|Can you guess which decade Bishop was created in?|
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #282 (1991)
History: About 80 years in the future anti-mutant hysteria has advanced to the point that mutants are captured and forced to live in concentration camps. As a child Lucas Bishop grew in such a camp, being looked after by his adoptive grandmother as well a mysterious figure named LeBeau, also known as “the Witness” due to the fact he was the last person to see the legendary X-Men alive. Once mutants were emancipated Bishop eventually joined the Xavier's Security Enforcers, or the XSE, a sort of mutant police force. On a mission to apprehend the time traveling mutant criminal Trevor Fitzroy Bishop winds up stuck in present time alongside the legendary X-Men. Professor X offers him a place on the team and Lucas readily accepts. However Bishop recognize one of the team, newcomer Gambit, as a younger version of the Witness leading him to believe that the Cajun mutant survives the eventual death of the X-Men by being the traitor that destroys the team.
Years later it turned out that Professor X was the traitor. Because of course it would be.
Beta Says: When I was a kid during the 1990s I was a really into Bishop. In retrospect I think the sole reason I was such a fan was because he was, aside from Storm, the only black member of the X-Men. Looking back there aren’t a lot of X-Men that I thought looked like me when I was a kid so I was likely drawn to this big, heavily muscled, gun toting dude despite he not really having any of the traits I usually went for in characters back then. Regardless Bishop is a character that Marvel, at least at some point, seemed pretty invested in the guy. He’s had a few ongoing titles and miniseries, none of which paid off. There’s probably several reasons comic fans as a whole never really bought the whole “Bishop is Awesome” train that Marvel was selling, but I’d argue it’s just as well because the guy is pretty goddamn dull. Then Marvel turned him into a super villain. Because…reasons.
Also, can we acknowledge Bishop probably sported a Jheri curl for the first few years of his existence?
|I think we just found the reason for Bishop's dark future|
|I feel like this sort of thing keeps happening|
Time travel, man.
|Nothing beats the hobo life; time traveling with my hobo knife|
But the truth is Lucas does have character: he’s the militaristic, conservative guy who occasionally sides against the X-Men in favor of the government. Because…um…I have no idea. He’s a cop, so I guess some writers translate that into “By the Book” or “The Law is the Law” sort of archetype, which I’ve yet to see someone do well with this guy. It’s a bit problematic, especially when he’s a member of prosecuted outlaws hated by the world for what they are.
I kind of hate Bishop these days, sadly. Despite after a few years of trying to raise Bishop’s profile I guess the writers at Marvel Comics’ finally just said “F**k it, let’s just make him a super villain.” During 2007’s X-Men crossover Messiah Complex the X-Men discovered the first mutant birth since the Scarlet Witch removed the powers of 99% of their race. This brings them into conflict with several competing groups and the civilian death toll is quite high. In a weird twist it turns out that Bishop is looking to murder the baby because she, Hope Summers, will eventually grow up to be the catalyst of his terrible future. In the end he fails but accidentally shoots Professor X in the head, seemingly killing him. It’s a bizarre story. Ultimately he chases able and baby Hope though time, during which he commits literal genocide. F**king genocide! Guys, seriously; Cyclops killed Professor X too but he was out of his mind with Phoenix power. Bishop is apparently just a dick.
|What? Like you've never tried to murder a baby before|
Also, Bishop has a younger sister named Shard (Full Name: Shard Bishop, because the Dark Age of Comics was stupid) but she’s an even more confusing character and she kind of stopped being relevant almost twenty years ago so I kind of don’t feel a need to talk about her here.
|So Shard is, like, a hologram or something-|
Nope, I can't do it; maybe next year!