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November 16, 2014
 

Character Spotlight: Ragman

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Written by: Dr. Bustos
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Comics have a tendency to take something you never really thought about and make them into a hero or villain. Take a ragman, a person who went around with random knick-knacks in a cart that they’d either buy, sell, or trade with you for what you had. Not much to go about right? Well comics took the name literally and made one heck of a hero. Who is Ragman? Does he trade your junk for his? Yes, but it’s far more complicated than that, let’s find out just how weird this gets.

Rory Regan was a ragman before he was Ragman. He wore a suit made of rags that his father gave him from the small shop they owned together. He would find out that this was not just simple tatters of cloth stitched together but that each rag was actually an evil soul bound to them that could lend their power and skills to Rory. He’d used this imprisoned evils to do good for the world. There was a point where he nearly lost containment of the souls who still craved to commit wicked acts and he needed the aide of heroes like Batman and Rory’s rabbi, Rabbi Luria, to help get them bound again.

Ragman_(Gerry_Regan)_001During the Day of Judgement in which the Spectre changed hosts while demons of hell were attacking the Earth. This was a time where Rory made a lot of enemies amongst demons and nearly lost his life on multiple occasions from demons seeking vengeance for all the demons he destroyed during this time. A Mafia-inspired gang of demons would become a real threat to him for a while.

Upon the Day of Vengeance, when the Spectre deemed all magic evil and began wiping out as many magic users as he could. Being the wrath of God means that is a lot of people he can target. Rory teamed up with several other magic-based heroes to help fight off the Spectre. This group would go on to become Shadowpact, the premiere team to deal with magical dilemmas too big for anyone magic specialist.

During one of their first excursions as a team they’d find a town surrounded in a sphere of blood blocking off entry and exit once they were inside. Rory and the others would meet their evil counterparts, The Pentacle, and his was Bagman who could turn into a killer ooze and nearly kills Rory if not for his team.

After solving the case they’d find that while they were inside for only a short while they’d been lost to the outside world for a whole year. Believed dead, the team learns they were hailed as heroes and now must return to a world that had mourned and moved on. This caused Rory and the others to move into their headquarters, a bar that exists on a separate plane of existence that can connect to nearly anywhere on Earth.

Ragman_002At one point, Rory would get trapped inside the very suit he wore. The dimension that held the wicked souls he used to empower himself proved to be a dangerous place for its warden by some of the angry souls. Thankfully a centurion soul aided him and explained that the suit was not really a prison, but a place for the truly evil to work off their debts to gain redemption. For every assist they’d give and pain they’d absorb for Rory, they were one step closer to be forgiven for their crimes. When Rory is about to be killed by a fresh evil soul, the centurion takes the hit for him. This act allows the centurion to finally be redeemed and set free to the afterlife.

Warped to a reality where there never was a Batman, Wonder Woman, or Superman, Rory finds a world he doesn’t fit into and must fight off bizarre versions of heroes he once knew. Once he returned he’d help Cassandra Cain and Huntress deal with chaos in Gotham with the apparent death of Bruce Wayne. He’d be rendered powerless during Blackest Night when all the condemned souls were unleashed due to all the necromantic energies going on but gain his powers back when it was all over.

Ragman_001As of the New 52, Rory hasn’t really had any appearances, I don’t think he exists yet. Perhaps he’ll show up during Convergence? Who knows? Either way, that’s the man who uses the redemption of the wicked to aide in his quest to save the day. He’s one of the few Jewish heroes in comics so that’s really cool too. He may look like a bunch of junk stitched together, but really he’s got one of the most dangerous tools on the planet keeping him warm.

Suggested Reading
Ragman
Shadowpact
Day of Judgement
Day of Vengeance
Trinity #18
The Network
Ragman: Suit of Souls

Dr. Bustos

drbustos@comicattack.net

 

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