|First appearance||Star Spangled Comics #1 (October 1941)|
|Created by||Jerry Siegel|
|Alter ego||Patrick "Pat" Dugan|
|Team affiliations||Justice Society of America|
Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.
Seven Soldiers of Victory
S.T.R.I.P.E. (short for 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 was originally 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 Star Spangled Comics #1 (October 1941).
Fictional character biography
Patrick "Pat" Dugan was the chauffeur of young rich-kid Sylvester Pemberton. He got involved in superheroics after aiding Pemberton against Nazi spies posing as protesters at a movie on July 4, 1941. The two team up as embodiments of the American flag, Sylvester as the Star-Spangled Kid and Pat as 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.
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. Pat Dugan is the boyfriend of Barbara Whitmore. Courtney was cleaning out the office of Barbara Whitmore's boyfriend Pat Dugan when she found a staff, a belt, and a shirt with a star on it. While trying them on, she became Stargirl and caught the perpetrator of a fire she spotted. The heroic actions went viral. Courtney was informed by Pat that the person who originally wielded the equipment has died. Though Pat agreed to train her, Courtney had to respond to the criminal activity caused by Shadow Thief who was taking hostages to draw out a superhero.
In the "Watchmen" sequel "Doomsday Clock", S.T.R.I.P.E. returns alongside many other superheroes to the DC Universe when Doctor Manhattan, inspired by Superman, undoes the changes that he made to the timeline that erased the Justice Society and the Legion of Super-Heroes.
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. appears in the Justice League Unlimited animated series, voiced by an uncredited Phil LaMarr. While he and Stargirl initially made minor, non-speaking appearances in the first season, they made speaking appearances 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 the point where Pat had to climb up to get in the armor. However, in the second season, the armor appeared to be Pat's size.
- Pat Dugan appears in the live-action DC Universe series Stargirl, portrayed by Luke Wilson. This version is largely based on his appearance in the Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. comic, being a former member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory and Justice Society of America and sidekick to Sylvester Pemberton / Starman. When his stepdaughter Courtney decides to become Stargirl, Pat assists her in a mechanized battle suit he built years earlier, but never used until then. Despite his reluctance to become a superhero again, Courtney anoints him as her partner and changes his original codename, "Stripesy", to S.T.R.I.P.E. based on an acronym she coined for his armor. When the family moves to Blue Valley, he opens and runs a garage called the Pit Stop. Initially disliked by Courtney owing to her hoping that her birth father would return to her life, Pat eventually won her over after she learned of his past, devotion to his family, and brilliance in mechanical engineering; becoming a surrogate father figure and reluctant mentor to her and later her iteration of the JSA. While S.T.R.I.P.E. is primarily portrayed by CGI, Legacy Effects created a practical S.T.R.I.P.E. to be used during filming.
An alternate universe version of Pat Dugan appears in the animated film Justice League: Gods and Monsters, voiced by Dan Gilvezan. This version is a scientist that was part of Lex Luthor's "Project Fair Play", a weapons program contingency to destroy the Justice League if necessary. Later, Pat attended a meeting with the other scientists before they were all killed by the Metal Men.
S.T.R.I.P.E. appears in issues #9, 11, 25, 31, and 33 of the Justice League Unlimited spin-off comic book.
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