- "Jump the Rich!"
- ―Jumpers' motto
|Official Name||The Jumpers|
|Base of Operations||New York|
Jumpers are a fictional organization from the Wild Cards series of books. They are a gang made up primarily of teenagers who can swap bodies with their victims, a power bestowed upon them by the ace, Edward St. John Latham.
The only goal for most jumpers is to do whatever they please. These powerful teens are easily manipulated by the likes of Blaise, Loophole, Bloat, and later by the Card Sharks. Initially, the jumpers were viewed by Latham and Kien Phuc as the potential third arm of an emerging Shadow Fist criminal triad alongside the Immaculate Egrets and the Werewolves
Along with Prime-initiated members of the jumper gang, there were a fair number of hangers-on and wannabe Jumpers who didn’t have the jumping power and who weren’t held in high regard by full gang members.
The "jumper" power is an infused power, gained by having sexual relations with the ace, Edward St. John "Loophole" Latham. Once infused, a jumper gains the ability to swap minds with a victim, essentially stealing their body for a time. A jumper must be able to see a subject in order to switch bodies. The jump is indefinite unless reversed by another jumper. Jumpers can even do three-way jumps to switch the minds of two non-jumpers (jumping the first person, then the second, then jumping back to their own body, putting the first person’s mind into the second person's body).
When they jump an ace, they generally get the ace's powers, both physical and mental. Jumper victims often spend the duration of the jump in a catatonic state due to trauma and mental strain caused by the jump itself, but some retain consciousness in the borrowed body.
The first jumper was David Butler, a legal intern with Latham-Strauss, which is where he first came under the influence of Edward St. John Latham. Being the first, Butler became the de facto leader of the Jumpers, leading them mostly on small joy-rides in other peoples' bodies. This gradually escalated into bank robberies and thrill killings.
Eventually Butler was killed by the Oddity after a joy-ride that went wrong. He was soon replaced by Blaise Andrieux, under whose leadership Bloat's "Jump the Rich" plan came into effect. During this time period Global Fun and Games became a front for Shadow Fist activities, the city comptroller of New York was replaced, and Dr. Tachyon was jumped into the body of Kelly Ann Jenkins, a jumper wannabe. Jenkins was made to masquerade as Tachyon in order for the doctor to take the blame for the Jump the Rich operation.
Molly Bolt took over leadership of the gang after Blaise left for Takis in August of 1990. By then there were over one hundred jumpers on the Rox, as the gang had allied itself with Bloat and used his breakaway joker homeland as their sanctuary from the law. Twenty-two jumpers accepted amnesty from the government before the Rox Campaign in September. The Card Sharks in the U.S. Government tricked most into jumping into older bodies and were then gassed while the old Card Sharks got to keep their young bodies. Zelda escaped in Pulse’s body when she used his ace to burn her way out of detention.
Three other jumpers were allowed to live and enter government service: Hari Kari, a 12-year-old electronic genius; Mam’zell Gerard, a French girl fluent in three languages, and Gyro Gearloose, a congressman’s son. They all became tools of the Card Sharks, and were run by von Herzenhagen. All three were killed by Black Shadow and Croyd when the vigilantes went Shark hunting.
Molly Bolt was last seen swimming away from the destruction of the USS New Jersey in a sailor’s body near the end of the Rox Campaign. Bloat telepathically detected her arrival upon the Rox just prior to his moving the entire landmass with his powers. Her fate since then remains unknown.
- Edward St. John Latham - Founder
- David Butler - Initial gang leader
- Blaise Jeannot Andrieux - Second gang leader
- Molly Bolt - Third gang leader
- Gyro Gearloose
- Hari Kari
- K.C. Strange
- Kelly Ann Jenkins (Jumper groupie, but not imbued with the jumper power)
- Mam’zell Gerard
- Alvin Chipmunk
- Blackhead (Had a blotchy face peppered with angry blackhead acne)
- Blueboy (A slender black kid no more than sixteen, naked under a torn policeman's shirt that he wore unbuttoned like a cape)
- Captain Chaos (An anorexic fourteen-year-old with a crazy glint in her eyes)
- Red (Not to be confused with Red)
- Suzy Creamcheese (A buxom young runaway)
- Initially, the public believed the jumpers to be a single ace criminal referred to as the Jumper.
- Some of the jumpers, such as Molly Bolt and Suzy Creamcheese, are named after songs by Frank Zappa