Bishop : The Last X-Man #16

Issue Date: 
January 2001
Story Title: 
Dream’s End - part 3

Scott Lobdell and Joe Pruett (writers), Thomas Derenick (penciler), Massengill & Team X (inkers), Jason Wright (colors), Jon Babcock (letters), Mike Raicht (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editors), Joe Quesada (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Just as Rogue, Wolverine and Bishop arrive on Muir Island, the lab complex blows up right in front of them. Separated by the explosion, they try to hunt down the Brotherhood members. The Toad is easily defeated and Bishop finds Sabretooth just in time to stop him from killing Wolfsbane, who is stuck among the debris. Having absorbed some of the explosion’s force, Bishop has enough energy stored within himself to blast Sabretooth two times, knocking him out. He frees Wolfsbane, ordering her to search for Moira, and runs into what seems to be senator Kelly. Bishop and Kelly argue quite a bit about their views on mutants, until Wolverine interrupts, attacking “Kelly,” who is actually Mystique in disguise. However, Bishop was aware of this and had tried to get through to her with words, rather than violence. In the confusion, she slips away, leaving the two X-Men to search for the missing Moira. Finally, they find her among the ruins, badly wounded, possibly not to survive the day. However, Moira has disturbing news: Mystique’s tampering with the Legacy Virus gave her the right idea for a cure. Outside, Rogue witnesses Mystique use Forge’s Neutralizer Gun on the unsuspecting Wolfsbane, permanently negating her mutant powers. Mystique insanely explains that, once her Legacy Virus has killed all humans, Earth will truly belong to the mutant race and, with the Gun, she can keep them all in check. Rogue tries to reason with her adoptive mother, who at first seems to give in but then rams a knife into Rogue’s gut, leaving her for dead. When Bishop and Wolverine arrive, they are caught in a Mexican stand-off, Bishop ready to use shoot Mystique with his own weapon, while Mystique threatens to Neutralizer on Logan, which would kill him as his healing factor is tied to his life energies. The situation is solved by Rogue coming around and stabbing Mystique with the bone claws she absorbed from Logan.

Full Summary: 

Muir Island, just of the coast of Scotland, is the place Rahne Sinclair calls home. Herself a mutant, she is the adoptive daughter of the island’s owner, Moira MacTaggert, who also happens to be one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of genetics. As a member of such teams as the New Mutants, X-factor and Excalibur, Rahne has faced death countless times but never has she known fear as intensely as this. The lab complex was just blown up and Rahne finds herself stuck among the debris, fires raging all around her. Added to this, she has just become aware of one of the people responsible for the explosion – the killer known as Sabretooth.

Victor Creed doesn’t need a reason to kill, nor does he do it for sport. To him, killing is a pleasure. He approaches the trapped girl and maliciously holds his claws in front of her face, stating that he thought he wasn’t going to have any fun on this mission, until now. He taunts Rhane, who is in tears, asking if she is afraid and if she catches the scent in the air, the scent of fear. Sabretooth says that this is what makes the world go round and also he admits that killing a mutant is even more fun, as mutant flesh is a bit more special and tastes better ... not that he won’t enjoy picking the bones of Moira any less.

Hearing this, fear gives away to anger and Rhane transforms into a mostly wolfen form. Though still stuck among the debris, she howls and yells that she won’t let Creed hurt her mum and that she will shred him to pieces. Creed laughs and is even a little bit impressed. He always figured her to be some wimp, though she’s got more spunk than he gave her credit for. However, it doesn’t do Rahne any good. Unable to move her arms, she is helpless and Sabretooth slaps her in the face. Then, holding her by her fur with one hand, he prepares to slash her throat with his other clawed hand, when suddenly a voice tells him to turn.

Sabretooth has no chance to react or respond, as he finds himself on the receiving end of a force blast and is smashed into a wall. His attacker emerges from the shadows, accusing Sabretooth that this is always his way, always looks for the helpless victim that can’t fight back. It’s Bishop. His hands are still crackling with energy as he calls Sabretooth a coward, but he, for one, is not afraid of him. Bishop then turns to Wolfsbane, who notices that he is in pain, but her tells her to be quiet and save her strength. Despite Rahne’s warning that Creed is coming around, Bishop tries to free her and manages to lift the girder lying on top of her. Fortunately, Wolfsbane isn’t injured and is able to walk without any problems. The X-Man tells her to go and find Moira then and protect her at any cost. Rahne objects, she knows Bishop is too injured to battle Sabretooth on his own. Bishop explains that, so far they know, Mystique and Sabretooth are on Muir Island, with possibly more members of the Brotherhood. Sabretooth is accounted for, Mystique isn’t, and Moira’s life if top priority. Now convinced, Rahne runs into the ruins of the complex.

Bishop turns around to Sabretooth, who slowly is getting back to his feet. Creed asks Bishop if he is proud of himself and if he thinks he is something special, because, if he does, he is wrong. Sabretooth tells Bishop that he is way over his head in this one. Last time when they battled, he bluffed him, making Creed think he had more power left in his body; it’s no use to try the same strategy again. Bishop questions why he thinks that he is bluffing at all. Sabretooth replies that he admits that Bishop’s blast did hurt him quite a lot, but he knows how his power works. After hitting someone with that amount of energy, he needs to recharge himself, like a battery. “Or, in other words, ya ain’t got nothin’ left.” he concludes his assumption and leaps towards Bishop, ready to use his claws on him. However, he thought wrong, as, before he can hit his mark, Bishop again blasts him an energy blasts of such force that Sabretooth is sent flying, smashing through one of the walls. Bishop walks to his unconscious opponent and says that there is one thing he should know about him – he never bluffs.

Minutes later, Bishop is outside the remains of the building and finds that, in the meantime, it has started to rain. Bishop makes a comment about the deteriorating situation and, unexpectedly, somebody answers. It is Senator Kelly, standing a few feet away. He begins to lecture Bishop on his views on mutants. To him, mutants seem dangerous and their existence shows baseline humans how inferior they are. Some even believe that mankind’s days as dominant species are over and they should step aside to let Homo superior assume the mantle of leadership. Kelly then asks Bishop what he thinks about the topic; should mutants stop living in fear and end humans’ reign of terror ? Bishop replies that it’s not for him to say. He does not believe in the separation of the species. With some good will on both sides, they can peacefully co-exist. Kelly disagrees and calls Bishop an idealistic fool. “Man fears what is different... and what man fears... man destroys,” he explains.

Their exchange is cut short by Wolverine, saying that Bishop is wasting his time. He then leaps over, claws first, towards Senator Kelly, but Bishop stops him halfway through. Logan explains that it wasn’t really Kelly but, much to his surprise, Bishop already knew; it’s not like he is completely stupid. He was trying a different approach though. Violence isn’t always the right tool to defeat a foe and, sometimes, words can make a difference, Bishop says, explaining his actions. He is sure that he almost had the shapeshifter, but now she has taken the opportunity to get away. “She?” Logan asks, “then you knew it was Mystique?” Of course, Bishop answers. While he doesn’t have Logan’s keen senses, he has years of conflict taught him how to tell friend from foe.

Elsewhere, Wolfsbane too found a way out of the ruins and is taken aback by the amount of destruction before her. A she approaches a toppled helicopter, halfway buried by debris, she thinks that the rain makes it look like the wrath of the good Lord himself reached down from the heavens to punish them. Getting closer to the damaged aircraft, she becomes aware of the Toad, unconscious, wrapped in and tied to one of the copter’s rotor blades. Wolfsbane wonders who could be responsible for the Toad’s unpleasant condition and where the other Brotherhood members are, when she becomes aware of somebody behind her.

Wolfsbane howls and turns, only to see Rogue. However, she is not quite sure whether it is the X-Man, as Rogue, her costume half torn, displays Colossus’ metallic skin and Logan’s bone claws. Rahne asks if it is she and Rogue answers, “Yeah, ah’m still in here somewhere.“ She assures Wolfsbane that everything is going to be okay now. She brought Bishop and Wolverine with her and, together, they will find get her and Moira away from here somewhere safe. Hearing her mother’s name, Rahne becomes worried again and question whether Rogue has seen her. Unfortunately, she has not, though Rogue tries to calm her, saying that Moira is as tough as they come. She’ll be fine.

Rogue hears a "Klick" sound close by but, before she can react, it’s too late. Wolfsbane is hit by a red beam of energy and screams out in pain. She collapses to the ground, no longer being in her transitionary form but entirely human. Rogue, powering down, runs over to her, urging her to talk to her, but the unconscious redhead doesn’t answer. Rogue wonders out loud if she is still alive, as she can’t tell if she is breathing or not. A voice behind her responds to her concerns. “She’s still alive... she just won’t be the same ever again. Hello, daughter:” It’s Mystique, dressed in a black, leather outfit, holding up the gun she just fired at Rahne.

Bishop and Wolverine have ventured back into the ruins, searching for Moira. They make their way to the remains of the lab, as this is the most likely place where she was when the explosion hit, devoting all her time to search for a cure to the Legacy Virus. Logan tells Bishop that he doesn’t sense any hostiles nearby, but reminds him to stay alert, as the smoke and fumes are affecting his senses. Just then, Bishop finds Moira in a bad condition, stuck among some debris. Her eyes wide open in shock, she barely reacts to her savior’s presence.

Logan kneels down to Moira and tells her to relax, they will get her some medical attention and she won’t die. Moira answers that he has always been a bad liar, but she then says that they can’t let her die. Not here, not now. Logan tries to calm her, reassuring that she’ll be fine, though she needs to fight and may not give up. Moira tells him that he doesn’t understand what she was trying to say. It is because of Mystique’s manipulation of the Legacy Virus so that it only affects humans. This is the answer she has been looking for, Moira says. She now has it; she now knows how to cure the Legacy Virus. Bishop and Logan are taken aback. They are both aware of the importance of Moira’s discovery and that she survives long enough to pass on her knowledge.

Outside, Rogue recognizes the gun Mystique is holding up, she has seen it a long time ago. Mystique confirms it. It’s the Neutralizer gun invented by Forge, designed to permanently negate the mutant abilities of its target. Rogue recalls how Storm lost her powers for months when she intercepted a blast meant for her and how she has never forgiven herself for that. She asks Mystique how the gun came into her possession. Her adoptive mother answers that she picked up more than just a shoulder to cry when Forge welcomed her to his home.

Rogue is afraid to ask but then brings up that the prototype was designed for a one-time use - does the same hold for this one? Toying with her emotions, Mystique responds that Rogue would probably like to have her powers taken away, finally having silence in her head after the chaos ravaged her soul for so long. Such peace would be the greatest gift a mother could give. However, Mystique declares she won’t and kicks Rogue in the face. Rogue is shocked, never before has Mystique hit her and she voices her disbelief. Mystique lands a second blow, stating that the device wasn’t created as a reward for mutants who wish to unburden themselves of their gifts but as a means to keep her fellow mutants in line, once her version of the Legacy Virus has spread across the globe.

Hearing this, Rogue becomes angry and wants to know how so much hatred can come from the same loving woman who raised her. Nonetheless it is, as Mystique points out. With the stabilizing agent that MacTaggert concocted and foolishly discarded in her research, she can now assure that mutantkind that they no longer have to be afraid of humans. Her variant virus will eliminate all of humanity and, finally, Earth will belong to mutants. She says that she is doing it for all of them – the Brotherhood, the X-Men, all mutants. They will all be free.

Rogue wrests the gun from Mystique’s hand and throws it far away. She apologizes to her mother but she thinks Mystique is not herself and that she needs help. Mystique cries out to not do this to her, not when she is so close to ending the threat that humanity poses. Suddenly, though, she seems to give in, transforms into her human, Raven Darkholme look and sinks down to her knees. Calling Rogue her daughter, she pleads with her. Rogue says that she wants to help her and offers to take her back to Professor Xavier, who might help her. She fails to notice Mystique pulling a knife from a secret pocket in the back of her outfit. Changing back into her blue skinned appearance, mystique rams the knife in Rogue’s gut. Rogue is shocked. She is supposed to be invulnerable, how could the blade hurt her? Calmly standing above Rogue, who is holding her injured gut with both hands, Mystique explains that a mother knows about her daughter’s flaws and weaknesses and demands to know why Rogue made her do this, as she raised her to never question her decisions.

Bishop storms onto the scene, ordering Mystique to “Freeze!” Logan, carrying the injured Moira, comes up behind him. Mystique, by now, has reclaimed the Neutralizer Gun and uses Rahne as a human shield, threatening to kill her, while Rogue lies behind them, not moving. Logan threatens Mystique that she is better unharmed, while Bishop orders her to lower her weapon and hand over the stabilizing agent, pointing his own gun at the shapeshifter. He tries to reason with Mystique, explaining that the agent contains a possible cure for the Virus, so it would benefit them all, and she has no chance to get away, as both Sabretooth and the Toad have been defeated.

Mystique disagrees. She has the stabilizing agent, precious Rahne’s life and the Neutralizer Gun to use. Pointing the gun at Logan, she once more mentions that it cancels mutant powers. In Logan’s case, as his healing factor is tied to his life functions, a hit could kill him. Referring to the lifeless Rogue, she claims that she already killed one X-Man today, so one more wouldn’t matter to her. Logan refuses to let the X-Men be blackmailed by a terrorist. He tells Bishop to shoot her as soon as she pulls the trigger. Caught in this stand-off, Mystique taunts them, belittling the X-men as “always so honorable, always so predictable”.

Suddenly, a “Schlikt” sound is heard and Mystique stops, looking surprised, as well as in pain. Logan and Bishop both wonder what is happening to her opponent, but Mystique finds the answer herself. Although she doesn’t believe it, it’s true. It was Rogue. Utilizing Wolverine’s bone claws, she stabbed Mystique from behind. Her claws still dripping with blood, Rogue is as shocked as everyone else and looks Mystique in the eye, muttering, “Momma...”

Characters Involved: 

Bishop, Rogue, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Moira MacTaggert


Mystique, Sabretooth, Toad (all Brotherhood of Mutants III)

In flashbacks:


Henry Peter Gyrich



Story Notes: 

This issue is the third part of the Dream’s End crossover. It is continued from Cable (2nd series) X-Men #87 and continued in X-Men (2nd series) #108.

The lab complex exploded right as Rogue, Wolverine and Bishop arrived on Muir Island in Uncanny X-Men #388. Obviously, they were caught in the blast, as their costumes are torn, but Bishop also absorbed some of the energies.

Bishop and Sabretooth fought each other before in Uncanny X-Men #311.

The neutralizer gun was used on Storm in Uncanny X-Men #185.

Mystique seemed to lose her sense of identity and go insane, prompting Forge to take care of her in Uncanny X-Men #289-290. For quite some time, she lived with him in his Eagle Plaza in Dallas (as can be seen in Uncanny X-Men #301-302). However, X-Men Unlimited #4 revealed that she had been faking her mental problems the whole duration.

In the final pages of the issue, there is an error, as Mystique constantly changes weapons. While the panel shows her with the gun, Bishop orders her to drop the knife. The next shot has her holding the blade at Wolfsbane’s neck, only show her again with the gun in the following panels.

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