Finally, let’s speak of the first newcomer we get to see from X-Men: Days of Future Past, the mutant from the future known as Bishop. Little or less is known about his role in the movie: he’ll be portrayed by French actor Omar Sy, and he’ll probably won’t come from a future so distant as the one in the comics, but “just” from the future old Professor X and Magneto belong to. So, he’ll act as an ally to the current X-Men team to contact and help the team from the ’60s dealing with the emergency of the rise of the Sentinels. Let’s see if the portrayal will give justice to the character; in the meanwhile, let’s speak about Lucas Bishop as he is in the comicbooks…
The main reality in the Marvel Universe is called Earth-616, and it’s the one in which most of the characters live; Lucas Bishop is from another reality, another timeline, called Earth-1191, a dimension in which some things differ from the main one, some major things in this case. In the 21st Century of this timeline, Bolivar Trask had built the Sentinels, mutant-hunting robots, programmed to erase the menace of super-powered beings, starting from mutants, of course, but also metahumans (such as Spider-Man, for example). When Bishop was born, in Australia, Professor X and most of the X-Men had been killed already, along as many other superheroes or supervillains, such as the Fantastic Four and many of the Avengers. Bishop’s family moved away from Australia just a day before it was nuked by the Sentinels, who went far beyond to their original program thanks to Master Mold, the artificial intelligence controlling them. Along with his parents and his sister Shard, Bishop moved to America, just in time to be imprisoned in a concentration camp for mutants (the M on his eye is a souvenir from that experience). They saw the failure of the Summers Rebellion, an uprising that united both normal humans and mutants to fight the Sentinels. The robots were destroyed, sure, but the Rebellion only started a time of civil war in which the hatred between humans and mutants rose once again. Humans still feared mutants, while mutants formed terrorist organizations such as the Exhumes to fight against humans. Bishop’s parents died in the disorders, and Lucas and Shard were risen by a mysterious old man, calling himself Witness (actually, this timeline’s version of Remy “Gambit” LeBeau). They stayed with him until a “grandmother” (possibly Storm) showed up and took them away from LeBeau: the adoptive grandma taught the two children the stories of the legendary and heroic X-Men, who fought for coexistence between humans and mutants. When the grandmother died, a blind man called Hancock (maybe Cyclops) committed himself to raise the children, always teaching them the way of peace. Lucas, as a teenager, was mistrustful towards this pacifist ideas, and took a liking to the Exhumes, thus despising the Xavier Security Enforcers, a group of mutants founded by Hecat’e that acted as a police force against other dangerous mutants, seeking Xavier’s idea of peaceful cohabitation between mutants and humans.
Everything changed the day the XSE were pursuing an Exhume, Virago, who, on her way, took Shard as a hostage. Bishop tried to protect his sister, and, as a result, he was about to be killed by the woman, only to be saved by Sureshot, an XSE who killed the terrorist. When Hancock was killed by criminals Billboy and Halftrack, the XSE saved once again Lucas and Shard; in this occasion, Bishop manifested his mutant powers (he could absorb and redirect energy), and two XSE, Amazon and Recoil, were impressed enough to offer him a place in their ranks. Bishop accepted, only to the condition of having Shard with him as well, and he entered the XSE as a cadet. Shard became Bishop’s commanding officer, but Lucas preferred to stick to lower ranks in order to patrol streets with his friends Malcolm and Randall. He started to suspect that his sister’s boyfriend, another officer named Trevor Fitzroy, was actually a criminal, but couldn’t prove it, and Shard fell into an ambush set up by Fitzroy. Shard was attacked by Emplates, mutant vampires that lived on bone marrow, and turned into one of them. Bishop then went to Witness for help (he was imprisoned in New York), and he promised he would have transferred his sister’s conscience into a holographic device…if Bishop agreed to work for him for one year. The man agreed: he killed his sister’s body to free her from her curse, while LeBeau transferred her mind into a device set on her brother’s wrist. Nobody knows what Bishop did during the year he left XSE to work for Witness, and he never spoke about it. Finally, after a year, Bishop came back to XSE and led his Omega Squad (he, Malcolm and Randall) to captured Fitzroy, hidden in the ruins of Xavier Institute. Here, Lucas found a damaged recording from Jean Grey warning about a traitor among the X-Men; when Bishop asked Witness about it, the old man only gave ambiguous answers, leading Bishop to think he had been the traitor at the time. When Fitzroy escaped in the past using a vast amount of mutant life force, Bishop and his team followed him, even knowing they couldn’t have possibly come back. In the past, the three XSE started hunting and killing the 93 mutant escapees, thus clashing with the original X-Men. Bishop, at first, clashed with the ones who had been his childhood heroes, not believing they were who they claimed to be, but ended up allying with them to take down Fitzroy, an effort that took the lives of Malcolm and Randall. Alone in the past, always suspecting towards Gambit (who he still regarded as the “traitor” Jean Grey spoke of in the future) and trying to learn the “soft way” for stopping criminals, Bishop became a member of the X-Men, trying to help for what he could and becoming part of the legend he had always admired.
Lucas Bishop is a tough man from a tough world: always used to do what he must to survive, with no half measure, he strives to learn how to fight “evil” without becoming just as violent as the criminals he’s pursuing. With a professional military training, Bishop is a master of both armed and unarmed combat; his mutant ability allows him to turn the energy he absorbs into physical attributes such as strength, durability, speed or stamina, or to use it to heal or to emit energy blasts. The rules of the new world sometimes seem to soft for Bishop, and the X-Men he now lives and fights with are not always up to the legendary image he created starting from the stories he heard as a child, but one thing’s for sure: Bishop will do whatever he thinks it’s necessary to prevent his future to happen.