Jonathan Powers was a struggling actor of huge ego who finally got his big break as the leading character in an off-Broadway revival of Cyrano de Bergerac. Panned by critics, jeered by the audience, and disdained by his fellow performers, Powers was fired after one performance. Obsessively, he continued to study the various arts and crafts that he thought would make him a versatile actor: fencing, gymnastics, body building--everything except acting lessons. Still, he was only able to find employment as a stooge on a children's television show taped in New York. Finally getting fed up with having pies thrown in his face, Powers decided that if the public wants laughter at other people's expense, he would give it to them. Contracting the criminal weapons-maker known as the Tinkerer to make him a number of gimmicks, Powers fashioned himself a gaudy harlequin-like disguise and called himself the Jester.
Committing a wave of crimes based on his toys and gimmicks, the Jester was opposed by Daredevil, who eventually stopped his criminal activities and saw him put behind bars. The Jester escaped on numerous occasions to plague New York anew. In one of his biggest plots, he began distributing false newscasts claiming that John F. Kennedy was still alive or that the Vietnam War had never happened to get the public to stop trusting the news media. He also created false commercials and newscasts for Foggy Nelson's reelection campaign as District Attorney which caused him to lose the election and then went on to frame Daredevil as a murderer and finally having a fake President Ford denounce the New York Police Department as criminals. When Daredevil was overcome by an angry mob, he staged a trial to sentence him to death. Darvil freed himself and defeated the Jester, restoring order to the city.
Briefly, the Jester, impersonating a famous actor, performed Cyrano on television. He soon returned, however to crimes for reasons not fully revealed.
The Jester employs a variety of harmless-looking toys and gimmicks modified into deadly weapons or special tools. He has a yo-yo whose weighted knob can be used for striking and whose thin steel cable can be used for strangling. He has a bag of polished ball bearing marbles which he throws onto the ground to make an opponent lose his footing. He has a box of popcorn-like objects which explode on impact and emit a noxious tear-gas. He has a number of 8-inch diameter plastic flying discs rigged to squirt an anesthetic drug. He has various sized rubber balls containing plastic explosives in their centers. He has an extendable artificial hand on a scissors rigged with a high voltage electrical charge, as well as an artificial hand that can be fired from a small air-cannon.
Besides these weapons which he carries on his person or in a pouch, he occasionally employs larger and more complicated weapons, such as miniature robots (2 feet tall) outfitted with laser weaponry, diamond drill bits, etc., which can be remotely controlled by a radio-linked micro-processor that responds to spoken commands.
The Jester is constantly expanding and refining his arsenal of deadly toys.