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Art by Tom Grummet
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Adventures of Superman #428 (March 1987)
Created by Marv Wolfman (writer)
Jerry Ordway (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Jose Delgado
Abilities Expert martial artist and marksman

Gangbuster is a fictional vigilante published by DC Comics. He first appeared as Jose Delgado in Adventures of Superman #428 (May 1987), and as Gangbuster in Adventures of Superman #434 (November 1987). He was created by Marv Wolfman and Jerry Ordway.[1]

Fictional character biography

Jose Delgado grew up in the Metropolis area known as Suicide Slum. As he grew older he became a skilled boxer. He went into teaching and ended up as a high school teacher in Metropolis. He became a mentor to Jerry White (the son of Perry White). When Lex Luthor enlisted youth gangs into organized crime under his control, Jose adopted the identity of Gangbuster to deal with the threat posed to the teenagers in his community.[1]

The Combattor fighting Gangbuster as drawn by John Byrne and Jerry Ordway in Adventures of Superman #437.

Jose Delgado suffered a spinal injury while saving Lois Lane's life during a fight with a creature called Combattor.[2] Delgado was hospitalized and talked into retiring by Cat Grant. He recovered the ability to walk with the assistance of a Lexcorp cybernetic implant, similar to the implant later used on Maximum from the Supermen of America.

Delgado later discovered someone else was masquerading as Gangbuster, and using much more violent methods. This turned out to be an amnesiac Superman, who was suffering from a nervous breakdown after a fight with Brainiac.

After recovering Delgado discovered that the implant which enabled him to walk was a LexCorp invention, and that Lex Luthor could use it to take control of his body. Luthor forced Gangbuster to attack an ally of Superman's named Professor Emil Hamilton. Hamilton was later able to successfully alter the implant, allowing Jose to take control of his life again. Delgado's life later fell apart and he had trouble keeping jobs.

Delgado had limited personal relationships with Cat Grant. They became very close while he served as her bodyguard but he did not get on with her young son Adam. Delgado resumed his career as Gangbuster following Superman's apparent death, but got into trouble when he broke up a drug deal only to discover that it was part of an undercover police operation. Pursued by the police, he went on the run.

An ultraviolent Gangbuster later showed up in Black Lightning's hometown of Brick City. Black Lightning discovered that this wasn't the real Gangbuster, but a shapechanger named Ishmael, an operative of Tobias Whale.[3] The real Jose Delgado Gangbuster shows up in Black Lightning #7, and later helps him defeat Ishmael in issue #8.

Gangbuster returns in issue #1 of the weekly mini-series known as Trinity. In issue #5 he debuts an updated version of his body armor, and appears to be wearing a portable arsenal of non-lethal weaponry, and to have been forced out of retirement by witnessing the kidnapping of the mystic Tarot, whom he had tasked himself with protecting.[4]

Jose soon tracks Tarot to the castle headquarters of Despero, Morgana Le Fey and the villain known as Enigma. He and Hawkman infiltrate the castle and spend days fighting through its denizens, as time and space are much different inside then outside. They rescue Tarot from a trio of stone monsters. [5]


  1. ^ a b Beatty, Scott (2008), "Gangbuster", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 135, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017  
  2. ^ Byrne, John, Jerry Ordway (w), Byrne, JohnJerry Ordway (p), Beatty, John (i). "Point of View" Adventures of Superman (437) (February, 1988), DC Comics
  3. ^ As seen in Black Lightning vol. 2 #6 (July 1995)
  4. ^ As seen in Trinity #1-5 (2008) by Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley
  5. ^ Trinity #16 (2008)

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