The Acolytes started out as a group on the run from American soldiers, and were led to Magneto by their leader Fabian Cortez. When Magneto granted them refuge within his headquarters on Asteroid M, they left Fabian out in the cold and reformed as Acolytes under Magneto. But Fabian was incensed: before escaping Asteroid M, he helped bring about its destruction. When Asteroid M plummeted to Earth, the Acolytes perished and only Magneto survived.
The Acolytes were created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee in 1991 and first appeared in X-Men # 1.
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Fabian Cortez was then free to lead a second incarnation of Acolytes whose first mission involved an attack on Our Mother of the Sacred Hear School to search for a child they hoped would become a powerful
mutant in his adolescence. Once the X-Men stepped in, the Acolytes released the child - but only after finding out the boy had Down´s syndrome, which made him untrainable in the eyes of Acolytes. After the brutal killing of dying humans in the Sacred Heart School and an aborted attack on a military base, Magneto returned. Magneto, who was angry about Cortez´s betrayal, found and recruited the mutant known as Exodus to help him reclaim the Acolytes. After winning the leadership from Cortez, Magneto returned to space and build a new space station called the Avalon for the group with Shi´ar technology.
When Exodus retreated to Avalon, he and the other Acolytes noticed a floating cocoon in outer space and brought it onboard. The cocoon housed the dimensionally displaced mutant called Holocaust who after he awakening killed several Acolytes. During Holocausts battle with Exodus, Holocaust sent Avalon and its occupants hurtling towards the Earth. Only those Acolytes who made it to an escape pod were saved.
By the time Avalon crash-landed, Magneto had been granted control over Genosha by the UN, and he attracted more Acolytes to help serve him on the island. But Magneto also faced the retribution of other Acolytes who mounted the Carrion Cove rebellion against his rule in Genosha.
Several Acolytes were de-powered after M-Day, notably Magneto and Scanner. The Acolytes were then reformed by Exodus and because one of the major players in the search for the first mutant child to be born post M-Day. They battle the X-Men for control of the baby, Hope Summers.
A newly returned Xavier then assaults the Acolytes at New Avalon and confronts Exodus. Xavier persuades him that with so few new mutants now left, it is pointless to continue on fighting and Exodus agrees and disbands the Acolytes. Some of the Acolytes, such as notably Frenzy, go on to later join the X-Men.
Acolytes (current and former) confirmed to retain their powers are: Colossus, Exodus, Frenzy, Gargouille, Neophyte, Projector, Random, Senyaka, Skids, Tempo, Unuscione, Amelia Voght and Vindaloo
In the Zombieverse, Magneto's Acolytes remained safe from the plague on Asteroid M. They allowed the Black Panther to come and heal on the asteroid, and allowed him to bring the zombie head of Wasp with him. When the zombies left Earth in search of other planets to eat, the Acolytes returned to Earth.
X-Men the animated series: The Acolytes appeared in several episodes of the first X-Men animated series.
X-Men Evolution: The Acolytes appeared in seasons 2, 3, and 4 of this series, they consisted of Gambit, Colossus, Pyro, Sabretooth, and Quicksilver.
Wolverine and the X-Men: The Acolytes appear in this series as Magneto's bodyguards.