LAMIA (Joan van Renssaeler)

Though it took her a while to realise it, being turned into a Joker was probably the best thing that ever happened to Joan. It certainly made her more human. In her old life, the ex-wife of Brandon van Renssaeler (and mother of Clara) was the spoilt, bad-tempered, green-eyed blond society girl who had it all - money, fame, social connections, good looks and a permanent pout. Next thing she knew, the Wild Card had transformed her into something that matched her predatory nature.

A regular volunteer at the Jokertown Clinic where she makes amends for her past selfishness, Lamia is still fairly human-shaped above the waist, while everything below is purely serpentine. She's now an 18-foot long human/Cobra hybrid whose body is completely covered in translucent scales which change colour to match her surroundings, with a fleshy hood on either side of her neck, vertical irises and a long, forked tongue. She also possesses heightened senses, the ability to inject venom through her teeth, and a craving for raw animal flesh. If she seems a little testy in the mornings, she's probably still digesting the dog she ate for breakfast.

Positive attributes - Caring, well-adjusted, upbeat, sense of humour.
Negative character traits - None to speak of.
Main appearances - Cards Sharks.
Supporting appearances - Marked Cards, Black Trump.
In a nutshell - Snake charmer.
Random quote - 'Funny how the things we value change, isn't it, my dear?'

 

George RR Martin's Wild Cards Lazy DragonLAZY DRAGON (Ben Choy)

Ben had some big boots to fill when he decided to name himself after a famous character from traditional Chinese literature. The original Lazy Dragon was an unassailable thief with a deep sense of loyalty and a sharp sense of humour. All that's missing from the new incarnation is the sense of humour. A Chinese-American Ace of average height and slender, athletic build, Ben got his rep off to a good start when he joined the Shadow Fists - an organisation who well knew how to put his astral projection talents to bad use.

He can project his consciousness into, and animate, any animal figurine he's made from his own hands, whether it be carved from soap or folded from paper. Not only that, but as soon as he enters the figure it enlarges to full size and possesses the same strengths, weaknesses and agility as its real life counterpart. While he's out his real body lies helpless, and if his creation is killed his consciousness returns to his body instantaneously. Half the time, though, Ben doesn't know who he is - and with good reason. He also shares his mind and body with his more responsible sister, Vivian (AKA Tienyu) who, during extreme stress, becomes the dominant personality and takes centre stage for a while, transforming their body into a more suitable female form in the process. Life certainly isn't dull in the Choy household.

Positive attributes - Loyal, keeps his word.
Negative character traits - Misogynist, racist, ruthless.
Main appearances - One-Eyed Jacks.
Supporting appearances - Down and Dirty, Dead Man's Hand.
In a nutshell - Paperweight.
Random quote - 'So you want me to clean up your mess.'

 

LEGION (Danny Shepherd)

Since there aren't nearly enough pretty young blondes in the world already, it's a good thing Danny Shepherd exists - an Ace with the ability to produce a whole lot more. As long as she's got a couple of months to spare, she can induce her body to split into two at will, thus creating a new, fully-grown version of herself with a telepathic link to her other selves, with each body then capable of repeating the process if so desired. She's also able to subtly alter the features of her new self to accommodate how she wants to look. Smaller nose? Bigger breasts? No problem, whatever Danny wants, Danny gets. As she succinctly puts it, 'There's one of me in a bunch of different bodies.' Keep 'em coming.

Positive attributes - Honest, strong-willed, sense of humour, perky.
Negative character traits - Impulsive.
Main appearances - Dealer's Choice.
Supporting appearances - Marked Cards.
In a nutshell - Blondes have more fun.
Random quote - 'What's the point of being two people if both of them are stuck in Miss Rooney's class reciting the multiplication tables?'

 

LIVING GODS, THE

Founded by Opet Kemel, an elderly ex-archeologist, the Living Gods are an Egyptian sect of around 25 devout Wildcarders with more than a passing resemblance to the ancient gods, and who use as their headquarters an ancient temple discovered intact by Kemel in the late 'sixties. Like the 'cat goddess' Bast, Hapi the bull, the crocodile-skinned Sobek, or Bes the handsome dwarf, most are Jokers who simply look the part. But there are more than enough Aces among them to lend their cause a certain amount of credibility.

Although partly a tourist act who put on shows at their temple to raise money for their impoverished countrymen, the Aces among them actively use their powers to help their people. Min can bring forth rain. The ibis-headed Thoth can tell truth from lies. Taurt can ease childbirth. Shu and Tefnut possess the power of flight. And Osiris is able to see fragments of the future. Obviously hated by the Nur and his fanatical followers since a) they're Wildcarders, and b) they actually want to help people rather than slaughter them. What were they thinking?

Positive attributes - Wise, patient, selfless.
Negative character traits - Who knows?
Main appearances - Aces Abroad.
Supporting appearances - Death Draws Five.
In a nutshell - We are legend.
Random quote - 'The gods will protect us.'



George RR Martin's Wild Cards Lizard KingLIZARD KING, THE (Tom Douglas)

Charismatic lead singer of the 'sixties rock group, Destiny, and a multi-powered Ace with enhanced strength and agility, Douglas is also a kind of projecting telepath who uses his disorienting, hypnotic powers to ensure that those who come to his gigs experience something they'll never forget.

At the climax of his shows he assumes his 'Lizard King' persona. He becomes larger than life, his head seems to be replaced by that of a King Cobra, and he lets loose a dark aura that envelops his audience and leaves them susceptible to his hallucinogenic 'mind games', with each onlooker experiencing something different. Good music and trippy visions - now that's five bucks well spent.

Positive attributes - Social conscience, fearless.
Negative character traits - Addictive personality, self-destructive.
Main appearances - Wild Cards.
Supporting appearances - Suicide Kings.
In a nutshell - Rock 'n' roll visionary.
Random quote - 'We came to be heard, and we're damned well going to be heard.'

 

LOOPHOLE (Edward St. John Latham)

The running joke regarding Latham is that he's either an Ace whose emotions were completely erased by the Wild Card virus, or he's the perfect lawyer. The only one who knows for sure is the man himself, and he ain't telling. A senior partner in the prestigous Latham Strauss law firm, and right-hand man to the Astronomer and Kien, Loophole is a tall, slick, impeccably dressed criminal attorney who strikes fear in the hearts of every other lawyer in town for one very good reason - he looks upon each case as a game and he'll do anything to win. Yes, including murder. If he's not careful, he'll end up giving lawyers a bad name.

Positive attributes - Loyal to employers.
Negative character traits - Unscrupulous, ruthless, emotionless, amoral, total bastard.
Main appearances - One-Eyed Jacks, Jokertown Shuffle.
Supporting appearances - Jokers Wild, Down and Dirty.
In a nutshell - Devil's advocate.
Random quote - 'What do you think the law is but playing games with people's lives?'