The Jester

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Profile image by Alex Garcia (Pen and inks) and David Stepp (Colors)

Personal information

Real Name:  Charles "Chuck: Lane

Residence: Suburbs of New York
Occupation: Beat Cop, Adventurer
First Appearance (Golden Age): Smash Comics #22 (May 1941)
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): All-Star Squadron #31 (May 1984)

Character History

The early life of Chuck Lane, the man who became the vigilante known as the Jester, is largely unrevealed.  It is known that he had been active “several years” in 1941 and likely started as a teen age vigilante based on Lane’s comments to his superior Sgt. Mulligan.  His first documented case occurred when the elderly widow Van Cornish was getting her affairs in order and had been approached by Fifth Ward Benevolent Association as an outlet for her charity.  The FWBA is a front for crooks, clear to the maid and Officer Lane but not to Mrs. Van Cornish.  Lane attempts to intercede but is knocked out and left in a side room, allowing him to don his uniform as the Jester.  Quickly making short work of the crooks, the Jester finishes just in time to change back to his civilian identity as the cops arrive to makes arrests.  Mulligan fumes that the Jester, a real criminal as escape but Lane just laughs and plays along (Smash Comics #22).

At the outset of his career, the Jester was pleased to allow himself to be thought a criminal.  Doing so allowed him to operate outside technical limits of police conduct and put distance between him costumed identity and his role as a rookie cop.  Mulligan remained convinced that the Jester was a threat and vowed to thwart his activities, even when the Jester’s saved Mulligan’s reputation from allegations of prisoner abuse (Smash Comics #24).   Roughly six months into his tenure, Lane received a new supervisor – Hustace McGinty (Smash Comics #27).  It is not clear whether Mulligan had retired or been replaced or if Lane had been transferred to a different division.

In the earliest days of the Jester’s career, he operated in a fairly small radius, mainly tipped off by crimes he learned about through his job.  This included cases involving murderers (Smash Comics #26 and 28), fraud (Smash Comics #30) and gambling dens (Smash Comics #31).  While most casework was mundane, he did occasionally encounter macabre cases such as a Nazi scientist robbing corpses to stuff with documents to “re-patriate” back to Germany (Smash Comics #32).  He also occasionally encountered criminals using advanced sciences like those with the ability to make objects intangible (Smash Comics #29) or to shrink humans down to the size of a doll (Smash Comics #36).

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In 1942, The Jester achieved national attention when he was identified as a potential recruit for the All-Star Squadron.  In response to a broad recruitment efforts, dozens of heroes including the Jester traveled to the Squadron’s headquarters in New York and participated in an introductory meeting for the team.  It was here that the Jester first learned about Earth-X when Uncle Sam appeared and explained the fates of several heroes that had recently gone there from Earth-Two (All-Star Squadron #31).  Several months later, when Uncle Sam recruited a second wave of heroes to travel across the multiversal void, the Jester joined them (All-Star Squadron #50).

While the Jester’s career was documented until 1950, whether these events took place on Earth-X or he returned to Earth-Two has never been revealed.  Uncle Sam claimed that the portal that opened in mid-1942 was almost certainly a one-way trip but this is likely inaccurate as Firebrand is thought to have made the trip to Earth-X somewhat later.  Whether the Jester returned to Earth-Two is unrevealed.

In the casework that followed, the Jester largely continued the same vein.  He remained a beat cop and worked for a Sgt. Hustace McGinty.  While McGinty (at least the Earth-Two version) was as suspicious of the Jester as Mulligan, overtime the relationship between the two men softened and the police began to see the Jester as more of an ally that a competitor or an adversary.   While the Jester’s career continued for the next decade in recorded casework, Chuck Lane remained a beat copy working the streets and close to the crimes he sought to prevent.

In addition to routine cases, the Jester’s later career encountered some recurrent and unusual adversaries.  He 1943 he had a run-in with a femme fatal named Lady Satan, wooing lonely men for a life insurance scam following their sudden departure (Smash Comics #41).  She also figured out the Chuck Lane and the Jester were the same and attempted to extort him to being part of her criminal operations but the Jester ultimately managed to discredit her (Smash Comics #42).

Later that year, he met Stoneface a handsome gangster noted for intense dispassion in committing murder.  He offers himself as a partner for a local ganglord after killing his original partner and the men chosen as replacements.  Stoneface was humorless and offended at gaiety, making him enraged by the Jester, whose attention he attracts by attempting to murder Chuck Lane.  The Jester subdues him by tickling him mercilessly (Smash Comics #46).  Stoneface later escaped during a routine prison transfer, humiliating the rookie officer assigned to him.  The Jester helps the rookie regain his confidence by capturing Stoneface and his whole gang (Smash Comics #53).

In 1948, Chuck Lane was on patrol when he noticed notorious gangleader Mike Gregara enter a laboratory building at a local university.  Shortly after, an explosion shatters the buildings windows and the Jester rushes inside to investigate.  He meets Dr. Sommers, chair of the Physics Department who leads him to a lab with a mangled body as he sees Gregara rushing away.  The chair explains that he warned the deceased scientist – Professor Wolfgang Stugg – that his experiments were dangerous and when McGinty arrives, he dismisses the Gregara angle and concludes death by accident for Stugg. Unconvinced, Lane becomes the Jester and pursues the Gregara lead.  He does find his quarry but a new criminal with fantastic powers of atomic radiation, glowing with power.  The criminal burns through vaults and can kill with a touch.  He reveals that he killed Gregara and left his mangled corpse in Stugg’s laboratory so he  - Wolfgang Stugg – could begin a life as a master criminal.  As the Jester resists, Stugg increases in power to battle him but loses control, burning himself out and dissipating into the ether.  Whether he re-formed is unknown (Smash Comics #75).

The last recorded case of the Jester occurred in 1949.  The further activities and ultimate fate of the Earth-Two Jester remained unrevealed.

Powers and Abilities

The Jester was a remarkably athletic individual - fast, agile and strong.  He was particularly adept at boxing, holding championships in police tournaments and teaching local youth boxing techniques at nearby gyms.  His primary weapon was hard rubber ball which he named Quinopolis.  The Jester was extremely skilled with Quinopolis, eventually attaching guides along the side to give him more control.  He carried on a running conversation with the device as part of his in-character persona.

Weaknesses and Limitations

While talented, the Jester was an ordinary mortal and could be killed or injured as such.

Multiversity Villains



In the Post-Crisis timeline, the Jester learns that he is the descendant of Walter DeLane, originally the jester in King Arthur's court.  His family line intertwines with a shadowy organization called the Arcadians who had been the power behind the throne throughout history, including the founding of the United States.  Lane takes the identity of the Jester to fight crime and begins to believe in the Arcadians, especially when they accurately foresee the creation of atomic weapons and the end of the war.  He builds a family to continue the Arcadian plan but when they murder his son for rebelling, he turns against them, orchestrating their demise with his grandson and defeating their agents in a suicide attack from his own home (Freedom Fighters Vol. 2 #4).  The case work of the Earth-0 Jester is thought to largely mirror his Earth-Tw0/X adventures tho this has not been fully confirmed.  A case in 1954 where he joined forces with Starman to battle the Injustice Society may or may not have also occurred on Earth-Two (Starman Vol. 2 #46)


A version of the Jester resembling the Earth-Two version appears at Tex Thompson's super-hero recruitment and registry immediately before Dyna-Man was revealed as Adolph Hitler.  Whether he participated in or survive the following battle has not been revealed (The Golden Age LS).

Golden Age Appearances of the Jester