Giovanni Giuseppe/James Montgomery Jesse (Trickster)

TricksterIn the last trailer for The Flash, we saw some of the upcoming villains who will appear in the final episodes of the season. One of those is another veteran from the original 1990 series, and quite a big guest star: Mark Hamill, in fact, will reprise his role as the Trickster, and in the trailer we can even see Cisco Ramon looking up at some photos from the police archive portraying the criminal’s original, flashy costume from the old series. Hamill will appear in the episode Tricksters, and his character will be an old, imprisoned criminal who is contacted by Central City Police Department to help detective Joe West hunting down and arresting a copycat. In the original series, he was one of The Flash‘s most dangerous foes, a psychopath with a delusion over the hero who even managed to brainwash him to make him his accomplish in crimes. Waiting to see what Hamill’s new take on the character will be, let’s see who the original Trickster is in the comics.

Born Giovanni Giuseppe, the man who would have later been known as the Trickster was the son of famous circus acrobats The Flying Jesses, and he adopted when he was still very young the stage name of James Jesse (later legally changed to James Montgomery Jesse). Unfortunately for him, despite he had been trained to work on the trapeze since he was a child, James suffered from acrophobia, and was terrified by the idea of falling to the ground during the show. In order to conquer his fear, since his father wanted him to follow family tradition at all costs, as a young adult Jesse used his remarkable intelligence to build a pair of shoes that allowed him to walk in the air: he trickstercomics1used them in the show, so that, even if he fell, he was able to dance gracefully in the air, avoiding to hurt himself and, on the opposite, increasing the value of the Flying Jesses’ show. James had built the air-walker shoes as if it was a normal thing to do, but when he realised that all his family and his circus coworkers saw his invention as an incredible thing, he thought that he could build even more gadgets and tools…but this time, he would have used them for more remunerative activities: he could have been able to follow the steps of his childhood’s hero, the legendary thief Jesse James (who was also his “reverse namesake”). So, while still performing as one of the famous Flying Jesses, James Jesse created the masked identity of the Trickster, using his inventions (mostly elaborated pranks, such as explosive rubber chickens, itching powder, razor-sharp yo-yos, super speedy scooters, and of course his trademark air-walker shoes) to become an uncatchable thief. Well, almost uncatchable, since during his first robberies he was confronted by one of the new superheroes hanging around, The Flash. The battle ended in the Trickster’s favour, since he managed to escape the hero using his tricks to nullify the Flash’s superspeed, but a small detail such as his costume led Flash to believe he worked in a circus, and some researches led him to connect the Trickster to James Jesse: that very night, when James was performing, The Flash pogo-sticked to the trapeze and caught him.

After such a humiliating defeat, exposed in front of everyone and with his circus career over forever, the Trickster started regarding The Flash as his personal nemesis. Everytime he escaped from prison (and it happened quite often, despite the jailors’ best efforts to prevent him to build new gadgets) he targeted The Flash to exact his revenge, alone or allied with other Rogues. Everything changed when The Flash died: Trickster held his grudge with Barry Allen only, and wasn’t interested in his substitutes, so he tried to change life and moved to Hollywood, where he became a special effects expert. In Los Angeles he even met Dan Cassidy, the superhero known as Blue Devil, and, intrigued by his suite, he tried to steal it, only to find himself defeated by the demonic hero. Eventually, trickstercomics2Jesse and Cassidy became friends, and the latter helped the Trickster to reform from his life of thief and con man. To really move the Trickster’s conscience, however, something bigger was required, and it arrived in the form of Neron, a powerful demon who tried to create (literally) Hell on Earth. Curious, Trickster dared to con the devil himself, and spoke his way to be Neron’s confidant; when he realised the absolute evil Neron represented, Jesse decided it was up to him to defeat the devil, and he organised the greatest sting ever performed by a mortal being. He succesfully tricked the devil, and thanks to the help of Captain Marvel he foiled his plan to unleash Hell’s forces on the humans’ world. Back to Earth, the Trickster decided to change life radically: he didn’t want to see Hell once again, least of all to spend eternity there. He joined FBI, and worked for them as an undercover agent, hunting down and capturing his former teammates and colleagues from the Rogues, and other supercriminals. He even collected their weapons and gadgets, believing they were far too dangerous to be left around. He even saved some Rogues’ souls from Neron’s clutches, and helped Catwoman disappear from the public eye saving her life in the process; he also helped some of his criminal friends to change life in turn, aided in this by the reformed Pied Piper. The excitment of his old, adventurous life, however, was a hard call to ignore forever…

James Jesse is a highly intelligent and brilliant man, characterised by a neverending curiosity and an almost pathological need to have fun in whatever he’s doing (most of the time annoying everyone’s with him). He’s a con man born, and he uses his remarkable with and intelligence to invent complex frauds and stings (he even managed to trick the devil himself…). As the Trickster, he possesses a variety of gadgets of his own invention that allow him to perform a number of “superhuman” deeds: his trademark air-walker shoes are just the tip of the iceberg, as he has a nearly infinite arsenal of toy-based weapons and tools he’s able to use to their highest effectiveness even against superpowered foes (The Flash in particular). Inventive, unpredictable, a villain or a hero depending on what entertains him the most at the moment, the Trickster is one of the few normal humans able to stand toe-to-toe with some of the most powerful beings in the universe…and he enjoys it above anything else.

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7 Comments

  1. […] when Joe West and Barry Allen arrive in Iron Heights Prison to interrogate the first Trickster on his copycat, they’re welcomed by Warden Wolfe, portrayed by Anthony Harrison. Wolfe […]

  2. […] and she used his obsession offering him the position of the Trickster. The original one, James Jesse, had changed sides and was working with the FBI, and Axel agreed to take his place, finally […]

  3. […] Rogues, a team of supervillains operating in Central City initially formed by Captain Cold and the Trickster only, Mick Rory decided he would have channelled his obsession in a lucrative way, and became a […]

  4. […] (who had learnt his Atlantean name, Orin) met a curious man, the super criminal known as The Trickster: another masked man, The Flash, was fighting him, and, upon learning who was the “good […]

  5. […] tried to get the position of mayor of New York City, but her plot was thwarted by the villain Trickster, enemy of Flash, who publicly revealed that Selina Kyle was in fact the infamous thief Catwoman. […]

  6. […] of his “colleagues”, Double Down hid in the backseat of a car driven by Pied Piper and Trickster, and he threatened them with a knife to bring him to safety along with them. During the […]

  7. […] he found himself caught in a battle with the supervillain Metallo, and soon after even with The Trickster (who, however, ended up becoming his friend). Not even S.T.A.R. could help him, so Dan tried with […]


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