Friday, 10 October 2014

Uncanny X-Men #282-#283: Bishop

The best bit of Uncanny X-Men #282 is, without a doubt, the editorial note on Storm's explanation of #281.  It says "Not quite what you saw last issue, but take our word for it! It's what happened!"  The sheer cheek in contradicting in a footnote something that happened last issue, which had the same creative team.  Such retcon.  So editing.  Very together.   Wow.   This gives an indication of the chaos that we know was going on at the X-office at that time - compared to the sheer cheek of this footnote the mere fact that Tarot dies twice - once in #281 and then again #282 is hardly worth mentioning.

In other inconsistent mortality news, it turns out that Jean Grey is not really dead, she psychically transferred herself to Emma Frost.  This is fairly impressive - Emma Frost herself had needed a device to do a similar consciousness transfer back in Uncanny #151/#152.  It perhaps helps that Frost is dead as well, something else that obviously doesn't stick.  Xavier remarks on this in #283, possibly another piece of evidence of pantseat-fixups.  But at least that's better than pantseat-mess.  Er, perhaps I had better stop with the metaphors.

Anyway, into this very 1981 situation comes Trevor Fitzroy and Bishop.  Fitzroy is a criminal from the future that Time Cop Bishop is chasing.  Actually, that's not quite true.  It turns out Bishop isn't a Time Cop, he's just in hot pursuit to wherever Fitzroy has gone, and that happens to be the past.  What we know about him (and his little squad: he is accompanied by Malcolm and Randall) is limited, but we can see he is part of the Xavier School Enforcers, some kind of future paramilitary off-shoot of the X-Men; and he has an 'M' tattooed (?) around his right eye.   He thinks the X-Men are impostors of what he regards as almost mythical founding figures, citing discrepancies such as Archangel's status for his disbelief.  Curiously, the answers to these, and further development of Bishop's background is going to wait a long time.  It isn't until David's second X-Factor run, in the noughties, that we will see the Summers Rebellion.  Bishop ends up being used just as a big man with a gun, which is probably just as well because there's not enough basic narrative coherence here to do an intricate timeline-based plot.