Public Domain Super Heroes

Judo Joe

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Judo Joe

Real Name

Joe Smith

First Appearance

Judo Joe #1 (Aug. 1953)

Original Publisher

Jay-Jay Corporation

Created by

Barney Cosneck & Paul W. Stoddard


Joe Smith, whom most everyone called "Judo Joe" because he had learned self-defense during his childhood in Japan, was a sophomore at Mid-City High.

His original revealed that his father, John, was a medical doctor who took his wife to Japan in 1932. Joe was born shortly thereafter, making him a Japanese citizen. Joe's father saved the life of Wan Tung, the leader of the community and the most famous judo expert in all of Japan. For this, Wan Tung chose to teach judo to Joe alongside his own son, Yoshimiru.

On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was bombed and the Smiths needed to be protected from a country that no longer liked Americans. Wun Tang took them in hiding and continued to teach the boys judo. When the atom bomb put an end to the war, the Smiths were able to leave their hiding place and Joe began winning one judo tournament after another with his fame spreading across the land.

In 1953, Dr. Smith decided Joe should return to America to finish his studies in the land of his forefathers. Once arriving at school, Joe met a bully, Spike, and a gal pal, Judy. After a brief skirmish with Spike, Joe agreed to teach both Spike and Judy judo but, only for self-defence.

Joe then learned of dope peddlers operating nearby so him and Spike decided to go undercover and find the crooks! Spike was found out but, Joe saved the day and the crooks were saved! No drugs at Mid-City High!

Other adventures saw him disguised as a woman to trap a purse-snatcher, or take on local street thugs and gangs.


Each issue featured a two-page judo lesson!

Public Domain Appearances

  • Judo Joe #1-3

See Also

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