Ace King Queen Jack 10 Royal Flush
January 19, 2012 by staff
Ace King Queen Jack 10 Royal Flush, The Royal Flush Gang or RFG are fictional characters in DC Comics. They first appeared in Justice League of America #43 in March 1966 under the leadership of Professor Amos Fortune.
They are a group of playing card-themed supervillains who are usually thwarted by the superheroes they encounter. They have code names based on a royal flush in poker i.e. Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten.
The first Royal Flush Gang, Mike Sekowsky
The original Royal Flush Gang was Professor Amos Fortune’s childhood gang. With Fortune himself as Ace, they fought the Justice League on two occasions, using Fortune’s luck-altering “stellaration” technology to realize the fortune-telling significance of playing cards. After Fortune abandoned the Gang, they attempted to steal paintings containing clues to a hidden treasure but were thwarted by the Joker’s manipulations (Joker #6). Most of them then abandoned their criminal careers, although Jack briefly joined the Secret Society of Super Villains as “Hi-Jack”. Fortune’s gang wore costumes based on the suit of clubs. In the pages of JLA Classified, it was revealed the original Royal Flush Gang (sans Amos Fortune) reunited to fight the “Detroit Era” Justice League and their successors in the second gang. In this battle, the original King, Queen, and Ten were all killed.
The second Royal Flush Gang was set up by Green Lantern villain Hector Hammond in Justice League of America #203. Hammond led the group as “Wildcard”. This version wore costumes based on the suit of spades. The gang split up and went on to have separate criminal careers before re-establishing themselves, without Hammond. They were twice hired by Maxwell Lord as part of his manipulation of Justice League International. Later, they were reorganized and reoutfitted by a successor to the Golden Age Green Lantern villain the Gambler, who was masquerading as the Joker.
King (Joe Carny) — The so-called “King of the Hoboes,” Carny also suffered from lung cancer. As Hammond’s agent, he wore a costume that technologically enhanced his natural charisma to the point of mind control. Following the metagene bomb in Invasion! King became immortal. Although King is the highest ranking member of the gang, in poker the Ace ranks as the highest card in a royal flush.
Queen (Mona Taylor) – Taylor was originally a Broadway star whose career was destroyed by her ongoing alcoholism. As Hammond’s agent, she wielded a sceptre that cast realistic illusions. After the Gambler reoutiftted the team, she began employing a wrist shooter that fires razor sharp spades.
Jack (name unknown) – Originally a gigolo, he became a fugitive after inadvertently killing a client while attempting to steal her jewelry. As Hammond’s agent, he wielded an energy-charged sword. The Gambler replaced his left eye with a cybernetically-activated laser weapon, making him a literal “one-eyed Jack.” The removal of his eye to implant the laser initially impacted his sanity.
Ten (Wanda Wayland) – Wayland was a test pilot fired for refusing her employer’s sexual advances. As Hammond’s agent, she wore a costume with energy blasters in its gloves. She has enhanced reflexes, and carries explosive playing cards.
Ace (“Derek Reston”) – The Ace was a superstrong android in the form of an African-American man. A later Ace, Ernie Clay, was recruited by King and used a strength-enhancing exoskeleton provided by the Gambler. In more recent appearances in Starman and Infinite Crisis, however, the team was once again employing the robot Ace.
King, Queen, and Ten also have blaster-pistols. The Gang fly on hovering playing cards. In the Gang’s appearances in Teen Titans, Ten had organized runaways as “Ten’s Little Indians,” a gang of thieves dressed as the two through nine of spades and armed with bows and trick arrows.
Superman: The Man of Steel #121 revealed that the Royal Flush Gang had expanded. The Royal Flush Gang is now an organization that reaches across America, with cells in every major city. Instead of five members, each “cell” has fifty-two, split into four suits run by the “court cards”. Each member has a playing card value, and those who rise or fall in the Gang’s esteem gain or lose a “pip”. Notably, Stargirl’s father was a “Two”; upon defeating him, she transitioned from the Star-Spangled Kid identity to Stargirl in JSA: All-Stars.
Recently, in Infinite Crisis #2, the Joker tortures and kills the leadership of a local cell of the Royal Flush Gang from an unspecified city, after being rejected by the Society for his “instability”. The King is the last one left alive and he mocks the Joker for being rejected. He kills the King with an electrical blast to the face. The dead gang is left in the ruins of a casino. However, given the fact that King is immortal, to the point that he has recovered from death almost instantly on numerous occasions, it seems improbable that he actually permanently died.
Another cell of the expanded version, this one stylized as a street gang, appear as members of the Society in Villains United and several of its tie-ins in other comics. It is unclear what ties the third gang has or had-if any-to its predecessors and successors.
A new version of the Royal Flush Gang appears in Justice League of America (volume 2) #35. This version is working under the authority of Amos Fortune, who is addressed by other members as “Wild Card”. In the following issue, Fortune gives a history of the gang. It seems to combine the first and third gangs’ histories/characteristics, with Fortune indicating that he was always running the group in some capacity.
Currently, there are multiple active, costumed members, some of whom deriving their outfits and codenames from cards with pip values lower than ten. Members can raise in the numerical ranks as reward for their successes, or be “dealt out” at the discretion of Wild Card.
It is unclear if there are still 52 cells throughout the country, or 52 members in total. A lower ranked member mentions that there are four Queens, but Fortune states that the group is constantly growing.
A branch of the Royal Flush Gang based in Las Vegas, Nevada recently appeared in Zatanna # 4. Rather than using a playing card motif, each member of the Vegas branch is modeled after a member of the Rat Pack (such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin).
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