AskDefine | Define externals

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  1. Plural of external
  2. outward features or appearances

Extensive Definition

The Externals were a fictional group of X-Men antagonists and subspecies of mutants.


All of the Externals were originally portrayed as immortal and important, playing an extremely major role in the future and Apocalypse's rise to power (as expressed by Cable), but eventually most were killed off. Only Selene, a previously established character, was spared from the purge. Saul, Absalom, Gideon, Nicodemus, Burke, and Crule (to a lesser extent) formed the self-fashioned "High Lords", bent on playing power games and manipulating events behind the scenes. Crule was employed as an enforcer and assassin for the other High Lords, while Candra and Selene preferred to play their own schemes separately and didn't take any part on the High Lords gatherings.
Each External was claimed to represent an intangible concept:
At one point, X-Men regular and former New Mutant Cannonball was declared an External by Cable, although Selene denies this. Apocalypse has also been referred to as an External on several occasions; his longevity is believed by Selene to be mostly due to technological means, although Apocalypse was already many centuries old before his first encounter with the technology he would later integrate himself with. To note, Selene herself needs to maintain her supply of life force that she drains from human victims.
Ultimately, the Externals Nicodemus and Burke died of the Legacy Virus, Candra was destroyed by Cyclops, and the rest were drained of their life force by Selene. Selene, Apocalypse and Cannonball are the only living Externals left.

Other Versions


In (Earth-4935), the Externals were all killed by Apocalypse who ascended to power and gained control of the entire planet up till the 39th century.

Age of Apocalypse

In the Age of Apocalypse, the X-Ternals are led by Gambit, and their membership consists of Jubilee, Sunspot, Strong Guy, and Lila Cheney. They are a group of Thieves who steal resources to give to those suffering under Apocalypse's regime. Gambit is a good friend of Magneto, the leader of the X-Men, who asks Gambit and his team to retrieve a shard of the M'Kraan crystal. The X-Ternals battle the Shi'ar Imperial guard in the process. Lila and Gambit are lovers in this universe, although Gambit clearly displays a love for Rogue, who is married to Magneto.

In other media

X-Men: The Animated Series

  • In the episode "Sanctuary Part 2", Saul and Gideon are seen watching Fabian Cortez announce his scheme to the Earth.
  • In the episode "Externally Yours", Gambit's past involvement with the respective guilds of Thieves and Assassins, as well as with the External Candra (depicted here as an African-American "spirit lady", as opposed to a Caucasian telekinetic, and merely known as "The External") are detailed.
externals in French: Externels
externals in Portuguese: X-Eternos (Marvel Comics)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

apparent character, appearances, display, exteriors, external appearance, facade, front, gaudiness, mere externals, meretriciousness, ostent, outward appearance, outward show, public image, show, speciousness, superficiality, surface appearance, surface show, vain show
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