Thursday, October 18, 2007

1970's Flashback: Ragman

Ragman was a weird hero in a quirky series. His villains were of the fairly plebian mobster type, existing in a neighborhood that was a hotbed of gang activity. Rory Regan’s ghetto was a dangerous place, and as the Ragman he didn't have any of the usual superhero gimmicks. However, his costume, which often acted of its' own accord, was another matter. It actually defended its' wearer and enabled Ragman to perform amazing feats. Composed of discarded rags that were sewn together, they mirrored his worn out surroundings. Amongst a populace of the poor and homeless (otherwise people without hope), he was the essence of what a true hero would be. Ragman was someone who had not been dealt the kind of hand that he would have wished, yet he fought the good fight anyway.

Ragman #1 (Aug/Sept. 1976) was scripted by Robert Kanigher and illustrated by the Nestor Redondo Studio, but the character of Ragman was originally created by Kanigher; with none other than comic-artist-supreme Joe Kubert! Unfortunately, by the time the series appeared, fans were tiring of "weird" superheroes. Ragman was canceled after only five issues. Crisis on Infinite Earths pretty much erased the history established by the first Ragman tales and the character could easily have been forgotten. But he has been revived as part of the Shadowpact series which spun off from the recent year-long crossover "52" by DC Comics.

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