All that is known of Burke, is that he is part of a rare subspecies of immortal mutants called Externals to which Burke represents Fortitude in the Branches of Eternity.[3][1]

17th and 18th centuries

Burke was burned at the stake in the 17th century.

He was then guillotined in the 18th century.[2]

19th century

At some point in the 19th century, he was hanged.[2]

Forming the Externals

At some point Burke joined or helped form the Externals (also known as High Lords)[4] with a number of his fellow Externals. Together they manipulate events behind the scenes on a global scale, with the soul goal of political and monetary control over the destiny of Earth.[1][5]

Stealing Power

Externals (Earth-616) from Gambit Vol 3 14.jpg

In 1891 a fellow External Candra who decided that she’ll stop En Sabah Nur glacier like crawl to power and take the ability to fold space through her magic, where he uses science. For unknown reasons the High Lords did not wish to physically act against her, so once they learned of her plans Burke and the others had Dr. Nathan Milbury, who worked for En Sabah Nur, deal with Candra.[6][7][8]

Once Candra made it to En Sabah Nur's sanctum beneath the pyramids outside of Bani Maza in Egypt, thanks to her Thieves Guild and their leader Jean-Luc LeBeau so began to translate the text. But a time traveling Gambit, Courier with Dr. Nathan Milbury stopped her via Milbury's transport ship. When Candra choose steal the power to fold space another day, she tried to bring down the sanctum but as the other ran Milbury quickly over powers her with his new found metamorphic ability. Defeated she begs for him to stop and as he does while revealing Burke and the other four High Lords who appeared as the reason behind her loss. Candra tried to explain her actions but Burke and the others knowing En Sabah Nor's citadel is not to be touched, his slow rise to power is not to be interrupted. For their greater glory awaits the Millennial Dawn[9][10][11] and Candra's actions put that at risk punished her.[7][8]

20th century

The Gathering

High Lords (Earth-616) from X-Force Vol 1 10 001

In more recent years, the High Lords were searching for the next External to ascend and their next member. For a time thanks to Gideon believed it was Roberto da Costa,[12] but when Cannonball come back to live moments after his death it was revealed to Burke and the other four High Lords, who had sensed it, that Samuel was the next External they had been looking for.[13][1]

Burke and the others gathered at fellow External and High Lord Nicodemus' Chalet in the Swiss Alps of Switzerland, to discuss this new revelation. Though Absalom who already disliked Gideon was made more so by the months he wasted on recruiting the wrong person, Saul and Nicodemus listened to Gideon’s plan to get Samuel to join them. Which shocked them that he planned to use Krule. But Burke was more concerned that Gideon’s plan would only serve to lead Cable, who was already aware of Gideon being an External right to them. What if this also bring the attention of Xavier, his men, factor or force learn of their existence.[4][1]

Burke's concerns were correct, in that Krule's failure exposed himself and that the High Lords knew of Samuel being an External.[5][14] But more then that when Saul helped Gideon kidnap three of Samuel's teammates, they where further revealed. For X-Force found a hospitalized Krule, who was more then happy to give up his fellow High Lords.[15][16][17]

Legacy Virus

Burke was infected by the Legacy Virus. Before his death, he used his precognitive abilities to inform his fellow Externals of the future, including of Sam Guthrie (believed to be an External as well) being the "architect of [their] salvation".[3]

21th century: Return

Like the other Externals, Burke was somehow returned to life (but didn't joined Selene's group). Instead he went to live in a chalet in Tonasket, Washington.

There, due to his precognitive powers, he knew that Cable and Armor were coming to inquire on the murderers of Candra.[2]

Burke wish to die more than anything, in order to move on and joined his deceased loved ones.[2]


  • Immortality



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