#26 – Exodus
X-Men (various comic book titles and video games 1993-now)
I’ve mentioned Exodus, the ultra-powerful mutant, a few times in previous articles but now I finally get to talk about him! He could very well be one of the most powerful mutants overall in the Marvel Universe but he’s spent most of his comic book lifetime as the right hand lackey of Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister, and most often fiercely loyal to Magneto.
In the 12th century, Bennet du Paris was a crusader along side his best friend and past incarnation of the Black Knight, Eobar Garrington. Due to some time displacement Eobar’s body was possessed by the current Black Knight, Dane Whitman while the two were on a quest to find the Tower of Power, a place rumored to be ruled by an “Eternal Pharaoh” in Egypt. Dane and another Avenger at the time, Sersi (of the Eternals), caused du Paris to depart on his own and eventually proved his strength to Apocalypse (the Eternal Pharaoh) with the manifestation of his mutant powers.
It’s unclear how much of his awesome powers are his own natural mutant abilities and how much are the result of Apocalypse’s alteration to his genetics but by becoming Exodus, du Paris had an impressive level of telepathy, frightening telekinesis, flight through his telekinesis, the ability to teleport himself or others halfway around the world, augmented physical attributes in every aspect (especially resistance to damage having a degree of invulnerability), a healing factor matching Wolverine’s, and either immortality or an extended lifespan due to the healing factor. He’s basically Wolverine, Jean Grey, Colossus, and Nightcrawler all rolled into one, more powerful, and without any of their limitations. He even has a power that causes him to become even more powerful when in the presence of other mutants! WHAT??
Apocalypse ordered his powerful slave to kill his former friend, the Black Knight, but ultimately refused and turned against Apocalypse calling him a “false god.” As punishment for his betrayal, Apocalypse put Exodus in a state of suspended animation in the Swiss Alps, until Magneto discovered and released him in the 90’s. Being forever grateful for his rescue and admiring Magneto’s almost biblical philosophies and messiah-like presence, Exodus swore his loyalty to him and adopted his viewpoints as his own on mutant superiority and protection. At this point in time, Magneto was less concerned with terrorizing humans and more so with creating a human-free haven for mutants on his asteroid base, Avalon. As Magneto’s newly appointed leader of his Acolytes, Exodus was sent to every mutant faction on Earth to spread the gospel of their mutant sanctuary resulting in fights with X-Factor, X-Force, and the X-Men teams (all of which got their asses handed to them). This storyline in which Exodus was first introduced ended in Magneto’s mind being wiped clean by Charles Xavier, which led to Exodus’ rule over Avalon and Magneto’s Acolytes. He had seized this position by claiming he could converse with Magneto’s brain dead body like a prophet with a connection to god.
When the treacherous former Acolyte leader Fabian Cortez had kidnapped Magneto’s half-mutant half-inhuman granddaughter, Luna, and gone to Genosha; Exodus along with the X-Men, Avengers, and an angry Quicksilver pursued him during a civil war between humans and mutants on the island. After attempting to turn the tides in mutant favor, Exodus came at odds with the Avengers and easily defeated them. Fabian Cortez cunningly held Luna ransom and charged Quicksilver (Luna’s father), Crystal (Luna’s Inhuman mother), Scarlet Witch, and Jean Grey to defeat the vengeful Exodus for her safe return. AGAIN Exodus easily defeated this group (and we’re talking about SCARLET WITCH and JEAN GREY! Two of the most powerful Marvel characters!). After “killing” (but of course he survived) Fabian Cortez, Exodus took Luna and demanded the Genoshan mutates kill every human on the island at the threat of crushing the island with a massive telekinetic force field. This act of madness was finally stopped when Charles Xavier proved to be his telepathic superior long enough to let the Black Knight (Dane Whitman who had witnessed Exodus’ making in the past) strike him with his energy sword.
Since then he has fought with Holocaust (the fight that resulted in the two causing Avalon to crash land to Earth), X-Man, Cable, the High Evolutionary, the Inhumans, and more X-Men teams (backed by various formations of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants). To differentiate his ideology farther away from Magneto, Exodus was in later years said to have made it his “holy mission” to rid the world of impure or artificially made mutants like the High Evolutionary’s creations on Wundagore Mountain, the Inhumans, as well as mutants that have been infected with the Legacy Virus. This purist mentality was silenced after the events of “M-Day” where the Scarlet Witch used her powers to depower a majority of the mutant population which left mutantkind an endangered species. Lacking an overall cause to fight for, Exodus then turned to Mr. Sinister for leadership and participated in the events of the Messiah Complex as one of his Marauders who battled against the X-Men and the human Purifiers over the possession of the first mutant born since M-Day. This event ended with Charles Xavier “dying” from a bullet to the head, although Exodus quickly used his telepathy and telekinesis to repair his brain and bring him back to life in order to lead a new brand of Acolytes in a new but still merciless direction. Xavier declined and yet again bested Exodus in a match between minds.
With all of that being said, Exodus is an overwhelmingly powerful foe who can go toe-to-toe with the big leaguers of Marvel. He’s only been beaten by Apocalypse, Xavier, a hyper powered Quicksilver, and a combination of Emma Frost and Dust (who shredded his insides with her sand-like body… Yeeesh! Good thing he’s got a healing factor). As much of a protective mutant zealot Exodus is; he’s kind of insane and a little too eager to sacrifice the people he preaches to save. He also likes to get in fights with anyone he possibly can with a narrower view than his teacher, Magneto. With all that power, I guess he can hold his own anyway, but it’s always his foolhardy religious activism (with a mutant twist) that separates him from the more elegant classics like Xavier and Magneto. His level of hypocrisy is at least hinted with a nice flavor of insanity and that’s why he’s more of a villain to me than Magneto is.
Bring his cool shoulder things back!