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Kevin Ford (Earth-616)

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Quote1 I destroy everything I touch. I wither it. And I turn it to ash. Quote2
-- Wither src


Kevin Ford always considered himself cursed and unlucky. When his mutant powers manifested, it first began affecting plants in his garden, and then even his clothes. Panicking as his clothes began to decay, Kevin's father tried to calm him down, but touching Kevin killed him. Traumatised by the experience, Kevin began hiding out and avoiding the public.[1]

New Mutants Squad & Hellions Squad

Located by Dani Moonstar, Kevin was invited to attend the Xavier Institute to learn how to control his powers. While initially alone and isolated, he developed a friendship with other new students, among them Laurie Collins whom he developed feelings for.[1] Kevin was finally finding a place where he could belong. However, after being attacked by Donald Pierce and his Reavers, Kevin went into a rage and used his powers to attack Pierce, slowly killing him. To stop him, Dani Moonstar was forced to show Kevin his worst fear - killing Laurie. Kevin became so distraught by the image that he left the Institute, fearing his lack of control might endanger others.[2]

Some months later, Dani (with the help of Emma Frost) set out to bring him back to the school, to fill the sixth place on her New Mutants Squad. Kevin had exiled himself to living in a scrap yard. While there he turned unwanted scrap into beautiful art, and practicing with his powers on animals. While Kevin was still angry at Dani, Emma managed to persuade him to return, and he joined the New Mutants Squad under the codename Wither.[1] Shortly after he returned to the school, Kevin was arrested by FBI Special Agent Justin Pierce for killing his father. While the Hellions tried to "rescue" him, the New Mutants tried to stop them fearing the consequences of involving the Institute in a fight with the FBI. The X-Men soon arrived and ended the fight. Although Kevin was later freed, the damage was done. Upon returning to the Institute, Kevin swapped squads with Icarus to become a Hellion, feeling that the New Mutants had betrayed him.[2]

Hellions Squad (Earth-616) from New X-Men Yearbook Special Vol 1 1 0001

Wither with the Hellions Squad

Wither continued to clash with Elixir primarily over Laurie's affections. He also remained oblivious to Mercury's crush on him. During the semester, Wither discovered Elixir had had a brief affair with a professor, Wolfsbane. He informed the entire school, successfully ending Josh's relationship with Laurie and terminating Wolfsbane's employment.[3]

During the summer break, Wither accompanied the other Hellions to Julian Keller's family home in California. When the Kingmaker contacted the Hellions, he was able to provide Kevin with Cure Mark II, which offered Kevin temporary relief from his powers.[4]

Laurie Collins & Kevin Ford (Earth-616)

Wither crippling Laurie's arm


On M-Day, when most of the world's mutants lost their powers, Kevin mistakenly thought he had lost his powers also. He touched Laurie's hand making it withered. Feeling guilty and depressed, Kevin ran away from the Institute.[5] Kevin relocated to Mutant Town where he again began isolating himself from society.[6] Wither called Mercury only once after leaving, and upon discovering Laurie had died became enraged and hung up.[7]

Selene's Inner Circle

While Kevin was out of the Institute, he met a homeless woman. Kevin lived with her for some time in an abandoned house, until one day the woman was seemingly killed by police. Kevin killed the police without hesitation, immediately after the old woman reappeared as Selene, the Black Queen. She invited Wither to come into her circle, and he accepted.[6] The two became lovers thereafter.[8]

Inner Circle (Selene) (Earth-616) on Utopia

Selene's Inner Circle on Utopia

As one of Selene's death dealers, Wither assist her recruiting others and in resurrecting her undead army with the Techno-Organic Virus.[8] When Selene's forces attacked Utopia, Wither also murdered his former classmate, Onyxx.[9]

Joshua Foley and Kevin Ford (Earth-616) from X-Force Vol 3 25 0002

Wither battling Elixir

During the final battle on Necrosha, Kevin was killed by Elixir, whose omega-level biological manipulation allowed him to overwhelm Wither's death touch and disintegrate him.[10]


Wither is mutant without conscious control of his powers, including:


Wither's death touch

  • Organic Decay: He has the ability to decay, and eventually disintegrate all forms of organic matter by touch – a power which is involuntary. His touch breaks down the binding forces between organic molecules, causing organic materials to wither and reduce to a pile of dust within a matter of seconds' exposure to his skin.[1] This power is even more difficult to deal with due to the fact that it wants Kevin to use it. It has a "hunger", which gives Kevin a desire to use it.[6]
    • Decayed Sight: He has the ability to see the world in a dead or decaying way.[6]

Strength level

Average Human.

  • Kevin's identity is known to high-level government officials, specifically the FBI.

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