SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Astonishing X-Men #9 by Charles Soule, Matteo Buffgani, Giada Marchisio and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Bishop has had a particularly rough decade, even by X-Men standards. The once noble and principled law-enforcement officer from the future became a rabid zealot committed to chasing a literal child through time in order to kill her, just in case she ended up causing his dystopian alternate future. That... didn't work out to well for his standing with the X-Men.
Since then, there have been some efforts here and there to rehabilitate the character but it’s been rough going. However a small development in the most recent issue of Astonishing X-Men provides the perfect hook for Bishop to not only redeem himself, but perhaps to once again become a leading man in his own series.
Xavier Security Enforcer
Lucas Bishop debuted in 1991’s Uncanny X-Men #282, by John Byrne and Whilce Portacio, though his creation is generally credited to Portacio and Jim Lee. Arriving from the future-timeline of Earth-1191, Bishop was a member of the X.S.E or the Xavier School Enforcers — later changed to the much cooler sounding Xavier Security Enforcers — and along with two colleagues, he travelled back to the present hunting down the renegade Trevor Fitzroy, even though he knew there was no way to travel back to his home time. After defeating Fitzroy, Bishop remained with the X-Men due to the knowledge that in this era, they would be betrayed by one of their own. Bishop suspected Gambit to be the traitor, though he was later proven wrong when Charles Xavier became Onslaught.
Bishop remained in the present day under a number of different roles, most notably as a police officer for the NYPD whose beat was the newly emerged Mutant Town neighbourhood. When the first mutant baby was born post-M Day, Bishop believed the child would grow up to doom mutantkind. He chased Cable and the child further and further into the future in an attempt to kill her and remove that possibility. He later joined Storm and Psylocke’s LA based X-Force and helped them fight Cassandra Nova. Regretful for his actions, he even made his piece with Hope Summers and attempted to atone for his sins.
Ends of the Worlds
Since Bishop joined the Astonishing X-Men, it’s been hinted that he has access to knowledge of the end of the world, and the most recent issue confirmed it. He now has a database on his wrist with knowledge and data of all the signposts that point towards various possible apocalypse scenarios. In this case, the green sun caused by Proteus is indicative of the Mindkiller Apocalypse, which isn’t a lot to go on but it gives the X-Men something to work with regarding the severity of the threat Proteus’ causes.
A great storytelling device within Astonishing X-Men, it’s kind of too interesting to remain a background detail in a team book. Bishop has been a leading man before, and this new mission of his is the perfect jumping off point for him to become one again. Marvel has once again become a bit more experimental with who gets ongoings or even miniseries; just look at this year so far and we have Legion, Rogue and Gambit and New Mutants, with a new Multiple Man series later in the year. Whether he meant to or not, Charles Soule provided the perfect hook for a Bishop series and Marvel would be foolish not to capitalize on it.
KEEP READING: The X-Men Have Just Been Retconned Into… Child Killers?