ReviewTitle: “Origin of the Tatterdemalion”
Synopsis: When his father is murdered, Rory Regan dons a tattered costume to fight for justice in the ghetto – as Ragman!
Writer: Robert Kanigher
Artist (layouts): Joe Kubert
Penciler: Redondo Studio
Inker: Redondo Studio
Moody. Gritty. Stylish. Ragman #1 is a top-shelf debut from the DC-Explosion era (though its cancellation would be a sad, early harbinger of the DC Implosion to come). Writer Bob Kanigher does a great job introducing the downtrodden ghetto world of the Ragman, while teasing out the beginnings of the character’s origin. From the opening page, it’s clear this series is edgier than the average DC comic of the era. The equally moody art is credited to the Redondo Studio, but Ragman co-creator Joe Kubert’s influence is clear. Regardless who gets credit, the art is a perfect fit.
Cool factor: Great character, good story, sublime art. This is one of the underrated gems of the mid-1970s.
Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition).
Notable: First appearance of Ragman. … This issue includes an odd essay on the nature of junk and recycling by E. Nelson Birdwell.
“What made you imagine there was anything in this junkyard … worth dying for?”Rory Regan, soon-to-be Ragman
Published and © by DC, August-September 1976
Cover by Joe Kubert
Collected EditionsRagman #1 remains uncollected at the time of this review’s publication.
Editor’s note: This review first appeared on Comics Bronze Age, Nov. 30, 2009.