Pryde and Wisdom #3

Issue Date: 
November 1996
Story Title: 
Mystery Train

Warren Ellis (writer), Terry Dodson & Aaron Lopresti (pencilers), Simmons, Martin, Lopresti & Martin (inkers), Ariane Lenshoek (colorist), Malibu (enhancement), RS & Comicraft (letters), Matt Idelson (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Kitty Pryde created by John Byrne & Chris Claremont

Pete Wisdom created by Warren Ellis & Ken Lashley

Brief Description: 

The mysterious woman holds Kitty, Pete and the members of F.66 at gunpoint as she rants that she is a mutant and an alchemist. She could have been Britain’s Charles Xavier, but prefers to leave mutants to live their lives in peace. She intends to kill the murderer quietly to prevent an anti-mutant backlash. Seeing an opportunity, Pete diverts her attention, whereupon Kitty takes her out. Afterwards, the members of F.66 admit that the killer appears to be their missing member Gideon who was always a religious lunatic, but they didn’t think he was a killer. Eccles takes them to Gideon’s home where they find Amanda Jardine and Harold Wisdom, who holds Gideon at gunpoint. Harold blames Pete for his mother’s death, but Kitty explains what really happened and Gideon uses the opportunity to flee, fossilizing Harold’s arm. Kitty chases the killer into the underground, where he is willing to die rather than give up. Later, Kitty learns that Pete has secretly been taking care of his father without the other man knowing. Back at the hotel, Kitty suggests they go look up her family now, much to Pete’s displeasure.

Full Summary: 

The strange woman points her gun at Pete Wisdom. Her name isn’t important. What she is, is. She is an alchemist and a mutant. She cannot let them prosecute the killer they are hunting. For he is a mutant, too.

She’s older than she looks, she continues. She has studied mutants in this country for years. She could have been England’s Charles Xavier, if she wanted, gathering them all together… but look at the X-Men. Do they need that here? No. They’re all safer in private.

They cannot arrest him. She must kill him very quietly. Their killer is a bad boy, she cannot deny. She paints a bloody line on her gun. He planted the bomb, she continues in their car. She confesses that everything else was her doing. “The men in black” were of her devising, transmuted from humans waste, used as an attempt to throw them off the scent or remove them, or whatever… these inhibitor guns are also chemical creations derived from mutant skin cells. The manstone they recovered from the river is hers, too. She used it to divine the killer’s identity.

Everyone knows what’s going on except him, Pete protests. Couldn’t she at least tell him who the killer is before she uses her raygun on them? Yes, he’s a mutant, they got that. But they don’t have a name.

Chief Inspector Eccles interrupts, somewhat embarrassed. They only just worked that out themselves. They think Kitty and Pete met him earlier. It’s John Gideon. John’s a bit of a complete psychopath. The powers that be attached him to F.66 because they couldn’t think of anything else to do with him. Couldn’t fire him, due to his father’s connections. Can’t keep him on the regular force. He’s the undisputed king of excessive force. He spends much of the year not working.” on medical leave.”

He thinks he’s Cain, Dr. Strangefeet adds. That’s how they finagled him into F.66, Bob adds. He understood esoterica. Even been writing letters to God. Asking forgiveness for killing Abel. Constance Johansson finally tells Pete that his sister translated the Enochian script in the victims. He’d phoned the mystery school from this pub, crowing that he’d met a girl there and that he wouldn’t be coming back to work today.

Pointing her gun at Wisdom, the strange woman remarks that he is writing a letter of apology to God that he’ll finally understand because it is in his language. A public capture and trial of a man like that… and a mutant will turn them into a mirror of America. British mutants will be driven into the open and persecuted, maybe even worse than in America. She orders Wisdom and Kitty to back off and stay that way. She knows where Gideon lives. She’s leaving now to kill him. She wants them not to get in her way.

Does she think she is faster than him? Wisdom suddenly asks. Can she shoot him faster than he can shoot her? She could shoot him now, she threatens. Maybe, Pete agrees but could she take first pressure on the trigger before he drives a hotknife through the gun or through her? He wouldn’t, she states. Wouldn’t he? Pete asks. He’s killed before, he quite likes it.

While he diverts the stranger Kitty snuck up on her and kicks her, complaining whether there wasn’t another way. She doesn’t like it when people point guns at him. Well, he could have done a striptease, Pete suggests… But F.66 would have arrested him, Kitty finishes his sentence. She orders the police to get them to Gideon’s place. He’s got a woman with him.

A little later, an apologetic Eccles guides them there, claiming that while they knew Gideon was violent, they didn’t know he was a killer. They arrive at Gideon’s home, aptly in the shadow of a church. Pete orders Eccles to remain in the car until the rest of F.66 catch up. Kitty phases the two of them through the front door, asking what they will do? The usual, Pete replies. Make it up as they go along.

Inside, they are expected by a very relieved Amanda Jardine, the woman Gideon picked up in the pub. She quickly explains that she laid herself out as a target, reading books on theology in public places. He’s a religious freak… there’s someone else in there with him.

Someone is Harold Wisdom, Pete’s father, who’s holding Gideon at gunpoint. He explains that he memorized Pete’s paperwork on him and worked up a psychological profile. Gideon asks him not to shoot. He’s a police officer. So was he once, Harold replies. Detective Sergeant Harold Wisdom, New Scotland Yard. Once he realized the killer felt threatened by Christian religion, working out options for where he lived was easy. Living in the shadow of God’s house. This was only the third place he checked.

Pete orders his father away, warning him that Gideon is a mutant. He’ll turn him into an even bigger fossil if he touches him. Harold orders him to shut it. What does he care? He thinks Harold doesn’t know what he did to his poor mother? He let her die. So why does Pete give a hoot about him?

Standing there like an embarrassed little boy, Pete stammers that it wasn’t like that… just back away from him. Kitty interjects, asking Harold if he knows why Pete didn’t visit his mother that day. Yeah, he replies. She phoned him after Pete had finished with her on the phone. Told Harold all the horrible things Pete had said to her.

Can he put his hands down? Gideon asks. Harold tells him to shut it. She always called when the kids gave her grief.

Kitty continues: Did he know that Pete’s mother told him on the phone that she never loved Harold and never wanted Pete and that’s why they argued? Harold is silent.

Gideon jumps at Harold. If he has to listen to any more of this, he’ll be sick! Pete tries to drag Harold away. But too late. Gideon touches and fossilizes his left arm. Furious, Pete shouts that was his father, as he begins hitting Gideon. He might be stupid. He might be evil. He might stink. He might be insane. But you do not touch his father.

Suddenly, he screams in pain as he is hit by an inhibitor gun. The odd woman has arrived. She orders Gideon to get to the floor, but that moment Harold shoots her. That got your attention, didn’t it? I don’t fancy you a bit. Leave my boy alone.

You’re all nuts, Gideon decides as he floors it out of the window. Look who’s talking, Kitty mutters. She orders Harold to look after Pete and runs after Gideon shouting at him that he has nowhere to go. F.66 are coming in.

He runs down an underground station. Does he think she’s going to let him catch a subway train? Kitty shouts. She means the Tube, he corrects her. Whatever, she retorts.

He bypasses the security check shouting Move Police! Shift it or I’ll arrest everybody. Move! Not the police! Kitty shouts seconds later. She figures if she phases and jumps, floats down the escalator well she might catch up. Might.

Unfortunately, a train has just arrived and Gideon orders everybody out of the end carriage. Kitty manages to phase and jump into the moving carriage. It’s just her and Gideon in there, which suits her fine.

Gideon in panic turns everything he touches to stone as he screams that he hasn’t finished his letter. She can’t stop him now. He’s on his last paragraph. He’s on his last chance, Kitty shouts. Give up, take psychiatric help or it’s prison for life and then some.

He’s making a mess of the carriage, she states before realizing that he has weakened the carriage’s structure. They’ve broken loose from the rest of the train. Gideon isn’t listening. Kitty warns him that he isn’t fit enough to fight her. He retorts that he only has to touch her once. Hasn’t she ever wanted to be forgiven? he rants. Oh, sure. Did she ever turn people into big rocks and write on them? No. She doesn’t understand, he states.

Suddenly, she hears another train coming down the track and realizes when it hits the petrified carriage it’ll go like glass under a truck. Not him, he rants. He lives forever. Adam’s son.

Kitty bites her lip. She’s facing a moral quandary. If she touches him to phase him, she could lose an arm or worse. If she doesn’t, he dies here. She decides to risk it and runs towards him.

The trains collide but Gideon refuses to take her hand. Kitty phases out of the carriage at the last second. Gone, she states. She guesses he can ask God for forgiveness in person now.

Later, back at F.66’s HQ a doctor informs Harold Wisdom that he’ll lose his arm but he’ll live. Never liked that arm much anyway. It had warts, Harold replies. “Dad,” states Pete. “Son,” replies Harold in what passes for a tender moment between the Wisdom men.

The odd alchemist woman walks past them in handcuffs, ranting that she has no problem with being arrested. She got what she wanted.

Jardine thanks Pete and Kitty profusely. Pete interrupts him, just telling him it needed doing, okay?

Romany Wisdom tells her brother she loves him and asks him to take care of himself. Pete surprisingly tells her he loves her too and asks her to see that evil old git of a father of theirs off to a hospital, will she? See if she can get him to take poison or something.

With Pete gone, Kitty sighs that she thought he might start being civil about his dad. Romany tells her not to be fooled. Pete doesn’t know that she knows, but she knows that Pete’s secretly been paying the rent on their dad’s house without his knowledge since their mother died. She asks Kitty to take care of Pete.

Later at their hotel room, Kitty asks Pete to put out that cigarette already. Moan, moan, bleedin’ moan, he sighs. She’s been thinking, Kitty informs him. It worries him when she does that, he interrupts her. Kitty continues that maybe he ought to meet her family now. Of course they’d have to hunt her dad down and her mom would probably shoot him on sight, but it wouldn’t be so bad. Pete reaches for her throat, informing here that he has to punish her now. Okay, okay, she didn’t mean it, she amends. And so it goes…

Characters Involved: 

Pete Wisdom, Shadowcat (both members of Excalibur)

Harold Wisdom, Romany Wisdom (Pete’s family)

Chief Inspector Eccles, Bob, Constance Johanssen, Dr. Strangefeet (members of F.66)


Amanda Jardine


Strange alchemist / mutant woman

Story Notes: 
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