BLACK JACK (ICONS WRITEUP)
Athletics (Expert +2 bonus), Investigation (Expert + 2 bonus), Martial Arts (+1 bonus), Stealth (+1 bonus), Weapons – police issue (+1 bonus)
“Beware the Black Jack!”
Possesses good luck
I’ll defend the law – even if I have to operate outside of it!
Most of this comes from mightyscrusaders.net:
The magic and mystique of playing cards give birth to a unique hero: Black Jack. Steel Sterling introduced Black Jack on the cover of Zip Comics number 20. From the first panel, the tale of the Black Jack proves steeped in the mysticism playing cards have held through the ages. The story begins with a gypsy reading the fortune of hoodlum Lucky Lavitto from a deck of playing cards. The first words in the story are hers as she presents the Jack of Spades; “Beware the Black Jack! He will be your doom!” Lucky fails to take the gypsy’s words seriously, to his detriment.
Fate continues to deal her hand when Jack Jones, a detective with a penchant for the game of blackjack, interrogates a dying gangster. The hoodlum uses his last moments of life to relate the location of the gang’s hideout to Jack. The gang is hiding at the abandoned Larson Mansion. Jack heads for the Larson Mansion with two fellow detectives.
Unfortunately, a lookout forewarned Lucky, and the shrewd mobster lays a trap for the policemen. It turns out one of the detectives worked for Lucky as a tip-off man. After he plays his hand and defeats the detectives, Lucky decides to wall up Officer Jones, assuming that he’ll eventually die within the confines of the walls. The only thing that Lucky didn’t count on was the playing card clutched in Jack’s hand….
The gang departs, and Jack awakens holed inside a small room without air. He presses the card through the drying cement to allow a hole for him to breathe. The previous homeowner arrives at the mansion for a look and discovers the card lying on the floor. He subsequently discovers the fresh cement and breaks it open to discover an unconscious Jack Jones. The homeowner, Mr. Larson, informs Jack of his rescue. At his suggestion, Jack decides to let the gangsters think he is dead and return in the costume of the Black Jack! Black Jack quickly completes his first mission when he surprises Lucky’s gang and hands them over to the police.
Black Jack is truly an interesting hero, though some might suspect the recurring theme of card-game based villains and humor may have worn thin very quickly. Though he had no superpowers, his skills as a fighter and detective proved more than a match for the most cunning foe. Over his career, Jack Jones ensures the gypsy’s warning holds true not only for Lucky Lavitto, but for many other misguided souls: “Beware the Black Jack!”
Black Jack was not a member of the Mighty Crusaders during any of their major revivals but he was included among their number in Archie’s Weird Mysteries #3 so we can assume he joined during some unreported adventure. He’s tough but not too tough, like so many Golden Age non-powered heroes.