The Card Sharks
Biographical Information
Official NameThe Card Sharks
TypeCriminal Conspiracy
PurposeWild card eradication
Operational Information
Base of OperationsWorldwide
First AppearanceWild Cards

The Card Sharks are a fictional group from the Wild Cards series of books.


Although the conspiracy is not named until the thirteenth book of the series, it is plain that it was organized in the 1940s, shortly after the wild card virus was released. Albert Einstein is reputed to have started the organization and may later have been assassinated by the same. Since the Card Sharks are themselves the source of this rumor, its validity is questionable.

The Card Sharks details numerous Card Shark plots down through the years. Although not explicitly noted, it can be assumed that members of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) were among the first recruits. Some of the minor plots were just to discredit or remove individuals (the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis) or to create anti-wild card propaganda or to prevent pro-wild card stories from being circulated.

Other plots were more widespread. Jokertown was created through the Sharks’ manipulation to herd jokers into a contained area (like the Warsaw Ghetto of World War II). A 1959 plot to burn down Jokertown (later fictionalized in Roman Polanski’s movie Jokertown) was revealed ending a long-term Card Sharks plan to kill jokers en-masse, as was an attempted 1985 genocide of African jokers using the AIDS virus.

The Black TrumpEdit

The Card Sharks’ most far-reaching scheme was the creation and attempted dispersal of the Black Trump virus, designed by Clara van Renssaeler to kill anyone carrying wild card genes. Using Dr. Tachyon’s notes for the Trump virus, Clara was able to synthesize a virus that could remove all those afflicted by the Xenovirus in one fell swoop. When Clara lost faith in the plan, Mark Meadows was forcibly recruited into perfecting the virus. A small amount of the virus is released in Jerusalem in 1994, but a worldwide release was prevented by a loose coalition of aces, jokers, and nats who worked against various members of the conspiracy.

The Card Shark Philip Baron von Herzenhagen planned to use Jumpers to jump President Leo Barnett. This plan was foiled by Shad and Croyd Crenson who killed the Jumpers, most of the Card Sharks' assets (including Gregg Hartmann and Howard Hughes) and framed von Herzenhagen for an assassination attempt on Barnett.

List of known Card Sharks membersEdit

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