Four Aces
4Aces in Life
Biographical Information
Official NameExotics for Democracy
AliasesFour Aces
Operational Information
Period Active1946 - 1949
First AppearanceWild Cards

The Exotics for Democracy, better known as the Four Aces, was the first group of wild carders formed to combine a collection of ace abilities with a unified goal in mind. The group was formed by Archibald Holmes, an idealistic politician who wanted a superhero team that would fight for American ideals.


The Four Aces formed in the wake of the initial wild card outbreak in Manhattan. Archibald Holmes was part of a hastily assembled response team sent to the area and was immediately struck by the potential of aces upon meeting Jack Braun for the first time. Two weeks later Earl Sanderson publicly revealed himself to have gained the ability to fly and in short order the Exotics for Democracy was formed. Founded on a left wing political agenda, the Exotics quickly made their mark as symbols for American post-war ideals, poised to combat fascism and help restore the world after the long years of warfare.

The Exotics' first objective was Perón. He'd been elected as the president of Argentina in a rigged election and looked set to establish a significant portion of South America as a fascist stronghold. Holmes and the aces flew south to deal with this problem, now joined by David Harstein, a man who could make anyone in close proximity agree with him. It took them only two weeks to orchestrate a coup with Holmes and Harstein meeting heads of the military and talking them into a position of revolt. Sanderson and Braun became the muscle dominating opposing forces in the air and on land.

Several more campaigns followed and the aces were riding on a wave of adulation. The press started attaching nicknames as well with Braun, Sanderson and Harstein becoming Golden Boy, Black Eagle and the Envoy respectively. Their number went from three to four when Archibald introduced his own god daughter to the group. Blythe "Brain Trust" van Renssaeler added her own blend of diplomacy with her reservoir of absorbed genius intellect. Naturally, they now became known as the "Four Aces".

The glory years came to an end in 1949 when the group was hauled before HUAC in the wake of a disastrous campaign in China. The China Accord had failed within weeks of Harstein's influence departing and HUAC was on the hunt for a new target to exploit for political power. The Exotics For Democracy being liberals, a former communist, and an unfaithful wife "living in sin", were ripe targets after their failures, and Dr. Tachyon was implicated as an associate and the architect of the wild card menace.

In turn, each member was condemned in one way or another. Harstein and Holmes were imprisoned on charges of contempt-of-Congress. Sanderson turned his back on the sham hearings and flew off to Europe. Van Renssaeler's fragile psyche broke under the strain and she was committed to a psychiatric institution. Braun escaped the proceedings largely unscathed having testified as a friendly witness, but this legacy would haunt him forever as he eventually discovered that the wild card had made him immortal. When the HUAC trials were done, the Four Aces were irrevocably broken.


Its members were:


  • Dr. Tachyon - Confidant to Brain Trust and friend to the Envoy.

Selected ReadingEdit

  • Wild Cards Volume I: Wild Cards
    • "Witness"
    • "Degradation Rites"
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