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Judomaster is the name given to three superheroes published by DC Comics. The first Judomaster debuted in Special War Series #4 (November 1965) published by Charlton Comics, and was created by Joe Gill and Frank McLaughlin.


Fictional character biography

Hadley Jagger

Judomaster's secret identity was Hadley "Rip" Jagger, a sergeant in World War II in the United States Army. He rescued the daughter of a pacific island chief and in return was taught the martial art of Judo. He had a kid sidekick named Tiger. In the Nightshade backup series in Captain Atom, an adult Tiger is shown to be Nightshade's martial arts instructor.

Judomaster's title lasted from #89 to #98, from June, 1966 to December, 1967. (It was a retitling of a Charlton Western comic).

Along with most Charlton super hero characters, the rights to Judomaster's character were sold to DC Comics. He is said to have been a member of the All-Star Squadron, DC's team of superheroes during World War II, although he has never appeared in an actual published story as a member of said team. His kid sidekick, Tiger, would later became the villain Avatar in L.A.W. comic by DC Comics which re-teamed all the Charlton characters they bought. He has since only appeared a few times.

Judomaster is killed when he took part in the giant battle of Metropolis in Infinite Crisis #7, during which the supervillain Bane broke his back.

The solicitation for Checkmate #12 reads, "An Infinite Crisis score gets settled when Judomaster’s son faces Bane, his father’s murderer!". Thomas Jagger is Checkmate's current White Kings' Knight. Bane is defeated in the battle but Thomas chooses not to kill him.

Justice League Quarterly

The second Judomaster. Art by Michael Collins.
The second Judomaster. Art by Michael Collins.

A different Judomaster was created by Paul Kupperberg and artist Michael Collins. In Justice League Quarterly #14 (1994), Andreas Havoc, an enemy of Peter Cannon (Thunderbolt) challenged Cannon to battle, feeling that his rightful position as "Vajra" had been stolen by Cannon. The Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Captain Atom and Nightshade assisted their friend in battling Havoc in a psychic battle while the new Judomaster helped rescue the heroes in the physical world.

Sonia Sato

Judomaster on the cover of Justice Society of America #11.
Judomaster on the cover of Justice Society of America #11.

A female Judomaster appears in Birds of Prey #100 (2007, along with Big Barda and Manhunter who are all recruited by Oracle to break into a Mexican prison. Unlike the other Judomasters, this one is a female, in keeping with the all-female Birds of Prey group.

In 2008, Sonia returns in Justice Society of America #11 the issue in which her name, origin and powers are revealed. Sonia's metahuman talent allows her to project an "aversion field" which prevents her from being hit by attacks specifically aimed at her, though not ones with wide-effects like explosions. With the help of the JSA she stops Yakuza assassins led by Tiger. Mysteriously, she has lost her command of the English language she had in Birds of Prey.

Other versions

  • A female version was seen in Alex Ross and Mark Waid's comic Kingdom Come, as a member of Magog's Justice Battalion, along with the rest of the Charlton 'Action Heroes'. She was apparently killed with the other members when Captain Atom was killed.
  • In the final issue of 52, a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities. Among the parallel realities shown is one designated "Earth-4". As a result of Mister Mind "eating" aspects of this reality, it takes on visual aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-4, including Judomaster and the other Charlton characters. The names of the characters are not mentioned in the panel in which they appear, the Judomaster is visually similar to the Rip Jagger Judomaster.
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