Vigilante (comics)

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Vigilante
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance (Greg Saunders)
Action Comics #42 (November 1941)
(Adrian Chase)
New Teen Titans Annual #2 (August 1983)
(Alan Welles)
Vigilante #7 (June 1984)
(as Vigilante) Vigilante #20 (August 1985)
(Dave Winston)
Vigilante #23 (November 1985)
(as Vigilante) Vigilante #28 (April 1986)
(Patricia Trayce)
Deathstroke the Terminator #6 (April 1992)
(Justin Powell)
Vigilante vol. 2, #1 (November 2005)
(Dorian Chase)
Nightwing vol. 2 #133 (August 2007)
Created by (Greg Saunders)
Mort Weisinger
Mort Meskin
(Adrian Chase)
Marv Wolfman
George Pérez
In-story information
Alter ego Greg Saunders
Adrian Chase
Alan Welles
Dave Winston
Patricia Trayce
Justin Powell
Vincent Sobel (Arrow)
Team affiliations (Greg Saunders)
Seven Soldiers of Victory
All-Star Squadron
Justice League
(Adrian Chase)
Checkmate
Partnerships (Vincent Sobel)
Black Canary (Dinah Drake)
Abilities Brilliant marksman
Superb hand-to-hand combatant
(Greg Saunders)
Brilliant marksman
Master of the lariat
Excellent horseman
(Vincent Sobel)
Healing factor

Vigilante is the name used by several fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.

Fictional character biography

Greg Saunders

The original Vigilante was a western-themed hero who debuted in Action Comics #42 (Nov. 1941): Greg Sanders but the spelling was changed to Greg Saunders in the 1990s.

Adrian Chase

Adrian Chase first appeared as the second Vigilante in 1983's New Teen Titans Annual #2 by writer Marv Wolfman and penciler George Pérez.[1]

Alan Welles

The first person to assume the Vigilante identity after Chase was Alan Welles, a fellow judge and friend of Chase, who secretly operated in a much more violent manner, even executing petty thieves. Welles's first appearance was in Vigilante #7, but he became Vigilante in Vigilante #20. His mental instability eventually led him to gun down police officers and civilians. Chase though felt responsible for this threat and began a long investigation to take down Vigilante, until he found out that Welles was Vigilante, forcing Chase to kill him.

Dave Winston

The second person to assume the Vigilante identity after Chase was Dave Winston, Chase's baliff. He refused to kill and traded on the fierce reputation of Vigilante to intimidate information out of thugs. He debuted in Vigilante #23 and became the Vigilante in Vigilante #28. He believed that the Vigilante's efforts were noble and worthwhile. When Welles was killed after ruining the Vigilante's reputation, Winston took up the mantle believing that the city needed the Vigilante. When Chase found out about Winston's actions, he chose to wash his hands of the affair. When Chase and his girlfriend, Marcia King boarded a plane for Europe, it was hijacked. Winston and Peacemaker both responded to the emergency, but Winston was killed by Peacemaker in front of Chase, causing Chase to realize that he could never escape the Vigilante's legacy.

Pat Trayce

The next Vigilante was Patricia Trayce, a rogue Gotham City police detective who teams up with Deathstroke the Terminator in the Deathstroke the Terminator series written by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez. Trayce found the gear of the second Vigilante (Adrian Chase) and adapted the guise. She was also Deathstroke's lover. She first appeared in Deathstroke the Terminator #6. In Deathstroke the Terminator #11, Pat Trayce takes up the uniform of the Vigilante. She was trained by Deathstroke, and soon started to work alone.[citation needed]

Adeline Kane

Justin Powell

Late in 2005, DC published a Vigilante limited series by writer Bruce Jones and artist Ben Oliver. The identity of the title character is initially left mysterious, but apparently this is a new incarnation of the character.[citation needed]

His name was Justin "Jay" Sutter. When he encountered a murderer as a child, he created a second personality in his mind, The Vigilante. At some point, he changed his name to Justin Scott Powell and would become the Vigilante subconsciously. While Powell was unaware of the Vigilante personality, the Vigilante knew about Powell. At the miniseries' end, Powell was able to reconcile the two personalities.[citation needed]

This Vigilante was last seen, alongside Wild Dog and the current Crimson Avenger, on a rooftop in the great battle of Metropolis, raining bullets down on the Trigger Twins, the Madmen, the second Spellbinder, and others in Infinite Crisis #7.[citation needed]

Dorian Chase

The most recent Vigilante appeared in Nightwing #133-137. While he wears a costume similar to Adrian Chase's, it is a new Vigilante under the mask. Note that Marv Wolfman has pointed out the "321 Days" arc was cut short by two issues due to Batman R.I.P. which required the Nightwing title to feature in it, so the final story as seen ended without any clear closure for any of the characters.[citation needed]

This Vigilante also appears in Gotham Underground, set after his initial encounter with Nightwing.[2] He is shown to be a formidable fighter, but is defeated easily by Batman.[3][4]

Following the events of Vigilante #1 (February 2009), the new Vigilante is seen out of costume for the first time and is referred to by his ally JJ as "Dorian". He initially operates under the identity of Joe Flynn, a small-time criminal with a rap sheet, but it is later revealed that the real Joe Flynn is dead. Dorian has the technology to graft another person's face to his own and his assistant changes the police records so his fingerprint and DNA point back to his fake identity. At the end of the first story arc, Dorian abandons the Joe Flynn identity and begins to make preparations to assume a new identity of a dead and forgotten criminal. It is also revealed that Dorian is the brother of the late Adrian Chase in Vigilante #9. Little is known about his past, but his wife is dead and he served time in prison for his work with the mob.[citation needed]

At one point, JJ warns Vigilante about the dangers of pushing himself to the point of destruction, commenting that he "saw it happen" with Adrian. Vigilante describes his predecessor as a fool.[citation needed]

This Vigilante plays an important role in the "Deathtrap" crossover with the Teen Titans and the Titans. He targets the unbalanced Jericho for assassination, bringing him into conflict with the various heroes. Vigilante succeeds in tracking down Jericho but, having promised Rose Wilson not to kill him, instead gouges Jericho's eyes out to stop him from using his powers.[citation needed]

The Vigilante had been operating unseen in Europe for several years before moving back to the U.S. and going after local mobs and criminals.[citation needed]

Donald Fairchild

In the DC Rebirth miniseries, Vigilante: Southland, a new Vigilante is introduced: Donald Fairchild, a former professional basketball player.

Powers and abilities

The Vigilante is a superb hand-to-hand combatant, a brilliant marksman, and a master of the lariat.

Other versions

Detective Comics

  • In Detective Comics #493 (August 1980) it was revealed that Greg Saunders had a nephew, Michael Carter, who became a costumed crimefighter too, the Swashbuckler. The Swashbuckler was created by the issue's writer, Cary Burkett, for a fanzine he published in middle school.[5] Burkett said he made the Swashbuckler the nephew of the Vigilante because he didn't have enough space to present the entire backstory he'd created for the character in the fanzine.[5]

Kingdom Come

Batman Beyond

  • The ongoing Batman Beyond comic book series introduces Jake Chill, the great grand nephew of Joe Chill, the murderer of Thomas and Martha Wayne. He was a member of the "Quiet Squad", a secret group of four men inside Wayne-Powers security who acted as Derek Powers' personal hit and intimidation squad. He took part in the raid on Warren McGinnis' home, and is in fact the man who fatally shot him. When Derek Powers disappeared after being defeated by Batman and sunk to the bottom of the harbor, Quiet Squad was fired and Jake, left destitute and stricken with guilt over the murder, moves to the slums of Gotham on the ground level. He descended into alcoholism and depression but, after fighting off a gang of thieves from his apartment, finds new purpose in life and decides to become a superhero using his old Wayne-Powers security equipment in an attempt at redemption. Naming himself the Vigilante, he helps defend Gotham during the Jokerz uprising, alongside Batman, the new Catwoman and Dick Grayson. Vigilante proved himself to be both dedicated and competent, but is not yet totally trusted by the GCPD or Batman. He became a frequent partner of Batman, but died from the Jokerz during the "Mark of the Phantasm" story line. During the plot of this, Terry finds out that Jake killed his father, and though he's furious and might never forgive Jake, he appreciates his heroism and thinks he didn't deserve to die the way he did.

In other media

Television

Live-action

Animation

Film

  • In 1947 Columbia Pictures released a 15-chapter serial loosely based on the original Greg Saunders character, called The Vigilante. It starred Ralph Byrd in the title role but changed several aspects. In the serial, The Vigilante is a masked government agent undercover as a playboy actor starring in Westerns. His mission in the serial is to investigate the disappearance, and possible smuggling into America, of a string of rare blood red pearls. The costume has been slightly changed as well but The Vigilante still rides a motorcycle and wields a gun.
  • The Greg Saunders version of Vigilante makes a brief cameo appearance in Justice League: The New Frontier.

References

  1. ^ Vigilante (1983) at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived 2015-07-19 at WebCite from the original on July 19, 2015.
  2. ^ Gotham Underground #6 (May 2008)
  3. ^ Gotham Underground #7 (June 2008)
  4. ^ Gotham Underground #8 (July 2008)
  5. ^ a b Franklin, Chris (April 2014). "Swashbuckled and Hornswoggled: The All-Too-Brief Career of the Swashbuckler". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (71): 60–61. 
  6. ^ Kingdom Come #3
  7. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney. "'Arrow' Unmasked Vigilante & The Consequences Are So Heartbreaking". Retrieved 1 March 2018. 

External links

  • Vigilante (Greg Saunders) at the DCU Guide
  • Vigilante (Greg Saunders) at the Comic Book DB
  • Vigilante (Adrian Chase) at the DCU Guide
  • Vigilante (Adrian Chase) at the Comic Book DB
  • Vigilante (Allan Welles) at the Comic Book DB
  • Vigilante (Dave Winston) at the Comic Book DB
  • Vigilante (Pat Trayce) at the DCU Guide
  • Vigilante (Pat Trayce) at the Comic Book DB
  • Vigilante (Justin Powell) at the Comic Book DB
  • Vigilante (new) at the Comic Book DB
  • Titans Tower Profile: Vigilante II (Adrian Chase)
  • Comic Book Profile: Vigilante (Greg Saunders)
  • Comic Book Profile: Earth-1 Vigilante (Greg Saunders)[permanent dead link]
  • Earth-2 Vigilante (Greg Saunders) Index
  • Earth-1 Vigilante (Adrian Chase) Index
  • Post-Crisis Vigilante (Adrian Chase) Index
  • Bio of Swashbuckler, Greg Saunders' nephew
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