Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The Trickster is the name of two fictional characters, DC Comics supervillains that are both enemies of the Flash. The original Trickster first appeared in Flash (1st series) #113 (June–July 1960), while the second debuted in Flash (2nd series) #183 (April 2002).
The original Trickster is a practical joker and conman whose favorite occupation is damaging enemies like the Flash with items such as explosive teddy bears.
His alter ego is "James Jesse", a stage name to replace his true identity, "Giovanni Giuseppe". He was a circus acrobat who decided to become a criminal just like his "reverse namesake" Jesse James. He created shoes that allowed him to walk on air to first help him in the trapeze shows his family was in, as every member of his family was a trapeze expert and his father wanted him to be one also, and other dangerous gag gadgets for his crimes. He clashed with the Flash (Barry Allen) many times. In his first appearance, his Harlequin costume causes the Flash to guess he is in a circus, and he captures the Trickster after pogo-sticking to the trapeze.
After Barry Allen's death, the Trickster relocated from Central City to Hollywood, where he spent some time working in special effects. He attempted to steal Dan Cassidy's innovative Blue Devil suit, but was defeated. When Cassidy later became trapped in the suit, Jesse befriended him and relied on Cassidy to help with his sporadic efforts to give up supervillainy. In the miniseries Underworld Unleashed Neron tried to create Hell on Earth. When James Jesse tricked his way into Neron's domain it was only to find himself an expected visitor. Neron made vague promises to Jesse, and seemed to keep Jesse in his confidences. However, once Jesse realized he was in Hell and Neron was the Devil incarnate, Trickster realized it was up to him to beat the Devil. He managed to trick Neron and defeat him with Captain Marvel's help. Upon finding himself back on Earth, Trickster lamented the fact that he had engineered "the greatest sting of all time" and no one had witnessed it... and promptly decided he'd better work the side of the angels, because he didn't dare go to Hell.
He began using his con-artist skills for good, and collecting the weapons of incarcerated supervillains because such things were too dangerous to be left lying around and could fall into the wrong hands. (He was right: see Trickster II.)
When his old girlfriend Mindy Hong called on him for help, Trickster went with her to the tiny mountain kingdom of Zhutan. There, with the help of the Pied Piper and Billy Hong, a 12-year-old boy who proved to be the Majee (a special agent of the Saravistran god Meshta, sent to observe and weigh humankind's progress), he again defeated Neron. As part of the deal, Jesse told Neron to forget the Rogues, who were grudgingly grateful for being rescued from the demon's wrath. Minutes later, Jesse was flabbergasted to be told that Billy Hong was his son.
Trickster returned to the States and kept on using his skills for good. He once saved Catwoman's life by tricking her into helping him "kill" her. She was grateful, and he thought her "the most fascinating woman I've ever met," but they parted as merely friends. The FBI contacted Jesse and recruited him. He worked for them awhile and then the Top reappeared and turned the Rogues' world topsy-turvy by brainwashing several of them, causing the ROGUE WAR. Still working as an agent of the FBI, James Jesse gathered the reformed Rogues to stop Captain Cold and the other Rogues. However, the Top appeared and reverted what he did to the reformed Rogues, eventually. It took Trickster and the Pied Piper a long time to sort out their own memories from the Top's hypnotic suggestions. The other Rogues scattered and laid low.
The Trickster has a number of trick items that he employs. This includes itching powder, potato head bombs, exploding rubber chickens, exploding yo-yos, sharpened jacks, hard shell candy, and various other joke themed weapons.
The Trickster wears a pair of shoes that allow him to fly for up to 10 hours.