Kevin Ford developed his mutant powers at an unfortunate and unlucky time. Panicking as his clothes began to decay, his father tried to calm him down and Kevin's power reduced him to dust. He has always considered himself cursed. A talented artist, Kevin lived in a scrap yard for a while (killing the guard dog with his touch, naturally) and turned unwanted scrap into beautiful art.
Danielle Moonstar, while out looking for students to bring into Xavier's Institute for Higher Learning, came across Kevin being harassed by men in a local junkyard as they bore witness to his mutation in action. After protecting Kevin and subsequently convincing him to enter Xavier's Institute, where he met and had developed a crush on fellow mutant and classmate, Laurie Collins. In an attack against Laurie initiated by the cyborg known as Donald Pierce which resulting in impaling Laurie; she was stabbed through the chest, mortally wounded. Kevin lost control of his anger and lashed out at Pierce in an attempt to kill him, decaying the skin off his metallic face in the process. Kevin’s attack was interrupted by Danielle Moonstar, who was forced to stop Kevin by revealing his worst fear, Killing Laurie. She was only saved when Josh Foley, one of the Reavers who had just discovered he was a mutant, healed her (she quickly developed a crush on him). After the situation, Kevin had realized that he had felt comfortable using his power, which scared him into leaving the institute.
New X-Men: Academy X
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 the formalized New Mutants squad. 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. Clashing with Elixir, the current object of Laurie's affections who he'd last seen as one of Pierce's Reavers, Mercury (the only person he could touch without killing) reached out to him, having developed a crush on him. Shortly after he returned to the school, he was arrested by the FBI for killing his father. While the Hellions tried to "rescue" him (Mercury coming in through a window to let him know), the New Mutants tried to stop them - fearing the consequences of involving the Institute in a fight with the FBI - until the X-Men arrived and ended the fight, taking them all back to the Institute before they were discovered. Kevin however saw this as the final straw (having first been turned over to the FBI by Dani), and he swapped squads with Icarus to become a Hellion. During Kevin's time at the Institute, he discovered the White Queen's diamond form is impervious to his powers. He discovered Elixir's former relationship with Wolfsbane and revealed it to the school, successfully ending Josh's relationship with Laurie.
During the confusion of M day, when he saw that other mutants had lost their powers, he assumed that he had lost his too and reached out to Wallflower, but when he touched her arm he was devastated to see that not only had he not lost his powers, but he had just caused Wallflower's arm to 'wither'. Sadly no one was able to heal Wallflower's arm, not even Elixir, as Wither had held it for too long, there was nothing left to heal. Overcome with remorse, and after overhearing a conversation Mercury and Hellion were having regarding the incident with Wallflower, and how Hellion didn't know how to deal with him, Wither decided to flee the institute and ran to hide out in 'Mutant Town' (or what was left of it after M Day).
There he stayed with a seemingly weak, elderly woman in a run-down apartment, but this woman turned out to be Selene in disguise. In her disguise she told Kevin to embrace his power, as he was still resentful of his power after what he had done to Wallflower. Eventually Wither did use his powers again, to kill two out of four policemen that raided the apartment to capture the old woman as she was connected to other deaths that were occurring in the region, the old woman touched the two policeman that tried to apprehend her, causing them to wither away instantly just like what happens when Wither touches someone, the other two policeman shot the old woman, which enraged Wither, forcing him to use his death touch on them. After the two remaining policemen had died, Selene revealed herself to Wither, telling him that she would be 'his queen' if he just said yes, to which he replied 'yes'. He has recently become Selene's new apprentice.
As Selene's plan for ascension moves, she decided to form her own inner circle. Wither was among them along with Blink, Mortis, Eli Bard and Senyaka. He travelled with her and Eli Bard to Genosha to start its resurrection. What his exact role in Selene's plan is still unknown. He has however retained his feelings for her and is very protective of both her and her plan. Prior to the events of Necrosha, Wither was living a life of luxury with Selene but he still had feelings for Wallflower, and remained reluctant to use his powers. Selene took him into the city and she found a young couple on a date. She told Wither to use his powers on the couple but he remains hesitant. To provoke him, Selene used her sorcery to make the couple appear as Wallflower and Elixir. Wither believed that Elixir was taunting him, reminding Wither that he had hurt Laurie and claiming that he had to healed her. Driven to a rage Kevin killed the false Elixir. Afterwards, Wither saw the woman for who she really was but killed her anyway, finally accepting his powers. Wither is among Selene's Inner Circle, dispatched to retrieve Selene's mystical knife from the X-Men. During the resulting fight, he is distracted by Dust, her transient form proving difficult for him to affect. However, when Onyxx attacks, Wither uses his powers to disintegrate his rocky form, killing him instantly.
Powers and Abilities
Organic Decay: Wither has the ability to cause 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. 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.
- Decayed Sight: Wither has the ability to see the decay in things.
- Kevin's identity is known to High level government officials, specifically the FBI.