This time round, as we continue our series exploring a new breed of X-Men, we’re dealing with a character whose potential is there – if the writers ever care to bring him out of Comic Book Limbo. His name is Elixir.
Josh’s story began in New Mutants series 2, and it all started in a way that’s pretty much been forgotten. Josh Foley was brought along by a friend to meet none other than Donald Pierce, and he was part of an attempt to target mutants. Yes, this particular Omega-level mutant started his career in comics as a (slightly hormonal) anti-mutant protestor!
Josh only enrolled at the school when his parents disowned him as a mutant. It was only when his powers interacted badly with Wolfsbane’s that the truth of Elixir’s powers was revealed:
Think about it: Josh is an Omega-class mutant (i.e. unlimited potential), and can manipulate the body’s functions at the genetic level. If he can manipulate the body down to that level, then he can rewrite DNA (there’ve been a couple of moments when his powers implied he could do just that). He could trigger an X-gene, he could change a person’s eye-colour, he could potentially – with learning – give someone else powers. You’re talking a potential Mutant Messiah here, one whose touch can do anything to you.
As Josh’s powers have developed, we’ve seen that his focus is towards healing and restoration – but that he can also do the opposite. As a healer, he’s golden-skinned nowadays; but when he uses his powers to harm, he’s distorting them in a way that looks to be pretty dangerous.
Yes, when Elixir uses his powers it has an effect on his own brain chemistry. If healing is good, then harming is bad; the ways Elixir uses his powers dictate the chemistry of his brain and, perhaps, the kind of person he is.
It makes sense that Elixir would get into mysticism and meditation – he’s practically an incarnation of Yin and Yang, dark and light. He even got to have meditative sessions with the Cuckoos as he tried to adjust his temperament, but those seem to have died down (along with the potential love-life) when he joined X-Force.
The last time we saw Elixir, he used his powers in battle against Wither (an old nemesis from a tragic love-triangle in the pages of New X-Men) at the climax of the Necrosha arc. Josh used his power to kill once again.
Genosha was the last place we saw him, a single living man on an island of the dead. Who knows what’s going through his head right now, and who knows what kind of person he’s becoming… The last thing we know is this:
Elixir could well be a new breed of X-Man. He could just as easily be a new breed of X-Villain…
Take a look at this art by Benjy Borndahl!