Uncanny xmen

Pete Wisdom

Pete Wisdom (Peter Paul Winston Wisdom) is a fictional secret agent published by Marvel Comics. He first appeared in Excalibur vol.1 #86,(February 1995), and was created by Warren Ellis and Ken Lashley. Wisdom is a former British Secret Service agent with the mutant ability to throw "blades" of energy ("hot knives") from his fingertips.

Publication history

Pete Wisdom was initially created by Ellis and drawn by Ben Dilworth, in a pitch for "Electric Angel" for publisher Trident Comics. Wisdom was an angry young Essex man, with the power to summon electricity. Ellis said at Toronto Comicon 2005 that the character is based on Jack Regan from The Sweeney. Later, at Marvel, Wisdom formally debuted, his first appearance was as an agent for the British covert organization Black Air in Excalibur vol. 1, #86(February, 1995). Thereafter he left Black Air and joined the X-Men-related Excalibur team, where he would meet Kitty Pryde.

The pair starred in the Pryde and Wisdom three-issue miniseries, which introduced Wisdom's sister Romany, as well as his father Harold, a retired Scotland Yard inspector. Soon after, Warren Ellis became the 'plotmaster' of X-Force - Ian Edginton was the actual scripter. Pete Wisdom would fake his own death and resurface some time later to a shocked X-Force. He next appeared in New Excalibur scripted by Chris Claremont. Originally, the series' mandate was to explore the fallout from House of M in Britain.

In November 2006, Pete Wisdom also starred in a six-issue limited series titled Wisdom under the MAX comics imprint. As part of the Secret Invasion crossover, Wisdom appears in the new series, Captain Britain and MI: 13.

Fictional character biography

What is known about Pete Wisdom's family is that he was born to Scotland Yard detective-sergeant Harold Wisdom. He has a sister, Romany, who is an occultist, a former employee of the police's Department of Unusual Deaths (Dept F.66) and ally of Union Jack. His mother was killed in a spree-shooting while waiting for Pete to visit, a visit he had blown off after an argument with her - both he and his father blame him for her death. He went on to join MI6 and later transferred to its fellow intelligence agency Black Air, where he alluded to have being in a relationship with his superior, Michelle Scicluna.

Due to being constantly sent out on wetwork (assassination assignments), he grew to hate his job and wished to leave. Scicluna tasked him to act as a non-combat adviser to Excalibur, who Black Air had requested to investigate in Genosha for them, and in return he could leave Black Air afterwards. Afterwards he borrowed Excalibur transport to reach and help an old friend, being forced to take Kitty Pryde with him; the two of them ended up investigating Black Air's "Dream Nails" facility and the horrors within, and Wisdom was almost tortured to death by one of his employee's agents. Following this he was invited to join Excalibur by Kitty and they started a relationship (leading to an ongoing feud between him and Lockheed) , regardless of the age difference.

Both Wisdom and Excalibur were able to expose Black Air's links to the Hellfire Club, cripple the organization, and prevent its grand scheme. With Kitty, he teamed up his father, his sister, and Department F.66 to track down an occult serial killer. A remnant cell of Black Air then hired a contract killer and former girlfriend of Wisdom's to assassinate him - while he escaped, he'd had Nightcrawler briefly captured by the cell and the guilt caused him to become far more anti-social, driving Kitty away. Unwilling afterwards to see if the relationship could be salvaged, he left Excalibur.

Later on (and sporting a fake eye patch to look sexy), he organized a group of former intelligence operatives to strike out at black-ops agencies and individuals, and requested X-Force's aid in recovering a cybernetic brain from Genosha, fighting Magneto in the process. Wisdom would later be seen as the new leader of the team. He acted as a mentor and showed the team members how to use their mutant powers in new ways. When his sister, Romany Wisdom returned as a villain, Pete Wisdom was apparently murdered. When the remainder of X-Force (with the exception of Domino) were apparently killed, Wisdom was revealed to still be alive. Wisdom's survival is apparently not known to any members of X-Force or Excalibur, and possibly the only person to know that he is alive is Alistaire Stuart, head of the British Intelligence organization MI-13 (AKA "The Department"), who suggested that he return to British intelligence.

After M-Day, Wisdom retained his powers and is later ordered by MI-13 to find and team with Captain Britain. He then joins New Excalibur and a relationship begins to blossom between him and Sage. Outside of Excalibur, he worked in a strike team for MI-13 that dealt with "weird happenings", clashing with MI-6, who felt that should be their jurisdiction; Alistaire Stuart had moved to MI6 and Wisdom viewed him as a traitor (to him personally) . As a result of his work, he ended up in an arranged marriage with his teammate Tink (a fairy) to cement a treaty between the United Kingdom and Otherworld. He also developed a romance with teammate Maureen Raven, an Ulster-born psychic, but was eventually forced to kill her to end the Martian invasion of Britain.

Following this invasion, Wisdom would once again team with Captain Britain and other heroes to stop the Skrull invasion of Earth.

Powers and abilities

Peter Wisdom has the power to absorb ambient heat and solar radiation, and release the absorbed energy from his fingertips as "hot knives" of pure thermal energy, said to be as "hot as the surface of the sun". He can leap from high distances and use the thermal energy to slow his descent. He can fire his hot knives as projectiles, or leave them attached to his fingertips like claws for close physical combat. He also has years of experience in espionage from working for Black Air and British Intelligence.

Other versions

House of M

Pete Wisdom appears as both the personal secretary and bodyguard to Brian Braddock, the King of Great Britain.

Ultimate Peter Wisdom

The Ultimate version of Wisdom made his first appearance in Ultimate Human #1, a mini-series written by Ellis and starring Ultimate Iron Man and Ultimate Hulk. This Wisdom is an ex-British Intelligence agent thrown out of the organization after testing his "British Enhancile Project" on himself turning him into the Ultimate version of The Leader. The Leader attempts to steal Tony Stark's nanotechnology as Banner and Stark work together to try and incorporate it into Banner's physiology in the hopes that it will grant him control over his transformations into the Hulk. A flashback reveals that Wisdom was an ambitious Director of Operations for the Special Intelligence Service who strongly disapproved of the European Super-Soldier programme (which eventually produced Captain Britain), believing British superhumans should be trained covert agents, rather than based on the American model. Wisdom persuades the Head of Service to give him four weeks to prove his point before the European programme starts and arranges for Dr Stragg, the scientist responsible for the Enhancile Project, to use him as a test subject. When he returned to the SIS, the Head of Service judged the project a failure, having turned Wisdom into a "circus freak", and told him to "run and hide". Wisdom now hopes that Banner's DNA and Stark's nanotechnology will increase his abilities and enable him to "save" his country.

  • The Earth-1610 version of Peter Wisdom has an enlarged brain, an attempt to duplicate the peculiarity of Tony Stark's DNA that causes him to have brain tissue throughout his body. He also has a strengthened skull to support this, due to injections of the Super-Soldier "stack" created by Banner. However, his neck is apparently unable to support the weight of his enlarged cranium, as Wisdom is shown wearing a halo brace to keep his head upright; he is also wheelchair-bound in every appearance after his transformation. His enhanced brain has given him psychic talents, including the ability to kill someone by willing them to stop breathing.


Named Petros Wisdom, Wisdom is Friar Albion a Captain Britain Corps member who featured in Excalibur vol. 1 #44 (1991).



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