For many of the 90s youth, 1992’s X-Men: The Animated Series was a gateway to the world of superhero comics and for their parents, a trip down the memory lane of comic book-reading childhood. It portrayed many different storylines from the comics, which appealed to all age groups acquainted with the X-Men though, Fox Network generally kept the series kid-friendly. Still, its appeal to all age groups led to incredibly high ratings for a Saturday morning cartoon — making it unsurprising that Disney+ is considering a reboot.
Well, not a classical reboot of the original series, more like a modern continuation of the narrative. Disney+ started discussions with Marvel Studios about the series’ revival. In 2021 the company announced that the revival titled X-Men ’97 should premiere on the service in 2023, continuing the plot of the original X-Men: The Animated Series. Most of the surviving cast members should reprise their roles, and some characters, like Jubilee, are getting a small re-write in the reboot. So, it’s high time to address certain plot holes regarding one of the fan-favorite characters — Lucas Bishop. Here are 7 things X-Men ’97 should address about Lucas Bishop:
1. His Origin Story
Bishop first appeared in X-Men: The Animated Series‘ eleventh episode of the first season, titled “Days of Future Past — Part 1”, as a mutant-hunter from the future. He hails from the year 2055, in which Sentinels rule America and hunt and kill mutants or keep them in “relocation” camps. However, once he had achieved his prescribed quota, the Sentinels turned on him. He had to join the resistance and travel back through time in an attempt to prevent the dystopian future.
However, according to comic book history, Bishop, and his sister Shard, were actually born in one of those “mutant relocation camps” and, like all other mutants, were tattooed with “M” tattoos over their right eyes to identify them. Moreover, they escaped the camp and were taken in by their grandmother, a silver-haired mutant that told them stories about the heroism of the X-Men. This is a much more believable origin story than the one presented in the animated show.
2. His Origin Story — Part 2
If showrunners decide to revisit Lucas Bishop’s origin story, his grandmother’s identity should also be addressed. His grandmother was a mutant with long-silver hair who told stories of X-Men heroism. Though it was never discussed, fans have long speculated that this was actually Storm. According to official comic book history, Storm was a Kenyan tribal princess, and Bishop was of Aboriginal descent, which would pose a massive discrepancy.
With that said, Bishop could come from an alternate timeline, and it’s entirely possible that their variant of Storm actually originates from Australia, or Bishop from Africa, instead. Re-imaginings can do that, and time travel is sometimes confusing.
3. His Hair
In most regards, Bishop was a 90s trope kind of character. He was a superhuman sent back in time to stop a horrible future from happening, who used massive guns and sported the most iconic hairstyle in history — the mullet. Although to be fair, the mullet was at its peak in the mid-80s and still very popular in the early 90s when the character first appeared in the comic book, and Bishop sported his. Over and over again.
Apparently, the mullet was a cool haircut to have in 2055 and while he was depicted with a shaved head a couple of times, he would always go back to the legendary hairstyle. This should be addressed. So many contemporary hairstyles would still look good on a character such as Bishop, like mid-length dreadlocks with an undercut, a low fade, or a long hair simply tied back would work.
4. His Power
Bishop can absorb the vast majority of energy, including magic, sound, light, psionic, psychic, etc. He can then project the absorbed energy from his body in the form of concussive blasts, energy rays, fire, plasma, explosions, and so on. However, there are some discrepancies regarding his power, as he can only absorb limited amounts of energy.
When overloaded, Bishop’s body will discharge excess energy in an explosion until it reaches controllable amounts. So suggesting that he can store energy, multiply, and output the desired quantities of said energy at desired increments without having any type of control over the “input” doesn’t really make sense.
5. Does He Need A Gun?
He’s a 90s character; of course, he will be sporting a massive gun that shoots energy blasts. It’s not like he can shoot them out of his hands. Except he can. So, the argument was made that the gun multiplies his output — which he also does by hand. Then another argument was made that the gun multiplies the output beyond his innate abilities. To what end, we ask, blowing up the moon? Sure, he’s a time-cop, so he needs a gun, but given his abilities, a stun-gun would be much sounder than an energy blaster.
6. We Can Call Him Lucas
He was addressed simply as Bishop in the X-Men: The Animated Show, which was pretty canon at the time, considering that his first name was revealed in the X-Treme X-Men comic book series that ran from 2001 through 2004. Considering that the reboot is actually a continuation of the original narrative, the showrunners should stick to the canon and give him a first name in the series.
7. Give Him An Alternate Timeline
One of the more persistent problems when dealing with time-traveling characters is making them oblivious to certain things happening in the present (their past) leading up to the future (their present). For example, in X-Men: The Animated Series, Bishop claimed that he doesn’t know much about the present, but that seems nearly impossible from an in-universe perspective.
So, making him a trans-dimensional traveler that came from an alternate timeline could solve this problem, as most of our present might play out differently than his past, which would really make him oblivious as to what’s currently going on. And it would solve the “Storm is his grandma” discrepancy too.
X-Men ’97 should premiere in summer 2023, with a 10-episode count for the first season of the animated series. It’s still unknown whether Lucas Bishop makes an appearance or not but the narrative would have to touch upon time travel and alternate universes at one point, so that could be a good way to reintroduce him. Just don’t expect to see the series as part of the MCU canon — Marvel Comics was very clear on that point. Pity, Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man would’ve made a great Lucas Bishop if X-Men would ever debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.