Despite the fact that gambling is legal, gamblers are typically portrayed as villains. It’s an unfair characterization. From the pages of Green Lantern comics comes Steven Sharpe III, the Gambler, and although not one of the most famous villains he was a member of the Injustice Society of the World and has been featured on the Stargirl TV show. He was popular enough to have two grandchildren carry on the family tradition.

Steven Sharpe III
Created by Henry Kuttner & Martin Nodell
First appeared in Green Lantern Comics #12 Summer 1944
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Unnamed father and grandfather (deceased), Steven Sharpe IV (and another unnamed son), Becky Sharpe (grand-daughter, aka Hazard), Steven Sharpe V (grandson, aka Gambler II)
Base Of Operations: Gotham
Group Affiliation: Injustice Society of the World
Eyes: Blue
Hair: White
Steven Sharpe III came from a long line of compulsive gamblers. When he proposed to his girlfriend Helen the day after his high school graduation, she refused unless he could prove he was not a compulsive gambler like his grandfather. She then ran off with a “Pool Hall” Charlie, another gambler, who had just won a fortune on the lottery. Sharpe vowed to become a new person after this day. As luck would have it, an armored truck crashed a few feet away from him. Seeing this as a sign, Sharpe helped himself to all of the money he could get and vowed to take whatever he could from life from that day on. He adopted the name the Gambler in remembrance of his grandfather, he had the best slot collection. For the next few years, the Gambler joined a traveling carnival, where he gained his skills with disguises, pistols, and throwing knives.

Steven Sharpe V
Created by Karl Kesel, Barbara Kesel & Steve Erwin
First Appearance in New Titans #68 July 1990
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Steven Sharpe III (grandfather) (deceased), Steven Sharpe IV (father), Becky Sharpe (sister, aka Hazard)
Base Of Operations: Las Vegas, Nevada
Group Affiliation: Royal Flush Gang
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
After the death of Steven III, Steven Sharpe V took over his grandfather’s mantle as the Gambler, he reorganized and reoutfitted the Royal Flush Gang. Under his leadership, the Gang battled the New Titans.

Rebecca Sharpe
Created by Roy Thomas & Todd McFarlane
First Appearance in Infinity Inc. #34 January 1987
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Steven Sharpe III (grandfather) (deceased), Steven Sharpe IV (father), Steven Sharpe IV (brother, aka the Gambler)
Base Of Operations: Las Vegas, Nevada
Group Affiliation: Injustice Unlimited
Eyes: Green
Hair: Red
Rebecca Sharpe took the opportunity to avenge the death of her grandfather, Steven Sharpe III alias the Gambler. Rebecca took the name Hazard and joined with Wizard in his Injustice Unlimited. However, she refused to allow anyone to be killed, nor would she cause anyone’s death in the process. They overcame the security at the International Trade Conference in Calgary—namely Infinity, Inc. and a contingent of the Global Guardians—and forced the heroes to help in some mayhem. Hazard took Wildcat and the Tasmanian Devil to Las Vegas and, with their help, financially ruined Mr. Taj, proprietor of the Taj Mahal Casino – it had been the crooked games of the casino which were in part to blame for her grandfather’s suicide. They all returned to Calgary to share in the stolen wealth which the Wizard had been gathering but the plan went haywire when Hourman (Rick Tyler) revived and freed himself, as well as when Solomon Grundy was brought in from the Arctic Circle. It was Solomon who incapacitated Hazard, but in the confusion, she was able to escape.

Even when the gambler is the hero, he is still portrayed as the villain for being a gambler. Remy LeBeau, the X-Man known as Gambit starts off as a member of the Thieves Guild.

Remy LeBeau
Gambit’s life started out hard and just kept getting harder. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana where he was immediately abandoned by his birth parents due to his glowing red mutant eyes. The infant was then kidnapped from the hospital by members of the New Orleans Thieves’ Guild who called Remy “Le Diable Blanc” – the white devil – and believed him to be the prophesied child who would unite the warring Thieves and Assassin’s Guilds. The young Remy quickly mastered the ways of thievery and when he was ten years old, he attempted to pick the pocket of Jean-Luc LeBeau — patriarch of the Thieves’ Guild – who adopted him into his own family. In an effort to negotiate peace between the Thieves’ Guild and the Assassin’s Guild, a marriage was arranged between Remy and Bella Donna Boudreaux, granddaughter of the Assassin’s Guild’s leader. Bella Donna’s brother Julien objected to the marriage and challenged Gambit to a duel, and although Remy accidentally killed Julien in self-defense, he became the enemy of both guilds and was banished from New Orleans in order to maintain peace between the two guilds. Remy then began wandering the world, honing both his skills as a thief and his mutant abilities.

While not all gamblers are the bad guys they certainly aren’t treated fairly in the comics. I love a good game of poker and so do most of my friends and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t look forward to a trip to Vagas. It’s really time for a true gambling hero.

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