Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at the mystical Jewish hero known as: Ragman
Appearances in Heroclix: World’s Finest, Collateral Damage
First Appearance: Ragman #1 (August/September 1976)
Team Affiliations: Shadowpact, Sentinels of Magic
Powers/Abilities: Enhanced physical attributes; Enchanted costume; Limited flight; Skilled in the use of magic.
Created By: Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert
Rory is a Vietnam veteran who has grown up helping his father run the family pawn shop named Rags ‘n’ Tatters. Like many fathers, Rory’s dreamed of a better life for his son. While drinking one night, Rory’s father found two million dollars stuffed inside of an old pawned mattress. Rory and his friends, knowing feeling they were too old to benefit from the boon, hid the money away for Rory. One night, criminals came to the pawn shop seeking the money, which was actually ill begotten spoils from a bank robbery, and use electrical wiring in the store to torture the old men. Rory soon arrives to find his father tangled up in the live wires and attempts to free him, receiving a shock that knocks him out.
Rory awakens later to find his father and his father’s friends dead and the criminals, that he had seen earlier, gone. He takes a costume made out of old rags that his father had set aside for him for a costume party and seeks vengeance as Ragman. He learns that the final shock of electricity that passed through his father and his friends had passed their strength to him, making him much stronger than a normal man.
Rory Regan is a ragman that shares a rag shop named Rags ‘n’ Tatters with his father. Rory tries to do good by buying used items from people in the community that need money and selling them to others that need to buy such items second hand. Rory eventually comes to own a suit that he thinks is just made up of old rags. However, he soon learns that each patch is actually an evil trapped soul. Rory uses the suit and the power of the trapped souls to help defend his community and over time, becomes a proficient magic user.
The souls rebel at one point, however, and are able to take control of Rory and the suit. Rory resists them and with the help of Batman and Rory’s friend Rabbi Luria, Rory regains control of the suit; unfortunately it costs the rabbi his life. With finer control over the suit, Rory has learned how to absorb new souls into it. Each new soul absorbed adds a new patch and makes the suit larger and larger.
When demons begin to invade the Earth, Ragman is active in destroying many of them and earns the ire of a group of demons. These demons are called the Diablos and style themselves after the Mafia. They later attack Ragman and are able to injure him while tearing off parts of his costume. Though they leave him for dead, Ragman survives. Ragman later joins the Shadowpact, a group formed to face the Spectre who has decided that all magic and magic users are evil. He and Nightshade are among the heroes defending Metropolis from attack by dozens of villains during the Infinite Crisis.
Ragman and the other members of Shadowpact are eventually trapped inside a shield of solid blood that grows over the town of Riverrock, Wyoming. The shield causes time to pass differently inside than out and while the team feels that only a short time has passed, a year actually passes in the rest of the world. It is during this time that the team battles a counter group called the Pentacle, the members of this evil group having been the ones responsible for the shield. One of the members of this group, Bagman, is very similar to Ragman. Bagman’s outfit looks the same but he transforms into a gelatinous substance and can absorb people, either suffocating or digesting them.
Rory is later trapped in the limbo dimension of his cloak and encounters the soul of an ancient centurioun. This man, Marcus Liberius, is trying to atone for his crimes by helping Rory and even defends him from an attack by the other souls. Marcus teaches Rory about the cloak, which is called the “Great Collector Artifact.” It has supposedly existed since the time of Abraham and has been worn by some of Rory’s ancestors. Marcus also reveals to Rory that the cloak is not meant to punish the souls but instead, act as a form of purgatory so that wicked souls can find redemption. He demonstrates this by taking a magical blindness from Rory. Unbeknowns to Marcus, this final sacrifice is enough to free his soul from the cloak, an event which the entire Shadowpact witnesses.
Reality is temporarily warped so that Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman never existed. As a result, Ragman becomes the premier vigilante of Gotham and is in conflict with an alternate version of Green Arrow. This Arrow serves only the wealthy whereas Ragman still fights for the poor and down-trodden. After reality returns to the normal, Ragman’s suit is temporarily left powerless when Nekron uses Black Lantern rings to reanimate all the souls trapped within it. Ragman later helps the JLA during their mission into Hell, even helping Green Arrow defeat the demon Anger.