"The Externals" is the name several mutants gave themselves when forming a loose-knit group of mutants who believed themselves to be immortal. The criteria for being an External remains indistinct, but in general all Externals appear to be of a sub-species that are able to recover from mortal wounds and even death itself. However, over time, several mutants thought to be Externals were deemed not, and perhaps the distinction is a capricious one.
The Externals apparently know of each others' existences on a telepathic level, although this telepathy remains vague and perhaps only manifests when an External first resurrects him or herself. It has also yet to be revealed how the Externals originally banded together. Nevertheless, by the time the Externals began making their activities public, their number included eight members: Absalom, Burke, Candra, Crule, Gideon, Nicodemus, Saul, and Selene. (At one point, it was suggested the mutant Apocalypse was an External as well, but this was never upheld by any of the actual Externals.)
In more recent years, the Externals were searching for their next member. Gideon long believed the next External was the hero Sunspot, and had positioned himself in Sunspot's life even before his heroic career. Later, when Sunspot's team, the New Mutants, was at a point of collapse, Gideon orchestrated the death of Sunspot's father in order to allow Sunspot to leave the team and join him. Unaware of Gideon's true purpose and actions, Sunspot agreed.
At the same time, the time-travelling mutant Cable had taken leadership of the New Mutants (renamed X-Force), as he believed, based on his travels in time, that the mutant Cannonball would be an External. When Cannonball was killed by the villain Sauron and later revived, the Externals sensed Cannonball to be an External as well. Gideon sent Crule to kill Cable so that the Externals could easily capture Cannonball, but Crule was defeated. X-Force then confronted Gideon, revealing the truth and freeing Sunspot. Cannonball was made to promise not to interfere with Externals' affairs, although, later, Saul kidnapped three of X-Force's members in order to blackmail Cannonball into joining the Externals. X-Force nevertheless defeated Saul and Gideon.
Months later, several Externals peaceably sought Cannonball to join them again. They hoped that Cannonball might hold a key to solving the Legacy Virus that killed their members Nicodemus and Burke, but Cannonball could not help them.
Later still, Gideon sent a distress call to X-Force after being betrayed by the External Selene. For reasons of her own, Selene was suddenly killing the remaining members of the Externals, absorbing their life forces. Despite the efforts of X-Force, Selene escaped but not before summarily dismissing the assumption that Cannonball was an External, saying it was a ploy by Cable to win the mutant's trust. While with the X-Men, Beast believed Cannonball to be an External.
Candra was seemingly killed by the X-Men, but later resurfaced having survived the destruction of her heart gem as a disembodied consciousness. Although she had not yet fully reconstituted herself, and was re-killed before she succeeded.
Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.
- Whether or not Apocalypse and Cannonball are Externals remains a point of contention. Saul claims to have met Apocalypse before his transformation into the machine-like entity he would become. En Sabah Nur - the only name he used at that time - referred to himself as a "Forever-Walker". Since this encounter took place in the 12th Century A.D., while Apocalypse was born centuries earlier, he appears to have been immortal from the start. This is a strong case for Apocalypse being an External.
- Selene also may have had personal reasons for saying Cannonball was not an External. In one story, Cable is having a conversation with Graymalkin where we learn that Cannonball lived well into the 23rd Century and in the second volume of Cable an elder Sam from an alternate future appears. Besides this the other Externals also sensed that Cannonball was one of them and Beast also believes Cannonball to be an External. The bulk of this information suggests Selene was lying when she said that Cannonball was not an External.
That group prefer to be called Externals over High-Lords.
- 9 Externals (Earth-616) Members
- 11 Appearances of Externals (Earth-616)
- 1 Media Externals (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 2 Images that include Externals (Earth-616)
- Team Gallery: Externals (Earth-616)