With Xavier's help, the makeshift team of Rogue, Old Man Logan, Archangel, Psylocke, Mystique, Gambit, Bishop, and Fantomex were able to defeat the Shadow King and force him back into the Astral Plane ... but the Shadow King’s fall has opened the door for Proteus to return.
Longtime X-Men readers should recall that Proteus is Kevin MacTaggert, the son of mutant researcher, Moira MacTaggert. Years ago, Moira tried to protect the world from her son's powers by locking him away. However, Proteus broke free and demonstrated the ability to warp reality and possess almost anyone before inevitably burning out their bodies like a physic plague.
None of the X-Men currently present were on the team when Proteus was destroyed the first time. However, Rogue and Psylocke have previously encountered Proteus, and they're less than pleased by Xavier's response to the crisis that he created.
In fact, the new team isn't even sure that they're dealing with the real Xavier. In order to get his second chance at life, Xavier had to convince Fantomex to give up control of his own body and remain in the Astral Plane. Since his return, Xavier has renamed himself "X" and behaved in a very un-Xavier like way. The X-Men are probably right to distrust him, but they need him as well.
Judging from these Astonishing X-Men preview pages by guest artist Paulo Siqueira, Proteus still needs a host body, and he may even need to draw life force from his victims. Strangely enough, Proteus doesn't quite seem as antagonistic as he was the last few times he came back from the dead. It’s not really Proteus' style to apologize to his victims or even thank them for their sacrifice.
We can always count on Bishop to bring the big guns, but even he might not have the firepower to last long against Proteus.
Astonishing X-Men #8 will hit comic book stores on Wednesday, February 21.