Comic book characters and comic books, in general, are now popular all around the world. A part of the reason for their popularity, and an amazingly successful transition from the purely paper world to the big screen, comes from their ability to tell stories in a captivating way. But the other quality loved by millions is that they often encompass many of the ordinary human qualities.
One of these human qualities featured in many characters is a love for gambling. Many people around the world love casino games – land-based, with friends, at online casino sites, and they love everything from poker, blackjack, baccarat, to more simple ones like bingo, roulette, or online pokies. With comic book characters, things are just the same, but usually a little bit wilder.
Let’s take a look at how this passion is portrayed in the DC world and Manga.
Many fans would object to characterizing the Joker as a gambler per se. But how else could we call his passion for unpredictable outcomes, which is featured in many well-known Batman stories?
Modern movie watchers will immediately remember the famous plot point of The Dark Knight movie when the Joker gambles the people of Gotham themselves. In that famous sequence the Joker, portrayed perfectly by Heath Ledger, forces two separate boat-loads of people to decide who should blow who out of the water.
The gambling qualities of this legendary character are also symbolized in the fact that he is named after one of the most iconic playing cards in the deck – the joker. He adopted this name after his face was disfigured, causing him to resemble the intriguing playing card, and his weapons of choice include razor-tipped playing cards and Joker Venom.
The Penguin’s connection to gambling is even more obvious and explicit than it’s the case with the Joker. This character, who made his debut in 1941 and is also known as Cobblepot, is even portrayed as an owner of a Casino.
The Iceberg Lounge is a casino run by the Penguin that serves as his base, out of which he rules the Gotham underworld. It also serves as a hiding place for other supervillains and criminals who there can safely gamble and plot their evil plans.
The casino is also of great importance to Batman himself. Rather than to completely expose the secret casino and destroy it, Gotham’s Dark Knight uses it often as a hub for insider information about the criminal underworld that would otherwise not be available to him.
Tsunade from Naruto
Tsunade is certainly one of the most popular anime and manga characters and she is, among other things, known for her love of gambling. This quality was passed down to her from her grandfather and enhanced by her virtual invincibility that seems to make her believe she can always gamble without any repercussions for her.
How wrong was she to think that is obvious when we know that she earned the moniker The Legendary Sucker – because of her extremely bad luck at gambling. But despite this, she kept a spirit of a true gambler by always continuing to roll the dice.
Yumeko from Kakegurui
Yumeko is known as a very upbeat and charismatic character who consistently attracts the affection or interest of people around her. Not only is she able to befriend those who previously disliked her, but she is also able to catch the attention of the entire student body. That is exactly what she does on her very first day of school and manages to continue doing so on a nearly daily basis.
On the other hand, even though she is usually very friendly, every time Yumeko notices an opponent cheating in games, her button gets switched to a bloodthirsty side of her, usually seen when her eyes turn red to frighten her opponents even more. Yumeko is capable of doing this even after only a couple of rounds of gambling, as she is easily able to decipher what strategies and tricks are they using to skew the game in their favor.
Akagi from Akagi: Yami ni Oritatta Tensai
Let’s conclude this list with a more heroic character who sometimes uses his gambling abilities to help others.
Akagi is only 13-years-old at the start of the story and is already a heavy gambler trying to take down all of the yakuza gamblers single-handedly. He is very capable of defeating older and more experienced opponents at mahjong and at one point he uses his gambling skills to help Nangou, a small timer who is about to lose everything to the yakuza. Akagi manages to defeat all of them as well as to win a big amount of money for Nangou.
A true gambling hero if there ever was one!