Gambling and Comics

It isn’t unusual to stumble across a comic character when browsing gambling sites. Online casinos are constantly seeking new ways to bring players to their site. They often offer free spins and other bonuses to attract new customers. Another method to encourage people to play is to offer comic-themed slots hoping to induce fans of different characters to gamble. Some online casinos use multiple techniques like a Go Wild Casino no deposit bonus on a site with some comic-themed slots.

Comic books and gambling have a relationship that stretches back many decades. Although you won’t find any western comics that are based on gambling, many issues have plots and characters that are an integral part of the story. Japan, on the other hand, has a number of comic books, or manga, with gambling themes. Here is a list of 8 of the best gambling comics from over the years.

 

  1. Superman: Back in the late 1930’s Superman had some serious issues with gambling. Eighty years ago people had different views when it came to gambling. Two Superman stories, “Superman and the Numbers Racket” and “The Gambling Racket in Metropolis” have the Man of Steel taking on the evils of gambling. Back then they probably didn’t realize that Superman would have his own comic-themed slot someday.

 

2. Kaiji: Kaiji is a long-running gambling manga series from Japan that was first released in 1996. Our hero, Kaiji, is a gambler and conman who finds himself in deep water when he takes a loan from some bad people and is unable to pay it back. As a result, he ends up in a Yakuza labor camp where he is expected to work off his debt for 15 years. Life in the labor camp isn’t easy and Kaiji has to use his gambling skills to extract himself from various difficulties. Kaiji, also known as Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji and Ultimate Survivor Kaiji was written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. Its popularity is such that it spawned 2 television series, two films, and a reality game show.

 

3. Gambler (DC): DC Comics has had two characters named Gambler. The first Gambler was the alter-ego of Stephen Sharp III and made his first appearance in Green Lantern #12 in 1944 as an enemy of the original Green Lantern. In 1947 the Gambler was one of the 6 founding members of the Injustice Society. Stephen Sharp III came from a long line of compulsive gamblers but had every intention of breaking the line. Due to circumstances, he ended up adopting the name the Gambler and becoming a successful criminal. He had numerous conflicts and encounters with the Green Lantern over the years until committing suicide in the mid-1980s.  After his death, his grandson, Stephen Sharp V, took over his grandfather’s role as the Gambler.

 

4. Gambler (Marvel): The Gambler is a comic villain who appeared in Marvel’s Human Torch Comics #31 in 1948. This was his only appearance as he was killed by an exploding roulette wheel to avoid going to prison.

 

5. Akagi: Akagi is another Japanese manga series that has a gambling theme and was first published in 1991. It revolves around Shigeru Akagi, a boy who plays and defeats Yakuza members in mahjong despite not knowing the rules. He disappears and returns as a legend and continues to beat his enemies at mahjong. Akagi has sold 12 million copies in Japan, been adapted to movies twice, made into 3 television programs, and inspired several books, manga spin-offs, and video games.

 

6. Gambit: Gambit is one of the few characters in Western comics associated with gambling who is not a villain. The first appearance of Gambit was in Marvel’s Uncanny X-Man Annual #14 as a cameo in 1990. His first full appearance was the same year in Uncanny X-Men #266. Gambit’s real name is Remy Etienne LeBeau and he is a mutant with the ability to create and manipulate kinetic energy. Although he was a member of a thieves’ guild in his youth he eventually landed on the side of the good guys and became a member of the X-men. One of Gambit’s signature moves is to charge a playing card with kinetic energy and use it as a weapon. There have been several solo series featuring Gambit and he has made hundreds of appearances in issues over the years.

 

7. With a name like Roulette it is a safe bet to assume that this character has some affiliation with gambling. Veronica Sinclair, aka Roulette, is the owner of “The House” casino where she stages gladiator fights between superheroes while super-villains watch and wager on the outcome. Although she doesn’t have any superpowers she is a genius when it comes to calculating odds and gambling winnings. She is also a master of martial arts and uses her hairpins as weapons during battle. Roulette first appeared in DC’s  JSA Secret Files and Origins #2 story, “Upping the Ante” in 2001. Since her debut Gambit has appeared in over 30 issues.

 

8. Chance: Chance is the alter-ego of Nicholas Powell, a wealthy man who is also a compulsive gambler. He felt that the only way that he could bring emotion into his boring life was by taking extreme risks. This leads him to take on mercenary adventures where both his money and life are at risk and he eventually evolves into the super-mercenary known as Chance. Rather than charge straight fees for his services, Chance prefers to wager with those who employ him. If he successfully completes a job he wins the bet and is paid, but if he is unable to complete the job he pays the one who hired him the amount of his fee. The first appearance of Chance was in Marvel’s Web of Spiderman #15 in 1986. He has shown up around 25 times since then. His major adversary is Spiderman.

 

Hopefully, you will enjoy the gambling comics discussed here. No doubt gambling and comics will continue to have some association with each other and there will be more comics with stories that involve gambling.

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Gambling and Comics It isn’t unusual to stumble across a comic character when browsing gambling sites. Online casinos are constantly seeking new ways to bring players to their site. They often offer free spins and other bonuses to attract new customers. Another method to encourage people to play is to...