When the African nation of Genosha passed a law forcing mutant citizens to leave the country a few years ago, Arthur "Longshot" Centino and his mutant girlfriend Spiral were among the few who remained, going underground to promote mutant rights. Longshot's dedication to mutant freedom and his growing hatred of non-powered humans led him to neglect Spiral, who eventually sought solace with Sir Arthur Scheele, a Genoshan politician sympathetic to the mutant cause. Finding them together Longshot was enraged and killed Scheele in a fury before Spiral knocked him unconscious. Hoping to protect Scheele's family from the scandal, Spiral took both Longshot and Scheele's body to a secluded area and left them there. Longshot was soon tried and sentenced to death for Scheele's murder.
Longshot was forced to star in the Genoshan government's "Hunt for Justice" television program, overseen by media mogul Mojo Adams and his aide Major Domo, in which condemned mutants were killed on the neighboring island of Krakoa. Released on Krakoa to be hunted down, Longshot survived far longer than the average contestant, becoming a favorite of the viewing public.
When the X-Men learned of "Hunt for Justice", Professor X sent Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, and Shadowcat to Genosha to investigate Longshot's case. Spiral attacked them, hoping to conceal her involvement with Scheele. Meanwhile, a second team of X-Men disobeyed Professor X's orders and flew to Genosha themselves to rescue Longshot; Dazzler, Colossus, and Nightcrawler fought Arcade, a notorious gamesman selected to kill Longshot. Longshot helped the X-Men defeat Arcade, and they befriended him. However, they soon discovered that their teammate Angel had been captured and was going to be executed unless Longshot surrendered. When Nightcrawler teleported them all into Adams's studio to rescue Angel, Longshot attacked Adams and Domo in a fit of hatred but was restrained by Dazzler. Shortly afterward, his rescuers helped Longshot escape Genosha in a small boat. By that time, Cyclops's team had learned from Spiral that Longshot had indeed killed Scheele.
The X-Men brought Spiral to America to start a new life. Longshot fled to the Savage Land, where he was captured by the Ultimates' Scarlet Witch. He was imprisoned in the Triseklion but later escaped during along with Magneto during the altercation between members of the Academy of Tomorrow, the X-Men, and the Ultimates.