The Jaguar tries out his magic belt. Artist: John Rosenberger.


Medium: Comic Books
Published by: Archie Comics
First Appeared: 1961
Creator: Robert Bernstein
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Perhaps the motivation behind the creation of The Jaguar is that it's hard to call something a "series" when it only has one member. For two years, Adventures of The Fly

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… had been the only title published by The Archie Adventure Series, but with a September, 1961 cover date, Adventures of The Jaguar became its companion magazine.

It really does seem as though the character was created just to fill a space — he's a simple knock-off of The Fly himself, but with the powers of all mammals rather than the more exotic and interesting ones of all insects. He uses a magic belt instead of a magic ring, is a zoologist named Ralph Hardy instead of a lawyer named Thomas Troy, and unlike The Fly, has no female counterpart. He never achieved even the modest success of The Fly, but his comic lasted 15 issues (the last of which had a cover date of November, 1963). All of them featured the competent but unspectacular artwork of John Rosenberger (who also drew a lot of romance stories for DC Comics and a lot of fantasy/sci-fi for The American Comics Group) and the scripts of Robert Bernstein (whose credits range from Marvel to Dell, and who was scripting much of the Superman line at the time). Bernstein created the character, if "created" isn't too strong a word.

Like most of the publisher's super characters, The Jaguar (no relation, by the way) made a walk-on in the original run of The Mighty Crusaders. In the fifth issue of that title, he, Mr. Justice and Steel Sterling formed a group of their own, The Terrific Three — which was never seen again.

In 1983, the Archie superheroes were briefly revived. This time, The Jaguar was made a member of The Mighty Crusaders. By '85, they were all back in limbo.

In 1991, DC Comics licensed the Archie superheroes, and brought out a completely revamped version of The Jaguar. But it, too, was gone a couple of years later.

Today, like most of the Archie Comics superheroes, The Jaguar exists in a shadowy state, showing up on the Archie Web site and occasionally being mentioned in a comic book (most recently, as a guest star with Archie himself in the April, 2000 issue of Archie's Weird Mysteries) — always a candidate for revival but seldom actually being revived.


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Text ©2000-09 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Archie Comics.