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"Citizens of Central City! I am The Trickster, here to rescue you from the menace known as the Flash. And to save the darling of my heart from his fiendish affections. Ta-ta for now!"
—James Jesse[src]

James Montgomery Jesse is a psychopathic criminal from Earth-90. When The Flash rescued Megan Lockhart from his clutches, Jesse became The Trickster, committing crimes involving a variety of 'gag' weaponry, often based on comedic props. Ultimately, Jesse was incarcerated and put into a padded cell.

Biography

At some point, he became a serial killer with multiple personalities, wanted for murder in six states. He was also obsessed with Megan Lockhart, who he abducted several times and forced to become his sidekick, Prank.[1]

He later battled with The Flash and was defeated by him,[1] which put him on trial until Zoey Clark freed him from imprisonment. He soon recruited her as the second Prank.[2]

Determined to get revenge, he captured The Flash and brainwashed him to be his servant. The Trickster rain supreme over Central City until The Flash snaps out of it and defeats both Jesse and Clark. He was then re-imprisoned.[2]

In 2018, The Monitor invaded Earth-90 and seemingly killed all of its residents. Because of that, James's fate remains unknown.[3]

Personality

"Well, you hit the jackpot with this bird. He's been tough to track. He's got more personalities than a variety show. He's wanted for murder in five states."
"That's six states. And she didn't stop me. It was that... Flash thing.
"
Williams and James Jesse[src]

Crazy, childish, and exuberant in nature, James Jesse's lack of conscience and bloodthirsty nature was deterred by a silly demeanor such as fancying himself a sort of evil magician though was viewed as a homicidal maniac. Even during his plans' fruition, successes, and failures, Jesse remained with a puckish and childish grin and cheery demeanor; presumably this was a part of his psychoses. Williams stated that James Jesse was hard to track, having "more personalities than a variety show", and was wanted for murder in five states, until Jesse himself corrected and said six states.

James seems to be something of a showman, fond of grand displays designed to show off his intelligence and flair or evoke terror rather than the quieter, more efficient strategies utilized by other Flash villains. After being imprisoned, James developed obsession with killing the Flash while "saving" Megan Lockhart, who didn't return his love for her. Although James was rescued by a Zoey Clark, who replaced Lockhart as "Prank" and helped him get revenge on the Flash, James was more obsessed with the Flash himself, having brainwashed him into subservience. It's likely James had come to see killing the Flash would be the greatest "trick" he could pull off.

Appearances

The Flash

Video games

Trivia

  • This Trickster is different than his Earth-1 and Earth-3 counterparts, in that he is actually heavily delusional (using nonsense to "rationalize" his actions) while the other two are simply homicidal maniacs

Behind the scenes

  • In DC Comics, the Trickster's real name was Giovanni Giuseppe, a circus acrobat who decided to become a criminal, adopting the alter ego "James Jesse", just like his "reverse namesake" Jesse James. He is the practical joker and con man whose favorite occupation is damaging enemies like the Flash with items such as explosive teddy bears, shoes he created that allowed him to walk on air, and other dangerous gag gadgets for his crimes.
  • Mark Hamill played this role in The Flash a little over a year before he would first portray The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. He would reprise both roles in various DC media, such as Justice League Action.
  • After the 1990 Flash series, Mark Hamill voiced The Trickster in the "Flash and Substance" episode of Justice League Unlimited, where the animated character design blends elements of Hamill's costume (mainly the multicolored hair; Trickster is blond in the comics) from the series with the character's classic comic-book design; the animated version's facial features even suggest those of Hamill.

References

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