The Acolytes started as a small group of mutants loyal to Magneto and his teachings. Originally led by Fabian Cortez, they stole a space shuttle to join Magneto on his orbital base Asteroid M. The Acolytes pledged to follow Magneto's principles, particularly the mutant right of superiority over normal humans. Some members of the Acolytes even worshipped Magneto with a religious fervor and regarded him as the “mutant messiah.” Upon learning of their intentions, Magneto allowed them to stay and become his Acolytes.
Magneto was betrayed by Fabian Cortez. Cortez was actually a member of the Upstarts, a group of mutants organized by the Gamesmaster who were awarded points for killing other mutants. As Asteroid M plummeted towards Earth, the Acolyte Chrome used his powers to shield Magneto from harm. Thanks to Chrome's intervention, Magneto survived the crash, however all of the remaining Acolytes died.
Fabian Cortez's seeming elimination of Magneto established him as ranking competitor among the Upstarts. Believing Magneto to be dead, Cortez gathered a second group of Acolytes to unwittingly aid him in the competition by playing Magneto off as a martyr. Among his new recruits were Cargill, Unuscione, and the brothers Eric, Harlan, and Sven Kleinstock.
This new team of Acolytes attacked a school wanting to secure an unidentified mutant boy. When they discovered the boy had Down Syndrome they judged him as worthless. After they killed the X-Men's ally Sharon Friedlander, they X-Men intervened. Eric Kleinstock was killed by Tom Corsi. The Acolytes then grew to Amelia Voght, Milan, Scanner, Senyaka, Spoor, Katu, Mellencamp, and Javitz.
The Acolytes split into factions on several occasions. When Exodus revealed himself and the truth behind Cortez, some refused to believe him and continued to follow Cortez, while most others followed Exodus. Upon Magneto's return however, Exodus 'cured' Rusty Collins and Skids from Stryfe and they chose to follow him.
When all Acolytes aligned with Magneto went to Illyana Rasputin's funeral, Colossus grew outraged at Xavier, and joined them. Not much later, the X-Men attacked Avalon and when Magneto ripped all of the Adamantium out of Wolverine's skin, Xavier left Magneto in a vegetative state.
The Acolytes soon realized that Neopyhte betrayed them and held a 'trial' for him. Colossus was his 'lawyer', and Voght was his 'prosecutor'. Exodus wished to kill the boy for his crime, but Colossus was very convincing and Exodus just banished him from Avalon instead.
After the reality warp known as the Age of Apocalypse ended, a villain escaped through to Earth-616 named Holocaust. Exodus saw him in space and wished to pull him in. Milan was scared and when he learned of him being a mutant, Exodus was even more pleased. Meanwhile, Skids and Rusty had some doubts about joining, but they were too late. Milan was absorbed by Holocaust and soon Rusty was too. Holocaust soon started tearing the place apart, thinking he was still in his own reality. Voght called the X-Men for help, and help they did. Jean Grey managed to escape with Skids, while Cyclops escaped with the Kleinstock brothers, Scanner, Unuscione and Frenzy; whom all agreed to turn themselves in exchange for his help. Exodus and Holocaust fought on, even as Avalon finally was destroyed. Colossus escaped with Magneto's body, but when he awoke later from Callisto, Magneto's body was gone.
Exodus then reformed the Acolytes at the request of an unnamed backer after M-Day, including new members Random and Tempo. The Acolytes played a large role in the search for the first mutant child born since M-Day. Afterwards, Karima was added to the ranks and Amelia Voght returned as well. Recently, Exodus, convinced by Professor X, disbanded the Acolytes again. 
Many Acolytes have used energy rifles and other guns in the past.
Various stolen space shuttles and other vehicles.
- 41 members of Acolytes (Earth-616)
- 78 appearances of Acolytes (Earth-616)
- 3 minor appearances of Acolytes (Earth-616)
- 12 mentions of Acolytes (Earth-616)
- 19 images of Acolytes (Earth-616)
- Gallery of Acolytes (Earth-616)