Hadley “Rip” Jagger started out his road to heroism by studying boxing under the tutelage of coach “Pop” McKeon at the . After graduation, World War II broke out and Jagger enlisted in the military. He quickly rose to the ranks as sergeant. While serving in the Pacific, Jagger saved a young girl from a Japanese sniper when he was leading a group of soldiers on a small .
Jagger then learned the island was made up of Japanese natives that were subjugated by the commando forces of Major Yoku. He confronted those forces and was knocked unconscious. When he awoke, Jagger learned his company had been wiped out, but he alone was saved by the islanders. It seemed the girl Jagger saved was the granddaughter of the islander’s leader. As compensation the leader, named Sensei, offered to teach Jagger the secrets of the martial arts. Jagger agreed and immersed himself in the physical and spiritual studies of Judo. He became an expert in a relatively short time and was rewarded with a colorful outfit. Jagger took the outfit and became a symbolic leader to the guerrilla forces that came together to rid the and his troops.
Judomaster was originally created by Joe Gill and Frank McLaughlin in Special War Series #4. He was originally owned by Charlton, but DC bought the rights to him.
As Judomaster, it wasn’t long before Jagger and the guerrilla forces freed the island. Afterwords, Jagger returned the nearby Army base where he was assigned a new company. He continued to use the Judomaster persona on covert missions and would later reveal his alias to the base commander, General Hawkins. From that point on, Jagger became a one-man task force and was sent on deadly missions throughout the Pacific.
During this time a young Japanese orphan became enamored by the heroics of the Judomaster. The young boy, Tiger, stowed away on an army transport and was ultimately adopted as the official mascot of Jagger’s company. Despite his young age, the boy impressed the Sensei with his martial arts skill and was deemed worthy to become Judomaster’s partner. The team of Judomaster and Tiger became renowned throughout the Pacific.
Major Story Arcs
Judomaster, along with other Charlton heroes acquired by DC, was introduced into the DC Universe by means of the Crisis on Infinite Earths maxi-series. Judomaster made his DC Comics debut in Crisis on Infinite Earths #6. In the epic adventure that destroyed DC’s Multiverse the Charlton characters were revealed to have existed on Earth-4. Their Earth along with Earth’s 1, 2, S and X were the only surviving Earths, which ended up converging into a singe “New” Earth. Judomaster played a small role in the series, fighting beside heroes of all five Earths against the Anti-Monitor and his Shadow Demons.
Jagger’s Charlton beginnings seemed to remain intact, but with one addition. During his WWII exploits he would come in contact with and work alongside ’s other costumed heroes, the war-time All-Star Squadron. We also learn after the War, that Jagger could not return to the States with Tiger. Instead he takes Tiger with him in search for the lost secrets of the martial arts. As years continue to past, Jagger hears about the hidden city of and is determine to find it. Tiger on the other hand, sick of constantly moving from place to place, confronts Jagger and ultimately runs away. Jagger attempts to find Tiger, but to no avail. He continues the search for the hidden city and eventually finds it.
Over fifty years had past as Jagger lived in complete tranquility and happiness. Recently however, Jagger was summoned by the guardian of Nanda Parbat, Rama Kushna, and was told of a great evil approaching. Jagger, himself, was responsible for this and was escorted out of the city in order to correct the wrong he committed. Once back out into the “World of Men”, Jagger finds himself joining the L.A.W. (Living Assault Weapons) to combat the evil Avatar. Jagger allows himself to be captured by Avatar to confirm his suspicions that the villain is really his former partner Tiger. As the two of them are locked in battle, Jagger manages to place a blow to Avatar’s chest, stopping his heart. However, Jagger remembered a promise he made to his former partner about never letting harm come to him, so he revives Avatar. In the end the L.A.W. thwarts Avatar’s plans and he retreats. Jagger promises to find the Avatar and make peace with him.
During the Infinite Crisis that engulfed the DCU, Jagger is among the many heroes defending Metropolis against an army of super-villains. Jagger dies unexpectedly by Bane, who breaks his back in battle. Revelations that Jagger sired a son appear as Thomas Jagger becomes the White King’s Knight of a restructured Checkmate. Thomas is giving the chance to avenge his father when, on a mission, he confronted Bane. When Bane is defeated in combat, Thomas chooses not to kill him.
Skills and Abilities
Jagger is a master of many martial arts, chief among them is judo. He also uses his above average boxing skills in combination with his martial arts. As a former soldier, Jagger is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and knowledgeable of various forms of weaponry.
In Justice League Quarterly #14 (1994) a new Judomaster made his first and only appearance. While the Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Captain Atom and Nightshade helped Peter Cannon (Thunderbolt) battle his enemy, Andreas Havoc in the psychic world this new Judomaster helped rescue the heroes in the physical world.
A female versions was seen in kingdom come as a member of Magog's Justice Battalion, along with the rest of the Charlton 'Action Heroes'. She was killed with the other members when Captain Atom was killed.
Another version can be seen in 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 the 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.
In Other Media
Rip Jagger appears in the film Batman: Soul of Dragon, set in the 70s.
Judomaster made his debut live action appearance in Peacemaker series played Nhut Le.