Debuting in Uncanny X-Men #282, Bishop made a big splash right form the get go. It was the ’90s and fans loved his no-nonsense, take no prisoners attitude. Hailing from a dystopian future (is there any other type of future for the X-Men?), he came back in time to prevent the disaster that would make his future a reality. It was a big trope back then, but he was one of the first and most popular of the bunch.
Born with the ability to absorb energy and use it for his purposes, his star would fall as time went on but he still has a bit of a dedicated fanbase. Of course, like any comic character with a history as convoluted as his, there are things about him that don’t make sense and this list is going to look at some of them.
10 He Keeps Going Back To The Mullet
This one is a minor one, but it’s still kind of mystifying for multiple reasons. Apparently, in Bishop’s future the mullet was still a cool haircut to have, which definitely proves how dystopian it was. Then again, he did debut at the tail end of the time when it was considered okay to have a mullet, so he can be forgiven a bit.
He would get rid of it, shaving his head and looking cooler, but sometimes he goes back to having it, and it’s just so weird. Of course, since he’s from the future maybe he knows something we don’t about the haircut.
9 Why He Ever Carried A Gun
Now, yes, it was the ’90s and characters who carried a gun were very much in vogue, but Bishop carrying one was always a bit nonsensical. He can absorb energy and fire it back at his enemies. He comes from a future where everyone had energy weapons. If any one shot a laser at him, he could absorb it.
So, why did he need the gun again? Sure, maybe he’d need it when he came back in time and fewer people had energy weapons, but he was on a team full of people who fired energy blasts and could charge him up.
8 That It Took Him Years To Reveal His First Name
Bishop’s first name is Lucas and fans and his teammates wouldn’t know that for a very long time. Bishop was very much a ’90s trope kind of character- sent back in time to stop a terrible future, used guns, and was super mysterious- but in-universe, why did it take him so long to reveal his first name?
There’s pretty much no reason for it at all, except to keep the aura of mystery around the character. No one’s trying to say the ’90s weren’t a weird time for comic characters, folks.
7 Making A Secret Deal With Iron Man During Civil War
Iron Man went full fascist during Civil War, supporting the government’s Superhero Registration Act and trying to arrest some of his closest friends and allies. He went to the X-Men and asked them to join his side, but they refused. They were already exempt from the SRA because of the Office of National Emergency watching over them after M-Day, and decided that taking sides in the whole thing would lead to ruin anyway.
Bishop, however, made a secret deal with Iron Man, offering to rat on any mutants secretly aiding Cap’s Secret Avengers. He completely bypassed his teammates to do this. This wouldn’t be the first time he sided against his friends, though…
6 He Was On O.N.E.’s Side While They Were “Watching” Over The Xavier Institute
After Scarlet Witch depowered the vast majority of the mutant population, the rest made their way to the Xavier Institute. The government sent O.N.E. and a bunch of their Sentinels to the school, ostensibly to “protect” mutants. Many mutants felt that O.N.E. was actually trying to contain them and keep them on their separate reservation, bristling at this.
Bishop, however, was not only cool with it but sided with O.N.E., helping them hunt down a group of mutants who escaped the Xavier Institute. One would think that someone who grew up in a dystopian future wrecked by Sentinels wouldn’t side with the Sentinels, but Bishop did.
5 Lying About M-Day
When Bishop came back in time, he didn’t have complete knowledge of all the things that were going to happen. Many records were destroyed by his time and most of the things he knew were just fragments that he had to put together. However, there were some events he knew about and he wasn’t always upfront about it.
For example, he knew about Scarlet Witch depowering most of the mutants population but never warned anyone about it. When asked if he knew that it would happen, he even lied and said he didn’t know about it. This seems like an event he should have warned people about. In fact…
4 He Knew A Lot More About Things Than He Let On
One of the problems with bringing a character back in time is that even if the writer finds a way to make them not know everything that happens that leads up to their future, they’ll still know a lot of things about the present. They have to, since all of these characters have a mission to change the future.
Throughout his time with the X-Men, Bishop claims not to know much about the present but always knows enough to be in the right place at the right time and never tells his teammates and friends what he knows beforehand. From the reader’s perspective, this makes sense since the writers don’t actually know what’s going to happen after they leave a book, but from an in-universe perspective it makes no sense at all. For instance…
3 He Knew About The Shadow King’s Attack
In Charles Soule’s extremely underwhelming Astonishing X-Men run (saying it’s underwhelming is being nice about it), the Shadow King attempts to take over the world by gaining control of Proteus. A team of X-Men come together to stop him, one of whom is Bishop.
However, Bishop was waiting for this event to happen. He doesn’t warn anyone about it. He could have easily told a bunch of the X-men’s telepaths about it and had them go after Shadow King in the Astral Plane literally years beforehand, but instead waits until the event has already started. Way to try and save the future by waiting until it’s almost too late, Bishop.
2 Trying To Kill Hope Summers In The Dumbest Ways Possible
Hope Summers is the first new mutant born after M-Day. Somehow she’s responsible for Bishop’s future coming into being, so he tries to kills her. This is all pretty standard time traveler from the hellish future trying to prevent it from happening stuff, albeit a little more villainous than usual.
Instead of being all quiet about it and smothering her in her sleep when she’s a baby, he tries to do it in the most overt ways possible, causing the X-Men to send her on a cross-time jaunt with Cable as a protector. This makes his job a whole lot harder.
1 In General, Bishop Is Terrible At Preventing His Future From Happening
The above entry and the others on this list prove just how Bishop is at trying to keep his future from happening. He knows more than he lets on and doesn’t stop terrible events from happening. When he does actually try to stop them, he fails miserably because he is so bad at it.
The weird thing is with his continued access to time travel tech, he could go back in time and tell one of his past selves all the things he needs to, but doesn’t. Bishop is the worst time traveler ever.
Hailing from the future, there are a lot of things about the X-Man Bishop that don't make sense at all.