Biographical Information
Wild Card TraitsInsectoid body
Social Information
CitizenshipCitizen of the United States
AffiliationsEgyptian Freemasons, The Rox
AlliesAstronomer, Bloat
First AppearanceAces High
CreatorLewis Shiner

Kafka is a fictional character from the Wild Cards series of books. He has a genius level intellect, in a body like a humanoid cockroach. His vision is very poor, but his sense of smell more than makes up for it.


Kafka was always conscious about cleanliness and hygiene, to the point of having an obsessive-compulsive disorder, so it was a bitter irony that had him draw the joker and become a man-sized cockroach. In spite of his disfigurement, he was also a brilliant scientist and soon found himself in the employ of a team assembled to put a landing craft on the Moon in 1968.

A few years later Kafka's brilliance earned him a place in the ranks of the Egyptian Freemasons. Initially loyal to the Masons' cause he became a devout follower of the Astronomer and was among the chosen few to survive the destruction of their headquarters in 1976. While he was with the Masons he was tasked with constructing a Shakti device, a piece of technology that the Masons had been guarding the secret of for more than two centuries. The device was destroyed before it could be used however, and Kafka found himself alone when the Egyptian Freemasons were similarly crushed.

Years later, Kafka became associated with the Bloat on Ellis Island. Kafka was kind of grand vizier to Bloat and was always trying to make sure his boss got the treatment merited by his position as governor of the Rox, and not that earned by his appearance. Kafka didn't much like the jumpers. He liked Blaise least of all.

Wild Card TraitsEdit

Kafka was cursed with a cockroach-like body by the wild card.


The wild card turned Kafka's skin into a brown exoskeleton, thinned his arms and legs down to nearly nothing, and removed all his facial and body hair. His hands are more like tweezers, and he has no nose. Kafka's eyes look like brown lumps. He looks like an anthropomorphic cockroach.


Kafka is fastidious about his cleanliness. His obsessiveness is such that he flinches away from human contact when people move towards him.

Selected ReadingEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.