This article is about the original and current Trickster, James Jesse. For the second and also current Trickster, see Axel Walker.
Born into a family of trapeze artists and acrobats, Giovanni Giuseppe was not interested in circus work, but in reading about the crimes of Jesse James, the famous outlaw. Following his departure from the circus he seduced a scientist and stole many of her designs, as well as using her work to design shoes that allowed him to walk on air. He began creating other gadgets, and continued to seek greater and greater thrills. Taking the name Trickster, he took up a life of crime.
Trickster was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino. He made his first appearance in The Flash #113.
Trickster was introduced in the Silver Age. During this time, he was the son of acrobats and trapeze artists, but was terrified of heights. A genius with engineering and gadgetry, he designed shoes that allowed him to walk on air, as well as dozens of other gadgets to aid him in the commission of his crimes.
Early in the Modern Age Trickster was reformed. This was ultimately retconned as being due to the machinations of the Top.
During the New 52, James Jesse appeared to have been retconned out of existence, and was replaced by Axel Walker.
Following Rebirth the character was reintroduced, and his absence explained as a prolonged stay in Iron Heights. This retcon introduced a slightly altered version of his origin, removing some of his innate competence with machinery. He is also much younger, with him still being a preteen when Dick Grayson's parents died.
Major Story Arcs
Trickster frequently clashes with the Flash, often in conjunction with the Rogues. Following the death of Barry Allen, he decides to go straight. Working as a special effects designer for some time, he ultimately joins the FBI as an agent in charge of testing security protocols.
Trickster reads about the recent deaths of his fellow Rogues and decides it is his time to become a major villain. When Rainbow Raider shows him a mysterious candle he has been sent, Trickster steals it and lights it for himself at midnight. He and fifty other villains are transported to Hell to meet Neron, who offers them their deepest desire in exchange for their souls, though Trickster himself is not offered a deal. He is captured by several members of Neron's Inner Circle, to whom he reveals that Neron's power is stored in his Soul Jar, though this was false information planted by Neron. He begins to scheme against Neron, and by spying on his minions learns how Neron can be defeated. He tells Captain Marvel that he must use a magic word to defeat Neron. Successfully defeating Neron, Trickster and all of the others are returned to Earth.
Jesse, acting as an agent of the FBI, begins collecting reformed Rogues and experts to take down his former team. Leading The Project, Jesse steals the body of the recently deceased Captain Boomerang, hoping to awaken him long enough to extract information on where the Rogues are hiding. He leads several members of the Project in attacking the unreformed Rogues, spurring a battle that spills out into the streets. He fights the new Trickster before being released from his brainwashing by the Top. He immediately switches sides, rejoining the unreformed Rogues after easily defeating the new Trickster and warning him away from ever trying to use his identity again.
Trickster and the Rogues are invited by Inertia to take part in a scheme which will freeze time and allow them to rob the world blind. He generates the force field that protects the team's headquarters, and later joins in fighting Flash, who has been depowered by Inertia's machine. He is present when several other Rogues fire on the Flash, killing him.
After Flash's death and the subsequent backlash in the hero community, Trickster goes on the run with the only other Rogue to escape transportation to Salvation, Pied Piper. They are briefly captured and end up handcuffed together, but are nonetheless able to remain free and on the run for some time. They are targeted by several heroes and villains, who attempt to capture or kill them. Trickster is shot and killed by Deadshot while trying to protect Piper
Trickster is raised from the dead by a Black Lantern ring. He and his fellow dead Rogues attack Iron Heights, where they are confronted by the living Rogues. He fights the new Trickster. He is frozen along with the other dead Rogues while they are consumed with the paradox of the Reverse Flash.
James Jesse explores Mars with Barry Allen's crew. He steals an artifact that was responsible for giving Wally West his powers. He gives the artifact to Vandal Savage, and is promptly killed.
In the Flashpoint alternate timeline, Trickster was murdered by Citizen Cold.
Powers and Abilities
Trickster has no superhuman powers or abilities. He is a skilled aerialist and acrobat. He is incredibly intelligent, and was able to use the designs and work of another to create many of his "tricks," including his air-walking shoes. He is also a skilled con man and magician.
Equipment and Weapons
Trickster wears specially-designed shoes that allow him to fly. He also carries a number of "tricks." These are primarily joke- and toy-themed weaponry, such as itching powder, exploding rubber chickens, exploding yo-yos, and bladed jacks.
The Trickster appears as a mass murder who becomes fixated on the Flash and Megan Lockhart in the episode "The Trickster." He appears again in the episode "The Trial of the Trickster." This version of the character has a sidekick named Prank, and has psychotic delusions. He is portrayed by Mark Hamill.
Justice League Unlimited
Trickster appears alongside several other Rogues in the episode "Flash and Substance." This version of the character is aware that he is unwell, and is willing to turn himself in and seek help if encouraged. Mark Hamill reprises the role.
Trickster appears as a terrorist who had been locked up in Iron Heights twenty years previously, making his first appearance in "Tricksters." He is broken out of prison by Axel Walker, who is revealed to be his son and protégée. Mark Hamill reprises the role.
DC Universe Online
In the hero campaign, Trickster appears as a bounty in the mission WANTED: The Trickster. He is voiced by Paul Wensley.