Ragman is a fictional mystic vigilante and superhero who first appeared in the short-lived comic-book series named after him. He is one of a limited number of Jewish superheroes, and his continuity is tied to that of the Golem. Ragman is sometimes compared to the other nighttime defender of Gotham City, Batman.
A Vietnam veteran, Rory had grown up helping his father, a junk man who owned a pawn shop named Rags'n'Tatters. His father always dreamed of making a better life for Rory and constantly promised that someday he would make Rory rich. While drinking with his friends one night, his father discovered 2 million dollars stuffed inside an old mattress that had been pawned just recently. He and his friends decided to hide the money for Rory, since they were too old to truly benefit from it. The money turned out to be the loot from an armored car heist and when the hoods came to the shop one night to get it, they shot down some electrical wires and used them to torture Rory's father and his friends into revealing where the money was hidden. Rory arrived soon after and seeing his father in agony attempted to pull him free from the wires. A final shock of power ran though the old men and grounded out at Rory, knocking him unconscious. When he woke his father and friends were dead and the hoods responsible were gone. Using a costume made out of old rags (his father had made it before he died so Rory could wear it to a costume party) he became Ragman, "The Tatterdemalion of Justice".
In this pre-crisis history Rory apparently had gained the physical abilities of the men who were electrocuted as they were all touching when the final blow of electricity flew through them and into Rory. He had the agility of a world class acrobat, the strength of a circus strongman and the fighting ability of a heavy weight prize fighter. What he received from his father is unknown other than his obvious desire to take care of the neighborhood by spreading hope as his father did with the pawn shop.
In his pre-Crisis incarnation, Rory Regan was Irish, not Jewish, as explicitly stated in the letters page of Ragman #3.
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, as mentioned above, 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.
Judgment and VengeanceEdit
During the Day of Judgment 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 Judgment, 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 superheroes 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 session, 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 blindness 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.
In the weekly series Trinity, Ragman appears (#18) to save a man from a gang of muggers, when reality has apparently been warped and there is no 'Trinity' of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, and apparently never has been. Ragman is joined by a sidekick named Tatters, wearing a green tattered hoodless costume and mask. At first, he is seen confronting an alternate version of Green Arrow, a vigilante on the service of the wealthy who ignores the poor, and later, due to a chronal blast, is seen assuming Batman's position as premier vigilante of Gotham.
Battle For The CowlEdit
Ragman briefly appears in The Network one-shot for the Battle for the Cowl event, assisting Cassandra Cain and the Huntress in tracking down a group of hostages around Gotham. After removing the duct tape from the mouth of a gagged woman, Ragman proceeds to berate her for her apparent drug addiction, telling her she'll never truly be free until she takes hold of her life.
During the 2009-2010 Blackest Night event, Nekron completely shut down Ragman's suit by using the Black Lantern rings to reanimate all the souls attached to his body.
Suit of SoulsEdit
In October 2010, Ragman starred in a one-shot entitled Ragman: Suit of Souls. It was written by Christos Gage and drawn by Stephen Segovia.
Later, Ragman is later shown aiding the JLA during their mission into Hell, where he helps Green Arrow defeat the demon Anger.