When most people think of comics, they have villains, superheroes, and supernatural powers in mind. Who would ever associate gambling or casinos with comic books? You might be surprised, but there are dozens of examples where gambling was featured in comics in one way or another.
Some include casinos as part of storylines, others introduce characters associated with gambling as a hobby or a way of life. Even though we have dozens of examples of how gambling and comics have continually been intertwined, most people don’t recognize that link. Exclusively for you, we are about to shed light on how gambling in comics is displayed, alongside mentioning some of the brightest examples. Take a look.
When it comes to a general picture, gambling is moћstly portrayed negatively in most comic books we’ve read. Some of the most negative portrayals are dated back to the 1940s when comics were used to agitate teenagers on certain matters. Although much has changed since then, most of the modern gambling representations in any American comic book would be mostly neutral or negative.
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Thanks to manga books, dozens of comic heroes emerged that had either a long-standing experience with gambling or had some superpowers related to casinos. We did our best to find the best examples that display how gambling in comics has been displayed over the years. The following examples will show you another side of comics, the one you’ve probably never seen before.
Superman and the War on Gambling
As we mentioned earlier, comics during the 1940s were a bit different from those pieces published fairly recently. One of the most iconic representations of gambling that can even make you laugh is Superman and two specific stories about this hero. “Superman and the Number’s Racket” and “The Gambling Racket in Metropolis” are two distinctive comic book tales that focus on the theme of gambling. In these tales, Superman is responsible for rescuing and saving suicidal gambling enthusiasts.
In one of the tales, Superman takes the “problem” with gambling too seriously. He goes on a literal war for justice against all gambling facilities operating in Metropolis. The morale of those comics was pretty much propaganda-based. They were meant to emphasize the idea that all gambling is inherently evil. Similarly, the creators of these comics intended to decrease casinos’ popularity among youths of that time. What a story to tell, right?
Psycho Gambler: Betting Man
Alright, enough with the morale from the previous century. This manga tells a bit unique story of a superhero with supernatural powers. Unlike the stories common for DC comics, the story of a Betting Man, named Jin-Goo, revolves around the unique use of his superpower. He was granted a chance to see through objects, eventually making him interested in winning on casino games. When Jin-Goo starts to gamble, he eventually loses a lot for the reasons beyond his control and imagination. Isn’t it a fascinating start of the story?
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Two-Face: A Villanous Story
When it comes to more traditional comic books, one of the most popular examples of gambling representation in comics relates to Batman. In particular, the story of Two-Face from Batman’s universe is something to look for among all casino players. These different stories and entries in comic books tell the story of Two-Face, an alter ego of Harvey Dent, a district attorney of Gotham. He was scarred by acid, eventually destroying the left side of his face, forcing Dent to acquire an alter-ego of Two-Face.
But what of these characteristics relate to gambling anyhow? In those comic books, Two-Face makes all decisions by using his unique coin. According to his beliefs, the chance can be the only justice available in this world. Does it remind you of a game of chance and random number generators? Although this story is a bit of sorrow, Two-Face is a great villain worth mentioning.
Honorable Mention: Chance
Those familiar with Marvel universe might recognize the appearance of Chance, a unique villain who first appeared in Web of Spider-Man #15. The alter ago of Chance is Nicholas Powell, a man who was once a professional gambler. Chance tries to implement his gambling skills into evil missions, eventually leaving all decisions to be determined by chance.
The good news about Chance is that he isn’t only appealing because of his gambling past. He is a charismatic character, whose appearances certainly made the comic books dedicated to Spider-Man fascinating and engaging to track. If you’re up for getting to know a top-notch story full of adventures, rough decisions, and decent humour, comic books involving Chance are worth reading.
In a Word
With dozens of villains and iconic heroes continually appearing on the pages of iconic comic books and manga series, gambling is a theme that appears occasionally. Although we are looking forward to seeing series with more specialized settings, such as Las Vegas, the mentioned examples best show that casinos appear even in comics. There are plenty of other gambling examples in comics, including manga entries like Kaiji, Gamble Fish, and Kakegurui.
We hope that these stories might come in handy if you have just become more interested in comics. As for now, we strongly recommend reading the stories of Two-Face, Chance, and Betting Man, since they combine two prominent entertainment activities, namely gambling and comics. Our team hopes that you’ll like those stories and their references to casinos.