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|As a result of the New 52 in 2011, the entire line of DC characters was relaunched, incorporating properties belonging to the company's imprints: Wildstorm, Milestone, and Vertigo. As such, elements of this character's history have been altered in some way from the previous incarnation. For a complete list of all versions of this character, see our disambiguation page.|
Several years ago, a man named Harold Loomis became the electrical engineer as part of William and Wallace Cole's initiative to bring a train line through their old neighborhood. However, the deal went sour, and Harold Loomis was murdered by the Cole brothers on Halloween, left for his son Oswald to find dead on their front lawn after returning from trick-or-treating. William was eventually arrested for the crime but didn't rat out his brother, who went on to become mayor of Chicago.
Little Oswald, swearing revenge on the men who killed his father, sent the mask he wore as part of his costume to William in prison, to remind the criminal that he and his brother's punishment wasn't over yet.
In a twisted way to get justice for his father, Oswald, donning a mask and calling himself the Prankster, began his crusade against the corrupt officials of Chicago that helped the Wallace Cole rise to power. His first victim was alderman Anthony Laine, a part-time child trafficker, whom he forced to burn all his illegally obtained money to avoid a feral wolf until the cops arrived. By the time the Prankster escaped and tipped off the police to his location, though, the wolf had bitten off the corrupt politician's arm.
Prankster's second victim was John Conaway, a lighting insulation con artist. Tying Conaway to his own faulty product, Loomis said that, if the salesman's insulation really worked, he wouldn't be electrocuted by it. Sure enough though, the insulation failed, shocking Conaway until he was successfully rescued by Nightwing.
Although the con artist was saved, the Prankster hacked into Nightwing's mask's electronics, blinding the hero and leaving him open to be trapped by the criminal. The Prankster tried to get Nightwing to take off his mask, revealing his secret identity, to escape the deathtrap, but the hero managed to escape, literally with his eyes closed, and catch the villain.
Just then, the police arrived, planning to arrest both Nightwing and the Prankster for breaking Chicago's "no masks" policy, but the two of them worked together in order to escape their common enemy. Back at his hideout, Nightwing asked the Prankster to help him find Tony Zucco, the man who killed his parents, using his computer hacking skills. Once he had done so, Nightwing left Prankster handcuffed to a pipe on the roof of the building for the police to arrest, but the criminal managed to escape the cuffs before they arrived.
After hiring some henchmen, Prankster began his endgame against Mayor Wallace Cole. Loomis hacked every television screen in Chicago and announced that the mayor had stolen over 52 million dollars and, until that money was returned to the people, the terrorist would make Chicago suffer. Prankster then detonated a bomb on one of Chicago's subway trains and invaded the city's police headquarters. While the people of Chicago rioted to get Cole to return the money that the Prankster lied about, Loomis filled a boat with innocent civilians and planned to detonate it in the middle of Lake Michigan before Nightwing managed to rescue them.
Finally, Nightwing and the Prankster discovered each other once again and, after an intense fight, Loomis got a rope around Grayson's neck and tried to strangle him. As he prepared to kill Nightwing, the Prankster was finally defeated by Tony Zucco, shooting the terrorist in the shoulder and saving Grayson's life. Loomis, injured but alive, was finally arrested by Chicago police.
When the Crime Syndicate came to Earth and seemingly killed the Justice League, Prankster, as well as every other major super villain, was freed from prison and allowed to roam free. However, the Justice League did return and restored peace to the world.
Prankster, never arrested, partnered up with Cluemaster and some other low-level criminals in Gotham City as part of an evil benefactor's plot to destroy Batman. Prankster was given the task of hacking into the city's electrical grid and sporadically cutting the power in the low-income parts of the city as a way to increase widespread anxiety.
- Prankster was created by Jerry Siegel and John Sikela, first appearing in Action Comics #51. However, in the Prime Earth continuity, Prankster first appeared as part of the New 52 DC Universe in Nightwing (Volume 3) #19 by Kyle Higgins and Brett Booth.
- 15 Appearances of Oswald Loomis (Prime Earth)
- 4 Images featuring Oswald Loomis (Prime Earth)
- Quotations by or about Oswald Loomis (Prime Earth)
- Character Gallery: Oswald Loomis (Prime Earth)
Secret Society of Super-Villains member