Jack of Spades

Finally, waiting for this evening’s new Arrow episode, we speak about the last member of the Royal Flush Gang as it has been seen in the episode Legacies: the Jack of Spades. In the show, he’s a boy named Teddy Reston, the teenager son of Derek and brother to the psycho Kyle. He was portrayed by Tom Stevens, and didn’t have so big a space in the episode. In the comics, he’s a little bit more important.

In the original Royal Flush Gang, the Jack of Clubs was the first one to abandon the team, starting a solo career as the High Jack. When the team was reformed, the new Ace chose a replacement for him, finding the first Jack of Spades. After a brief fight with Wonder Woman and the later team’s dismantlement, this particular Jack went missing, and never appeared again. The most famous and important version of Jack was the one recruited by Hector Hammond. This powerful telepath reformed the Royal Flush Gang the moment its original leader, Hamos Fortune, was incarcerated, and the other members disbanded. He kidnapped and brainwashed an engineer, Derek Reston, to build an android, acting as the new Ace, and sent it to recruit some disbanded people with nothing to lose to be the new cards for his deck. The man behind the mask of the Jack of Spades is unnamed, his secret identity is never revealed. He was a famous gigolo, a women’s man who made a living out of his charm and appeal. Being a gigolo, as well as being any other kind of prostitute, is a risky job: if you didn’t put aside something in your best years, you’ll face poverty the very moment you reach an age in which you’re not requested anymore. And this was the case of our man: Jack didn’t think of the future during his best years, and suddenly found himself old (or at least, old enough to be at the end of his career) and with little or nothing for his retirement. That’s the reason why our gigolo started to rob his clients, after being paid: not quite a risky business, considering that the most of his clients were aged women. Even a simple plan has its flaws, anyway, and so it was with Jack’s one: during one of his thefts, he accidentally killed his client. Facing the corpse of the dead woman, without knowing what to do and waiting for the cops to arrive, Jack was found by Ace (the android), who made him an offer he simply couldn’t refuse. Being now a wanted man, the gigolo agreed to become the new Jack of Spades, erasing every traces of his previous identity (thus, we don’t know who he is).

As the new Jack of Spades, the gigolo obtained his own hoovering card, blaster guns and a lot of other nice toys to play with; plus, he could share his life with some real teammates (at least, this was what he thought), leaving apart his life-long loneliness. The new Jack proved to be a cunning and capable asset for the team (he was the only one to realize that Derek Reston was in fact an android), and distinguished himself during the Royal Flush Gang’s fights against the Justice League of America, first, and against the previous Gang; during this last one, by the way, the only survivor from the previous team was High Jack, who joined his old teammates just in time to see them all die, while he managed to flee with his life. Anyway, the new Jack (not the High one) got along well with the rest of the team, until the moment he started regretting his previous life. He never liked being a gigolo, at least while he was one, but facing the ugly truth, that he would have never been able to come back to his old life, made of precious gifts, women, money, he started suffering his new status of wanted criminal and nomadic robber. The only other card who cared something about his personal problems was the Ten of Spades, aka Wanda Wayland, who was quite worried for him; nobody else, among the society’s rejects Jack called friends, was interested in his problems. His mental health kept crumbling, until the final straw. Steven Sharpe V, the criminal known as the Gambler, took control of the Gang, but things ended up badly, and the new leader and the others battled each other. During the fight, the Gambler used his notable skills in throwing knives to take away one of Jack’s eyes, making him a real One Eyed Jack. Although the missing eye was replaced with a laser gun, thus increasing his power, Jack lived his wound as a mental trauma, and had a definitive breakdown. He left the team, and was later replaced by Joe Carny, the King, with another unnamed Jack. From the gigolo on, anyway, the laser eye became a characteristic trait of the Jack of Spades, and all the following Jacks voluntarily took away one or both eyes to have it (or them) replaced with laser guns.

As every other member of the second Royal Flush Gang, the gigolo is a failed and frail man, with an unstable psyche and many traumas to come up against. As the Jack of Spades, he is a powerful foe for every normal human being, but a low treath for real superheroes. His most lethal weapon is the only one he didn’t want to have: the laser gun replacing his missing eye.

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3 Comments

  1. […] 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 […]

  2. […] 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 believed to be […]

  3. […] the leader of the new Gang, used it as his alias: for every member of the team, but for the smart Jack of Spades who saw under his appearance, Ace was a guy named Derek Reston. Truth became evident to the other […]


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