Warren Ellis Speaks....
I forgot the cardinal rule: leave nothing alive.

When I began EXCALIBUR, there was a place for Pete Wisdom: a character from an entirely different kind of fiction, a confused cop-show leftover finding himself stuck in a modern generic superhero team story.  The disgusting lovechild of THE SWEENEY's Jack Regan and James Bond (or maybe Harry Palmer), Pete Wisdom was there as a way for me to find a way into the book.  I could use him as a tool to explain and subvert the tropes of the form.  He was the engine of character development in the book: everyone changed and grew in relation to him.  He contrasted everyone nicely.  Once he and Kitty Pryde came together, they pretty much wrote their own dialogue.  The plot of PRYDE AND WISDOM was, in retrospect, almost worthless --but I'll reread it just to see the pair of them talking.

But leave nothing alive.

When I was approached to do the Counter-X consultation, I went back and reread a lot of what had happened between then and the time I left the X-Office.  I'd never read an issue of EXCAL past my last issue.  (I wrote a short "goodbye book" piece for the last issue of EXCAL, but no-one at Marvel ever bothered sending me a copy of the published book.)  I have no problems leaving behind characters I created under work-for-hire, because I'm very aware of what work-for-hire means and have made that mental adjustment.  You have to cut your emotional ties to work you've created but which something else owns.  And, Christ, I hope I have better ideas than Pete Wisdom sometime before I die.

Hm, I said.  Interesting.  Kill the Pete/Kitty thing literally as soon as I'm out the door, change Pete's personality to make the plot work, slap an eyepatch on him.  Interesting approach, guys.

Should've killed the bastard when I had the chance.

So, yes, I intended to kill Pete from the very start of my X-FORCE consultation.  Not only did the revamp demand a death -- to illustrate that, put bluntly, X-Force are now dealing with people who do not fuck around -- but Pete Wisdom needed to be put out of peoples' reach for a while.  So once the second X-Force arc is done, Pete Wisdom is gone.  I have left nothing alive.  Pete Wisdom was there as a tool with which to examine and contrast Marvel superhero comics, not as an occasional guest star and human chess piece.

And if you can't play nicely with the toys I give you, well, then, I'll just have to take them away.


Warren Ellis
Southend, England
August 2000

(c) Warren Ellis 2000

 (With Thanks to Warren Ellis - If you liked Pete you'll love Spider Jerusalem so I'd recommend trying Transmetropolitan for a loveable bastard fix and then check out some of Warrens other books)
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