Judomaster is the name given to three fictional 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.

Cover of Special War Series #4 (Nov, 1965). Art by Frank McLaughlin.
Publication information
PublisherOriginally Charlton Comics, now DC Comics
First appearanceSpecial War Series #4 (November 1965)
Created byJoe Gill (writer)
Frank McLaughlin (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoHadley "Rip" Jagger Sonia Sato
Team affiliationsUnited States Army
All-Star Squadron
Birds of Prey
AbilitiesMartial artist specializing in Judo

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 was Nightshade's martial arts instructor.

Judomaster #98, artist Frank McLaughlin

Judomaster's title lasted from #89 to #98, from June, 1966 to December, 1967. (It was a retitling of Gunmaster, which was itself a retitling of Six-Gun Heroes).

Along with most Charlton super hero characters, the rights to Judomaster were sold to DC Comics. In post-Crisis continuity, Judomaster was said to be 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 become the villain Avatar in the L.A.W. mini-series published by DC Comics, which re-teamed the Charlton characters that had been acquired by DC. In the same series it is shown Judomaster has lived for some time in the fictional city of Nanda Parbat. As time passes in a different manner there, Judomaster has retained a younger form. Since the mini-series, Judomaster has only appeared a few times.

Sometime in his life he had a son named Thomas Jagger.

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

Justice League Quarterly version

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 Peter Cannon in battling Havoc in a psychic battle while the new Judomaster helped rescue the heroes in the physical world.

Due to the brief revival of Rip Jagger and Gail Simone's subsequent creation of Sonia Sato, this Judomaster fell into comic book limbo. However, he recently was depicted as attending a memorial service for the citizens of Star City.[1]

Sonia Sato

A female Judomaster, Sonia Sato, 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. In keeping with the theme of the Birds of Prey group, this Judomaster, unlike the others, is female.

In 2008, Sonia returned in Justice Society of America #11 the issue in which her name, origin and powers were revealed. Sonia's metahuman talent allows her to project an "aversion field" which prevents her from being hit by attacks specifically aimed at her. This does not include attacks that have no aim, such as random projectiles and explosions. With the help of the JSA, she stops Yakuza assassins led by Tiger. In her earlier Birds of Prey appearance, Sonia Sato is shown having an above-average mastery of English, allowing her to communicate effortlessly. During her JSA tenure she's shown as unable to speak English, learning only with great difficulties to master a stilted, somewhat impaired command on the language.[2] She is shown in a relationship with Damage, kissing him even after his temporarily healed face was reverted to his heavily scarred one.[3]

Sonia's romance with Damage is ended when he is killed by the reanimated Jean Loring during Blackest Night. Now part of Magog's All-Star JSA squadron, Sonia assists her teammates in repelling the Black Lantern invasion of Manhattan. Sonia and Atom Smasher search the city for survivors, only to stumble upon Damage, now a member of the Black Lantern Corps, tearing the heart out of a police officer.[4]

After the end of the Blackest Night a greatly distraught and grieving Judomaster plans to revert to her earlier plan of vengeance against Tiger, her father's killer, feeling that without Damage's love she has nothing else to anchor to a happier life. However, she's stopped by King Chimera, who relays her the missing half of Damage's last message to her, recorded before the Blackest Night, in which Grant shares with Sonia his wish to have corrective surgery on his face and build a simpler, happier life with her, wishing Sonia, in the event of his death, a better life. Thus King Chimera is able to convince Sonia to enact Grant's last wishes by leaving Tiger alive (albeit with a severe beating). Furthermore, Sonia decides to improve her English (reasoning that only Damage was kind enough to bear her stilted, slow grasp of language), and after giving her lover a tearful eulogy, she begins to finance several relief funds for the people Damage has unwillingly hurt in the years, attempting to give him closure, using money she "requisitioned" from Tiger before having him incarcerated [5]

The most recent version of Sonia Sato appears in Earth 2 #9 as part of "The New 52," a reboot of the DC Comics storyline. Alongside other parallel versions of former JSA members (namely Wesley Dodds a.k.a. Sandman), a Major Sonia Sato of the World Army appears at the home of Jay Garrick's mother in an attempt to apprehend Jay. She is seen wearing a sigil designating her as a representative of the nation of Japan.[6]

In the "Watchmen" sequel "Doomsday Clock," Judomaster appears as a member of Japan's superhero team called Big Monster Action.[7]

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.[8] Based on comments by Grant Morrison, this alternate universe is not the pre-Crisis Earth-4.[9]


  1. ^ Justice League: The Rise and Fall Special
  2. ^ JSA All-Stars #7 (August 2010)
  3. ^ Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #22
  4. ^ Blackest Night: JSA #1 (December 2009)
  5. ^ JSA All-Stars #7 (August 2010)
  6. ^ Earth 2 #9
  7. ^ Doomsday Clock #6 (July 2018). DC Comics.
  8. ^ 52 52: 13/5 (May 2, 2007), DC Comics
  9. ^ Brady, Matt (2007-05-08). "The 52 Exit Interviews: Grant Morrison". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2007-05-12.

External links

1966 in comics

Notable events of 1966 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

1967 in comics

Notable events of 1967 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

Big Science Action

Big Science Action is a team of fictional superheroes, comic book characters published by DC Comics. They first appeared in Final Crisis Sketchbook #1 (May 2008), and were created by Grant Morrison and J. G. Jones.

Birds of Prey (comics)

Birds of Prey was the name of several American comic book series, miniseries, and special editions published by DC Comics since 1996. The book's premise originated as a partnership between Black Canary and Barbara Gordon, who had adopted the codename Oracle at the time, but has expanded to include additional superheroines. The team name "Birds of Prey" was attributed to DC assistant editor Frank Pittarese in the text page of the first issue. The group is initially based in Gotham City and later operates in Metropolis and then relocates once more to "Platinum Flats", California, a new locale introduced in Birds of Prey in 2008.

The series was conceived by Jordan B. Gorfinkel and originally written by Chuck Dixon. Gail Simone scripted the comic from issue #56 to #108. Sean McKeever was originally to replace Simone, but McKeever subsequently decided to leave the project and only wrote issues #113–117; Tony Bedard, who wrote issues #109–112, briefly took over the title at issue #118. Artists have included Butch Guice, Greg Land, Ed Benes and Joe Bennett; Nicola Scott began a stint as artist with issue #100. In 2011, the title was relaunched under writer Duane Swierczynski and artist Jesus Saiz.

Despite the title of the series being Birds of Prey, the phrase was not mentioned in the book until issue #86, when one of the group's members, Zinda Blake, suggests that it might be a fitting name for the team. However, the other characters get sidetracked and do not respond to her suggestion. Oracle, the team's leader, refers to the group by that name in a conversation with the new Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, and later within the series.The core of the team is made up of Oracle and Black Canary, with other heroines forming a rotating roster sometimes for extended periods, sometimes for merely one adventure. After Black Canary's departure, Huntress remained as the staple member and field leader, alongside new "core members". Following the events of Flashpoint (2011) and the company-wide relaunch as part of The New 52, Oracle recovers her mobility and reclaims her former Batgirl identity, taking a brief hiatus from the team in the process. Despite the previously all-female central roster, male allies such as Nightwing, Wildcat, Savant and Creote frequently assist missions. In addition, Hawk and Dove briefly joined the team, making Hawk its first male member.

With the 2016 company wide soft relaunch DC Rebirth, the Birds of Prey are re-introduced in the new title Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, initially featuring a team consisting of Batgirl, Black Canary and Huntress.

Damage (DC Comics)

Damage is the name of two fictional characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.

The Grant Emerson version of Damage first appeared in a comic book of the same name during the Zero Hour crisis. He is the son of the original Atom, Al Pratt. He has been a member of the Titans, the Freedom Fighters, and the Justice Society of America.

Frank McLaughlin (artist)

Frank McLaughlin (born March 18, 1935) is an American comics artist who co-created the comic book character Judomaster, drew the comic strip Gil Thorp, and assisted on such strips as Brenda Starr, Reporter and The Heart of Juliet Jones. He also wrote and illustrated books about cartooning and comic art.

Joe Gill

Joseph P. Gill (July 13, 1919 – December 17, 2006) was an American magazine writer and highly prolific comic book scripter. Most of his work was for Charlton Comics, where he co-created the superheroes Captain Atom, Peacemaker, and Judomaster, among others. Comics historians consider Gill a top contender as the comic-book field's most prolific writer. Per historian and columnist Mark Evanier, Gill "wrote a staggering number of comics. There are a half-dozen guys in his category. If someone came back and said he was the most prolific ever, no one would be surprised."

Justice League Quarterly

Justice League Quarterly (JLQ) was a quarterly American comic book series published by DC Comics from Winter 1990 to Winter 1994; it lasted 17 issues. It had a variable cast, pulling from the Justice League membership. The title centred on short stories featuring a differing number of characters, often solo stories, and in later issues often featured a pin-up section of members of the Justice League. Various writers and artists have worked on the title.

King Chimera

King Chimera is a fictional superhero in the DC Comics Universe, a member of the superhero team the Justice Society of America. King Chimera first appeared in Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #24 (April 2009), and was created by Matthew Sturges and Fernando Pasarin.

King has kept a mysterious identity since his debut, as very little is known about his past, so much that his real name has not been revealed. The only things that have currently been revealed about King is that is he Turkish, he claims to be the son of "King" Standish, and his former lover, Namita, his mother and others he knew are deceased.

L.A.W. (comics)

The L.A.W. (Living Assault Weapons) was a six-issue American comic book limited series, published by DC Comics.

The starring team "The L.A.W." consisted of Charlton Comics characters Blue Beetle, The Question, Judomaster, Captain Atom, The Peacemaker, Nightshade, and Sarge Steel. The first issue marked the first appearance of Mitchell Black as The Peacemaker as well as the first appearance of super-villain Avatar (Alan Moore incarnated analogues of the team's first five main characters, along with the first incarnation of The Peacemaker and Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt for the basis of his 1986 political thriller vigilante franchise Watchmen, whose character later reappear in Grant Morrison's The Multiversity series)

List of Charlton Comics publications

This is a list of Charlton Comics publications.

List of cosmic entities in DC Comics

This is a list of cosmic entities owned or published primarily by DC Comics. In superhero comic books, cosmic beings are fictional characters possessing superpowers in a planetary, stellar, or even universal level, far beyond those of humans or superheroes, and usually serving some natural function in the fictional universes they exist in.

Note: most, but not all, of these characters exist within the DC Universe. Some listed are part of the Wildstorm Universe, others of Alan Moore's America's Best Comics line, and others are characters from stand-alone stories, Elseworlds publications, or from companies listed with reference and published by DC Comics. America's Best Comics, Elseworlds, Helix, Homage Comics, Impact Comics, Milestone Media, Paradox Press, Piranha Press, Vertigo Comics, and Wildstorm are all trademark publications of the DC Comics group.

List of metahumans in DC Comics

List of metahumans in DC Comics, is a list of fictional superhumans that have appeared in comic book titles published by DC Comics, as well as properties from other media are listed below, with appropriately brief descriptions and accompanying citations.

Nanda Parbat

Nanda Parbat is a fictional city in the DC Comics universe. Nanda Parbat first appeared in Strange Adventures #205 (October 1967), and was created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino, the creators of Deadman.

Sarge Steel

Sarge Steel is a detective/spy character published by Charlton Comics during the 1960s. As he was published during the time of Charlton's Action Heroes line of superheroes, and had loose ties to some, he is sometimes included with that group. He was purchased by DC Comics along with the other "Action Heroes".

Sarge (short for "Sargent," as in "Sargent Shriver") Steel has a mechanical left hand. As Dick Giordano stated in the editorial page of L.A.W. #4 he was created by Pat Masulli, and later written and drawn by Joe Gill and artist Dick Giordano. Other artists, including the team of Bill Montes and Ernie Bache, would later take over.

Thomas Jagger

Tommy Jagger is a fictional character in the DC Universe. He first appeared in Checkmate Volume 2 #1, and was created by Greg Rucka and Jesus Saiz.

Tiger (DC Comics)

Tiger, also known as Avatar, is a fictional comic book character created by Charlton Comics and now published by DC Comics. Tiger first appeared in Judomaster #91 (October 1966), and was created by Joe Gill and Frank McLaughlin.

Tiger (comics)

Tiger is the name of several fictional characters in comics. Characters include:

Tiger (DC Comics), a DC Comics character, the partner of Judomaster

Tiger (Image Comics), an Image Comics character who has appeared in Savage Dragon

Tiger (Wildstorm), a Wildstorm character who has appeared in Gen¹³

Bronze Tiger, a DC Comics martial artist

Flying Tiger (comics), a number of comics characters

Smiling Tiger, a Marvel Comics supervillain

Tiger-Man, an Atlas/Seaboard Comics character

Tiger Shark (Marvel Comics), a Marvel Comics supervillain

White Tiger (comics), a number of Marvel Comics characters

Main characters
Notable members
Supporting characters
In other media

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