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 character, a mutant in the Marvel Comics Universe and a student at the Xavier Institute. He first appeared in New Mutants, vol. 2 #5, and he is one of only a few students to retain his powers in the wake of House of M.

Publication history

Fictional character biography

Anti-mutant Protester

Josh Foley first appears as a member of the Reavers, an anti-mutant group led by Donald Pierce. When Cerebro detects a mutant in the area, Danielle Moonstar and Karma investigate. The Reavers attack Moonstar's New Mutants squad, and one of Foley's allies is severely injured. Leaning down to aid his friend, Foley's mutant power manifests and he heals Laurie Collins.[1]

Sent to Xavier's

Outed as a mutant, much to his own surprise, and rejected by his friends and family, Josh reluctantly joins the Xavier Institute and becomes Prodigy's roommate, a situation neither finds appealing. Unable to overcome their bigotry, Josh's parents sign legal guardianship over to Dani Moonstar. He is assigned to Dani's New Mutant squad who eventually reach out to him as he comes to accept his mutation.[2]

Secret romance with Rahne Sinclair

Shortly afterwards, a depowered Rahne Sinclair, formerly known as Wolfsbane, visits the X-Mansion. Josh is instantly smitten by the new "wild child" Rahne, and sneaks out of the Institute at night to go to a bar where Rahne is playing pool. Josh realizes that her new attitude is a way of letting out instincts she had previously been able to blame on "the wolf." The two kiss, and Josh unconsciously heals Rahne's depowerment. The wolf takes over and she loses control, slashing Josh open. Fortunately, Laurie witnesses the attack and uses her pheromone powers to drive away Rahne.[3]

While Elixir 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. Josh receives an I.V. drip, but with Archangel, the mansion's other healer, absent, there is little hope. However, Prodigy realizes that Josh can heal himself if only he were to wake, and Beast reluctantly follows Prodigy's plan. Surge wakes him with her powers, while Laurie keeps him calm so he can heal himself. As an unexpected side effect, Josh turns his skin and hair to a reflective gold color.[4]

Josh and Rahne continue to see each other secretly for a few months until Rahne witnesses him on a date with Laurie and 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.[5]

With the exception of Surge, 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.[6][7]

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.[8] As the depowered students and staff leave, 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.[9]

During one of their first training sessions, the New X-Men spar with Colossus. Caught up in his emotions over the deceased students, Josh hits the powered-down Colossus over the head with a metal beam. Furious with his action, Emma temporarily kicks him off the team. Afterwards, Laurie and Josh argue about Josh's place on the New X-Men. Laurie explains that Emma is all wrong, that the team is merely about "violence and fighting," whereas Elixir can do a "beautiful thing." However, Josh tells Laurie that when he tried to heal DJ, "I could feel him dying...his life bleeding out of him," and that "when he died, he took a piece of me with him, a piece of me died, too." At that moment, Laurie is killed by a bullet fired by one of Stryker's agents.[10]

A distraught Josh remains with Laurie's body until they are found by several of the X-Men and students. When Wolverine attempts to restrain Josh from Laurie's body, Josh's power surges and causes painful boils and blisters to appear on Wolverine's hands and wrists. Stryker begins an attack on the institute but Josh sits unresponsively in the infirmary. Coming to his senses and enraged over the death of Laurie, Josh uses his power to kill Stryker. This act of revenge turns Josh's golden skin into metallic black and Josh falls to the floor, catatonic.[11]

According to David, Josh's killing of Stryker not only changed the color of his skin, but also altered his brain chemistry.

Nimrod and funerals

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.[12]

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. He, like the other remaining students and staff, attends a memorial to remember all the students who were killed in Stryker's raid of the school.[13]

Change of attitude


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

Since waking from his coma, Josh seems to have taken a more peaceful approach to life. In New X-Men #32, Rockslide states, "Since Foley's gone all zen, we'll probably need a replacement." Josh approaches Beast and asks him to teach him everything there is to know about human anatomy, physiology, and biology.[14] Josh states in issue #32 that he always knew that he could do more, and though Anole suggests that Josh stop studying in lieu of having the Cuckoos simply placing Beast's knowledge into his brain, Josh states he would rather do it the right way. He has begun to wear only white clothing, and, when not studying, seems lost in thought and is introspective.

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. After Belasco rips out David's heart, Elixir rushes over and touches him. David begins growing a new heart out of nothing and comes back to life. Josh is exhausted after healing David and passes out. He demonstrates his darker abilities in the same issue, causing the demon that is holding him to swell up and bleed out of its ears, before having its entire head explode.[15]

World War Hulk

Elixir is one of the students that goes up against the Hulk when he arrives at the mansion. He is carried towards the Hulk on Beast's back. Elixir touches the Hulk which affects his healing factor and gives an opening for the others to attack the Hulk. He and Beast are punched away by the Hulk, but Elixir heals Beast so they can try again. Once Hulk has defeated the New X-Men, Elixir and Beast are the last ones left. Hulk is about to crush them but the "Astonishing" team arrives and saves them. Elixir then takes a back seat during the rest of the conflict by healing and taking care of all the other X-Men and their allies.[16]

Children of X-Men

When Mercury comes to ask Elixir about his age, he is sitting alone in the dark and tells her instead about his cells and how he feels them aging and dying freaking her out. When Surge interviews him about what happened to David in Limbo, he tells her nothing happened.[17]

Later when Kitty Pryde tries to have a student/teacher conference, he is still sitting alone in the dark. When she asks him what he is doing, he tells her he is thinking about life and death and how he can give it and take it. “With everything my powers can do… Really Miss Pryde… What can’t I do?” This scares her and she leaves quickly. Later in a faculty meeting, she thinks he might become the next Magneto. While still in his room, Elixir is approached by Loa, who has taken an interest in him. She asks if he wants to make out to which he smiles and agrees. During the entire exchange, his skin constantly keeps shifting from gold to black up until he agrees to make out with Loa, prompting it to return to its original gold color.[18]

Messiah Complex

Main article: Messiah Complex

When some of the New X-Men decide to launch a preemptive strike against the Purifers, Elixir sits out the fight because he is worried he will kill every single one of them.[19] When the sentinels attack the mansion, Elixir is knocked out when a wall falls on him. He remains unconscious in the infirmary and is presumed by Cyclops that it will be days before he wakes up.[20]


Since recovering from his injuries, Josh was brought in to cure Wolfsbane after she was given a deliberate heroin overdose by the Purifiers. Upon healing Rahne, she attacked Josh, moving on to her real target, Angel, tearing out his wings and delivering them to Reverend Craig. Josh heals Angel's wounds, but his attempts to regrow his wings are thwarted by the discovery that Warren's wings were never really organic and that he still carries the Apocalypse techno-organic strain (Angel's wings do grow back on their own, but now with the added ability to transform from his original feather wings to his Apocalyspe metal ones and back again).[21]

Elixir and Loa are still together, which is revealed by X-23. 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 doesn't take part in the battle with the Marauders' clones, and instead hides with Vanisher, who calls him "Mother Teresa," and tells him that he should join the fight and help his teammates. Elixir later keeps X-23 from killing herself after she becomes infected with the Legacy Virus, and helps her get rid of it.[22]

When the Sapian League starts abducting mutants and infecting them with modified versions of the Legacy virus, turning them into living bombs, Vanisher tries to bribe Josh into removing the tumor he placed in his head but fails.[23] When Surge, Hellion and Boom-Boom are kidnapped, Josh, along with the rest of X-Force attempt to save them but at the last second are teleported off to the future leaving Tabitha at the hands of the Leper Queen, who kills her.[24]

Messiah War

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.[25]

During his stay in the future, Vanisher constantly tries to get Elixir to undo his tumor only to be turned down.[26] He confronts Stryfe along with Wolverine and Warpath, managing to infect him with cancer. However Stryfe telepathically forces Josh to heal him undoing most of the damage.[27] After the battle with Stryfe he and the rest of X-Force say goodbye to Hope and Cable, with Josh claiming that he knows what she (Hope) is. He, Wolverine and Archangel get back to the U.N. in order to save Surge and Hellion.[28]

Not Forgotten and Necrosha

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.[29] Upon arriving on Utopia, Hrimhari makes a deal with the Norse goddess of death, Hela when he finds out Rahne is pregnant.[30] 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.[31]

Elixir faces off against Wither in a fight to the death, Wither declaring he will kill Josh for failing to protect Laurie, that only Kevin himself could have saved her and he was the only one to love her. Elixir shifts to his black form, tells Kevin he always loved Laurie, 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.[32] According to writer Chris Yost, he is still on Genosha.[citation needed]

Powers and abilities

Elixir is an Omega-level mutant, capable of controlling the biological structure of any organic matter including his own body.[33] He is still inexperienced in the use of his powers, and the limits of his abilities are unknown. He must be in close proximity to whomever he heals, but can heal through clothing.

Initially, all Josh could do was heal cuts and wounds.[33] At one point, he also restored Wolfsbane's mutation. Sometime later, the Stepford Cuckoos telepathically copied and transferred all the information that Beast knew about anatomy, biology, and genetics into Josh's mind. This essentially gave him all that he needs to know to fully utilize his Omega-level biological powers.[34] He demonstrates his new power by healing David's vision so he doesn't need eyeglasses, rebuilds David's ripped heart and boosted Laura's healing factor to save her from dying again.

Elixir has displayed the ability to harm as well as heal, such as causing painful boils and welts to appear on the flesh of his enemies. He even used his powers to kill William Stryker, although the resulting feedback also altered his own body and brain; Prodigy hypothesizes that he was never meant to use his powers in this manner. When channeling his powers in harmful ways, Elixir's skin turns from its usual gold, to metallic black. According to Wolverine, when Elixir used his abilities to kill Wither, he found it hard to revert to his gold form.

During his time with X-Force, Elixir has demonstrated increased mastery of his powers: he is capable of sedating an enraged Wolfsbane, cleaning her body of drugs, granting himself and Archangel a healing factor[35] and curing people of the Legacy Virus.[36] His control over his abilities is now so refined that he was not only capable of giving Vanisher a brain tumor, but even of shaping it into the X-Men logo.[37]

Because of his control over his own biology, Elixir has proven to be very difficult to treat medically.[38] He usually passes out after pushing his powers too far and remains in a coma for some time. Doctor Nemesis guessed that during these times, his DNA reboots itself.[39]

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.[40]

House of M

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."[41]


  1. New Mutants vol. 2 #5-6
  2. New Mutants vol. 2 #7
  3. New Mutants vol. 2 #11
  4. New Mutants vol. 2 #12
  5. New X-Men: Academy X #4-9
  6. New X-Men: Academy X #11-15
  7. New X-Men: Academy X – Yearbook Special #1
  8. New X-Men #20-22
  9. New X-Men #23-24
  10. New X-Men #25
  11. New X-Men #26-27
  12. New X-Men #31
  13. New X-Men #32
  14. New X-Men #33
  15. New X-Men #37-41
  16. World War Hulk: X-Men #1-3
  17. New X-Men #42
  18. New X-Men #43
  19. New X-Men vol. 2 #44
  20. Uncanny X-Men #493
  21. X-Force vol. 3 #5
  22. X-Force vol. 3 #7-10
  23. X-Force vol. 3 #12
  24. X-Force vol. 3 #13
  25. X-Force/Cable: Messiah War #1
  26. X-Force vol. 3 #14
  27. X-Force vol. 3 #15
  28. X-Force vol. 3 #16
  29. X-Force vol. 3 #17-20
  30. X-Force vol. 3 #22
  31. X-Force vol. 3 #23-24
  32. X-Force vol. 3 #25
  33. 33.0 33.1 New Mutants vol. 2 by Christina Weir
  34. New X-Men #38
  35. X-Force vol. 3 #3
  36. X-Force vol. 3 #10
  37. X-Force vol. 3 #8
  38. New X-Men vol. 2 #28
  39. X-Force vol. 3 #18-19
  40. New X-Men: Academy X #10
  41. Ward, Chris. "Nrrrd Grrrl." Lyrics. mc chris is dead. mc chris LLC, 2008.
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