Johnnie Pinkham

Johnnie Pinkham was a man who was driven by revenge. As a boy he was locked up in a mausoleum overnight by a notorious prankster named Bryce and his friends Belton and Swanton. The event scarred Pinkham for life and vowed to get revenge. Many years later as adult, Pinkham learned that Bryce went on to devote his love of practical jokes to making an attraction called the House of Pranks where he himself would entertain guests as the Jester.

Before the first opening of the House of Pranks, Pinkham attacks Bryce and locked him up in a dungeon below while he went on posing as the Bryce in the Jester costume and set out to murder Swanton and the other guests. Among the people in attendance were General Haywood, Private Steve Rogers and James Barnes. Taking the guests to a mock "Arsenic Bar", Pinkham gave Belton a glass of actual Arsenic. Thinking it a prank, Belton drank the lethal cocktail and died on the spot, everyone thinking it to be part of the joke. Realizing that the Jester had really killed Belton, Steve Rogers and James Barnes slipped away to change into Captain America and Bucky.

Meanwhile, Pinkham had convinced Swanton to be attached to a torture wheel. Once more thinking it to be a prank Swanton agreed and was soon tortured to death. The other guests soon realized that the Jester was really killing people just as Captain America and Bucky arrived on the scene. They were too late to stop the Jester from killing Swanton, and the murderer then managed to escape. Chasing after Pinkham, Cap and Buck fell through a trap door into the dungeon below. There they found Bryce in the cell who told them that it was someone else posing as him. With Bryce's help, Captain America and Bucky used a secret passage to get to the Jester and stopped him before he could kill General Haywood.

Unmasking the Jester, they learned who he was and what prompted his murder spree. Before Captain America could take him away, Pinkham once more attempted to escape through a nearby elevator. With no car in the elevator, Pinkham fell through the shaft to his apparent death.[1]


The Jester used attack dogs and a supply of arsenic as well as a series of torture devices such as heating coils, trap doors, and torture wheels.

The Official Index to the Marvel Universe entry on Captain America Comics #40 states that this Jester could possibly be the same character as the Jester from Captain America Comics #65. However, examination of the two characters shows that they are vastly different in appearance and motivations. Pinkham is depicted as an older man bent on revenge over a childhood of being bullied and the butt of practical jokes, while that Jester is depicted as a younger man who wishes to be recognized for his jokes.

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