5908 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy in the Wanted movie) running with pistols

Wesley Gibson

(Movie version)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

“My name is Wesley Gibson. My dad walked out on my mom when I was seven days old. Sometimes I wonder if he ever looked into my baby blue eyes and asked himself ‘did I just father the most insignificant asshole of the twenty-first century ?’”


Context

Wanted was a 2008 action movie/thriller. It was based on the 2004 comic book by Mark Miller, though significantly improved by going short on the angry boy power fantasies.

Wanted features a world dominated by a secret conspiracy of superhuman assassins and gunfighters. It was well-reviewed for its visual energy, over the top action and robust performances.


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Background

  • Real Name: Wesley Allan Gibson.
  • Other Aliases: In the Wanted series, Wesley was known as the Killer II, after his father. Since all the Fraternity assassins use pseudonyms, it is likely that Wesley will use one too. Given that his father is “Cross”, I would choose “Crossfire” rather than the more prosaic “Cross II”.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Cross (father, deceased), Unnamed Mother.
  • Group Affiliation: The Fraternity.
  • Base Of Operations: The Factory, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Height: 5’ 9” Weight: 170 lb. Age: 24
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Aside from his wide array of weaponry, Wesley has a number of quasi-superhuman abilities that are derived from specialized training. Possibly they are the result of genetic enhancements, since his father, Cross, also possessed these abilities.

Wesley has the ability, with concentration, to flood his system with adrenalin and endorphins, allowing him to exercise near-superhuman feats of physical strength, speed, dexterity, and resistance.


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He has near-superhuman concentration in this state, resulting in an ability to “zoom in” on targets and thus aim his attacks much more precisely than would ordinarily be possible. He can literally shoot the wings off of flies in this state.

Wesley has also learned the ability to “bend” bullets. This alters the trajectory of a fired projectile so that it curves around obstacles, turning up to 90 degrees within a dozen yards, and still striking his target with perfect accuracy.


Video

1080p version of the movie trailer.


History

Wesley Gibson is a milquetoast office worker at a dead-end desk job with an overbearing boss, takes anti-anxiety medication for panic attacks, and has a live-in girlfriend who cheats on him with his best friend. One night in the pharmacy, Wesley is told by a mysterious woman named Fox that his father was a recently murdered assassin, and the killer, Cross, is behind him.

Cross and Fox engage in a shoot-out followed by a car chase in the streets of Chicago. Gibson is brought to the headquarters of The Fraternity, a thousand-year-old secret society of assassins. The group’s leader, Sloan, explains that Wesley’s panic attacks are actually the untrained expression of a rare superhuman ability.

When stressed, the drastically increased heart rate and adrenaline levels result in bursts of superhuman strength, speed and reflexes. The Fraternity can teach him to control this ability, so Wesley can follow in his father’s footsteps as an assassin, beginning by inheriting his fortune.

Wesley is initially reluctant and returns to work, only to finally snap when discovering over over 3 million dollars in his bank account. He tells off his boss in front of the entire office and on his way out, hits his “friend” Barry in the face with his ergonomic keyboard. Fox is waiting outside to take him back to the Fraternity headquarters – an unassuming textile mill.

The Fraternity

Wesley is then subjected to brutal training. Among other forms of combat, he learns to curve bullets around objects. Afterward, Wesley is shown the Loom of Fate, a loom that gives the names of the targets through binary code hidden in weaving errors of the fabric.

Those the loom identifies apparently will cause tragedy in the future; but only Sloan sees and interprets the names “Fate” wants killed.

James McAvoy as Wesley Gibson in Wanted

Wesley is initially reluctant about killing people. Then Fox reveals that in her childhood, a hired killer burned her father alive in front of her. Said hitman was supposed to have been killed by the Fraternity. She now considers preventing such tragedy her mission.

After several routine missions Wesley has a chance meeting with Cross. Wesley is shot in the arm with a deliberately traceable bullet. Sloan grants Wesley’s wish to avenge his father and sends him after Cross. But Sloan then secretly gives Fox a mission to kill Wesley, saying that Wesley’s name had come up in the Loom as well.

Fighting Cross

Analyzing the bullet that hit Wesley, it is discovered that the manufacturer was Pekwarsky, a former Fraternity member and bullet-maker living in eastern Moravia.

Wesley and Fox travel there and capture Pekwarsky, who arranges a meeting with Cross. Wesley faces Cross alone on a moving train. Fox steals a car and crashes it into the train, eventually causing a derailment. After Cross saves Wesley’s life by preventing him from falling into the ravine, Wesley shoots him.

Before dying, Cross reveals that he is Wesley’s real father. Fox confirms the truth and explains that Wesley was recruited because he was the only person that Cross wouldn’t kill. Fox then reveals the kill order on Wesley and raises her gun, but Wesley escapes by shooting out the glass underneath him and plunging into the river below.

You can’t handle the truth

Wesley is retrieved by Pekwarsky. The bullet-maker takes him to his father’s house, located across the street from Wesley’s old apartment. Pekwarsky explains that Sloan started manufacturing targets for profit after discovering that he was targeted by the Loom of Fate, and didn’t tell the Fraternity members that they were now nothing more than paid killers.

Cross discovered the truth and went rogue. He and started killing Fraternity members to keep them away from his son. Pekwarsky departs stating that Wesley’s father wished him a life of free choice, away from the Fraternity. Wesley, however, decides to take out Sloan after discovering a secret room containing all of his father’s weapons, ammunition, research and maps.

Upon entering Sloan’s office after killing nearly every Fraternity member, he reveals Sloan’s deception to the master assassins present in the room. Sloan then states that all of their names had come up in the weaving, and that he had merely acted to protect them. Were they to follow the code, every one of them should kill themselves on the spot.

Otherwise, they should kill Wesley.

Fox, who believes in the code more than anyone due to her own experience, turns on her fellow assassins. She “curves” a bullet that kills every Fraternity member in the room, including herself. Knowing that Wesley would attempt to save her, Fox distracts Wesley by throwing her gun towards Wesley, the only survivor. Sloan manages to escape.

Aftermath

Wesley, penniless once again, does not know what to do with himself. While Wesley provides a voice-over, the audience sees a man sitting in front of a computer much like Wesley did at the beginning of the film. Sloan appears and points a gun at back of the man’s head. At that moment, the man turns around and is revealed to be a decoy.

Sloan is then killed by Wesley using a long-distance untraceable bullet.

The film ends with Wesley turning to the camera and breaking the fourth wall, saying, “This is me taking back control of my life. What the fuck have you done lately?”


Description

Wesley is pretty much Everyman, a typical office drone, not in the least outstanding until you put a gun in his hand. Then he’s freakin’ awesome. I’m hoping that the sequel puts him in the Wanted costume.

Wesley was played by James MacAvoy.


Personality

Milquetoast. Wimp. Weakling. Call it what you will, Wesley starts out as a persecuted everyman who can’t stand conflict, cowers from any perceived threat, and comforts himself by calling it “a healthy respect for the human condition”.

After meeting Fox and training with the Fraternity, including being desensitized to violence, mental conditioning to resist pain, and, of course, being told about his father’s ignominious “murder”, Wesley finds the predator sleeping inside him and takes his life back.

There is now nothing he perceives he can’t do, nothing he won’t dare. He accepts himself as a Weapon of Fate, doing what needs to be done.

Given that there are probably still many Fraternity members who worked with Sloan as paid assassins, Wesley is likely to continue his purge of the Fraternity, culling the unworthy who killed for money rather than Destiny.


Quotes

Wesley (startled by Fox): “I’m sorry.”
Fox: “You apologize too much.”
Wesley [awkwardly]: “Well,… sorry about that.”
Fox: “I knew your father.”
Wesley: “Um… My father left the week I was born, so…”
Fox: “Your father died yesterday on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Building. I’m sorry.”
Wesley [laughing in disbelief]: “Look, the liquor aisle is just over there, so if you want to go…”
Fox [interrupting]: “Your father was one of the greatest assassins who ever lived. The man who killed him is behind you.” (shoves Wesley aside and starts shooting)

Sloan (handing Wesley a gun): “Shoot the wings off the flies.”
Wesley [nervously]: “I -I don’t… I don’t know what that means.”
Sloan [slowly]: “Shoot (points to the gun)…the wings… off the flies.” (indicates the flies buzzing around the trash can)

“You know when you have a dream and you’re half-awake, but still in the fringe of your brain, and when you open your eyes you’re so damn glad it was a dream ?”
(gun falls out of Wesley’s pants)
“This was nothing like that. ”

Fox: “I want you to curve the bullet.”
Wesley: “How am I supposed to do that ?”
Sloan: “It’s not a question of how. It’s a question of what. If no one told you that bullets flew straight, and I gave you a gun and told you to hit the target, what would you do ? Let your instincts guide you.”

Cross (having just been shot by Wesley): “Wesley, listen to me…”
Wesley (digs the gun into his throat): “Shut the fuck up. You don’t get to talk to me. You don’t get to talk to me !”
Cross: “Everything they told you… was a lie.”
Wesley: “Shut *up* you lying piece of shit. You shut the fuck up.”
Cross: “You’re my son.” (dies)
(Fox approaches silently from behind)
Wesley: “Why did you make me do this ?”
Fox: “Because you are the only person he wouldn’t kill.”

“You’re not a weapon of fate, Sloan. You’re just a thug who can bend bullets. ”

Wesley (Voiceover): “Six weeks ago I was ordinary and pathetic. Just like you. Who am I now ? An account manager, an assassin, just another tool that was mind-fucked into killing his father ? I’m all of these… and I’m none of these. Who am I now ? This is not me fulfilling my destiny. This is not me following in my fathers footsteps. This is definitely not me saving the world.”
Sloan (approaches from behind and cocks gun): “Still trying to figure out who you are ?”
(Man in chair turns. It’s Not Wesley)
Wesley (Voiceover): “This is NOT me. This is just the motherfucking decoy.”
Sloan: “Oh fuck.” (Head explodes)
Wesley (Voiceover): “This IS me taking control from Sloan. From the Fraternity. From Janice. From billing reports. From ergonomic keyboards. From cheating girlfriends and sack-of-shit best friends. This is me taking back control of my life.”
Wesley (Looks into the camera): “What the fuck have YOU done lately ?”


DC Universe History

Wanted the comic series takes place in its own Universe, but it was based on Mark Millar’s vision of a villain-centric universe, where the villains had taken over. His characters were based on DC villains, and as such, its not hard to insert Wanted characters, especially if you play a sort of “Ultimates” DCU.

Seeing that the Killer/Cross are based on a combo of Deadshot and Deathstroke, Wesley can be either’s illegitimate son, tapped to step into his shoes when the original either dies or dissapears. I prefer using Deadshot for this, given his unusual family dynamics.

I see the Fraternity as being Task Force X, recruiting Wesley to step into Deadshot’s place in the Suicide Squad when he is seemingly killed in action.

The Fraternity might also be a splinter faction of the Order of St Dumas, though to fit in with that timeline it would probably have been formed 300-400 years later than described in the movie’s history.

The adrenaline-enhanced humans recruited by the Fraternity could be descendants of a breeding program that served as a precursor to the genetic engineering efforts that later produced Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael). Likewise, the Fraternity’s training methods are probably derived from an early version of the Order’s assassination conditioning known as the System.

Given that Fate (or Destiny, whatever) is actually a person in the DCU, it would be interesting for Wesley to encounter the being that is supposedly giving him his targets.


Marvel Universe History

The Fraternity began as a covert adjunct of the Cult of the Harvester of Eyes, a group originally dedicated to destroying the followers of Agamotto. Recognizing the possibility that Agamotto’s disciples might instead destroy the cult, one of its leaders formed the Fraternity as a seemingly independent entity that could be re-form the Harvesters if necessary.

While the original Harvester cult existed, the Fraternity acted for the most part as described. Though its selection of targets had a mystical aspect, its use of assassins that derived their abilities from genetic mutation rather than mystic enhancement kept it from being of much notice to the occult community at large.

Occasionally the leader of the Fraternity (the only person within the organization who knew of its connection with the Harvesters) would alter the target description from that decreed by fate to one that would further the Harvesters’ ends.

When the original Harvester cult was destroyed by the Ancient One, the leader of the Fraternity at the time recruited from the ranks of his group to reconstitute the Harvesters anew. This new cult’s emphasis was altered in favor of that leader’s obsessions, with the reborn Harvester cult now being dedicated to bringing about the rebirth of a demon race that lived on Earth in the distant past.

Their primary means of doing this was ritual sacrifice that left the victim’s body open for possession by one of the demons they worshiped.

The Fraternity as a whole still remained independent, though it coordinated with the Harvesters to a greater degree than before. The Harvesters now recruited some of the Fraternity’s potential inductees that did not fit the normal profile.

One of these was Eric Payne, the psychic who became the Reaper of Souls under the Harvesters’ tutelage. Payne then discovered their true intentions and renounced his membership to oppose them as Devil-Slayer.

The Fraternity’s substitution of targets expanded. The true targets selected by fate were increasingly ignored in favor of enemies of the Harvesters or those whose deaths at the right moment would make them ideal vessels for demonic possession.

When Wesley’s father learned of the Fraternity’s true purpose and origins, he turned on the cult. Cross went to war with the Fraternity. He even had special bullets designed with mystic sigils that rendered those he killed unsuited for demonic inhabitation.

After Wesley destroyed the Fraternity, he may have gone to war against the Harvester cult just Eric Payne did. The Harvesters are now being hoisted on their own petard, as the non-mystic nature of Wesley’s powers now makes him as elusive to their standard detection spells as Fraternity assassins once were to the cult’s enemies.


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Wesley Gibson (Wanted 2008)

A 1110 Point Character

Dex: 06 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Seeking Justice, now Upholding Fate
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 06 Occupation: Assassin, Account Manager
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 003/010/003
Init: 020
(026 Max)
HP: 045

Powers:
Accuracy: 09, Superspeed: 04, Jumping: 02, Microscopic Vision: 04, Telescopic Vision: 04, Power Reserve: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers are Innate (+1), and Fatiguing (-1).
  • Note that Superspeed must be Activated, and thus does not always apply to Initiative (0).
  • Accuraccy is a Powered Skill, Usable as AV on all Physical Skills, and is Indirect (+2) when applied to the Firearm Skill.
  • Power Reserve: Stats Powered by Reserve: All Physical Stats, Powers.

Skills:
Acrobatics: 06, Detective (No Law/Police Procedure)*: 06, Evasion (Ranged only): 08, Gadgetry*: 06, Martial Artist*: 06, Medicine (First Aid): 04, Military Science (No Field Command)*: 06, Scientist*: 06, Vehicles (Land Vehicles): 08, Weaponry (Missile and Welee)*: 06, Weaponry (Firearms): 08

Advantages:
Headquarters: Expansive (Cross’s House, formerly the Factory), Intensive Training, Lightning Reflexes, Scholar (Research Targets), Schticks (Blindside Adept, Gunman’s Waltz, Weapons at the Ready, Ammunition Freedom (Weaponry (Firearms)), Speed-Shooting, Paired Weapons (Handguns), Flashing Bullets (Handguns)).

Connections:
Fox (High), Pekwarsky (High), the Russian/Exterminator (High).

Drawbacks:
Arch Enemy (Sloan/the American Fraternity), Dark Secret (Assassin), Minor Mistrust, Secret Identity.

Note:
“Minor” Mistrust is a variant of the original Drawback… it denotes a half-value version. Because while Wesley is not being actively sought by police, government, etc, he has committed multiple felony murders, and is subject to prosecution for the same.

Equipment:

  • 1966 MUSTANG [STR 04 BODY 06, Running: 07, R#02]- Fraternity assassins seem to have a unique relationship with private property… If they have need of something, they take it. This applies specifically to vehicles, as every time a Fraternity member is seen using a vehicle, it’s been stolen from someone else. This applies to Wesley as well, but usually the vehicle in question will be similar to this one – i.e., a high-performance car.
  • 9mm Pistols/Heckler & Koch USP Compact (x2) [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 15, R#02] – Wesley’s weapon of choice for much of the film.
  • .45 Pistols (x2) [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 08, R#02] – possibly considered Wesley’s “backup” preferred weapons… He tends to grab up a lot of these while fighting in the Mill. That probably means they’re the preferred weapon of most Fraternity assassins.
  • High-caliber semi-auto/Safari Arms Matchmaster [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 09, R#02] – Fox’s weapon of choice which she throws to Wesley after gunning down the rest of the surviving “named” Fraternity members in the Library. Technically this is merely another 9mm, but it seems to outperform similar guns in power and reliability.
  • Backup/Holdout Pistol/Star Ultrastar 9mm – Carried in a back/waistband holster, this is the gun Wesley pulls to shoot Cross on the train. Same stats as the 9mm, above, except w/ Ammo: 9.
  • Fantasy Sniper rifle [BODY 05, Projectile Weapons: 05, Telescopic Vision: 07, Ammo: 1, R#0] Another of Cross’s heavily modified smoothbore weapons, this one appears to be either a Kentucky long rifle or a Brown Bess Musket. It fires the mutistage ammo for extra Range. Wesley uses this to kill Sloan. Note that a “realistic” rifle of the period is a notoriously cranky thing, and could reasonbly have an R# of 5 (or higher, depending on the level of craftsmanship). BODY is higher than standard modern firearms because in typical use the weapon could be used as a club after firing.
  • Fantasy pistol [BODY 05, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 04, R#02] -Seemingly a 17th century wheel-lock smoothbore pistol, this gun has been heavily altered to include a magazine (Tho its not real clear how this works, given the single-shot, muzzle-loading nature of the weapon). BODY is higher than standard modern firearms because in typical use the weapon could be used as a club after firing.
  • HEALING BATH [BODY 01, Regeneration: 6, HP Cost: 48] – It isn’t the bathtub but the contents that provide Fast healing in some as-yet unknown manner. The Fraternity has a bath-house of sorts for its members who are injured; Wesley just uses his bathtub.
  • Multistage Ammo [BODY 02, EV 05, Range: 12, Ammo: 1, Limitation : Ammunition load for Fantasy Sniper Rifle, HP Cost: 26] -Usually used with the Fantasy Sniper Rifle, these multi-stage rounds fly much, MUCH farther than any realistic ammo… upwards of 3 miles, possibly farther.

Variant Schticks

Read carefully. Wesley has a number of odd abilities that are here modelled by overlapping Schticks, but subtly altered.

Wesley has evidenced a number of Schticks, but they don’t all work *exactly* as presented in the Schtick Document.

Ammunition Freedom, for example, doesn’t represent firing the weapon after he should be out. Rather, Wesley fires a gun (or guns) empty, then scoops up weapons from his dispatched foes, or uses a Take Away maneuver on a live foe. When he does this, it is invariably a fully-loaded weapon. Otherwise it works exactly the same as the Basic Schtick.

This is a sort of combination of Ammo Freedom and Weapons at the Ready. Since he also seems to *always* have a weapon to hand (the basic effect of Weapons at the Ready), he has paid for both, since he gets both effects.

Gunman’s Waltz is similar; Wesley doesn’t necessarily use his wounded or dead foe’s gun while shielding himself with their body. In the instance he pulled this, he jammed his gun in a foe’s eye, fired his gun, and continued firing at other targets while using the body as a shield.

Blindside Adept applies to when Wesley is doing sniper shooting (as in the final scene), or when he’s bending shots.

Wesley also has a trick he picked up apparently from watching his father, Cross, pull it too often. It is a variant of the Flashing Blades Schtick. Flashing Bullets allows the user to use his Weapons (Firearms) Skill as OV to intercept another gunfighter’s bullet in flight before it hits the target.

This only works against single opponents firing single bullets. Facing an opponent with an SMG or other auto-fire weapon, he couldn’t pull the stunt. Since he can intercept bullets this way, Wesley probably can also use the trick against arrows, boomerangs, grenades, or other slower-moving weapons.

Note that while using this Schtick against bullets, Wesley must be assigning his Power Reserve to his Superspeed Power. Also note that the attack does not have to be aimed at *him* for the OV to work… he did it against an attack aimed at Fox, too.


GunKata, Wanted-style (Wesley’s gunfighting style)

Wesley is used to fighting in two ways. Firstly as an assassin, secondly as a true gunfighter.

When acting as an assassin, Wesly scouts a target, learns everything he can, and usually approaches a target so that he has full advantage, and usually from Surprise or Blindsiding. He also might use a Critical Blow or Devastate in order to assure a one-shot kill. His target is thus usually dead before he knows he’s being attacked.

When acting against aware, multiple, or armed targets, Wesley goes in using his Evasion APs and mowing down as many as he can with Multi-Attacks, possibly using his Power Reserve to enhance his AV, or his OV if his opponents are prone to Team-Attack.

When facing named Fraternity opponents, Wesley maxed out his OV with HP and had to use concentrated attacks on specific targets, possibly also using HP to enhance EV, which is why in the final confrontation where Fox saved his bacon, he seemed to be out of HP.

Facing an overpowering opponent such as his father (or, possibly, Sloan), he’ll use his Flashing Bullets Schtick where necessary, or completely avoid confrontation altogether and set up the best possible shot when his opponent is at his most vulnerable.


Previous Statistics

Prior to his education with the Fraternity, Wesley can be represented by and set of “normal” stats in addition to his Powers. Accuracy is 06, Superspeed is still 04, but both are Usable Only when he is having one of his “Anxiety Attacks”.


Thugs Who Can Bend Bullets

Wesley’s stats are lower than might be expected for the types of things he does. Especially, for example, his wiping out some two or three dozen trained assassins of the Fraternity, all of whom presumably are able, like himself and Fox, to bend bullets and pull some of the fantastic stunts that Cross and Mr X are able to do.

This is explainable by a few things: first, unnamed Fraternity personnel are very low on HP, relative to Wesley, Fox, and others.

Second, while they are usually able to reliably assassinate normals (and keep in mind they typically do so from ambush, from Blindside, and with plenty of time to aim), only the named Fraternity members gave Wesley any trouble in the Shootout at the mill. He killed only two, the Butcher and the Repairman. And, in fact, it was Fox and not Wesley who finished off the others.

Wesley wiped out a vast number of thugs rather than any real opponents, multi-attacking no more than two at a time. His stats in this writeup reflect that more than anything. As he says to Sloan near the end, they are just thugs who can bend bullets.

By Pufnstuff.

Helper(s): Ethan Roe, Roy Cowan, William Chamberlin (for the Accuracy/Indirect combo), Wikipedia.com (edited History section), imdb.com (Quotes), imfdb.org  (Details on the various weapons used in the film).

Source of Character: Wanted (2008 film).

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