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Acolytes (comics)

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File:Acolytes xm102.jpg
From left to right:Tempo, Random, Carmella Unuscione, Frenzy, Exodus.
The newest incarnation of the Acolytes.
Art by Humberto Ramos
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceX-Men vol. 2 #1 (1991)
Created byChris Claremont
Jim Lee
In-story information
Asteroid M
Mount Saint Francis, France
Member(s)List of Acolytes members

Acolytes is a team of fictional mutant supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The Acolytes followed the principles of the mutant Magneto, particularly the mutant right of superiority over normal humans. Some members of the Acolytes even worshipped him with a religious fervor and regarded him as the “mutant messiah.”

Publication history[edit]

The Acolytes first appeared in X-Men vol. 2 #1 (October 1991) and were created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee.

Fictional group history[edit]

The Acolytes were first a group of desperate mutants on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers, originally led by Fabian Cortez. Magneto housed them on his space station, Asteroid M, giving the mutants refuge. Due to events arranged and manipulated by Fabian Cortez, the first group of Acolytes perished. Cortez used their deaths and the assumed death of Magneto as martyrdom to further his cause against normal humanity.[1]

Cortez formed and led a second group of Acolytes whose first mission was to attack a school for the handicapped, Our Mother of the Sacred Heart, to find a child who would one day become a powerful mutant. The X-Men interfered with their attack and the Acolytes retreated. Afterwards, the Acolytes kidnapped Moira MacTaggert. Fabian Cortez’s reason was to ascertain whether Magneto was alive. Moira was rescued by the X-Men.[2] The Acolytes’ next attack was on a hospital. Four members of the Acolytes were involved in killing several dying, hospitalized humans. Next, the team attempted an aborted attack on a military base. They were opposed by X-Factor and their mercenary ally Random. The attack on the base actually proved beneficial because it was a way for Fabian to attempt to coerce Quicksilver, the son of Magneto, to join his cause.[3] Meanwhile, Magneto returned to hatch his plan of revenge. Magneto recruited Exodus, in order to reclaim the Acolytes in his name.[4]

Fall of Avalon[edit]

After the events of "Fatal Attractions" and the "Age of Apocalypse", the Acolytes found a cocoon drifting in space. They brought it aboard and awoke Holocaust. Holocaust went on a rampage, killing several members of the Acolytes: Javitz, Rusty Collins and Milan. In his duel with Exodus, the Acolytes’ new space station, Avalon, was destroyed.[5] Jean Grey and Cyclops were teleported there by Voght to help the remaining Acolytes. Skids was rescued by Jean Grey, while former X-Man Colossus put a comatose Magneto into a lifepod and sent him to Earth. Meanwhile, Cyclops crash-landed with some of the 'hardcore' Acolytes and ended up in the Australian Outback, it was his ingenuity and knowledge and the assistance of Scanner that kept them alive.[6]


Some time passed before the Acolytes reformed. When Magneto was granted control of Genosha, he reconstituted the Acolytes, with new and old, surviving members. He used the Acolytes as a force to help him gain control over the war-torn island. After the civil war, the Acolytes and Genosha prospered, but the prosperity did not last. After the "Eve of Destruction" storyline, the Acolytes were not prepared for the worst. Genosha was attacked by a “wild Sentinel” programmed by Cassandra Nova. Genosha was destroyed along with millions of its mutant population. Most of the Acolytes remained unaccounted for, with only Exodus, Voght, Senyaka, Cargill and Unuscione known to be alive at the time. Later more Acolytes showed up to be alive as well.[7][8]

After M-Day[edit]

Later it was revealed Scanner is still alive but de-powered after the events of M-Day.[9]

The Acolytes resurfaced after the events of "Decimation", consisting of returning members Exodus and Cargill, Random who aided them in a mission before, and former Mutant Liberation Front member Tempo. They planned to use S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Helicarrier to find the locations of latent mutants, but discovered the mutant gene had been wiped out making the remaining mutants an endangered species. After a battle with the X-Men, the Acolytes fled and sought out a way to replenish the mutant population. Exodus, Cargill, Tempo, Unuscione, and Random were confirmed to be members of the newest incarnation of the team,[10] as well as Senyaka, still in his Acolytes uniform, who took on Deadpool on the island of Providence while the Marauders Gambit and Sunfire attacked Cable. It has been revealed that the Acolytes were being used by Sinister to obtain Destiny's Diaries and kill Blindfold.[11]

Messiah Complex[edit]

As the Marauders, the X-Men and the Purifiers race to find the first mutant baby born since M-Day, the X-Men seek out several former Acolytes to try to interrogate information to Exodus's whereabouts as they believe that he and Sinister reached the child first.[12] Afterwards, they track down Amelia Voght for the same purpose where they finally receive the information they were looking for.[13]

X-Men: Legacy[edit]

The Acolytes, finally joined by Amelia Voght, were last seen in X-Men: Legacy, where Exodus attempts to revive Professor X after being shot by Bishop. He manages to repair the physical part of Xavier's brain, but not give it the spark it needs to fully reactivate. For help, Exodus turned to his former leader, Magneto, even though he was disgusted the former great leader was now a lowly human. Erik, along with Karima Shapandar, managed to get a reaction going in Xavier's brain to get him to awaken, though minus much of his memories. However, before they could leave, Frenzy, disgusted that her team was even helping Xavier to begin with, let her emotions boil over and attacked, attempting to kill Xavier, but was subdued when Magneto fired a laser into her eye. Exodus came upon this scene, and became infuriated that one of his mutants was harmed by a human, and aimed to kill his former leader, but not before Xavier challenged him to a fight on the psychic plane. Xavier won, and he, Erik, and Karima left the Acolyte hideout and went their separate ways.[14]

Recently, Xavier returned to New Avalon and convinced Exodus to disband the group and find a new way to help mutantkind. While Exodus decided to embark on a personal pilgrimage to this effect, Amelia Voght, Random, and Karima decide to relocate to San Francisco (possibly to join the X-Men). Tempo was still undecided on her course of action, but was considering joining them while Joanna Cargill and Carmella Unuscione had not made any decision one way or the other. However, Cargil was later seen in San Francisco in the midst of anti-mutant rioting incited by Simon Trask.[15][16]

Later Cargill joined the X-Men, under her first codename 'Frenzy'.

House of X[edit]

Exodus and several indistinguishable Acolytes were invited by Professor Xavier to join the X-Men on Krakoa, a living island sanctuary for mutantkind.[17]


Other versions[edit]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In Marvel Zombies, the Marvel superheroes (The Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Hulk, Daredevil, Thor and the others superheroes) have been infected by an unknown (possibly alien) virus and turned into evil, ravenous, disgusting, cannibalistic, undead, flesh-eating zombies and kill most of the human population for food. The Acolytes (The Acolytes shown are Fabian Cortez, Joanna Cargill, Scanner, Lisa Hendricks, Reynolds, Burns and several unnamed members) and a surviving X-Men member Forge are among the few survivors hiding in the third Asteroid M. Magneto (who appears to be the only uninfected mutant left on Earth) helps Reed Richards from the Ultimate Universe and the other three civilian survivors escape using Reed’s machine. Magneto gives his life in damaging the machine.

The Acolytes offer to rescue Magneto via shuttle. Upon returning to Earth the Acolytes could not find Magneto (he had been eaten), but discover a still-living Black Panther and zombie Wasp “head”. Cortez recognizes that the Black Panther is a human and alive. The Acolyte Burns moves to attack and Black Panther kills him with Wasp's head. Cortez brokers a truce, stating Burns paid for his foolishness with his life.

Black Panther moves in with the Acolytes, all knowing the value of teamwork. Wasp comes with, against the Acolytes' protests. Back on Asteroid M, Forge constructs new limbs for Panther and a body for the Wasp. Lisa Hendricks and Black Panther develop romantic feelings for each other.

The story skips ahead five years to a time when the Acolyte groups find no humans or zombies on Earth. In the sequel, "Marvel Zombies 2", the surviving zombies, having eaten most of the universe, come back to Earth thirty-five years later to find the dimensional machine. It is under Forge's control. The survivors and descendants of the Acolytes have split into two factions, disputing Black Panther's leadership. Reynolds remains on Black Panther's side, having formed an emotional attachment to Wasp. Black Panther is killed by an Acolyte assassin and revived by Wasp. The returning zombies fight the Acolyte group and themselves. Casualties arise on both sides. A peace is brokered when all the surviving zombies realize they do not crave human flesh anymore. Despite this, Cortez's son, now aiming for leadership of the last of the humans, reveals he had been in control of the dimensional machine via sabotage. He sends the last of the zombies to another dimension and kills Forge to cover this up.

In the prequel, it is revealed that Magneto and Fabian Cortez made a deal with an unknown entity to bring back the virus to zombie-invaded earth.

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In Ultimate X-Men, the Acolytes are a fanatical paramilitary offshoot of the Brotherhood of Mutant Supremacy, which branched off following Magneto’s first defeat in opposition to the relatively pacifist leadership of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.[18]

In other media[edit]


  • The Acolytes appear in the two-part X-Men episode “Sanctuary”. The team presented consists of Fabian Cortez, Amelia Voght, Marco Delgado, Chrome, Carmela Unuscione, Joanna Cargill, and Byron Calley. The Acolytes aid Magneto in the liberation of the Genoshan mutant slaves from the hands of the Genoshan Magistrates. After Magneto is betrayed by Cortez and believed to have been killed by the X-Men, the Acolytes pledge their loyalty to Cortez. After Cortez's plot was exposed, the Acolytes turn on him. Francisco Milan is shown in a video screen as one of the scientists that helped Magneto build Asteroid M. Suvik Senyaka makes a cameo appearance in the episode “Secrets No Longer Buried,” as one of the residents of the mutant-dominated community of Skull Mesa.
  • In the X-Men: Evolution animated series, the Acolytes are the second team of Magneto after he left The Brotherhood. Besides him, the Acolytes are made up of Gambit, Pyro, Colossus (whom Magneto blackmailed into joining him), Sabretooth, and Mastermind. The team first appeared in the two-part episode "Day of Reckoning" where they fight the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants (who were gathered together by Mystique disguised as Professor X). In "The Stuff of Villains," Magneto sends Gambit to offer the Brotherhood a spot on Magneto's team if they spring Quicksilver from a military transport. The Brotherhood was successful in the mission, but Gambit told them that Quicksilver will lead them and make sure they prove themselves to Magneto. In "The Toad, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," Mastermind was recruited by Magneto to rewrite Scarlet Witch's memories. In "Dark Horizon," Magneto and his Acolytes work with the X-Men to prevent the release of Apocalypse. In "Impact," the Acolytes search the ruins of Egypt for any means to stop Apocalypse. As of "Cajun Spice" (following the apparent death of Magneto in "Impact"), the Acolytes have disbanded when Pyro mentioned to Wolverine (who was looking for Gambit after he kidnapped Rogue) that Colossus bailed and went back to Russia and Sabretooth is "playing with a ball of yard somewhere." Pyro also tells Wolverine that he does not know Gambit's location as he "didn't leave a note on the fridge."
  • In Wolverine and the X-Men, the Acolytes once again serve Magneto on Genosha. They are seen to be a much larger team than seen in the former shows almost doubling in size as its membership includes Blink, Juggernaut, the Kleinstock Triplets, Polaris, Pyro, Mellencamp, Mercury, Mystique, Senyaka, Scarlet Witch, and Scanner. The Acolytes (with the exception of Juggernaut, Mystique, Polaris, the Kleinstocks, and Scanner) first appear in "Greetings from Genosha" where they welcome the ship that Nightcrawler and the other mutants are on. When Nightcrawler discovers the underground cells, he is attacked by Magneto and the Acolytes. In "Battle Lines," Magneto sends the Acolytes to various MRD Facilities to break out the imprisoned mutants. In "Foresight" Pt. 3, the Acolytes were present when Scarlet Witch and Polaris had Blink remove Magneto and Quicksilver from Genosha.

Video games[edit]

  • In Magneto’s ending in X-Men vs. Street Fighter, he has killed M. Bison, the leader of Shadaloo. After seeing the demise of their leader, Sagat, Vega, and Balrog volunteered to become new members of the Acolytes. Magneto allows them to join despite the fact they are not mutants (they are superhuman in their own right). This ending is non-canon.
  • The Acolytes also appear after a player has defeated Magneto in the game X-Men: Children of the Atom. Their members here include Exodus, Delagdo and the Kleinstock Brothers. In early versions of the game, Anne-Marie Cortez was also included, though for reasons unknown she was cut from the game's final release.
  • The Acolytes appear in the SNES-exclusive video game X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse. They are the rank-and-file enemies in the game's final stage, and are led by Exodus who is fought prior to the final boss battle with Magneto.
  • The Acolytes also appear in both X-Men and its sequel, X-Men 2: Clone Wars. Though no actual Acolyte members are shown in the first game, Exodus makes an appearance in Clone Wars as one of the mutants that has been captured and cloned by the Phalanx.
  • The Acolytes appear in the video game X-Men Legends. Though no actual Acolyte members are shown, Acolyte Warrior Elites and Acolyte Adept Elites serve as the elite foot soldiers of the Brotherhood of Mutants.
  • The Acolytes appear in Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Though no actual Acolyte members are shown, the ones that are shown are actually the generic Acolyte warriors (referred to as Magneto Acolytes) that serve as the foot soldiers of the Brotherhood of Mutants. Each of the Magneto Acolytes have different powers like emitting electricity, shooting fire balls, and shooting ice balls that freeze their opponents. The electricity-emitting Acolyte soldier is a playable character.


  1. X-Men vol. 2 #1-3. Marvel Comics.
  2. Uncanny X-Men #298-300
  3. X-Factor vol. 1 #92. Marvel Comics.
  4. X-Force vol. 1 #25. Marvel Comics.
  5. X-Men vol. 2 #42 (July 1995). Marvel Comics.
  6. X-Men vol. 2, #44. Marvel Comics.
  7. New Avengers #18. Marvel Comics.
  8. Uncanny X-Men #492. Marvel Comics.
  9. New Avengers #18. Marvel Comics.
  10. X-Men vol. 2 #201. Marvel Comics.
  11. X-Men vol. 2 #202. Marvel Comics.
  12. Uncanny X-Men #492
  13. X-Factor vol. 3 #25. Marvel Comics.
  14. X-Men: Legacy #225. Marvel Comics.
  15. X-Men: Legacy #225. Marvel Comics.
  16. Dark Avengers/ Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1. Marvel Comics.
  17. Powers of X #5 (2019). Marvel Comics.
  18. Ultimate X-Men #20

External links[edit]

  • Acolytes at Marvel.com
  • ACOLYTES—An in-depth profile of the team and various incarnations, at UXN.

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