AskDefine | Define ragman

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see Ragman



  1. A dealer in rags

Extensive Definition

Ragman is a fictional mystic vigilante and superhero who first appeared in the short-lived series named after him. He is one of a limited number of Jewish superheroes, and his continuity is tied to that of DC Comics' Golem, derived from the Golem of Prague of Jewish folklore.
Ragman is sometimes compared to the other night-time defender of Gotham City: Batman.

Character history


The pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Ragman was significantly different from the post-Crisis Ragman.


Rory Regan is a ragman, doing good in his community by buying used items from people who need money. The suit of rags that he wears was originally just a costume made from materials found around the rag shop, Rags'n'Tatters, that he shared with his father. This was retconned in a 1991 limited series, and currently each of the patches in the suit is made from the soul of an evildoer that the Ragman had punished and absorbed.
The absorption of these souls caused a problem for Rory at one point, when the evil souls hungered for murder and finally freed themselves of Ragman. It was only with the support of Batman and Regan's old friend, Rabbi Luria, that he regained control, though at the cost of Luria's life. Ragman's powers have increased since then. Currently, he can absorb souls into his costume. With each new soul added, a rag is added. He can call upon the souls in his costume to lend him their attributes or power. He is also a very proficient magic user.

Judgement and Vengeance

During the Day of Judgement limited series, Ragman was active in destroying many of the demons invading Earth. This would earn him the wrath of the Diablos, a group of demons who style themselves after the Mafia. Wanting to gain revenge for demons lost during the Day of Judgement, they attack Ragman, injuring him and tearing off parts of his costume. They believe him to be dead but this is not true.
Ragman is one of the members of the Shadowpact, a team that formed to confront the Spectre in DC Comics 2005 Day of Vengeance limited series, a lead-up to the seven-issue Infinite Crisis limited series.
During 'Infinite Crisis', Ragman and Nightshade are seen standing side by side as part of the line of superheros defending Metropolis from attack from dozens of villains.
During the Day Of Vengeance series, Ragman is one of the few volunteers willing to take on the rampaging Spectre, who has decided that all magic is evil. During a planning sessions, he is taken aside by the Enchantress and given a mystical gun. She entrusts him with it, as it can kill her if she goes too far with her magic, a scenario she believes is all too possible. He tells her if she truly turns evil, his costume will take her. He then tries to kiss her, but his feelings are not returned and Enchantress even mocks him for it in front of the other heroes.


In the Shadowpact series, Ragman, along with his teammates, was trapped inside a shield of solid blood that grew over the town of Riverrock, Wyoming. Ragman and the rest of the team spend a very short period of time inside the shield, but to due to magical after-effects, a full year passes outside. Various mystical heroes, such as Phantom Stranger and Rex the Wonder Dog keep watch outside the town's borders.
While inside Riverrock, Rory met an evil counterpart of himself belonging to the supervillain group that had formed the shield, the Pentacle. His counterpart is named Bagman. He/it dresses in similar green garb, and can turn his body to goo and while in this form he absorbs people. While inside Bagman they either suffocate or they are digested. Bagman even mentioned how oddly similar the Shadowpact and the Pentacle are. Rory only survives this encounter because Bagman's boss does not want the heroes to be killed. After the Riverock encounter, Rory must deal with the severe disruption to his life, as everyone had thought he was dead. He, like most of the team, ends up having to find a new source of income, a place to stay and the oddity of encountering a memorial statue to the entire team.
In Shadowpact #8, Rory was temporarily trapped in the limbo dimension of his own cloak. He met the soul of an ancient centurion working off his crimes. This man, Marcus Liberius, first saved him from the beating several other of the murderous souls were giving Rory. Marcus reveals that the cloak was actually the "Great Collector Artifact", which has been in existence in many forms since the time of Abraham. Ragmen in Rory's line have been in action since 1812 BCE. Marcus also helped Rory, who had become disenchanted with the job of collecting corrupted souls, to see that he is not a punisher but a redeemer — allowing a better afterlife for those who work for it. This work usually takes the form of suffering on Rory's behalf. For example, Rory had been recently blinded by magic. Marcus willingly takes this blindess on, adding to previous injuries he had suffered. This last sacrifice allows Marcus, in the full view of the rest of the Shadowpact, to ascend to a higher realm.
Rory, along with Nightmaster and Nightshade, attempted to teleport to Washington D.C to break up a bank robbery. They were trapped mid transit in the Land of Nightshades. During this time it was suggested that he is attracted to team member Nightshade.

Powers and Abilities

The Ragman can draw upon the physical powers of any number of the corrupted souls that make up his suit. This way he can increase his strength, speed and stamina dozens or even hundreds of times over, though he has stated that it isn't easy to tap into a large number of souls at once (at the time, he commented that the most he had ever done was somewhere over a hundred). Most significantly, having defeated an enemy, he can acquire new souls by absorbing them with the suit. This adds a new rag to the suit, and thus adds to the Ragman's power supply. However, Rory has mentioned that the process of acquiring a new soul gives him stomach cramps and nausea. Also, the Ragman possesses a number of minor magical powers, such as kinetically controlling the suit (i.e. entangling Eclipso with his cloak while grappling with her). The suit will also automatically materialize whenever he is in danger, and will normally teleport him to wherever he's needed. It has recently been revealed that the suit can take on other forms, such as weapons and still collect souls. Whether Rory will use this ability in the future is yet to be seen. To date, it has taken the forms of a cloak in ancient Egypt, a spear during the Roman Empire, and a dagger in 19th Century England.

Other versions

  • Ragman has appeared in the Justice League Unlimited spin-off comic book. His appearances are in issues #15

Ragman Appearances

  • Ragman issues 1 through 5, published from 1976 through 1977
  • Cancelled Comic Cavalcade issue 2, published in 1978
  • Batman Family issue 20, published in 1978
  • The Brave and the Bold issue 196, published in 1983
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths issue 5, published in 1985
  • Red Tornado issue 3, published in 1985
  • Ragman issues 1 through 8, published from 1991 through 1992
  • Ragman: Cry of the Dead issues 1 through 6, published from 1993 through 1994
  • Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight issues 51 and 100, published in 1993 and 1997
  • Batman issues 551 and 552, published in 1998
  • JLA: The Nail issues 1 and 3, published in 1998
  • Day of Judgment issues 1 through 5, published in 1999
  • Day of Judgment Secret Files issue 1, published in 1999
  • Martian Manhunter issue 28, published in 2001
  • Day of Vengeance issues 1 through 6, published in 2005
  • Day of Vengeance Special published in 2005
  • Justice League Unlimited issue 15, published in 2005
  • Robin issues 143 through 145, published from 2005 through 2006
  • Infinite Crisis issues 2 and 5, published in 2006
  • Shadowpact from issue 1 on, published from 2006 onward
  • 52 issues 1 and 18, published in 2006

External links

ragman in German: Ragman
ragman in Swedish: Ragman

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Arab, beach bum, beachcomber, beggar, bo, bum, bummer, dogie, gamin, gamine, guttersnipe, hobo, homeless waif, idler, junk dealer, junkman, landloper, lazzarone, loafer, losel, mudlark, old-clothesman, piker, rag-and-bone man, ragamuffin, ragpicker, rounder, ski bum, stiff, stray, street Arab, street urchin, sundowner, surf bum, swagman, swagsman, tatterdemalion, tennis bum, tramp, turnpiker, urchin, vag, vagabond, vagrant, waif, waifs and strays, wastrel
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