Jeremy Tell (Double Down)

New episode of Arrow, new villain of the week to meet together. In Restoration, the villainous H.I.V.E. hires an assassin to solve the “vigilante situation” in Star City, an assassin who was getting tattoos in Central City when the particle acceleration exploded, and who got powers as a result. Yup, the second metahuman coming to Star City is Jeremy Tell, portrayed by JR Bourne, a professional killer with a card deck tattooed all over his body, that he can turn into razor-edged weapons. In the comics his powers (and attitude) are pretty much the same, but he is not a metahuman, having more of a mystical origin. Let’s see together.

Jeremy Tell’s early life is mostly unknown: he constantly moved between Central City and Keystone City, trying to make a living as a con man, but eventually losing anything he ever earned since he was a compulsive gambler. One night, he participated to a poker match, and he enjoyed a particularly lucky night…until he decided to go all in with a hand he was sure nobody could have beaten. Obviously, his certainty proved to be misplaced, and Tell ended up losing everything to another player, who walked away from the table with a fortune in his pocket. Furious, certain he had been fooled by a cheater, Tell followed the winner with the intention of robbing him, but he ended up killing him in an alley. While he was collecting the money from the body, some playing cards started flying towards him, coming from the corpse’s pocket: it was a cursed deck, a mystical artifact that removed most of Jeremy’s skin, and attached directly to his body as a substitute. Tell realised he had total control over the cards, and that he could move them with his mind alone, detaching them from his own doubledowncomics1flesh. Such a power in the hands of a man like Tell meant only one thing, and Jeremy immediately began using his newfound abilities for his own profit, creating the criminal identity of Double Down and starting with robberies in Keystone City. Keystone, however, was the hometown of the third Flash, and even before starting a criminal career worthy of the name, Double Down was arrested and put into Iron Heights with the other metahuman criminals. In prison, Tell spent most of his time in isolation, playing solitaire with his magic cards, and trying to avoid the unwanted attention of Warden Wolfe…until the day of a massive breakout that, for a gambler like him, was just the right occasion to be exploited.

A psychotic criminal, Murmur, organised a riot in Iron Heights, releasing the Frenzy Virus to incapacitate the guards. Double Down tried to escape as well, but he was confronted by a reformed Pied Piper: at first, Tell incapacitated his enemy by sealing his mouth with one of his cards, but then the Piper forced his pipe into the criminal’s mouth, punching him in the stomach afterwards. The resulting shockwave knocked out Double Down, who was brought back to his cell…but he eventually managed to escape Iron Heights nevertheless. Trying to exploit his potential, Tell reinvented himself as an assassin for hire, and was soon after hired by the crime boss Penguin to create a new criminal ring for his organization in Keystone. Double Down was partnered with Girder, but despite their combined strength they got defeated by Flash and Nightwing, thus ruining Penguin’s expansion plans. Still trying to make a name for himself, Double Down joined The Top and his doubledowncomics2New Rogues in the war against Captain Cold and his original team, but he once again got defeated. When he was still thinking about his future, many supervillains started disappearing (they had been kidnapped and exiled on planet Salvation, the last resource to manage the metahuman threat); trying to avoid the same fate 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 trio’s run from the law, at a diner, they got tracked down and ambushed by the Suicide Squad, and while Trickster and Piper managed to escape, Double Down got captured. Sent to Salvation, now Tell had the chance to prove his true worth…the only thing he had to do was surviving.

Jeremy Tell is a man who never did anything good with his life: a criminal born and raised, he is simply unable to think to make out a living without harming or tricking others. As Double Down, the mystical card deck attached to his body responds to his force of will, and he’s able to direct the razor-sharp cards at incredible speeds against his targets (being the cards of magic origin, they’re able to cut even through Superman‘s skin). A bad guy with an awful sense of humour, Double Down is a loser in whatever he does, but that doesn’t make a man without a moral or remorse like him any less dangerous.

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