BIOGRAPHY - PAGE 1
Born in 12th Century France, Bennet du Paris wasn’t like the other boys growing up. He had a darker, red complexion than most and never quite fit in. He didn’t let it get to him, though, as he felt an immense power residing in him and knew that greatness lay ahead of him. The brash and arrogant young man became a Crusader, a soldier fighting in a holy war that dominated most of Europe and the Middle East. There he met Eobar Garrington, the Black Knight of that time, and the two became trusted friends. Together they fought their way around the Holy Land in a bid to enforce the teachings of God on others.
After the siege of Jerusalem, Bennet met with an old man who told him about a place of power that was beyond the reckoning of any man. Intrigued by this, they set off to find it but, along the way, Eobar was possessed by the future Black Knight, Dane Whitman. Whilst Eobar remained in control, he was noticeably altered by the experience, something which Bennet picked up on and to which he took offence. The rift between the two grew further when Dane’s ally, the sorceress Sersi, ended up in the same time. When the other knights realized she had magic, they wanted to use her for their cause. Bennet could see no problem with this but Eobar didn’t want to use witchcraft in their holy crusade. The two came to blows and parted ways. Afterward, Bennet went out by himself into the desert to find the fabled source of power. With his camel dead and his body broken and bruised, he pushed on through the deadly landscape with nothing but his belief that he was destined for greatness.
Just as it seemed his efforts were in vain, a voice spoke out to him and asked if he wanted to become one of the strong. As he wearily replied that he did, a huge rock was hurled towards him. Bennet stood up and lashed out at it with a power that came from within him. His mutant gifts had activated and the rock was destroyed. With his first test over, the second one began. Bennet was confronted by a demon that could not be harmed by his sword. The demon goaded Bennet into using his new powers, to which he was only too eager to comply, vaporizing the demon in the process. Immediately afterward, Bennet was teleported away to the citadel belonging to En Sabah Nuh, where Bennet was transformed into a servant of Apocalypse. Feeling he had been reborn, Bennet cast away his old life and embraced his new one as Exodus.
Apocalypse decided to test his new ward by having him fight Eobar to the death. Filled with righteousness and a desire to please his new master, Exodus unleashed his new powers on his old friend. Though Eobar didn’t want to hurt him, he felt forced to use the mystical ebony blade to defend himself. Exodus quickly gained the upper hand but the arrival of Sersi allowed Eobar to regain himself and appeal to Exodus’ human side. Exodus, deciding that he didn’t want to be a slave to either man or a false god, lashed out at his master. Apocalypse easily subdued him and then chastised him for his betrayal. As Apocalypse whisked him away, he was able to say goodbye to Eobar.
Six months later, Eobar and Sersi tracked Exodus down to a tomb hidden within the Swiss Alps. He was in a coma and a curse had been placed upon him that prevented him from leaving the tomb. Eobar’s fellow knights decided to make it their mission to stand guard over Exodus and protect him forever more. [Black Knight: Exodus]
Exodus would remain on the tomb for over 800 years until he was found by Magneto. Somehow, the curse was broken and, now that he was woken, he was able to go free. Exodus joined Magneto’s new team of Acolytes and quickly became one of his most trusted members. He soon became Magneto’s second in command as his previous, Fabian Cortez, had betrayed him. Magneto had desires to create a mutant nation and decided to fill his orbiting base, Avalon, with mutants who wanted to escape persecution on Earth. He sent Exodus to Earth to act as a messenger and to ferry the mutants to the space station. Magneto decided to target some of Charles Xavier’s students first, as convincing them to join his cause would be a personal jab at Xavier.
Exodus first made himself known to the X-Men when he appeared in front of the X-Factor team. They were confused by him at first, though, as he appeared he wanted to say something but flew away again before he did so. Soon after, he tracked down X-Force and this time was clear of his intentions. Whilst he knew who each member of X-Force were, he was only interested in taking Cannonball and Sunspot back to Avalon. However, he ended up taking more of the team than he initially planned and, when he travelled back to base, he didn’t realize he was being followed by Cable. It became clear that Exodus believed that Magneto’s cause was something akin to a religious crusade. He even saw the orbiting station as a heaven that only the worthy were allowed to enter. Cable and his team engaged Exodus in battle and escaped with their teammates. Although they had lost the battle, Magneto assured Exodus they had not lost the war. [X-Factor (1st series) #92, X-Force (1st series) #24-25]
Magneto next decided to take his fight directly to the X-Men themselves. He sent Exodus to track down the band of Acolytes that had left with Fabian Cortez. The other Acolytes turned on their leader when Exodus told them that it had been Cortez who betrayed Magneto. Exodus then revealed that their master was alive and teleported them away, but not before punishing Cortez for his crimes. They joined up with Magneto as he confronted the X-Men at the funeral for Illyana Rasputin. A fight broke out but Magneto showed them he only wanted to offer them salvation on Avalon. After Colossus decided to join the Acolytes, Magneto left with the rest of his team. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #304]
Exodus continued his mission of gathering only those he deemed worthy. He contacted some of Magneto’s old Brotherhood members and asked to meet them on a boat, far away from prying eyes. He descended from the sky with his usual grandiose manner and declared that only Phantazia was able to go back to Avalon with him. When the others questioned his motives, he told Toad and Blob that they lacked the vision that was needed. When Pyro spoke up, Exodus replied that he was considered but he was ultimately dismissed because he was tainted, hinting at the fact Pyro had contracted the Legacy Virus. Phantazia turned Exodus’ offer down and he calmly accepted her decision, politely telling them that he hoped their deaths would be painless. With that, he teleported away to gather more grateful mutants to the cause. [X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #2]
The world soon reacted to Magneto’s new cause by erecting an electromagnetic net around the Earth that stopped Magneto from using his powers. Magneto responded by unleashing a huge electromagnetic pulse from space, which fried electronic devices across the world and caused the deaths of thousands of people. When the X-Men decided to confront Magneto directly on Avalon, they knew that they had to remove Exodus and the Acolytes from the fight. In a daring move, they teleported them to the escape pods and jettisoned them into space. As such, Exodus was not present when the X-Men engaged Magneto and Xavier ended the fight by telepathically wiping Magneto’s mind, as he couldn’t bring himself to kill him. [X-Men (2nd series) #25]
As the conflict with Xavier had left Magneto in a vegetative state, Exodus stepped up and took control of the Acolytes. Soon after, Colossus came to him to request he be allowed to leave the space station to meet with Kitty Pryde, who claimed that she wanted to join the Acolytes. Though he was unsure, Exodus decided to let Colossus go, to finally see where his loyalties truly lay. As it turned out, it was a trap set up by the X-Men in a bid to heal a head wound Piotr had suffered and also to try and wrestle him away from the Acolytes. Exodus sent a cadre of Acolytes to save him but he needn’t have bothered, as Colossus willingly came back to them after bidding goodbye to the X-Men. [Excalibur (1st series) #71]
Meanwhile, Fabian Cortez had kidnapped Quicksilver’s daughter Luna and travelled to Genosha with her. Using Magneto’s granddaughter as a symbol, Cortez began to stir up the country into a state of civil unrest. The genetically engineered mutates had long been second class citizens on the island but Cortez used Magneto’s name and passion to call for an uprising. What neither Cortez nor the Genoshan’s knew was that Magneto was in no position to weigh in on the situation. He still remained in his unresponsive state up in Avalon, being watched over by Exodus. Exodus was well aware of what Cortez was up to and often talked to Magneto, believing that the master of magnetism was still giving him orders. With Genosha now gripped in a civil war, the X-Men and the Avengers travelled there to sort out the situation and to retrieve Luna. Things became more complicated though when Exodus arrived and declared that he was going to save the mutates and kill any remaining human on the island. After indeed killing some humans, he tried to talk to the Avengers but they would not listen. Instead, he ended up fighting against War Machine while the other Avengers dealt with a riot that had broken out. Whilst Exodus easily defeated War Machine, he had a much trickier time taking on Sersi. As an Eternal, Sersi was immensely powerful but Exodus nevertheless had the power to match her. He withstood her most powerful attacks and still came out on top.
Afterwards, Exodus tracked down Cortez, who had installed himself as the island’s new dictator. Now deposed, Cortez was on the run from both the Avengers and the X-Men but became cornered after he fled into the sewers. Out of desperation, Cortez used Luna as a human shield but, before anything else could happen, Exodus burst into the tunnels and confronted him. Cortez tried to make a desperate bargain with the heroes to defeat Exodus in return for Luna, but the heroes did not have time to think it over. Condemning Quicksilver for being weak, Exodus declared himself the only one worthy enough of being Magneto’s heir. With that, he then took control of Cortez’s motor functions and made him hand over Luna. He then blasted the disgraced Acolyte, seemingly killing him.
With Cortex disposed of, Exodus turned his attentions to everyone else. With an almost religious zeal, he spoke to the citizens of Genosha and called for them to continue their uprising but to direct it at the humans amongst them. Stirred by his words, as well as a certain amount of telepathic persuasion, the mutates turned even more violent. The Avengers and X-Men decided to work together to take him down but Exodus was even more powerful than any of them could have imagined. Exodus had erected a force field around the entire island and was slowly collapsing it as a show of power to the mutates. Whilst holding off two teams of heroes, he decided the only way to show the mutates he was serious was to kill Luna whom he felt disgraced Magneto by being born a mere human. Luckily for her, Xavier managed to mind blast Exodus before he could give the killing blow. Though not even that could stop Exodus, the psionic attack did distract him long enough for the Black Knight to sneak up and slash him with the magical ebony blade. Exodus fell but only for a moment. Realizing he had over-exerted himself, he made his escape, but not before threatening and nearly killing Quicksilver. [Bloodties crossover]