Batman 551 đź‘€ - DC Comics (551 - Feb 1998) comic book collectible - Main Image 1
Batman 551 đź‘€
Synopsis for ”Suit of Evil Souls”
Batman chases a murderer and corners him in an alley. Batman questions the man about the crime and the reasons behind it and the man reveals himself as part of a group called the Aryan Reich that hated Jews. He attacks but Batman knocks out the killer and takes him to the police.

Rory Regan returns to Gotham City to attend the funeral of the murdered man. At the funeral, Regan speaks to Rabbi Isaac Luria and asks him to fill him in with details of the murder. Luria tells Regan that it was a hate crime perpetrated by a gang that has taken the slum where he lives and also where Regan grew up. The rabbi tells Regan that the Aryan Reich are not only misogynists, but that they are xenophobic because of their attacks on all people that are not caucasian. They continue the conversation inside the synagogue and suddenly a window is destroyed by a brick thrown from the outside. Regan follows the vandal through the streets and when they are at a safe distance from the public, Regan summons the power of the Suit of Souls to catch the man and transform into the Ragman. With the powers of the Ragman, Regan knocks down the punk and he is about to leave the man for the police to find him but the rags of the suit start to act by themselves. Regan tries to control the rags but it is futile, the rags are asphyxiating the punk to the point of killing him. Once the man is dead, the rags return to the suit and a new evil soul is attached to the suit. Regan is shocked to realize that the power of the evil souls in the suit are now stronger then his power to control them.

Elsewhere, Vesper Fairchild hosts her radio talk show as usual but she has a guest man to talk about the recent crimes in Gotham. Bruce Wayne listens to the interview outside the radio station where he is waiting for Vesper.

Regan returns to the synagogue to ask for the rabbi’s help controlling the powers of the Ragman. Regan tells the rabbi the background story of the Ragman but the rabbi doesn’t believe Regan could be telling the truth. Regan decides to show rabbi the powers of the Ragman and so he summons the Suit of Souls again. This time the rabbi believes in Regan’s story and is willing to help him to control the evil of the suit but this time the Suit of Souls is in full control of Regan’s body and the Ragman’s power. Ragman leaves the rabbi alone and flies away.

Bruce and Vesper go out on a breakfast date where they discuss their situation after their first kiss and Vesper’s revelation of her feelings for Bruce. Vesper tells Bruce not to worry, as she doesn’t expect that the city’s most prominent playboy would love her back. She also tells him that she ”knows” that the nights he wasn’t at home or faked some sudden illness, he is actually seeing other girls. Bruce can’t tell her that she came to the wrong conclusion and she leaves Bruce alone in the restaurant.

The Aryan Reich is mad at the loss of two of their members and they decide to declare war on every person they consider not pure and they manage to get a lot of weapons to achieve their goal.

At night, Commissioner Gordon calls Batman to give him an envelope that was addressed to him. Batman opens it and finds a rag inside. He knows that it could only mean trouble.

Elsewhere, Rory Regan is being tortured to death by the rags of the suit of souls.

Appearing in ”Suit of Evil Souls”
Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Ragman (Flashback and main story)
Vesper Fairchild
Rabbi Isaac Ben Luria (First appearance)

Aryan Reich
Johnny (Single appearance)
Frank (Single appearance; dies)
Other Characters:

Jewish Golem (Flashback only)
James Gordon
Gerry Regan (Flashback only)
Dr. David Levy

Gotham City
GCPD Headquarters
KGC Radio Station
Rags ’n Tatters (Flashback only)

Suit of Souls

This is the first part of the storyline featuring Ragman.
The story continues in Batman #552.
There are references to the Jewish diaspora and the Jewish Golem.
Cover Date:
Feb 1998
DC Comics
Issue Number:
United States
Cover Price:
Cover Exclusive:
(Chrome Age, from 1992 to 1999) and (Modern Age, 2000 to present)
Modern Age
Science Fiction
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Type of Comic:
Batman (Bruce Wayne)
Vesper Fairchild
Rabbi Isaac Ben Luria
Ragman (Rory Regan) Creators Robert Kanigher & Joe Kubert 1st App. Ragman Vol 2 #1 (1991)
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Story Arc:

Real Name
Rory Regan
Main Alias
Other Aliases
Tatterdemalion of Justice
Jerzy Reganiewicz (father, deceased)
Shadowpact · formerly Sentinels of Magic, Justice Society International, Justice League of America
Base Of Operations
Oblivion Bar
Gotham City
Secret Identity
Marital Status
5’ 11”
165 lbs (75 kg)
New Earth
Robert Kanigher · Joe Kubert
First Appearance
Ragman Vol 2 #1
(October, 1991)
Rory Regan is the Ragman, a hero who wears the mystical Suit of Souls. He was a member of the Sentinels of Magic and Shadowpact.

A community of Jews in 16th century Eastern Europe created the Ragman to replace the Golem, their previous defender. Gerry Regan was the last European Ragman, as he, still named Jerzy Reganiewicz, fled to the United States after failing to protect the Jewish population from Nazi persecution. After settling down in Gotham City, Regan passed the mantle of Ragman to his son Rory.[1]
Rory Regan is a ragman, doing good in his community by buying used items from people who need money. The suit of rags that he wears was originally just a costume made from materials found around the rag shop he shared with his father, Rags’n’Tatters. Currently each of the patches in the suit is made from the soul of an evildoer that the Ragman had punished and absorbed.
The absorption of these souls caused a problem for Rory at one point, when the evil souls hungered for murder and finally freed themselves of Ragman. It was only with the support of Batman and Regan’s old friend, Rabbi Luria, that he regained control, though at the cost of Luria’s life. Ragman’s powers have increased since then. Currently, he can absorb souls into his costume. With each new soul added, a rag is added. He can call upon the souls in his costume to lend him their attributes or power. He is also a very proficient magic user.
Judgment and Vengeance
Ragman was active in destroying many of the demons invading Earth. This would earn him the wrath of the Diablos, a group of demons who style themselves after the Mafia. Wanting to gain revenge for demons lost during the Day of Judgment, they attack Ragman, injuring him and tearing off parts of his costume. They believe him to be dead but this is not true.
Ragman is one of the members of the Shadowpact, a team that formed to confront the Spectre.
During ’Infinite Crisis’, Ragman and Nightshade are seen standing side by side as part of the line of superheros defending Metropolis from attack from dozens of villains.
Ragman is one of the few volunteers willing to take on the rampaging Spectre, who has decided that all magic is evil. During a planning sessions, he is taken aside by the Enchantress and given a mystical gun. She entrusts him with it, as it can kill her if she goes too far with her magic, a scenario she believes is all too possible. He tells her if she truly turns evil, his costume will take her. He then tries to kiss her, but his feelings are not returned and Enchantress even mocks him for it in front of the other heroes.
Ragman, along with his teammates, was trapped inside a shield of solid blood that grew over the town of Riverrock, Wyoming. Ragman and the rest of the team spend a very short period of time inside the shield, but to due to magical after-effects, a full year passes outside. Various mystical heroes, such as Phantom Stranger and Rex the Wonder Dog keep watch outside the town’s borders.
While inside Riverrock, Rory met an evil counterpart of himself belonging to the supervillain group that had formed the shield, the Pentacle. His counterpart is named Bagman. He/it dresses in similar green garb, and can turn his body to goo and while in this form he absorbs people. While inside Bagman they either suffocate or they are digested. Bagman even mentioned how oddly similar the Shadowpact and the Pentacle are. Rory only survives this encounter because Bagman’s boss does not want the heroes to be killed. After the Riverock encounter, Rory must deal with the severe disruption to his life, as everyone had thought he was dead. He, like most of the team, ends up having to find a new source of income, a place to stay and the oddity of encountering a memorial statue to the entire team.
Rory was temporarily trapped in the limbo dimension of his own cloak. He met the soul of an ancient Centurion working off his crimes. This man, Marcus Liberius, first saved him from the beating several other of the murderous souls were giving Rory. Marcus reveals that the cloak was actually the ”Great Collector Artifact”, which has been in existence in many forms since the time of Abraham. Ragmen in Rory’s line have been in action since 1812 BCE. Marcus also helped Rory, who had become disenchanted with the job of collecting corrupted souls, to see that he is not a punisher but a redeemer — allowing a better afterlife for those who work for it. This work usually takes the form of suffering on Rory’s behalf. For example, Rory had been recently blinded by magic. Marcus willingly takes this blindness on, adding to previous injuries he had suffered. This last sacrifice allows Marcus, in the full view of the rest of the Shadowpact, to ascend to a higher realm.
After Batman’s death, Ragman was summoned to Gotham City to join The Network. Following Oracle’s instructions, Ragman helped capture Doctor Phosphorus along with Wildcat. Later, Ragman joined Manhunter and rescued a hostage from Hugo Strange. He also tried to capture Strange with Misfit’s help, but the villain escaped.[2]
Blackest Night
 Main article: Blackest Night
During the Blackest Night, several black rings took control of his cloak and came back to life as Black Lanterns, leaving him behind, still alive but without his cloak.
When the threat of the Black Lanterns ended, Ragman’s suit returned to him. Shortly after he was summoned to fight alongside the heroes of Gotham against the Seven Men of Death and stopped them from reaching their target, Vicki Vale.[3]
Powers and Abilities


Ragman in the night sky
* Lockpicking: Rory learned how to pick a lock from an early age though he can’t pick larger or more complicated locks.
* Occultism: Through his adventures since becoming the Ragman, he has learned some basic occult lore.
* Vulnerability to Fire: The rags that make up the suit are extremely vulnerable to fire, a weakness added by the Rabbis who created the Ragman as a security measure in case the suit fell into the wrong hands.
* Soul Pain: Rory has mentioned that the process of acquiring a new soul gives him stomach cramps and nausea.
* Ragman Suit: The Great Collector Artifact, a mystical Jewish artifact created to protect the Jewish communities ever since the time of Abraham.
* Steal Soul: The suit can steal a person’s soul as long as it is still touching his body. Ragman will usually subdue a target to minimize their ability to resist, but this is not necessary. Once a soul is absorbed, the body is left a brain-dead husk and the mind and spirit become yet another rag on the costume. The stolen soul is not affected if the physical body subsequently dies.[4]
* Boost Influence: This energy can also be directed into making the Ragman’s influence more formidable -- when concentrating on such actions, the mere presence of the Ragman can make groups of armed gunmen stop attacking or even flee the scene.
* Boost Physical Attributes: After a soul is incorporated into the Ragman suit, it can be used in several ways. Its energy can be directed into boosting the wearer’s strength, speed, coordination, and fighting prowess. When the wearer uses it in this manner, he can become such a skilled combatant that he can easily defeat a roomful of armed men without being struck in return a single time in the process.[5][6]
* Absorbed Memory Recall: The wearer can also look into the memories of the absorbed soul and extract any information therein as desired. It is also possible that the wearer might be able to use some of the abilities possessed by the souls in the rag suit; such as, using a captured sorcerer’s memories to cast spells.
* Sense Evil Souls: The suit is drawn toward evil souls; it can sense them in its vicinity and is compelled to seek them out and attack them. This compulsion is also inflicted upon the wearer if he has the costume on. The evil acts of people who have been detected in this manner can also be sensed by the Ragman. This sensing of sins does not work on those people or beings who are not evil.
* Discern Motivation: Though detailed exchanges are only possible at short range, those attuned to the suit in this manner can still get a general sense of its disposition while active, and vice versa. For example, the Rabbi who trained Gerry sensed when the suit became active again (when Rory first put it on) and where it was despite being an unknown distance away. The suit also sensed when the Rabbi passed away and relayed that information to Rory even though the Rabbi was no longer in the same city as Rory and the suit when he died. Rory has not as yet developed this second talent -- it may require additional special training in Jewish mystic rituals such as the Rabbi had.
* Levitation
* Precognitive Dreams: Rory had occasional precognitive dreams, though they were too vague to provide useful information.
* Telepathic Bond: Like all of those who have trained in the use of the suit, Rory has formed a rudimentary telepathic bond with the Ragman costume. He can communicate with the suit’s collective personality -- though he speaks out loud, only he can hear the suit’s replies. Rory also uses this trait to summon the suit to him over short distances.
* Super-Leaping: The suit gives the users prodigious leaping ability.
* Superhuman Durability: While the wearer is bonded to the Ragman costume he is almost impossible to destroy.
* Telekinetic Suit Control: Also, the Ragman possesses a number of minor magical powers, such as kinetically controlling the suit (i.e. entangling Eclipso with his cloak while grappling with her).
* Teleportation: Rory can disappear and reform great distances away. He can also use this power in close range to dodge physical attacks.
* Transformation: It has recently been revealed that the suit can take on other forms, such as weapons, and still collect souls. Whether Rory will use this ability in the future is yet to be seen.

* Although this character was originally introduced during DC’s Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character’s Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
* In the distorted timeline of Justice Society International Ragman had a sidekick named Tatters.[7][8]
Date Added:
2018-07-02 21:52:00
Created By:
Batman- Creators Bill Finger & Bob Kane First Appearance Batman #401 (November, 1986)
Vesper Fairchild- Doug Moench & Kelley Jones 1st App. Batman #540 (1997) App. of Death Batman: The 10-Cent Adventure #1 (2002)
Ragman (Rory Regan) Creators Robert Kanigher & Joe Kubert 1st App. Ragman Vol 2 #1 (1991)
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Doug Moench
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Kelley Jones
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John Beatty
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Cover Artist:
Kelley Jones
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