Jester (Marvel Comics)

For the Quality/DC Comics character of the same name, see The Jester (Quality Comics).

Jester is the name of three fictional supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Publication history

The original Jester first appeared in Daredevil #42 (July 1968) and was created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan.

Fictional character biography

Jonathan Powers

Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Daredevil #42 (July 1968)
Created by Stan Lee (Writer)
Gene Colan (Artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Jonathan Powers
Abilities Well trained acrobat, hand to hand combatant and fencer
Trained gymnast
Minimally talented actor
Possesses an arsenal of joke-themed weapons
Use of armed miniature robots and a one-man submarine

Jonathan Powers was the first of several costumed criminals to use the identity of the Jester. He was primarily an enemy of Daredevil.

Jonathan Powers was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was a struggling actor of huge ego who finally got his lead break as the leading character in an off-Broadway revival of Cyrano de Bergerac. Panned by critics, jeered by the audience, and disdained by his fellow performers, Powers was fired after one performance. Obsessively, he continued to study the various arts and crafts that he thought would earn him roles, things like gymnastics and body building. He turned down suggestions that he take actual acting classes, insisting that he already had more raw acting talent than anyone who'd ever lived. Still, Powers was only able to find employment as a stooge in a children's television show taped in New York.[1]

Finally getting fed up with having pies thrown in his face, Powers vents his anger with society by turning his gymnastics and fencing training to a life of crime. Contracting the criminal weapons-maker the Tinkerer to make him a number of gimmicks, Powers fashions himself a harlequin-like disguise and calls himself the Jester. After gaining some notoriety as a professional thief, the Jester is hired by Richard Raleigh to get Foggy Nelson to resign his campaign for district attorney. This brings the Jester into conflict with Daredevil, who continues trying to apprehend him even after they find Raleigh dead. Angered by Daredevil's persistence, he vows revenge.[1]

In his civilian guise as Jonathan Powers, he stages his own murder at the hands of Daredevil.[2] However, Daredevil clears his name by defeating and then unmasking the Jester on live television, demonstrating that his "victim" was still alive.[3] He later escapes prison and teams up with two fellow enemies of Daredevil, Cobra and Mister Hyde, for revenge. They lure Daredevil to an amusement park, but he defeats and apprehends them there.[4]

The Jester later kidnaps an inventor of computer-generated video and uses his invention to broadcast false news reports smearing Foggy Nelson's reelection campaign and undermining public trust in the government and the media. Though he succeeds in making Nelson lose his post as district attorney, his plan to take over the city and execute Daredevil for murder are foiled by Daredevil and new district attorney Blake Tower.[5] While in prison, the Jester falls under the control of the Purple Man, who forces him to attack Daredevil and Paladin.[6] He later battles Moon Knight and Daredevil as well.[7]

After escaping prison, the Jester kidnaps an actor portraying Cyrano de Bergerac on live television and takes his place. His performance is a success with the audience. When he afterwards learns that Daredevil was diverting the police's attention so that he could finish his performance, he voluntarily surrenders.[8] Later Powers allows himself to be host to a demon, gaining great strength in the process. When the demon leaves him, Powers is apparently left comatose.[9]

During the Civil War II storyline, Powers apparently retires from his former role until he is arrested as part of an entrapment operation set up by undercover police officers despite the fact that all he was doing was talking about his old days rather than actually planning a crime. Despite She-Hulk making a passionate argument about the need to believe in redemption and not condemn someone for their thoughts, Powers is sent to prison where he is stabbed during a riot a couple of days later.[10]

Jody Putt

Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Cloak and Dagger vol. 3 #8 (November, 1989)
In-story information
Alter ego Jody Putt
Team affiliations Assembly of Evil
Abilities Possesses an arsenal of weaponry

This Jester was given his weaponry by Doctor Doom. Among the arsenal granted to him by Doom, the "long-lived" Hulk Robot created years prior by a pair of college students and the Eternal Uni-Mind. Jester recruited a team of villains made up of himself, the Hulk Robot, The Fenris twins, Hydro-Man, and Rock of the Hulkbusters to form the Assembly of Evil. The team was defeated by Cloak and Dagger and several intervening Avengers.[11]

This Jester appeared during the super-hero Civil War as a member of the Thunderbolts Army. As part of the Thunderbolts Army, Jester was among the supervillains who helped capture unregistered heroes. Jester did this due to nanobots in his system which would electrocute him if he didn't do as he was told.[12]

Jester and Jack O'Lantern are sent to bring in Spider-Man. They pursue the hero through the sewers. Spider-Man ends up badly injured and subdued as the two move in for the kill. Both Jack and Jester are then shot dead by the Punisher.[13] This fight and these deaths are also detailed in the Punisher: War Journal title.[14]

Mister Hyde later exhumed the body to find a way around the nanotechnlogy.[15]

The Civil War: Battle Damage Report one-shot established this Jester's real name as Jody Putt. He also received in an entry in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Vol. 6 hardcover.

Crazy Gang Jester

Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (Earth-238):
Marvel Superheroes #377 (September. 1981)
The Mighty World of Marvel #10 (March, 1984)
Created by (Earth-238):
David Thorpe
Paul Neary
Alan Davis
Alan Moore
Alan Davis
In-story information
Team affiliations Crazy Gang
Notable aliases Clown
Abilities Highly skilled acrobat, fencer and kickboxer
Carries a fencing foil

Captain Britain was sent to an alternate Earth, known as Earth-238, by Merlyn. Together with Saturnyne, he hoped to save this world from the corruption that threatened it. Instead they encountered Earth-238's Mad Jim Jaspers, a lunatic with the ability to warp reality. Serving Jaspers were the Crazy Gang which included The Jester.

The Jester, also known as the Clown, is a very agile fighter and sometimes the self-proclaimed leader of the Crazy Gang. His Earth-238 counterpart was known as Coco. This group of superhumans were based on characters from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass. Captain Britain and Saturnyne individually managed to escape this Earth. Jaspers and the Crazy Gang, including Jester, were killed when Earth-238 was destroyed by Saturnyne's successor, Mandragon.

Powers and abilities

Jonathan Powers is an athletic man with no superhuman abilities. His main weapons are a set of various joke gimmicks converted into deadly weapons, designed by the Tinkerer. He used a variety of modified toys and gimmicks, including a yo-yo with a weighted knob and steel cable which emits earsplitting sounds when whirled at high speed; ball bearing marbles; exploding gas-filled "popcorn"; plastic flying discs which squirt an anesthetic drug; rubber balls containing plastic explosives; an extendible artificial hand equipped with an electrical charge; an artificial hand that can be fired from a small air-cannon; and other devices. Powers also employed 2-foot-tall (0.61 m) miniature robots, equipped with items such as laser weaponry and diamond drill-bits, which were remotely controlled by a radio-linked microprocessor. He also employed a specially designed one-man submarine. Powers is a well-trained acrobat, hand-to-hand combatant and fencer. He is trained in gymnastics and is also a minimally talented actor.

Jody Putt has no superpowers but possesses an arsenal of weaponry given to him by Doctor Doom.

The Crazy Gang's Jester has no superhuman powers. However, he is a highly skilled acrobat, fencer and kickboxer, and carries a fencing foil.

See also


  1. 1 2 Daredevil #42 (July 1968)
  2. Daredevil #44 (September 1968)
  3. Daredevil #45-46 (October-November 1968)
  4. Daredevil #61 (February 1970)
  5. Daredevil #124, 129, 131, 133-137
  6. Daredevil #154 (September 1978)
  7. Moon Knight #13
  8. Daredevil #218 (May 1985)
  9. Daredevil (vol. 2) #71-75
  10. Bendis, Brian Michael (w), Coipel, Olivier (a), Ponsor, Justin (col), Cowles, Clayton (let), Brevoort, Tom; Moss, Wil (ed). Civil War II 0 (May 2016), Marvel Comics
  11. Cloak & Dagger (vol. 3) #9
  12. Civil War #4
  13. Civil War #5
  14. Punisher War Journal #2-3 (Feb.-March 2007)
  15. Thunderbolts - Reason in Madness one-shot

External links

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