This page is for James Jesse, the original Trickster
For the current Trickster, Axel Walker, visit the Trickster page.
The Trickster’s family was involved in the circus. Much like the Flying Graysons, ( Dick Grayson AKA Robin’s family act) the Flying Jesses were amazing on the high wire. But, sadly James Jesse was afraid of falling. By creating a pair of Air-Walker shoes, which would allow him to waltz gracefully on thin air even if he fell, he conquered his fear. James thought if he could create nifty gadgets such as this he could become a notorious thief. Other modified toys the Trickster has made are explosive rubber chickens, razor sharp yo-yo and super speedy scooter. James Jesse eventually turned good and started working for the F.B.I. to take down the Rogues and to keep the streets of Keystone City safe. James goes under cover as The Trickster to regain the Rogues trust, then to place them under arrest. The Trickster participated in the killing of Bart Allen, along with fellow Rogues Weather Wizard, Heat Wave, Pied Piper, and Captain Cold.
James Jesse arrives at fellow Rogue Heat Wave's apartment in response to Captain Cold's call for a meeting of the Rogues. Heat Wave is not pleased to see Trickster, and reprimands Jesse on the fact that he was once helping the Flash (Wally West). Trickster talks his way into the apartment, and it appears that the Top's brainwashing of Jesse has been completely undone.. Unbeknownst to the two former cellmates, as they are discussing the future of the Rogues, one of the Pied Piper's rats is spying on them. Later that evening Pied Piper rejoins the Rogues as well and resumes an uneasy friendship with Jesse. After Captain Cold, Heat Wave and Weather Wizard murder Bart Allen. The resultant chaos sends the Trickster and the
Pied Piper on the run from heroes and villains alike.After attending Bart Allen's funeral in secret, Piper and the Trickster are captured by Deadshot and Multiplex and handcuffed together with cuffs that will explode if they are tampered with, separated by about five feet of equally protected chain.. They manage to escape from their captors, but unfortunately they remain shackled together as they continue their lives on the lam. They quickly make their way to Gotham where they are offered partial sanctuary by the Penguin, who contacts the FBI for the reward. The duo then escape the Suicide Squad only to have The Question and Batwomen catch up with them.
Piper and Trickster immediately begin to plead with the two heroes that they personally were not responsible for the death of Bart Allen. Batwoman is quick to ignore their pleas, and more concerned for busting the two criminals for the Flash's death. The Question however, is willing to hear them out, at which point the Trickster performs a puppet show in order to plead their case, using puppets of himself and the Flash. Batwoman becomes furious at the disrespect that Trickster shows, and punches him down, breaking his nose. The Question however, believes their story, saying that "those two couldn't kill time' and lets them go. When Batwoman demands what right she has to release them, Montoya states that her past as a police detective taught her to spot true murderers.
The two Rogues inadvertently make it to Poison Ivy's greenhouse, and are captured by her. Despite being dazed by Poison Ivy's use of pheremones, Trickster finds himself focusing on Piper once he hears the other man speak. Deathstroke decides to use the two fugitives as bait, planting a bomb on them. The situation gets even more dangerous when Deathstroke arrives. Trickster draws his attention away from Piper for the second time, and gets his nose broken a second time. Deathstroke beats up both Rogues (but does not kill them, deciding to use the two fugitives as bait by planting a bomb on them. They are found by Batman, who gets the third dose of Trickster's insolence, but resists temptation and turns the pair of them over to the Flash. The Flash is furious. He hauls Trickster and Piper back to Bart Allen's Grave. They explain that Deathstroke has planted subcutaneous explosive devices in their necks. West believes them and removes the devices by vibrating through their skin. He continues questioning them, and Trickster's answers make him so angry he breaks Jesse's nose for the third time. Eventually, however, he believes their story.
Wally confines the two at Green Arroww and Black Canary's wedding, despite the warnings that Deathstroke is planning an all-out assault at the occasion. The two manage to escape the wedding assault, stealing a car and inadvertently picking up Double Down as a passenger. The trio stop at a diner, only to be attacked by the Suicide Squad. Double Down is captured, but Piper and Trickster decide to follow the Squad using an invisibility field, planning to free the other captured villains, whom Trickster insists will "owe us for life." They encounter and free Two-Face, who tells them that the villains are being shipped off at a secret base, then flips a coin to decide whether or not to go along with them. The duo narrowly escape the resultant mayhem and then once again avoid capture by Deadshot.
Unfortunately, just at the moment when Trickster finally addresses the Piper as "Hartley" for the first time in the entire series, Jesse notices the red dot of a laser sight on Piper's forehead. Deadshot has caught up with them again. Trickster yanks the Piper out of the line of fire, saving his life, and then Trickster uncharacteristically decides to make a stand and fight. During the fray, Deadshot grabs Trickster's cape and yanks him from the train, then drags him along the tracks, wounding him. When Deadshot declares he's going to shoot the Pied Piper and takes aim, Trickster shouts, "NO! NOT HIM! NOT NOW!" and hurls himself into the hail of bullets. Jesse is killed instantly but the Piper is shielded by his body and survives and escapes on the train. Left alone with the corpse of Trickster still chained to him, Piper is forced to flee the train in the Chihuahuan desert and gets lost, dragging along his dead companion. Unable to destroy the cuffs, Piper eventually chops off Trickster's left hand after carrying his corpse as far as he can. While most of Trickster's body remains on Earth, the hand goes with the Piper through a mysteriously-appearing boomtube to Apokolips.
There, Desaad breaks away the cuffs, freeing Piper and consigning Trickster's hand to the foul depths of Apokolips. Desaad then explains that he has been manipulating events and both Rogues all along, because he believes the Piper can express the Anti-life Equation through his music. Realizing this fiend murdered Trickster, the Piper lets Desaad have what he wants-- "voicing" the Anti-life Equation with his music until Desaad's head explodes. Then, alone and mourning his murdered friend, the Piper plays a swan song for Trickster, and his music is so furious and powerful that the entire planet explodes.
After Jesse reformed and joined the FBI, a new younger Trickster emerged. His name was Axel Walker. He
came from an upper class family that cared nothing about him, and he had no morality. He had stolen some of Trickster's gadgets and weapons, and joined Blacksmith's Rogues. His psychopathic ways made the other Rogues uneasy at times. While meeting with the Rogues, Dr. Alchemy was shocked that they had teamed up with him. When Jesse was turned back into a criminal by the Top, he returned to his role as the Trickster and beat up Axel, warning him to never put on the Trickster outfit again. Axel encountered Detective Chimp who found out that he was the man behind a crime he had been investigating. After the death of the first Trickster and the return of the Rogues from planet Salvation, he immediatly ditches his new crew and rejoins the Rogues during Final Crisis. Soon after this, Piper breaks into the F. B. I. headquarters and stills James Jesse's will. Piper decodes a puzzle on his will that unlocks all the secrets to capturing the Rogues. Piper , as a way to avenge James death, vows to bring the Rogues along with Axel Walker, to justice. While fighting the New Rogues, Axel defeates Mirror Man, then he is saved from Mr. Magic by Weather Wizard. Axel Walker along with the other Rogues kill Inertia the same way they Killed Bart Allen. During Blackest Night, the Rogues ran into the Black Lanterns of James Jesse, the original Trickster, Rainbow Raider, Sam Scudder, Golden Glider and the Top. Although Axel lost the last battle against James Jesse, he defeated him with the help of Mirror Master and the other Rogues.
In the recent Flash series focusing on Barry Allen a future incarnation of Trickster has arrived from the future calling himself Trixster. It is unknown what connection he has to the original Trickster other than having similar weapons and appearance. Unlike Trickster though Trixster is a law-enforcement officer from the 25th century a member of Reverse-Flash Task Force called the Renegades who are based off the Rogues of the present.
In the 1999 Elseworld series titled Flashpoint, James Jesse is apart of the disabled Barry Allen's crew which is exploring the planet of Mars. He stole an artifact which gave this universe's version of Wally West his super speed. When he gave it to Vandal Savage, he was killed. Ralph Dibny and the Martian Manhunter find his body in a river.
The Flash TV Series
In the Live-Action 1990 TV series, the Trickster appears in two episodes titled "The Trickster" and "Trial of The Trickster" and is portrayed by Mark Hamill, the famed actor who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise and the voice actor of the Joker in the Batman: The Animated Series. During the preproduction stages of the Flash series, Executive Producers Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo received a call from Hamill's agency asking them for the role of the Trickster. After finding out that he is a huge fan of comic books, Bilson and De Meo accepted Hamill's request.
Wanted for murder in six states, James Montgomery Jesse encounters a detective name Megan Lockhart (played by Joyce Hyser) who was trying to arrest him for not paying his car payments, and had no clue he was a serial killing psychopath. Soon, Jesse captures her, and takes her to an abandoned theatre where he plans to saw her in half. Lockhart is then rescued by the Flash (John Wesley Shipp) and Jesse is apprehended soon afterwards. Jesse manages to escape out of police custody and hides into an abandoned warehouse. Seeking revenge and convinced that Lockhart is his true love brainwashed by the Flash, he takes on a new persona and calls himself the Trickster. After causing a few explosions and crimes Trickster kidnaps Lockhart and coerces her to become his fantasy sidekick Prank. After attending a costume party to find the Flash, he is stymied by several people in Flash costumes. Then, the speedy hero attacks the Trickster and knocks him out cold. Lockhart is safe and the Trickster is behind bars again.
Several months later, the Trickster is summoned in court for his trial in which his evaluation will be determined a few days later. Back in his prison cell, the Trickster receives several love letters from an unnamed admirer with a secret message that reads, "I'll get you out. Prank." On the day of his evaluation, a stenographer in court releases a laughing gas that spreads around the room and has everyone laughing beyond control. The stenographer puts on a mask on the Trickster and they both escape. The stenographer turns out to be a fake and she reveals herself as Zoey Clark (Corinne Bohrer), the heiress of Clark's Toys which is supposedly one of the biggest toy store in Central City. She brings him to her store and confesses her love to the Trickster, saying how she found kindred spirit in him and will do anything to make him happy. At first the Trickster decides to retire the life of crime but after Zoey takes her clothes off, revealing the Prank costume underneath and kisses him, the Trickster is reborn. With a new sidekick by his side, the Trickster kidnaps the Flash and brainwashes him in becoming slave but unfortunately, the effect is temporary and so the Trickster and Prank are later apprehended after they attempt a desperate escape. Prank's fate is unknown but the Trickster is seen locked away in an high-security padded prison cell, isolating him away from other inmates.
Prank is the Trickster's sidekick who was created purely for the TV show. Bilson and De Meo wanted to create a character that portrayed a 1930's "screwball" sidekick who does nothing but follow criminals around and they believed Bohrer did a great job as Prank. They also wanted to tell a love story of the Trickster at the same time. There are two Pranks, one is Megan Lockhart and the other is Zoey Clark. The first Prank is not considered to be a true sidekick as Lockhart was forced to be one and she despises the Trickster more than anyone in the world.
The second Prank is a complete opposite than the first one because Zoey is so infatuated with the Trickster that she actually believes she is Prank. When someone calls her by her real name, she gets really upset and demands to be addressed as Prank. Zoey is a sociopath who dreams of becoming a criminal herself due to her penchant for "bigger kicks." She spends her entire life waiting for the moment to come until she saw the Trickster on television and immediately falls in love with him. With her vast amount of wealth, Prank spoils the Trickster with weapons, transports and other trickeries but alas, as the Trickster's evil plans grow, so does his ego. He becomes more eager to fulfill his evil plots that he neglects Prank. It then becomes clear to her that the Trickster is no longer interested in having a sidekick and begins to use and abuse Prank more than cooperating with her. This occurs to her right after the Trickster goes berserk in the city without her, setting random cars on fire with dynamites. Prank is so furious at the Trickster for not waiting for her because she wanted to "fire the candles." This proves that Prank is truly passionate with her new life as a criminal and everything they do is a labor of love.
The Trickster has had enough of Prank's nagging and ties her in her own Clarx Toys store. She manages to breaks free and then rescues the Trickster in the nick of time with the Great Trickster Escape Mobile. The Trickster apologizes to Prank for treating her like dirt and wonders why is she still helping him. Prank replies, "I love you, MADLY!" The crazed criminal then shows his gratitude by pushing her out of the getaway car and laughs maniacally as he speeds away. Before she can barely get up, two policemen arrive at the scene and arrest her. It is not known what happens to Prank's fate after she is taken into custody.
Through ups and downs, Prank is incredibly loyal to the Trickster who would never ever question his evil plot and her refusal to surrender to the law.The relationship between her and the Trickster was similar to the one the Joker and Harley Quinn share.
Justice League Unlimited
The Justice League Unlimited Animated the Trickster is a mentally ill super-villain who needs to take medication to stop his delusions of being a super villain. He appeared in the episode Flash of Substance, once again voiced by Mark Hamill. In the episode Flash is given his own day in Central City, and The Trickster, Captain Boomerang, Mirror Master and Captain Cold all try to punish Flash on the same day. The Trickster is not respected by he fellow villains and ends up back at the super-villain bar depressed. It is at this point that Flash gets him to turn himself in after he finishes his drink, and he promises that he will play darts with the Trickster. The soft kind. The Trickster agrees, holds up his drink and says "Got me again, Flash!"