The Royal Flush gang has appeared so many times throughout the DC universe that it's hard to keep track of the multiple incarnations. They're a group of villains centered around the theme of playing cards. Each member was given a name according to the ace-high straight, and later members were given numerical card rankings as well.
Because of the many platforms they've appeared in, they're one of the more well-known gangs in the series. But there are a lot of details that may go unnoticed about them, especially if you haven't seen them in every outlet they appear on. Without further ado, here are 10 things that every DC fan should know about the royal flush gang.
10 THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT VERSIONS
The Royal Flush gang knows that its members are liable to get thrown in jail or even killed while on the job, so they make sure that their ranks are always filled. They do this by replacing members with sons, daughters, husbands, or wives when original members disappear. They've done this many times throughout the history of the DC universe. The different gangs even follow the suits of cards - the first gang was the clubs, the second the spades, and the third was all suits. They even have different incarnations in the New 52, Post Crisis Gang, and DC Rebirth.
9 THEY WERE INTRODUCED EARLY ON
The Royal Flush Gang has been around for a long time. Their first appearance was in Justice League of America #43 and was released in March of 1966. They were introduced by comic writers Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky, and were originally under the leadership of Professor Amos Fortune. They were actually his childhood gang and ended up fighting the Justice League two different times. Most of them ended up stopping their criminal careers, though Jack had a small stay with the Secret Society of Super Villains. Fighting heroes can't always be easy.
8 THEIR CODENAMES ARE THE SAME
Although many different incarnations have existed, with multiple family members taking over once the original members go to jail or retire, they always keep the same codenames. These codenames are represented by the rankings in poker of an ace-high flush: Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. The later versions added numerical card positions as well, but those five always exist. The gang is pretty serious about their playing card theme as they even went so far as to dress up as actual playing cards and fly on card-shaped boards. At least they're dedicated.
7 THE KING HAS OUTRANKED ACE
Joe Carny was the King of the second gang, spades, yet he was also the most powerful in the gang by far, even though he was afflicted with lung disease. After the explosion of the metagene bomb in the comic book issue Invasion!, King even becomes immortal. The Ace is the highest-ranking card in a royal flush, and usually ace is the most powerful member in the gang, as with the Ace from the DC Animated Universe, who had telekinetic properties that allowed her to bend and warp reality. But Joe Carny wanted to be King, and no one was going to tell him otherwise.
6 PRESENT IN ALL PLATFORMS
The Royal Flush Gang does not only have multiple incarnations in the comics as they have appeared in basically every entertainment outlet possible over the years. They made their appearance in the DC animated universe in Batman Beyond, and also made their leap to the big screen in Justice League: Doom. They even had live-action incarnations in both popular TV shows Arrow and The Flash. And although they haven't actually had a big role in the video game universe (yet) they did make a brief appearance in Batman: Arkham Knight.
5 JOKER JOINS THE DECK
Joker has had a tumultuous past with the Royal Flush Gang, to say the least, but at one point he was the reason for their formation. In the DC animated universe, Joker frees the gang from a government facility where they're being experimented on for metahuman research and brings them together. Once released, they then do Joker's bidding and fight the Justice League.
4 NOT ALWAYS SUPERPOWERED
Though the Royal Flush Gang is a gang of super-villains, they don't always have superpowers. Later in the DC Animated Universe, during Batman's stay in Batman Beyond, they possessed no sort of powers. They were, however, very skilled in fighting and possessed hi-tech weapons. King was a master swordsman, Queen fought with a scepter, Jack was proficient with knives, and Ten was a computer hacker. Their Ace was even an android in this incarnation. Things didn't end up so great for the gang, and Ten actually started developing feelings for Batman. They say to keep your enemies close, but maybe not that close.
3 THE GANG GOES NATIONAL
Though the Royal Flush Gang started out as a small group of dedicated criminals, their influence began to grow and spread. In DC Comics New Earth storyline, Amos Fortune is able to transform the common criminals into a criminal alliance almost as powerful as Intergang. The organization then spreads and a branch becomes active in every major city in the country, becoming a national menace to civilians everywhere. And to think that they started out as a group of childhood friends. They did quite well for themselves, all things considered.
2 THE ROYAL FLUSH TITANS
In the incarnation of the Royal Flush Gang in the Batman Beyond show, all five members share the voices of the original Teen Titans crew from the animated series. King ended up being voiced by Robin, Jack by Beast Boy, Queen by Raven, Ten by Cyborg, and Ace by Starfire. The Teen Titans show isn't actually a part of the DC animated universe technically, but that doesn't mean that their voice actors can't be. Batman ends up facing off against them and has to fight King. It would be understandable if he were a little bit concerned after hearing the familiar voice.
1 A JOKE TO JOKER
Joker did help establish them in one scenario, but he's faced off with the gang on multiple occasions as well, and he basically always wins. During one escapade, the Joker tries to steal four valuable paintings that harbor clues to a lost work, but finds out that the Royal Flush Gang is after the same thing. He manages to hold them off and prevent them from taking the paintings, despite it being five versus one. He ends up beating them a second time and taking the lost painting himself. And on one occasion, he actually kills all 52 members of a local gang in a casino after being rejected by the society, including King. Don't mess with Joker.