The 52 Gang
52gang.jpg

First Appearance:

September 6th, 1962

Known Members:

Ace of Spades
King of Spades (deceased)
Queen of Spades (deceased)
Jack of Spades (deceased)
Ten of Spades (deceased)
Six of Diamonds (deceased)

Created By:

Chester Gould

Can Be Found:

The Complete Dick Tracy Vol. 21

The 52 Gang was a gang with each member represented by a playing card. It was led by "Little" Notting, aka Ace of Spades. Other identified members include Queen of Spades, King of Spades, Ten of Spades, and Six of Diamonds. The leaders of the gang were known as the Royal Flush, which consisted of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and ten of Spades.

The group kidnapped Dyne O'Matick and stole the newly-developed Space Coupe. They used it to abduct their enemies and dispose of them.

The 52 Gang had a secret resort hideout on top of a mesa located 900 miles southwest of Black Hills, South Dakota. They held Dyne O'Matick and the stolen Space Coupe there while they planned their next scheme.

The mesa hideout was spotted and photographed by some passing aviators. Dick Tracy infiltrated the hideout and disguised him as Ten of Spades. He joined Ace of Spades and King of Spades when they left in the Space Coupe and was able to take control of the craft. King of Spades was killed in the struggle.

Tracy returned top the mesa hideout in a police helicopter with Ace of Spades, who ordered the gang to stand down. Queen of Spades had taken control of the gang in Ace's absence and she refused to surrender. She fired at the helicopter with a machine gun. In response, the police helicopter dropped napalm on the mesa resort. All members of the gang either jumped to their deaths or were burned to death.

"Little" Notting (the only known surviving member) later re-surfaced, apparently as a member of The Apparatus.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • There is no as-yet established connection between the 52 Gang and some of the other playing card themed characters in the strip, such as Queen of Diamonds or Big Ace.
  • It was stated that the 52 Gang was responsible for all organized crime in the United States, which indicates that it was likely formed out of the remnants of Big Boy's Outfit, and was a precursor to the Apparatus.
  • The 52 Gang storyline raises some issues about Tracy's jurisdiction and use of force. The gang's mesa-top resort hideout is stated to be 900 miles southwest of Black Hills, South Dakota. This is almost certainly outside of Tracy's jurisdiction, and he is not shown to be working with any federal agency. Likewise, modern-day readers may find the use of napalm against civilians (even though one of them had shot at police) to be unnecessarily brutal, especially given napalm's later use by the US military in Vietnam.
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