Mona Taylor (Queen of Spades)

In Arrow episode Legacies, the only member of the Royal Flush Gang that didn’t wear a mask was the unnamed Queen of Spades, portrayed by Sarah Jane-Redmond. In the show, she is the wife of Derek Reston, mother to Kyle and Teddy, and an active member of the band of robbers her family forms: she operates from the inside of the target banks, finding weaknesses and strengths of the victims. In the comics, she’s a completely different character, but for her role, quite similar.

When an unnamed Ace took the leadership of the original Royal Flush Gang and changed its seed from clubs to spades, the Queen of Clubs, whose real name was Queeenie, became the first Queen of Spades, but this incarnation of the character was short lived, since, the moment the Gang couldn’t stand its leader anymore, it disbanded, and went missing for quite a time. The absence of the original squad allowed Hector Hammond, a criminal and powerful telepath, to create another one. After forcing with his mind-controlling powers Derek Reston to create for him an Ace android, Hammond used it to recruit new members for his team. A common trait between this new top face cards was the terrible situation they all lived in: people with nothing to lose, living at the borders of society, unable to fulfil their own potential and ready to accept any offer. Given this, Mona Taylor was the perfect choice for the role of the new Queen of Spades. Mona had once been a great actress, who had a sparkling career in her future. She married her agent, Richard, and prepared herself to have the time of her life in Hollywood. Unfortunately, Mona’s personality wasn’t as tough as her skills, and she developed in no time some serious addictive problems. A chainsmoker since the very beginning of her actress career, Mona was unable to withstand the stress and the tension coming from her job, and fell also into alcohol. Nobody wants an alcoholist actress for protagonist, and, following the memory drops, the mood swings and the professional unreliability coming from her addiction, Mona lost every possible booking. Plus, her husband and agent Richard left her, preferring to focus on some other more promising actresses. Mona was alone, jobless, pennyless, having her only (temporary) relieve in alcohol and cigarettes.

She was found in this state by the Ace android, going under the name of his creator Derek Reston. Recognizing her past acting skills, Ace offered her a place in the new Royal Flush Gang as the Queen of Spades. With nothing to lose, and a strong desire to come back acting (in every way possible), Mona accepted the offer, and took her place at the King of Spades‘ side. As the Queen, Mona was given the normal team’s equipment, such as the hoovering card she would have used as a means of transportation, a blaster gun, and a special wrist shooter charged with razor-sharp spades-shaped blades. Unique among everyone else in the team, the Queen was also given the Sceptre Royal, a powerful holographic device that allowed her to take the physical appearance of any other woman she could think of; this weapons, added up to her acting skills, made her the team’s infiltrator, an amazing shape-shifter able to impersonate whoever. In the years, the Queen used her skills to take also the place of some “untouchable” women such as Lois LaneSuperman‘s wife, or Sue Dibny, wife of the Elongated Man. The Queen proved herself to be a useful asset to the new Gang, both during her first fight against the Justice League of America, and during the one against the previous Royal Flush Gang, which ended up completely annihilated. Mona retained her Queen identity even when Hammond and Reston forcedly left the team, and Joe Carny, the King of Spades, became the new leader. During the years, anyway, Mona’s personality had other breakdowns and she fell again in her old addictions. Plus, being a real prima donna, she developed a harsh rivalry against the only other woman in the group, Wanda Wayland, the Ten of Spades, who was far more skillful, able and, especially, not addicted to anything that could damage her job.

A deeply insecure and vain woman, Mona Taylor doesn’t trust herself at all, and looks for confirmations in the people around herself. Weak but proud, she sees as personal threats everyone who’s better in anything than herself. As the Queen of Spades, she is a skillful shape-shifter and a good infiltrator, but her skills are always put at risk by her alcoholism and her insecurity, which always threaten to make her lose everything she obtained.


1 Comment

  1. […] Ace android was remotely controlled by Derek Reston himself, who proceeded to find a new King, Queen, Jack and Ten for the team. The Ace of Spades, introducing himself as Derek Reston, was […]

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