A spy working for shady British intelligence organization Black Air, Peter Winston Wisdom saw what was really going on in her majesty’s secret service, and he didn’t like it. He joins the mostly mutant superhero team Excalibur after accompanying them on a mission to Genosha and developing a relationship with core member Kitty Pryde.
Over the years, Wisdom has continued to split his time between the spy and superhero communities, mentoring X-Force, working with a new version of Excalibur, leading England’s heroes against a vampire invasion and, most recently, serving as a government liaison to Captain Britain (Betsy Braddock). Sometimes, he even uses his mutant power, generating heat knives from the tips of his fingers. You might say he was the original “Hot Claws.”
Created by Warren Ellis and Ken “Ledkilla” Lashley, Wisdom first appeared in 1994’s Excalibur #86, then was put on ice for four months while the X-books got sucked into the Age of Apocalypse.
Wisdom, especially his early history, is tainted by his association with Ellis, who was accused by so many people of predatory conduct, emotional manipulation and grooming that they created a website to share their stories. Questions also loomed over the age difference between Wisdom and Pryde, as Kitty’s last canonical birthday would have left her still a teenager. Wait, this all sounds really bad. Why are we doing this again?
Well, certainly not because any of that stuff. Look, Wisdom is a bastard, nobody is going to deny that. But he’s a bastard who knows when the “job needs doing.” Later writers have acknowledged Wisdom’s sub-great tendencies while still allowing him big-damn-hero moments and making him someone worth caring about.
Only one mutant has out-strategized Dracula and (with the help of Britain’s combined spy and superhero communities) stopped a vampire invasion from the moon. And that’s Peter Winston Wisdom.