A group of super-powered beings published by Marvel Comics.

In the great X-Men mythos that has grown up over the years, one of the weakest of all storylines appeared toward the end of the New Mutants comic created by one of the weakest of all comic writers, Rob Liefeld. In the already fragmented mutant community, another group was introduced: the Externals.

The Externals were a group of super-powered mutants who had existed for years and had not only their own special super-powers, but also were gifted with immortality. They were bound together as a loose confederation and used their powers and longevity to manipulate history, as a sort of mutant Illuminati.

The members of the Externals were from different periods of history and included a whole range of personalities and abilities. The group included:

The Externals came to light when it was deduced that a member of the mutant group dubbed the New Mutants was a fledgling External. Through the mechanations of the External Gideon, Roberto DeCosta, the mutant Sunspot, left the New Mutants to take over the business dealings of his father, after his father died of a heart attack induced by Gideon. Gideon believed DeCosta to be the new External, but later discovered that he was wrong.

The actual External was discovered to be Sam Guthrie, known as Cannonball. He seemingly came back to life after being disemboweled by the villain Sauron.

In a long-overdue bit of housecleaning, Marvel got rid of the majority of the Externals by having one of their number, Selene, slay the others by draining their lifeforces in an attempt to gain power for herself. Only Selene and Cannonball remain alive.

The problem with the whole External storyline is that the premise of the X-Men comics is that these heroes are mutants, the next step in man's evolution. If you are to believe this, then you also have to believe that mutants are a recent development, not a group of people that have been lurking in the shadows for hundreds and thousands of years.