Elwood Johns was a math genius with aspirations of working for NASA as well as a love of finance. His high IQ and skill with numbers is apparently heretical as he mentions members of his family are also graced with great intelligence. He was a student attending Freese college when the Ax-Cell-Erator exploded. At the moment of the explosion Elwood was drinking his first ever beer, this coupled with the explosion gave him his super powers.
Elwood is only able to use his power if he is intoxicated in some way. His powers produce a toxic secretion in the form of burps that cause anyone who smells the chemical to feel the effects of whatever high he is feeling. This includes passing on the feelings of a hangover. In this case he is able to use his powers when not intoxicated, otherwise sobriety cancels out his power. Because of his now growing need for alcohol and other drugs his grades are slipping as his life as a superhero grows. It has become apparent Elwoods aim for his burps is less than accurate although when needed it can affect massive amounts of people at once, including football stadiums full of people.