Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Acrobat no more! Now, he’s the : Trickster
Appearances in Heroclix: The Flash, Crisis
First Appearance: The Flash #113 (June–July 1960)
Team Affiliations: Rogues, Secret Society of Super Villains, Black Lantern Corps, Justice League of Anarchy
Powers/Abilities: Skilled acrobat and con artist; Above-average intelligence; Utilize gadgets that give a variety of abilities, like walking on air
Created by: John Broome – Carmine Infantino
Giovanni Giuseppe began his adult life as a circus acrobat. After a few years traveling with the circus, he decides to begin a life of crime like Jesse James and takes on a fake name to match. In reverse. Calling himself James Jesse, he creates a pair of shoes that allow him to “walk on air,” as well as several other dangerous gag gadgets. He runs afoul of the Flash who, because of how James is dressed, assumes he is from the circus and pogo sticks to capture the Trickster at the trapeze.
After the death of Barry Allen, Trickster relocates to Hollywood and begins working in special effects. He attempts to steal the Blue Devil suit but is defeated. James eventually befriends Cassidy (Blue Devil) and seeks him out any time Trickster wants to give up supervillainy.
Neron eventually tries to create Hell on Earth and through a comedy of errors, James ends up a visitor in very real Hell. Neron seems to befriend James and keeps him close until James realizes where he is and who Neron really is. Trickster ends up defeating Neron with the help of Captain Marvel but is disappointed no one but the big red cheese had witnessed the feat. This sets Trickster on the straight and narrow for a while, as he does not relish the thought of returning to Hell.
He decides his efforts are best put to collecting the weapons of incarcerated supervillains, lest those weapons fall into the wrong hands. An old girlfriend reaches out to him for help and they travel to the tiny mountain kingdom of Zhutan. Once there, Trickster, Pied Piper and Billy Hong are able to again defeat Neron and free the Rogues from the devil’s influence. His old girlfriend then reveals that Billy is James’ son.
James still returns to the States and continues heroic adventuring. He helps Catwoman in an odd situation and is soon recruited by the FBI. Trickster remains on the side of heroes during the Rogue War and recruits several other reformed Rogues to do the same. In the fallout of the war, many of the Rogues are forced to recover from the Top’s brainwashing and rediscover who they are, including Trickster.
Trickster appears to return to villainy alongside Heat Wave, Captain Cold and Pied Piper. After Captain Cold, Heat Wave and Weather Wizard murder Bart Allen, the Flash at the time, Piper and Trickster are forced on the run from both heroes and villains. The pair attend Bart’s funeral in secret only to be captured by Deadshot and Multiplex, who place the Rogues in a set of booby trap handcuffs that will explode if tampered with. Piper and Trickster are able to escape their captors and make their way to Gotham where they think they are offered sanctuary by Penguin. Penguin instead attempts to claim the bounty on their heads. They narrowly escape the Suicide Squad only to run right into the Question and Batwoman.
Piper and Trickster plead their case that they had nothing to do with the death of the Flash, though Batwoman is uninterested in their arguments. Question is willing to listen which leads to Trickster telling their story via puppet show, which enrages Batwoman and leads to her breaking Trickster’s nose. Question believes the story, however, and sees the pair aren’t killers. She lets them go, against the protest of her partner.
The pair are then captured by Poison Ivy which leads to Trickster getting his nose broken again by Deathstroke. They are then found by Batman who turns them over the Flash (Wally West). West takes them to Bart Allen’s grave where Trickster again pleads their innocence and reveals that they have explosive devices in their necks planted by Deathstroke. West removes the devices by vibrating through their bodies and ends up breaking Trickster’s nose a third time before ultimately believing they had no hand in killing Bart.
Wally takes the pair to the wedding of Green Arrow and Black Canary, even though they warn him that Deathstroke is intending on attacking it with everything he has. Once Deathstroke attacks, the pair escape in a stolen car before being attacked by the Suicide Squad. They narrowly escape capture several more times from Deadshot. The pair finally hop a train and seem to have escaped when Deadshot catches up with them again. In the ensuing battle, Trickster throws himself in front of a barrage of bullets meant for Pied Piper, saving his life.
Trickster is resurrected as a Black Lantern during Nekron’s invasion.
After the reforming of the DC Multiverse, James is alive and well again. And he is back to his villainous ways.