With Peacemaker just under a week away, stills and promotional materials are coming out featuring some of the characters. One of those characters is Judomaster. Given James Gunn’s affinity for lesser-known comic characters, it’s no surprise that Judomaster fits right into his vision. But who is Judomaster? Don’t fret, we have you covered.
Judomaster, played by Nhut Le
Created in 1965, Judomaster’s real name is Hadley “Rip” Jagger. He is a World War II vet and appeared in Crisis on Infinite Earths #6. Judomaster has undergone three reboots with different people taking up the helm. While Judomaster wasn’t originally a DC Comics character, the character was bought by the company in 1965 and he made his debut in Special War Series #4 shortly after inception.
Nhut Le stars as the aforementioned hero joining John Cena‘s Peacemaker. Appearing as Judomaster in Peacemaker is Nhut Le’s first major role as an actor. Previously, he’s appeared in Kroll Show and Raven’s Home. With the role of Judomaster, Le is poised for a breakout with James Gunn and John Cena at his side.
As the name implies, Judomaster is a master of Judo which is the Japanese art of throwing people, or as people in the Judo circle refer to it as: “The art of hitting someone with a planet.” Readers can get a feel for judo in the below video, highlighting three-time Olympic judoka champion, Teddy Riner.
But Judomaster isn’t as one-dimensional as his name implies. In addition to Judo, Judomaster is adept in karate and boxing, making him a very formidable person to fight. He can be seen punching, throwing and chopping his way through guerilla insurgents in the Martial Law series. So when you tune into Peacemaker on January 17th, expect some high-flying action à la Bruce Lee. Judomaster, should he live up to his name, will be a hero with no real superpower, only specialization in hand-to-hand combat.
What to expect?
What can fans expect from the titular hero? Well, as mentioned above, Judomaster isn’t a one-trick pony. He is a master in hand-to-hand combat. With a martial arts background, I expect to see a very Bruce Lee-esque approach to his choreography, but with a peppering of Gunn’s hint of violence: a hot-tempered fighter with a huge enthusiasm for violence.
The Lee influence will likely borderline on parody in this series knowing Gunn. In many martial arts, there’s the risk of injury, but Gunn will likely lean into this to keep the tone and violence levels similar to The Suicide Squad.
If you’re looking for the Judo influence, I fully expect to see the Te-Guruma implemented. The Te-Guruma, as seen in the above image, involves picking your opponent up and slamming them upside down. This throw, also popular in MMA and freestyle wrestling, is especially dangerous when improperly (or properly in Judomaster’s case) implemented. You can easily slam your opponent on their head or the back of their neck causing severe spinal damage.
One other throw that you can almost bet on is the Osoto Gari. The Osoto Gari involves getting close to your opponent and sweeping the legs from under them while pushing their torso down. Modified, Judomaster will likely push on the head, smashing the skull to the hard surface. The technique can also be seen in the drawing above.
One more judo technique, which is more common in Jiu-Jitsu, I expect to see is an armbar. This stretches the arm across the hips and hyperextending the elbow which is very painful. But if not tapped or, what is likely in Judomaster’s case, continued torque, will break the arm — something that seems likely in Peacemaker.
Don’t miss out on the violence when Peacemaker debuts on Jan. 17th. Oh, what a lovely day!