Writer: Warren Ellis
Pencils: Larry Stroman, Darrick Gross, Ken Lashley & Jeff Moy
Inks: Cam Smith, Darrick Gross, Tom Wegrzyn, Philip Moy, Don Hudson & James Palmiotti
Colors: Joe Rosas & Digital Chameleon
Editors: Suzanne Gaffney & Bob Harris
Original publication date: October 1995
It’s gloves off, autopilot on as font of wisdom Liz Large joins us to debate and dissect the crushability of floppy haired sexy-criers who may or may not be sociopaths in Excalibur #90, “Blood Eagle,” in which pride’s better than wisdom but isn’t is always? Shocking twists abound as Kitty Pryde and Pete Wisdom explore the depths Black Air’s alien repository and Pete’s tortured mind, while the GGW team delves fearlessly into the equally dark recesses of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to resurrect fandoms past. As they said back in 1995: where there’s smoke there’s fire and probably hot knives.
On the world of webrings:
“Back in the 90s, fandoms were very much split up into specific websites. So if you were a Kitty/Pete shipper, you’d never meet a Kitty/Rachel shipper. And that was maybe for the best.” -Liz
On the declining appeal of Pete Wisdom:
“I think I gave Pete Wisdom a pretty good shot. But it’s at the point now where every time he talks, I’m laughing.” -Andrew
On contextual tropes:
“Pete Wisdom is a classic 90s guy: a tortured guy in a trench coat thinking tortured thoughts and hoping he can find a younger girl to fix him.” -Mav
On failed dramatic irony:
“A character who’s fated to be corrupted by moral compromises is a good story. But it requires us caring about the character being corrupted. Rory Campbell just isn’t established enough for me.” -Andrew
On sympathy for witches:
“I felt badly for Amanda here. Here introduction is like—this is Amanda Sefton! She’s great! Unfortunately, she makes nothing but bad decisions.” -Liz
On the debuy of Wolfsbane:
“There are a lot of interesting aspects to Rahne Sinclair. One of them is her relationship with Moira. She loves Moira but us deeply insecure about the relationship.” -Andrew
“As explicitly as you can make it in Code-approved comics—Kitty and Pete have sex at the end of this comic.” -Mav
On why Black Air remains the best spy org:
“Why does Black Air have an orientation museum outlining all their top-secret aliens and connections to the Hellfire Club?” -Liz
Want to check out the Fonts of Wisdom fanfic archive via the Wayback Machine? We’ve got you covered.
Want more Liz Large?
You can find her on Twitter (@lizbethanne).
You can find her writing at ComicsXF, where she reviews Hellions, Doctor Aphra, and New Mutants, and contributes to various other comics and culture projects, including the site’s Excalibur Primer, co-written with the pod’s own Anna!
You can also find her reviewing awesome books at Gatecrashers!
And as usual:
You can find Anna on Twitter (@peppard_anna) and at Sequential Scholars (@seqscholars).
You can find Andrew on Twitter (@ClaremontRun) and at Sequential Scholars.
You can find Mav on Twitter (@chrismaverick) and on his podcast, VoxPopcast (@VoxPopcast).
Congratulations to everyone on the 100th episode! Really amazing work all round. It’s been a trip so far. Educational and entertaining. Wonderful work.
I think the wrestling term Anna was trying to think of was ‘over’, as in, ‘all Ellis has been doing since day one is trying to put Pete Wisdom over and let me tell you, he ain’t never getting over’.
I’ve tried to rethink my younger self’s reaction and Anna and Mav have done some sterling work, Anna in particular, highlighting angles I hadn’t thought about but in the end… I’m just not sold. Yes, the lost innocence thing is part of it but no, I wouldn’t have cared about that really if it had been Rachel or someone in Pete’s place. Yes, Kitty has the right to make mistakes and yes, it makes sense in that way, and yes, Pete is not as big a creep as he might easily have been.
But in the end, Ellis has turned the book into the Kitty and Pete show: it feels like all he’s interested in. Everything else seems like editorial mandates, good or bad: Rahne, Amanda, Moira, Rory, he’s been told to do those plot points and he does them with varying levels of skill and interest, but given his druthers he’d be writing a Pryde and Wisdom unlimited series.
And in that context, I agree with Andrew that the relationship just feels forced, as so much of Pete’s story and character feel forced. And that makes me resent the relationship, because it’s a waste of Kitty as a character. She deserves better. Not necessarily better than Pete, but better than Ellis pushing her into the Pete relationship.
Side note, hot knives is a term I had only ever heard before this comic as a way to take cannabis. I’m like 80% sure that Ellis would have been familiar.
Anyway, I differ from Andrew in one respect, and that’s because the character who makes me laugh unintentionally in these issues is Rory not Pete. Oh, Rory.