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Elixir (comics)

Art by Paco Medina
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance New Mutants vol. 2 #5 (November 2003)
Created by Nunzio DeFilippis
Christina Weir
Keron Grant
In-story information
Alter ego Joshua "Josh" Foley
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations New Mutants training squad
New X-Men
Xavier Institute
Abilities Biological manipulation

Elixir (Joshua "Josh" Foley), is a fictional mutant in the Marvel Comics Universe and a student at the Xavier Institute.

Publication history

He first appeared in New Mutants vol. 2 #5 and was created by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, and Keron Grant

Fictional character biography

Josh Foley's powers first manifest during his time as a member of the anti-mutant group the Reavers. His powers initially go unnoticed by the other Reavers, and he uses them to save fellow mutant Laurie Collins. Outed as a mutant, and thrown out of his house by his parents, Josh reluctantly joins the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning and becomes Prodigy's roommate.[1] His parents sign legal guardianship over to Dani Moonstar.[2]

A depowered Rahne Sinclair visits the X-Mansion. Josh is instantly smitten by the new "wild child" Rahne,[3] and sneaks out of the Institute at night to go to a bar where Rahne is playing pool. A connection is established between them as Josh shows an immediate understanding of her inner struggle. As the two kiss, Josh unconsciously restores Rahne's powers. She loses control and mortally wounds Josh.[4] Laurie witnesses the attack and uses her pheromone powers to drive away Rahne.[5] While he is rushed to the mansion's infirmary, Beast reveals the full potential of Josh's power: he can manipulate all the body's functions on a genetic level, and the fact that Josh only heals is simply inexperience. With Archangel, the mansion's other healer, absent, the residents resort to electrically shocking Josh awake so that he can heal himself. As an unexpected side effect, Josh turns his skin and hair to a reflective gold color.[6] He is assigned to Dani's New Mutant squad and given the codename Elixir.[7]

Rahne attempts to end her relationship with Josh after she becomes a teacher at the school, but Josh is persistent and they continue to see each other secretly. However, when Rahne witnesses him on a date with Laurie, she ends the relationship. Josh is depressed at first, but eventually realizes that it was for the best and pursues a relationship with Laurie. However, Wither also has a crush on Laurie, and reveals Rahne's and Josh's previous relationship to the school.[8]

Most of the New Mutants team ostracize Elixir for his involvement with a teacher. Eventually, the New Mutants squad's in-fighting begins to affect their ability to act as a team. Concerned with the future of her team, Wind Dancer convinces everyone to get together for a camp-out so they can work through their issues with one another. The evening ends with Josh speaking candidly with Icarus about his disappointment over his own actions. The other members of the team overhear and he is reconciled with David and Laurie.[9][10]

Decimation and Childhood's End

Elixir kills Stryker

The events of House of M leaves only 27 students with their powers, including Josh. Fearing their safety, Emma Frost orders the depowered students and staff, including Josh's guardian Danielle Moonstar, to leave the Institute.[11] A bus full of depowered students is bombed by anti-mutant zealot Reverend William Stryker, killing all on board. Josh is unable to heal his dying classmates in time, and becomes severely depressed and loses confidence in his abilities. Most of the remaining students take part in a melee fight organized by Emma Frost to determine who will be members in the new group of mutant heroes in-training, the New X-Men. Despite his non-combat powers, Josh makes the team.[12]

Caught up in his emotions over the deceased students, Josh hits a powered-down Colossus over the head with a metal beam during a training session. Furious, Emma temporarily kicks him off the team. Afterwards, Laurie is killed by a bullet fired by one of Stryker's agents.[13] Enraged over the death of Laurie, Josh uses his power to kill Stryker. This turns Josh's golden skin into metallic black and leaves him catatonic.[14]

When X-23 is mortally wounded and unable to heal during the final battle with Nimrod, Hellion rushes her back to the Institute with help from Emma Frost, who unlocks the part of his brain which controls his powers. Julian gives a motivational speech and gets Josh to move forward with his life. Josh heals Laura, which also turns his skin back from black to gold.[15] Shortly after it is discovered that a small part of black still remains on Josh's skin, moving from place to place. Josh states he could still kill but he will need to learn how to control his powers and use them only to heal.[16] He approaches Beast and asks him to teach him everything there is to know about human anatomy, physiology, and biology.[17]

Elixir gains Beast's advanced expertise in human biology from the Stepford Cuckoos.

Before the other students are teleported to Limbo, the Stepford Cuckoos help Elixir learn advanced science by taking information from the Beast's head and putting it into Josh's. This increases his power exponentially, allowing him to heal otherwise-fatal injures with a touch. He also masters his "black abilities" by being able to switch instantly from golden/healing to black/disease-causing.[18] He begins a romantic relationship with Loa.[19]


Due to Elixir being a "problem" to X-Force, X-23 contacts the Stepford Cuckoos to help Rahne and erase Elixir's memories of the team, by Josh's request. However, before his memories can be erased, X-Force is interrupted and sent on a mission. Elixir joins X-Force and receives a dark-colored uniform. He helps his new team capture Vanisher, creating a deadly brain tumor on his brain. Elixir later keeps X-23 from killing herself after she becomes infected with the Legacy Virus, and helps her get rid of it.[20]

Elixir is transported to the future, along with the rest of X-Force, by Cyclops in order to bring Cable and the mutant child back to the present. Once they arrive there Elixir is in a hysterical state over being unable to save his friends from the Leper Queen. When Vanisher is wounded by Deadpool, Josh heals him and later is led to Cable and Hope Summers.[21] During his stay in the future, Vanisher constantly tries to get Elixir to undo his tumor only to be turned down.[22]

Upon arriving in the present, Josh cures Nori and Julian but falls into a coma as a result of the strain. He is later sought out by Hrimhari when Wolfsbane collapses after a battle with the Frost Giants.[23] Upon arriving on Utopia, Hrimhari makes a deal with the Norse goddess of death, Hela when he finds out Rahne is pregnant.[24] Unable to choose between his lover or his child to save, Hrimhari requests Hela heal Josh so that he can save Wolfsbane and their child. Elixir heals her by transferring some of her baby's strength to her to ensure that she can survive the pregnancy. He and X-Force teleport off to Genosha and once there he informs Vanisher that it's not the tumor making him sick as he removed it in their trip to the future but his stage 4 Syphilis.[25]

Elixir faces off against Wither in a fight to the death. Elixir shifts to his black form, then reverses the effects of Wither's powers, telling Kevin he is sorry before turning him to dust. In the aftermath of Necrosha, Wolverine states that Josh has quit the team, citing he is having difficulty shifting out of his black form.[26]

In the aftermath of the Death of Wolverine storyline, Elixir was captured by the same individuals that had captured X-23, Sabretooth, Daken, Lady Deathstrike and Mystique. As he was still stuck in his black form, he was unable to attempt to rouse Mystique after Sharp knocked her unconscious with the trigger words, however this proved to be unnecessary as Mystique had already recovered and was just feigning unconsciousness. When Siphon attacked the group shortly after, Elixir tried to use his killing powers to stop him, however these had no effect and Josh was quickly overwhelmed. X-23 insisted that they needed to help, but Sabretooth refused and demanded Sharp release them. Sharp, his team, and the captives then scattered to escape.[27]

Elixir later appears as a member of the Utopians alongside Karma, Madison Jeffries, Masque, Random, and Tabitha Smith.[28]

Powers and abilities

Elixir is an Omega-level mutant, capable of controlling the biological structure of any organic matter including his own body.[6] He must be in proximity to whomever he uses his power on. Besides healing, he is capable of boosting and restoring mutant abilities,[4] cause painful boils and welts to appear, cure the Legacy Virus,[29] and cleanse the body of drugs.[30] When channeling his powers in harmful ways, Elixir's skin turns from its usual gold, to metallic black.

The Stepford Cuckoos telepathically copied and transferred the Beast's knowledge of anatomy, biology, and genetics into Josh's mind, allowing him the knowledge to heal virtually any malady.[31]

Because of his control over his own biology, Elixir has proven to be very difficult to treat medically.[32] He usually passes out after pushing his powers too far and remains in a coma for some time.

Other versions

New X-Men: Too Much Information

When David learns of a mental block within his head that prevents him from keeping the information he absorbs permanently, he asks for Emma Frost's aid in removing it. Working with Dani Moonstar, they show David a possible future outcome because of the mental blocks' removal. After leaving the Xavier Institute, David promises to help Josh find the full potential of his powers. Months later after establishing his own business, Josh is used as a test subject to cure cancer and AIDS. Although it's successful, it comes at the cost of his life.[33]

House of M

In the House of M reality, Josh was an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., serving alongside Agent Kevin Ford (Wither) as interrogator. Foley and Ford were in charge of "persuading" Cameron Hodge, a member of the Human Liberation Front, to reveal the location of his terrorist cell. Josh uses his power to "speed up the body's biological functions," and combined with Agent Ford's power, they are able to create a net effect that causes a part of the terrorist to die and then regenerate, which Foley describes as "quite painful". Before Ford and Foley begin torturing Hodge, Agent Noriko Ashida (Surge) interrupts them, prompting Ford and Foley to attack her. She incapacitates them both but Foley manages to use his power to rupture her blood vessels and cause her lungs to fill with blood.

Popular culture references

  • Elixir is referenced in the Mc chris song, "Nrrrd Grrrl": "She's more like a wallflower, Like the one that Stryker sniped, I'm like Elixir when I'm with her, 'Cause I think I like her type."[34]


  1. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #5-6
  2. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #7
  3. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #9
  4. ^ a b New Mutants vol. 2 #10
  5. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #11
  6. ^ a b New Mutants vol. 2 #12
  7. ^ New X-Men: Academy X #1
  8. ^ New X-Men: Academy X #4-9
  9. ^ New X-Men: Academy X #11-15
  10. ^ New X-Men: Academy X – Yearbook Special #1
  11. ^ New X-Men #20-22
  12. ^ New X-Men #23-24
  13. ^ New X-Men #25
  14. ^ New X-Men #26-27
  15. ^ New X-Men #31
  16. ^ New X-Men #32
  17. ^ New X-Men #33
  18. ^ New X-Men #37-41
  19. ^ New X-Men #43
  20. ^ X-Force vol. 3 #7-10
  21. ^ X-Force/Cable: Messiah War #1
  22. ^ X-Force vol. 3 #14
  23. ^ X-Force vol. 3 #17-20
  24. ^ X-Force vol. 3 #22
  25. ^ X-Force vol. 3 #23-24
  26. ^ X-Force vol. 3 #25
  27. ^ Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #7
  28. ^ All-New X-Men #40
  29. ^ X-Force vol. 3 #10
  30. ^ X-Force vol. 3 #3
  31. ^ New X-Men #38
  32. ^ New X-Men vol. 2 #28
  33. ^ New X-Men: Academy X #10
  34. ^ Ward, Chris. "Nrrrd Grrrl." Lyrics. mc chris is dead. mc chris LLC, 2008.

External links