I can say with just about complete certainty that 99.5% of you have no idea who Pete Wisdom is. Chances are – those that do, only have a passing familiarity with the X-Men character. So, for me to come out and question if he could be a part of the theatrical juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe could justifiably be looked at as a reach.
However, if you bear with me for the 10 to 15 minutes it’ll take you to read through this article – you might join me in this Dhalsim level of reasoning.
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First off, let’s start with the easy part. Pete’s a mutant with a flashy powerset that can be interpreted several ways without straying too far from the source material – unlike what we saw with Deadpool’s Negasonic Teenage Warhead.
Pete’s mutant ability to project super heated plasma from the tips of his fingers serves him in several ways – including making sure he always has a way to light a cigarette.
In the books, he can toss the energy shards like fiery darts or hold them in place to use like claws capable of cutting through steel like butter. That last part might be too close to Wolverine. Don’t want to confuse audiences, now.
Most of that has nothing to do with our topic, outside of his special effects affordability – I just wanted to get you a bit more acquainted with the character.
The biggest reason most of you are ignorant of good ol’ Pete is the fact that he’s never really been all that much of an X-Man. Not in the traditional sense, anyway.
Pete Wisdom is best known as being a member of Excalibur – the mostly mutant action team that was based out of Great Britain. The character spent his formative years there alongside more seasoned and, frankly speaking, popular X-Men including Nightcrawler, Rachel Summers, Kitty Pryde, and Colossus. He even participated in a love-triangle with the latter two as he competed for Kitty’s affections.
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He would later graduate from Excalibur to act as a taskmaster for the 2nd incarnation of X-Force leading into the Revolution era of X-Men. That was all well and good but again – nothing to do with his professed MCU worthiness. We don’t get to that until we start talking about his involvement with MI:13.
After X-Force, Wisdom retired from traditional superheroing to instead go to work for the Queen with the super-secret branch of her investigation bureau. MI:13 is the British CIA of paranormal, and supernatural activities on that side of the pond. Mutants, fairies, witches, spells, enchanted legendary swords (King Author’s Excalibur), and everything else normal cops wouldn’t deal with – falls under their jurisdiction.
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Pete didn’t just work for MI:13 – he was the head of his very own division; Black Air. With undeniable swagger and the experience garnered from his days with Excalibur, it seemed to be a good fit.
There’s more to Pete’s bid for MCU fame than an interesting backstory, however.
In the books, even to this very day, one of his lieutenants is none other than the Black Knight himself. You know, the character set to be portrayed by Kit “you know nothing, Jon Snow” Harrington in the upcoming movie, The Eternals?
Black Knight’s inclusion isn’t limited to just helping Pete Wisdom and MI:13 get off of the ground. It also presents the possibility of the MCU entering the Microverse, or perhaps acknowledging the Malibu Universe. But I digress.
Pete Wisdom and Gambit
The Black Knight connection is cool – so are his acquaintances with the several X-Men characters I mentioned. But what I find most interesting is Pete Wisdom’s more recent history with the X-Men’s premier thief, Gambit. The two never crossed paths while Pete was with Excalibur, but he did, however, clash with the Cajun later with MI:13.
Gambit, having the internationally known sticky fingers, eventually crossed the Atlantic and drew the full attention of Pete. The two would go on to enjoy a cat and mouse dynamic that evolved into something more akin to an unsteady friendship/rivalry in later issues of Gambit’s 2013 solo series.
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With rumors of a Gambit Disney Plus being alive as much as they’ve ever been – if Pete doesn’t immediately find a home on the big screen, he might be right at home as a foil to Gambit on the streaming service. Even if that does take a season or three.
The Gambit series seems to be heading for the swamps of NOLA – who’s to say Remy won’t eventually do some traveling in the UK and make a friend?
With Kevin Feige itching to take the X-Men franchise into areas it’s never been in hopes of differentiating his version from the Fox treatments – mutant fueled paranormal investigations might be just what Dr. McCoy ordered.
In the past, the concept of MI:13 may have clashed with S.H.I.E.L.D., but they’ve been dead and gone for some time. It would only make sense for other entities to rise in their place.
Pete Wisdom himself is a character not unlike Constantine – perhaps a bit too much alike, now that I think of it. He’s brash in a charming no-nonsense kind of way.
In Peggy Carter’s absence, he may be able to fill the void of Britain’s mouthpiece into the crazy world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.