Amos Fortune (Ace of Clubs)

amosfortunefilmLet’s start the new month with another character from Lucy W.‘s list: Amos Fortune, the luck-obsessed criminal. As many others in this list, Fortune only appeared in Smallville, in Season 10 episode Fortune. In the show, Amos is the owner of the casino in which both Clark Kent and Lois Lane celebrate their bachelor/bachelorette party, and things get awry when a “drunken” Clark steals Amos’ pet lemur and one of his armored trucks. Fortune kidnaps Emil Hamilton believing him to be the culprit, and later captures also Lois and Oliver Queen, being finally knocked out during a brawl following the arrival of the other members of the group. In the comics, Amos Fortune is much more than a felonious casino owner, as he’s the intelligence behind a number of super-groups from the DC Universe. Let’s see together.

Amos Fortune wasn’t exactly a lucky man, at first: when he was still a kid, his father, a professional gambler who had lost everything while playing, died, leaving to him as inheritance just his “lucky” deck of cards. Fat and ugly, Amos was now alone in the world, tormented by bullies in school and with nothing else to remind him of his father but the cards. He spent most of his time alone, playing with the deck…until he finally became pretty good at it, learning how to turn the odds to his favor in pretty much every situation. Taking inspiration from the cards, he trained hard to be able to defend himself, becoming quite an accomplished martial artist: no bully dared to come close to him anymore. Having become a gambler at the age of sixteen, he earned a lot of money by playing with his schoolmates, and he even hired four other boys (KerryQueenieJack and Thomas Dillon) to be his bodyguards. The small gang amosfortunecomics1became richer and more ambitious, and Amos finally decided it was time to play a more difficult (and remunerative) game: he and his friends became robbers, always managing to get off scot-free thanks to Fortune’s meticulous planning and incredible luck. With so many successes, the quintet attracted the attention of local mob boss Jimmy the Gent, who decided to hire them. Jimmy became some sort of mentor for Amos, and helped him raising his target to higher scores. Not all of Amos’ success were a chance, however: it had been some years that he had been theorizing the existence of “Luck Glands” that controlled good and bad luck reacting to some star influence, which he called “Stellaration“…and he had actually invented a device able to channel Stellaration increasing people’s good luck. Obviously, Jimmy didn’t know anything about this, and he invited Fortune and his men to the usual poker game with other criminal bosses: predictably, Amos won everything, obtaining a lot of money…and making everybody else believe he was cheating. When the criminals tried to retake their money with strength, however, Fortune and the others easily overpowered them; while fighting, he had an idea: he wouldn’t have given Jimmy the money from the poker, as he had other plans in mind…

Using the small fortune won at the poker game, Amos tailored a series of cards-inspired costumes imbued with his Stellaration technology, and bought high-tech weaponry: he and his four bodyguards had officially become the first Royal Flush Gang, and he himself became the Ace of Clubs. The Gang’s robberies became even bolder, soon becoming the most wanted criminal group in the country…thus coming in conflict with the Justice League of America. At first, Amos Fortune wasn’t so worried by the heroes, as he planned to “steal their luck” using his tech to make their Luck Glands sensitive only to bad luck. Even so, however, the Royal Flush Gang’s weapons were simply useless against the JLA, and with or without luck, Fortune suffered a number of defeats at the heroes’ hands. At first, he tried to expand his Royal Flush Gang, creating secondary teams everywhere in the United States and recruiting a number of men and women as his agents, but even with such a number of operatives the amosfortunecomics2odds didn’t change much. With an impossible game to win, Amos Fortune made another choice, and he abandoned his original team to its destiny creating another one, the Luck League, whose members were able to copy the abilities of the Justice League. This team, however, was even more short-lived than the previous one: while battling the Justice League Europe, Fortune completely ran out of luck, allowing the heroes to defeat and arrest all of his Leaguers. Alone, he kept a low profile for a while, increasing his influence and his wealth. He eventually got caught in a battle between Lex Luthor and his Secret Society of Super-Villains and…Lex Luthor and his Secret Six, in a multi-dimensional chess game even he had difficulties in following. He joined the Secret Six, but after a mission in which he helped rescuing the Scarecrow, he made the mistake of calling Scandal Savage a “moronic slut”, thus being thrown out of a helicopter by Scandal’s lover, Knockout. Believed to be dead, Amos Fortune survived thanks to his luck, and he resurfaced again some years later, ready to come back on the scene, this time targeting the Justice Society of America.

Amos Fortune is a brilliant man, with an intelligence just as remarkable as his ego; ambitious and greedy, he always tries to obtain the greatest profit possible from any situation. He’s a skilled researcher and inventor, having discovered the Luck Glands and having invented the Stimoluck, a device able to increase one person’s good luck (he usually uses it to come out from impossible situations); he’s also a master tactician and a skilled gambler, able to turn the tides in his favor in every situation; despite his physique, he’s also an impressive hand-to-hand fighter, able to stand his own even against many foes at once. Obsessed with luck and actually able to manipulate it, Amos Fortune is an uncatchable criminal who knows perfectly where to place his bets in a fight. And he always plays to win.

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