In the Marvel Universe, a mutant from the distant future named “Bishop” joins the X-Men to prevent the group’s upcoming doom. Bishop is a member of the XSE (Xavier’s Security Enforcers), a military force from the future and will at some point battle with Wolverine in the Ultimate Marvel comic series.
His character was created by John Byrne and Whilce Portacio, and according to Portacio, Bishop wasn’t intended to be black in the first place but to be of Filipino blood.
His inspiration for creating a character that would later on duel with Wolverine came from the Filipino professional pool player, Efren “Bata” Reyes. Portacio saw how Efren Reyes acted whenever he played official pool tournaments and said how Efren had this dauntless look in his eyes whenever he saw his opponents. Portacio liked how Efren “Bata” Reyes exuded the energy Wolverine also possessed. Bishop was made to step up against Wolverine and we all know that is no easy task.
Portacio also shared how X-Men editor, Bob Harras asked if they could portray Bishop as someone of color since they had a lot of fan mail from African-American kids. Portacio agreed and that is how Bishop’s character switched from Filipino to Black.
“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? There’s always another time.” He said.