Published and © by DC, August-September 1976
Title: “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
Review: 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 Robert 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.
Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.
Cool factor: Great character, good story, sublime art. This is one of the underrated gems of the mid-1970s.
Notable: First appearance of Ragman. … It is acknowledged in Ragman #5 that Joe Kubert provided layouts for the first four issues of this series. … This issue includes an odd essay on the nature of junk and recycling by E. Nelson Birdwell.
Character quotable: “What made you imagine there was anything in this junkyard … worth dying for?” – Rory Regan, not quite yet the Ragman
Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Nov. 30, 2009.