Not mentioned in the launch interview, Marvel.com have established the initial hook for Sam Humphries and Ron Garney’s relaunch of X-Force: the return of Bishop.
Last seen hurled into the future and abandoned by Cable, Bishop has been missing for a fair while now. He’s been absent for the entire final third of Marvel’s ‘Messiah Trilogy’, in fact, when he was so pivotal to the first two sections.
One of the most prominent black men in comics, Bishop was revealed to have a counter-purpose to the X-Men all the way back in Messiah Complex, the crossover which first established Hope Summers. At that time, Bishop and Cable (both characters who had travelled back in time to join the X-Men) revealed that they had contrasting views of Hope’s purpose in shaping the future. While Cable believed her a Messiah, Bishop believed her to be responsible for millions of future deaths. They fought, and Cable emerged the winner – although Hope’s purpose remains unrevealed.
But now Bishop returns! Reuniting with his former team-mates Storm and Psylocke, but this time as an enemy. Humphries describes it as an “ugly reunion”, with the battle-scarred, bitter Bishop returning to hunt down his former allies. It’s not yet known whether X-Force will head to him or he’ll come back for them, but at the very least it’s a sign that the character hasn’t been forgotten by Marvel.