Outsiders is a limited-series of comic books set on a future Earth.
Outsiders is set on Earth, at somepoint in the future. 10 years before the start of the series, there was a team of Metahumans named the Outsiders (they acted outside the law), except for one member who called himself "Rook". With no superpowers, Rook was forced to rely much more heavily on gadgetry and his own intellect. During his time on the team, Rook saw how easily the Metahumans could defeat a normal human. He decided that the Metahumans, who were now breeding and spreading across the Earth, were too dangerous to be left unchecked. He quietly set about gaining more and more power politically, until it got to the point where he could declare all out war on Metahumans. For the next year, Civil War raged, Human against Metahuman, with the Outsiders on the front line for the "Mets" as the humans came to call them. The war ravaged the planet, reducing most of the Earth to desert. Ultimately, the war culminated in a final battle between Rook and the leader of the Outsiders, Mr X. Rook won.
For the next 10 years, Rook outlawed all Metahumans as criminals and social outcasts. He had the most powerful (the rest of the Outsiders and other powerful Mets) hunted down and provided with a choice: Sign up for military service, or be incinerated (not jailed, publicly burnt). Mets began to reclude and not reveal themselves as non-human, or risk them and their families being killed. With an army of Enforcers at his disposal, Rook continues his "noble crusade" against Metahumans, all the while rebuilding the world from his capital, "Steelhaven".
However, when it became apparent that they would lose the war, the Outsiders hid their children with one of their members, a man who called himself Bones. He would train them to be the next generation of Outsiders, who would return and free the Metahumans from their oppression, led by the last living child of Mr X.
- Mr X (Norman Hull) was the leader of the original Outsiders. He was granted his powers when he signed up for an experimental drug that would be used to create Super-Soldiers. Upon taking it, Norman had a heart attack and was rushed to Hospital. When the surgeons tried to operate on him, they found his skin had become nearly indestructible, with only a diamond tipped blade being able to cut him. Norman also found he was incredibly strong and fast, and could breathe fire. However, he had lost his memory. Naming himself Mr X, Norman decided he would use his powers to better the world. Norman is killed by Rook at the end of the War.
- Venomess (Anna Walsh) was exposed to a corrosive enzyme at a young age. Instead of killing her though, the Enzyme bonded to her DNA and gave her the ability to secrete an incredibly corrosive liquid from her hands. Anna was forced to wear gloves made of an experimental rubber-like material to prevent her from melting everything around her. When she heard about the antics of Mr X, she too donned a costume and asked to join him in his fight against evil. Naming herself Venomess, she would become a scourge of crime. Anna is executed after being captured by Rook's forces.
- The Human Lightningrod (Michael Plug the Second) was born as the son of another Metahuman, the first Human Lightningrod. He inherited his father's ability to absorb energy and disperse it as electricity. Becoming the Lightningrod after his father died, Michael continued his father's legacy. When the war broke out, Rook only offered Michael the chance to be spared, due to his belief that humanity must evolve. Michael refused, but survived the war. However, he killed himself to escape the world Rook was creating.
- Bones (James MacDuff) gained his ability to regrow his skeleton instantly and launch shards of bone from his hands when he was arrested for murder. While in prison, he converted to Christianity and vowed to repent for his sins, starting by volunteering for an experimental bone marrow drug, designed to temporarily help bones grow faster. He escaped from prison and became the superhero, Bones. However, dues to the temporary effects of the drug, Bones has to keep taking more of it. He has since become addicted to it. When the War broke out, Bones joined the Outsiders and was told by Mr X to raise their children to fight Rook, should they lose the war.
- Verman (Vernon Manning) was a beggar in shanghai, who tried to earn a little money in a gene splicing experiment. Scientists were illegally splicing humans with animal genes to try and advance human evolution. Vernon's genes were spliced with that of a rat. When no noticeable results were recorded, he was paid and dumped back on the streets. Vernon began to feel sick, and the effects of the splice kicked in. He found himself able to communicate and control rats, as well as developing the teeth and survival abilities of a rat. Using his new found powers to steal from houses via their U-Bends, Vernon came to the attention of the Outsiders who offered him the chance to join them. He accepted, and during the war, Vernon was caught breaking into a Human compound. He was arrested by Rook who had him and his rodent army exterminated.
- Rook (Real Name Unknown) was the only member of the Outsiders with no superpowers. Instead, he relied on an arsenal of gadgets, his wits and the suit he wore. Rook became a feared and effective vigilante, which led to the Outsiders considering allowing him to join. Due to his lethal, and sometimes downright sadistic methods, it was left to a vote. He was voted in, but when Mr X went to tell him the good news, Rook refused to join, because of his mistrust of Metahumans. He eventually relented, but proved to be an unpopular member, as he was uncooperative and very open about his opinion of Metahumans. Ultimately, Rook decided that the obvious danger of Metahumans was too large to be allowed to go unchecked. He formed an army and declared war on Metahumans all over the Earth. Over the next year, he slaughtered Metahumans everywhere and killed (or caused the deaths of) all but one member of the Outsiders. The war only ended when Rook confronted Mr X in a final battle, which he won. Rook then began to rebuild the ravaged world, and founded the capital city of Steelhaven. He persecuted Metahumans everywhere and used his army of Enforcers to keep the peace.
- Bones acts as the mentor and father figure to the New Outsiders. He raised each of them on the orders of Mr X to fight Rook's new world order. For his backstory, see above.
- Ms X (Claire Hull) is the last living child of Mr X, and inherited most of his powers (though diluted through her human mother). She isn't quite as powerful as her father. Claire is the leader of the New Outsiders and is hailed as the Metahuman Messiah, as it is believed she has the power to defeat Rook. She is used as a figurehead to rally the troops before they are sent into the field and is never allowed out alone. Claire's brother, who was originally believed to be the one who would kill Rook, was himself killed by Rook. She has to carry his responsibility to her people and hates Rook for all that he has done to her people, her family and herself. She is the most psychologically stable member of the New Outsiders.
- Corrosion (Ashley Walsh) is the daughter of Venomess. She was present at her mother's death, which left her with deep psychological scars and attachment issues. Ashley also inherited her mother's ability to secrete an unknown corrosive enzyme from her hands, and has to wear her mother's old gloves. Ashley has a tentative relationship with John, but they cannot touch each other. If she touches him, her secretions will melt him. Ashley is repulsed by her own body because of this and is borderline suicidal.
- The Human Lightningrod (John Plug) is the third man to bear the name and powers. He inherited them from his father and is often compared to him. Because his father was never around for him, John would pester Bones for all the information he had on his father, filling in any gaps with how he imagined the second lightningrod. He believed so strongly in his interpretation of his father, that it began to become a part of his personality and he has spells where he believes he is the second Human Lightningrod. He has a tentative relationship with Ashley, but they cannot touch each other. If he touches her, he will expel any remaining charge he contains and electrocute her (Also, he sometimes believes he is his own father).
- Ratman (Victor Manning) is the son of Vernon Manning, Verman. He was born with his father's ability to communicate with rats. However, due to it being inherited naturally, Victor's mutation has evolved to the point where he has more rat-like traits than human. He avoids bright lights and isn't too fussy about what he eats. Victor is the youngest member of the Outsiders and the most naive. He is also incredibly perverted, often trying to watch the female members of the team undress. He is also unhygienic and has very few morals. Because of this, he is incredibly unpopular and only kept around for his knack for breaking and entering.
- Assorted Metahumans are just background characters.
- Rook is the supreme ruler of all of what remains of the Earth. He is a very popular king among the humans but, due to his persecution of them, very unpopular among Metahumans. Rook has no superpowers, but is still a formidable opponent. He is the only man to have ever faced down Mr X and won.
- Talix is Rook's only son. He does not agree with his father's view on Metahumans, but does not dare express these feelings or he would risk execution. Talix is terrified of his father and the two have little in common. He has never even seen his father's face. Talix resents Rook for forcing him into a life of discipline and training (Rook wants him to take over when he dies) and plans to allow Metahumans and normal Humans to integrate when he is king. However, because he is Rook's son, he is despised by the Metahuman population and is often a target for assassins.
- The Enforcers are Rook's Metahuman hit-squad. He captured the most powerful Metahumans he could find and brainwashed them into being his super-police. The Enforcers are often used as a way to provide bad press for Metahumans, by secretly performing vandalisms and killing people in an obviously Metahuman way.
- Knight (Steve Hull) is the other child of Mr X and the brother of Claire Hull. He was originally intended to lead the New Outsiders, but was captured by the Enforcers. Rook revealed to him that he hadn't killed Mr X, but taken him prisoner and brainwashed him into the leader of his Enforcers. However, because X was getting old, Rook planned to replace him with Steve who would be younger and stronger.
- Ghost (Isaac Spectre) is a Metahuman with the ability to pass through solid objects. It is never revealed how he gained his powers (they are assumed to be hereditary). Isaac allies himself with Rook in return for the sparing of his family. He is sent into the resistance as a spy and leads Ms X into her first fight with Rook (which she loses spectacularly). Ghost is found out after this, and is executed for his failure.