Back in the early '90s, long before comics were regularly collected in trade or made available on digital, there was an energy, an immediacy to get into a shop and grab those X-Men comics before they sold out because you had to get your hands on that sizzling art.
Back then, Jim Lee went from Uncanny X-Men to X-Men and studio mate Whilce Portacio went from X-Factor to Uncanny X-Men, where he would help create and introduce Bishop, a man from future dystopia and member of Xavier’s School Enforcers who traveled back in time to the present day to capture fugitive Trevor Fitzroy.
Portacio was born in the Philippines and raised in the United States. He paved his career path on titles such as Daredevil, The Punisher and Power Pack, but it wasn’t until Portacio drew X-Factor and specifically reimagining the look of Iceman when everyone took notice of his talent. The humble artist would move on to become one of the original co-founders of Image Comics, where he would create Wetworks and Stone: The Awakening, attempting to bring elements of Filipino folklore to a mainstream audience.
In the late '90s, he returned to his native land, opened up an art studio and nurtured new crops of Filipino artists such as Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan and Phillip Tan. Portacio logged notable runs on comics such as Stormwatch: Team Achilles, Spawn, and Batman Confidential. He most recently has done covers for Suicide Squad and did a stunning tryptich cover for IDW’s shared Hasbro comic book universe crossover, First Strike. Meanwhile, Bishop would continue on as a favorite character of X-Men fans and eventually made it into X-Men: Days of Future Past and was portrayed by Omar Sy.
SYFY WIRE spoke with the fan-favorite artist to talk about creating Bishop, those early days of Image and his evolving art style, all while sketching the X-Man who brought the mullet back from the future, Bishop. Check out the sketch video above and let us know what you think.
Also see more with Portacio in a lengthier interview below.
Additional reporting by Ernie Estrella