S.T.R.I.P.E. with Stargirl
Art by Alex Ross
|First appearance||Action Comics #40 (September 1941).|
|Alter ego||Patrick "Pat" Dugan|
Justice Society of America|
Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.
Seven Soldiers of Victory
S.T.R.I.P.E. (Special Tactics Robotic Integrated Power Enhancer) is a fictional superhero in the DC Comics Universe. S.T.R.I.P.E. is a powered armor suit invented and worn by Patrick "Pat" Dugan, the former adult sidekick to teenage superhero Sylvester Pemberton, the Star-Spangled Kid. "Stripesy", as he is often called, is a gifted mechanic who built the Star Rocket Racer, a bubble-topped limousine with the functions of a rocket and helicopter. Together, they were members of the Seven Soldiers of Victory and the All-Star Squadron. Stripesy was created by Jerry Siegel (co-creator of Superman) and Hal Sherman, and first appeared in Action Comics #40 (September 1941).
Fictional character biography
Patrick "Pat" Dugan became the costumed hero Stripesy after aiding a young Sylvester Pemberton III against Nazi spies posing as protestors at a movie on 4 July 1941. The two team as embodiments of the American flag, Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy, in order to track down and stop the spies.
When the Soldiers are lost in time during the late forties after battling the Nebula Man, they are rescued by the Justice League of America and returned to the present day. Batman, Hourman and Starman retrieve Stripesy from ancient Egypt. Upon his return, Dugan marries a woman named Maggie, who leaves him later to raise their son Michael on her own. Compounding his problems is the fact that Sylvester Pemberton's black sheep relative Arthur had stolen Dugan's patents during their disappearance. Upon hearing about this, Sylvester returns the patents to Pat, and the two reconcile. Dugan is later involved with Infinity, Inc. and their battle against the Injustice Society. The group's first victim is Sylvester Pemberton. The villains Harlequin, the Dummy, and Hazard focus their attention on Dugan just days later. Their plan is to kill him at Stellar Studios, the headquarters of Infinity, Inc. When Pat's son becomes involved, Hazard experiences a change of heart and uses her powers to save their lives. Dummy uses the two as bait, but Hazard throws the battle, and the group is defeated. Hazard willingly gives herself up to the police.
The character has been updated for a new audience: In the Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. series Dugan had gotten married (for the second time) and settled in Blue Valley. His stepdaughter, Courtney Whitmore, became the second Star-Spangled Kid, partly in order to annoy him. This led Dugan to develop a robotic suit of power armor and assume the identity of S.T.R.I.P.E. so as to accompany and protect her.
Dugan has gone on missions without Courtney. During the Day of Judgement incident, he travels into space with Captain Marvel and Starfire. Their goal was to retrieve the Spear of Destiny to use against the fallen angel Asmodel, who had led a demonic invasion of Earth. The trio of heroes battle reanimated corpses of abandoned Russian cosmonauts and the corrupting influence of the Spear itself. Dugan is forced to subdue Starfire and the Spear is brought back to Earth and successfully used.
Following the events of the series, Dugan and his family moved to Metropolis, where he has assisted Superman's comrade Steel. Since then, they have moved back to Blue Valley. Dugan and his wife had a daughter, Patricia, who will one day become Starwoman and continue the Starman legacy. (Patricia's existence was mentioned off-handedly in a Starman story arc before the character or even Courtney Whitmore were created.)
Like the rest of the Seven Soldiers, Dugan is younger than he should be, owing to time travel. For a time, Dugan would become even younger, aged to pre-adolescence with many other heroes due to Klarion the Witch Boy. He joins in on at least one battle while armorless (presumably because his armor is now too big), tackling a mystically created monster with his bare hands. Pat, along with most everyone affected, turns back to normal when Klarion is blackmailed into reversing the effects.
Pat worked with the Justice Society of America for a short time, mostly in a supporting role. He retooled one of Ted Knight's old designs and created the Steel Eagle, a new aircraft for the team. He also completely re-engineered S.T.R.I.P.E., changing its entire appearance.
Later, Pat and his family were almost slain by The Fourth Reich, a Nazi organization who tried to wipe out heroic legacies. Right before this, Pat was encouraging his son, Mike, not to create S.T.R.I.P.E. parts in shop class. Pat and his family were saved by the Justice Society. Later, Pat hosted Courtney's birthday party at his house, inviting the whole Justice Society.
Powers and abilities
Pat Dugan didn't possess any special powers, but he is a gifted mechanic, having built Sylvester Pemberton's Star-Rocket Racer, the JSA's Steel Eagle. Pat also operated an armor suit named "S.T.R.I.P.E." equipped with a range of ballistic weapons and utilities, and that also gave him enhanced strength and flight ability. Its circuitry was vulnerable to water.
In other media
- S.T.R.I.P.E. (alongside Stargirl) made several appearances in the Justice League Unlimited television series voiced by an uncredited Phil LaMarr. While the pair did not get much recognition in the first season, they made more notable, speaking appearances starting in season two. In the first season, S.T.R.I.P.E.'s armor was of considerable size, large enough to let Stargirl sit on his shoulder and to where Pat had to climb up to get in the armor. However, in the second season, the armor appeared to be a perfect size for Pat to fit in. In the episode, "Patriot Act", S.T.R.I.P.E. was a part of a team that resembled the first line-up of The Seven Soldiers of Victory, however in the episode Pat is S.T.R.I.P.E. instead of Stripesy and Stargirl is featured on the team in place of her predecessor Sylvester Pemberton, the Star-Spangled Kid. Also, Crimson Avenger is portrayed in his red trenchcoat instead of his red and yellow costume.
- Pat Dugan is mentioned a few times by his daughter in the Smallville two-part film Absolute Justice. Courtney mentions her dad starting out as a sidekick to Star-Spangled Kid, then got powers of his own and began fighting crime as Stripesy which she considered as the stupidest codename ever. Courtney admits that she herself began fighting crime to pester Pat but eventually came to love it after saving someone for the first time.
- An alternate universe version of Pat Dugan appears in Justice League: Gods and Monsters, voiced by Dan Gilvezan. He is a scientist that was part of Luthor's "Project Fair Play", a weapons program contingency to destroy the Justice League if necessary. Later, Pat was discussing with the other scientists involved (consisting of Will Magnus, John Henry Iron, Michael Holt, Karen Beecher, Kimiyo Hoshi, Emil Hamilton, Thomas Morrow, and Stephen Shin) before they all be killed by the Metal Men with the exception of Will Magnus (who secretly orchestrated the attack).
- S.T.R.I.P.E. appears in Justice League Unlimited's spin-off comic book. He appears in issues #9, 11, 25, 31 and 33.
- Infinity, Inc. #53
- Young Justice: Sins of Youth #1-2 (2000)
- Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #3 (April 2007)
- Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #26 (June 2009)
- JSA All-Stars #5 (June 2010)