Whilce Portacio Returns To Bishop For X-Men Legends

Previously stated as being created by Whilce Portacio and John Byrne for Uncanny X-Men #282, and published in 1991, Bishop was a time-travelling mutant from the future with a mission. And while he has been portrayed as a black character, he was originally intended by Portacio to be Filipino in origin. Portacio stated that he was specifically inspired by pool/snooker/billiards player Efren 'Bata' Reyes when he was creating the character. When asked to create someone who could go up against Wolverine, he picked a person who could represent Wolverine's behaviour, tendencies and habits – or ugali. "Efren 'Bata' Reyes would go up against these big American guys and give them this look. That's who Bishop was. He was born with the skills and the DNA to fight and survive. In the daytime he would fight off Sentinels, save other mutants, and then he would go underground at the end of the day and ask 'Saan ba yung next party? Saan ba yung handa?' (Where's the party at now? When's it ready?)" As for changing its racial identity, Portacio stated that X-Men editor and current DC EIC, Bob Harras, asked Portacio if Bishop could be black, as there were so many African-American kids sending in X-Men fan mail, and Harras wanted a hero who could also inspire these young readers."Understanding as a minority, I couldn't say no. I was already operating in the mood of being Pinoy, diba? Learning about our ugali. And that's another part of it. Pagbigyan, diba? (give it up, right?) there's always another time."

Well, 2023 is another time. And Whilce Portacio is returning to Bishop in X-Men Legends in January 2023, co-written with Brian Haberlin and into to reveal "new insights into Bishop's original mission… The story will finally reveal the genesis of Bishop's fateful time travel mission that pulled him from the future and into the X-Men's present! Presaging Bishop's first appearance in the classic Uncanny X-Men #282, the arc will shed new light on Bishop's original motivations and the intense guilt he feels over his fallen teammates as well as provide surprising depth to the dystopian world he left behind." Portacio also wants to credit someone else behind the creation of Bishop, artist Karl Altstaetter. 

Porrtacio writes "At heart, I love the genre of science fiction. Specifically, the world building aspect of science. So, when Karl and I created Lucas Bishop, we built in our heads, a world for Omega Squad to exist in. In the original incarnation, we didn't have much time to show any of that. Here in these two issues, Brian and I are able to give the audience a beginning glimpse of some of the detail of the world that Bishop left behind. We give flavor to the micro ecosystem that is The Pool, its inmates, their families, the X.S.E., and most importantly, Bishop and his character and personality. I've always seen Bishop as much, much more than X-Men muscle. He has always been, to me, a man perfectly born to conquer a harsh world. Yet he hides within himself a heart more suited for a kinder existence…which gives him purpose in that harsh world."

On Sale 1/24
Art and Cover by WHILCE PORTACIO
Bishop, Malcolm, and Randall, the elite Omega Squad, have discovered a dark truth about the X.S.E. After a mission goes sideways, how far will they be willing to go to make this right? To the past — and beyond! Bishop will make the most shocking decision in X-MEN LEGENDS history that will redefine what you thought you knew about mutantkind's future and the reason behind Bishop's collision with the X-Men!

On Sale 2/8
Art and Cover by WHILCE PORTACIO

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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