His grandmother used to tell him stories, but he could never have imagined this hovel to look like this. Hovel, asks Jubilee. Jubilee tells Bishop to get with the program. This is Waldorf, where kings hang out. In a very serious tone, Bishop tells Jubilee that may be true now, but in his time this was a tenement, a refuge for the dregs of humanity, which was mostly made up of dregs anyway. New York City was ground level. Anyone who could live above in the towers was fortunate. Those below ten stories were considered less than vermin. Bishop turns around to see an oddly dressed man with two prostitutes. Bishop tells his companions that a rat always returns to his hole. When Storm questions Bishop on his meaning, Bishop tells her that Fitzroy brought ninety-three prisoners with him. Ninety-two are dead, that just leaves Styglut.

Upon hearing his name, Styglut turns around and realizes that Bishop is there. Styglut apologizes to the “ladies” and tells them that he has a more immediate use for their life essences at the moment. In seconds Styglut uses his powers to kill the two women and convert them into fuel for his bio-electric blasts, much to the anger of Bishop, who is upset that he was too late to save the innocent women. Styglut assures Bishop that he will share the same result, though, and unleashes a wave of electricity at Bishop, who is knocked back. Styglut stands before Bishop, gloating about how he hopes he has overloaded the X-Man’s mutant ability to store energy.

Storm orders the other X-Men to help, but the recovering Bishop tells them not to help him. Styglut is under his jurisdiction, which makes him his responsibility. Bishop rechannels the energy Styglut used against him and sends it back full force at the man. Styglut is knocked across the street and into the second story of a building. Styglut falls to the ground, as Bishop rushes over to catch him. Bishop tells Styglut that, in his cell, there was a chance he could be rehabilitated, but the law is clear on a convicted killer who escapes the Pool. Bishop is about to kill Styglut when the man kicks Bishop in the face. He punches Bishop and tells him that he was not fearless when Bishop had the X.S.E. behind him, so he won’t fear him alone.

Bishop falls and Styglut asks him if he remembers the day they met. Styglut was knee-deep in human blood. Does Bishop remember the tears he shed over the lives Styglut wasted that day? With Bishop’s death, nothing will prevent history from repeating itself. Bishop is about to kill Bishop when Storm sends a bolt of lightening between the killer and the cop. Storm, who is in the air, tells Styglut that she does not know what crimes he is accused of, but she has heard enough to know that he cannot be allowed to roam free in their time. Bishop, whose clothes are tattered, weakly thanks Storm as he rubs his aching head. Bishop, however, is not thanking Storm for saving his life, but rather for the energy she has given him to bring the battle to its conclusion. Storm tells Bishop that there is another way; there is always another way. In anger, Bishop lashes out at Styglut and asks Storm to say what she just said to the three hundred innocent humans Styglut murdered in cold blood or the dozen of X.S.E. agents who died bringing him in. They both may be time displaced, but Styglut must still pay for his crimes.

The force of Bishop’s blast sends Styglut, dead, into another building. Bishop tells Storm that Malcolm and Randall died trying to bring Styglut to justice. He will not let them die in vain. Bishop goes to punch the already dead Styglut but Storm blows him to the ground with her wind. Storm tells Bishop that he accomplished his goal already, though it flies in the face of everything the X-Men stand for. Colossus, who is armored up, tells Bishop that the X-Men have killed before but they have never engaged in wholesale slaughter. Colossus holds down Bishop, while Storm tells him that he has to learn immediately that they are subject to different laws than he is used to. The X-Men do not kill.

Storm tells Bishop to look around and learn. No matter what Bishop’s role was in the future, the X-Men are the protectors of the here and now. They fight to preserve, not destroy. It is the safety of those around them that is of primary concern. An X-Man would willingly give up their own life to save an innocent. Bishop looks around to see the other X-Men helping people up and unburying people from under the wreckage that was created in the fight between Bishop and Styglut. Storm’s words cut deep into Bishop’s soul. Colossus feels Bishop relax and then he lets him go.

Colossus tells Storm that he thinks that Bishop understands. Perhaps for now, replies Storm dryly. Can a single lesson wipe the teachings of a lifetime? Storm tells Bishop to look again. Let this scene burn into his memory. No matter who the enemy is, he is only partly responsible for the damage seen here tonight. Much is not all of the pain and suffering is on Bishop’s head. Bishop rubs in head in anguish and tells Storm that he knows but this is all very different. In his time there was no need to be careful about civilians. The very sight of him or his guards would have been enough to send people running for cover. When he fought battles, there was no need to worry about civilian casualties. It was the battle alone that concerned them.

Later that day in the Danger Room, Bishop stands alone in the ruins of a city. In anger, Bishop pulls his gun out and lashes out against the darkness and desolation. He fights against the overwhelming despair that consumes his body and soul. When he is done he once again realizes that it is not enough. The force of his will is not enough to change the world. Even if it were, it would not matter. Stoically, Bishop tells the computer to end the simulation. Bishop leaves the room; he realizes that he is a man whose day can never end in quite the same place it was when dawn brought light and life into the world. To stop in one place is to die. That lesson was learned in his own time period.

Bishop goes to Storm’s room. Storm lies in her nightgown on her bed, reading a magazine, unaware that Bishop is in the doorway. Bishop says Storm’s name, who is surprised to see him. Bishop tells her that she was right. This is hard for him to admit but she was right. He rips off the X.S.E. emblem from his shoulder and tosses it to Storm, who is confused. Bishop tells Storm that he fought his whole life for his combat insignia. Sometimes, he thought that there was no greater prize. Now, though, he has no right to wear it. He is not the leader, she is. Bishop turns to leave and, as he walks out of the room, he tells Storm that she has much to teach him. “I have much to learn.”

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Bishop, Colossus, Iceman, Jean Grey, Storm (X-Men Blue Team)

Beast, Cyclops, Jubilee (X-Men Gold Team)

Professor Charles Xavier

Forge (X-Men ally)


Opal Tanaka

Two prostitutes

Story Notes: 

Cyclops’ team first battled Omega Red in X-Men (2nd Series) #4.

The story of Bishop, Malcolm, Randall and Fitzroy is told in Uncanny X-Men #282-282, 287.

Issue Information: