A deuce is an ace with powers that are trivial, or limited in extreme ways. The term was coined in 1953, when Timothy Wiggins, nicknamed Mr. Rainbow, was summoned to testify before HUAC in the anti-wild card trials so common at the time. Accused of being a dangerous ace, Wiggins said his famous phrase, "If I'm an ace, I'd hate to see a deuce."
Even though deuce powers are usually laughable, they are also individual expressions of the deuce's own subconscious desires, just like any other ace abilities. They range from insignificant to the point of uselessness, through to useful albeit weak talents. Digger Downs, for example, has made great use of his ability to smell other wild carders in his chosen profession as a tabloid journalist. Tinkerbill might not have much power to stop a crime in his life as a police officer, but being able to 'paint' a suspect with a pink, sparkly glow for several hours is a handy talent to ensure other police know where to look in a crowd.
Deuces are mostly seen as amusing curiosities or weirdos, and have a reputation for eccentricity. For obvious reasons, few deuces have had a great impact in the Wild Cards universe.
Selected Reading Edit
- Wild Cards Volume XVI: Deuces Down (A whole book featuring deuces as protagonists)