Vigilante (comics)

Vigilante is the name used by several fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Notable individuals to assume the alias include Greg Saunders and Adrian Chase.

An original incarnation of Vigilante appears in The CW series Arrow, played by Clayton Chitty and Johann Urb and voiced by Mick Wingert. Adrian Chase also appears in the series as a separate character, played by Josh Segarra.

Publication information
PublisherDC 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)
Vigilante #20 (August 1985; as Vigilante)
(Dave Winston)
Vigilante #23 (November 1985)
Vigilante #28 (April 1986; as Vigilante)
(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 egoGreg 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)
Partnerships(Vincent Sobel)
Black Canary (Dinah Drake)
AbilitiesBrilliant marksman
Superb hand-to-hand combatant
(Greg Saunders)
Brilliant marksman
Master of the lariat
Excellent horseman
(Vincent Sobel)
Healing factor

Fictional character biography

Greg Saunders

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

Adrian Chase

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

Alan Welles

The third person to assume the Vigilante identity was Alan Welles, a fellow judge and friend of Adrian Chase. His first appearance was in Vigilante #7, and later in Vigilante #20 as Vigilante. He secretly operated in a much more violent manner, even executing petty thieves. 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 Chase found out he was Welles, forcing Chase to kill him.

Dave Winston

The fourth person to assume the Vigilante identity was Dave Winston, Adrian Chase's bailiff. He refused to kill and traded on the fierce reputation of Vigilante to intimidate information out of thugs. He debuted in Vigilante #23 and later as Vigilante in Vigilante #28. He believed that the Vigilante's efforts were noble and worthwhile. When Alan 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 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, making Chase believe he was unable to 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 Adrian Chase's gear and adapted the guise. She was also Deathstroke's lover. She first appeared in Deathstroke the Terminator #6. In Deathstroke the Terminator #11, Pat takes up the Vigilante uniform. She was trained by Deathstroke, and soon started to work alone.

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.

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.

The 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.

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 depiction 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.

The 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 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.[5]

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.

The 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 out Jericho's eyes to stop him from using his powers.[6]

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.[5]

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


Pre-Crisis, there were both an Earth-1 and an Earth-2 Vigilante. Both were Greg Saunders from their respective Earths. Earth-1's Vigilante was shown for the first time in the pages (and cover) of the JLA issue where the superteam moved to their classic headquarters on an orbiting satellite (Justice League of America volume 1 #78).

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.[7] 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.[7]

Kingdom Come

In the series Kingdom Come, artist and writer Alex Ross portrays the cowboy version of the Vigilante fighting alongside the rogue metahumans as a steampunk cyborg with a pinwheel/steam engine arm with a Gatling gun on the end.[8]

Batman Beyond

The ongoing Batman Beyond comic book series introduces Jake Chill, the great-grandnephew 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" storyline. 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



Johann Urb as Vincent Sobel / Vigilante as seen on Arrow

An original incarnation of Vigilante named Vincent Sobel, appears in Arrow, portrayed by Clayton Chitty (season five) and by Johann Urb (season six) while the character's disguised voice is provided by Mick Wingert.[9] Adrian Chase also appears in the series, portrayed by Josh Segarra, but assumes the alias of the supervillain Prometheus instead of Vigilante. The character is initially presented as a crime fighter who kills criminals in cold blood. Throughout season five, Vigilante targets people who are considered criminals, such as bank robbers or Oliver Queen after a publicized scandal about covering up the details of detective Billy Malone's death, but is thwarted by Oliver and Team Arrow. In season six, Vigilante tries to kill councilwoman Emily Pollard due to an anti-vigilante bill. He is thwarted by Dinah Drake, who learns that Vigilante is his former partner Vincent Sobel. He was apparently killed in Central City four years earlier by a drug dealer in an undercover mission during Harrison Wells's particle accelerator explosion, granting him some superhuman powers, including his healing regeneration. Vincent tries to improve his relationship with his former partner despite their differences in the fight against crime. He is revealed to be a member of Cayden James's criminal cabal alongside Black Siren, Ricardo Diaz, Anatoly Knyazev, and Sheck, but is working as a double agent who informs Team Arrow of their activities, primarily because of his love for Dinah. When his partners find out about his betrayal, Vincent is killed by Black Siren.



  • In 1947 Columbia Pictures released a 15-chapter serial, loosely based on the original Greg Saunders character, called The Vigilante which 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.

Video games

The Adrian Chase version of Vigilante appears as a playable character in Lego DC Super-Villains. He appears as part of the "DC Super Villains: TV Series DLC Character Pack".


  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 Vigilante series, Volume 3, 2009-2010
  6. ^ Vigilante Vol. 3 #6 (July 2009)
  7. ^ a b Franklin, Chris (April 2014). "Swashbuckled and Hornswoggled: The All-Too-Brief Career of the Swashbuckler". Back Issue! (71): 60–61.
  8. ^ Kingdom Come #3
  9. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney (November 10, 2017). "'Arrow' Unmasked Vigilante & The Consequences Are So Heartbreaking". Bustle. Retrieved March 1, 2018.

External links

← The first Green Lantern series was debuted. See Green Lantern (comic book) for more info and the previous timeline. Timeline of DC Comics (1940s)
November 1941 (See also: Greg Saunders)
The characters Green Arrow and the first Speedy was debuted by Mort Weisinger and George Papp. See Green Arrow, Roy Harper (comics), Speedy (comics) and Queen Industries for more info and next timeline. →
Attila in popular culture

Attila the Hun has had many depictions in popular culture. Many of these depictions either portray him as a great ruler or a ruthless conqueror. Attila has also appeared in numerous German and Norse epics, under the names Etzel and Atli, both with completely different personas. His sudden death remains a fascinating unsolved mystery.

Green Arrow

Green Arrow is a fictional superhero who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Mort Weisinger and designed by George Papp, he first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 in November 1941. His real name is Oliver Jonas Queen, a wealthy businessman and owner of Queen Industries who is also a well-known celebrity in Star City. Sometimes shown dressed like the character Robin Hood, Green Arrow is an archer who uses his skills to fight crime in his home cities of Star City and Seattle, as well as alongside his fellow superheroes as a member of the Justice League. Though much less frequently used in modern stories, he also deploys a range of trick arrows with various special functions, such as glue, explosive-tipped, grappling hook, flash grenade, tear gas and even kryptonite arrows for use in a range of special situations. At the time of his debut, Green Arrow functioned in many ways as an archery-themed analogue of the very popular Batman character, but writers at DC subsequently developed him into a voice of left-wing politics very much distinct in character from Batman.

Green Arrow enjoyed moderate success in his early years, becoming the cover feature of More Fun, as well as having occasional appearances in other comics. Throughout his first twenty-five years, however, the character never enjoyed greater popularity. In the late 1960s, writer Denny O'Neil, inspired by the character's dramatic visual redesign by Neal Adams, chose to have him lose his fortune, giving him the then-unique role of a streetwise crusader for the working class and the disadvantaged. In 1970, he was paired with a more law and order-oriented hero, Green Lantern, in a ground-breaking, socially conscious comic book series. Since then, he has been popular among comic book fans and most writers have taken an urban, gritty approach to the character. The character was killed off in the 1990s and replaced by a new character, Oliver's son Connor Hawke. Connor, however, proved a less popular character, and the original Oliver Queen character was resurrected in the 2001 "Quiver" storyline, by writer Kevin Smith. In the 2000s, the character has been featured in bigger storylines focusing on Green Arrow and Black Canary, such as the DC event The Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding and the high-profile Justice League: Cry for Justice storyline, prior to the character's relaunch alongside most of DC's properties in 2011.

Green Arrow was not initially a well-known character outside of comic book fandom: he had appeared in a single episode of the animated series Super Friends in 1973. In the 2000s, the character appeared in a number of DC television properties, including the animated series Justice League Unlimited, Young Justice, The Batman and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and several DC Universe Animated Original Movies. In live action, he appeared in the series Smallville, played by actor Justin Hartley, and became a core cast member. In 2012, the live action series Arrow debuted on The CW, in which the title character is portrayed by Stephen Amell, and launching several spin-off series, becoming the starting point for a DC Comics shared television universe called the Arrowverse.

Green Lantern (comic book)

Green Lantern is an ongoing American comic book series featuring the DC Comics heroes of the same name. The character's first incarnation, Alan Scott, appeared in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940), and was later spun off into the first volume of Green Lantern in 1941. That series was canceled in 1949 after 38 issues. When the Silver Age Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, was introduced, the character starred in a new volume of Green Lantern starting in 1960 and has been the lead protagonist of the Green Lantern mythos for the majority of the last 60 years.

Although Green Lantern is considered a mainstay in the DC Comics stable, the series has been canceled and rebooted several times. The first series featuring Hal Jordan was canceled at issue #224, but was restarted with a third volume and a new #1 issue in June 1990. When sales began slipping in the early 1990s, DC Comics instituted a controversial editorial mandate that turned Jordan into the supervillain Parallax and created a new protagonist named Kyle Rayner. This third volume ended publication in 2004, when the miniseries Green Lantern: Rebirth brought Hal Jordan back as a heroic character and made him the protagonist once again. After Rebirth's conclusion, writer Geoff Johns began a fourth volume of Green Lantern from 2005 to 2011, and a fifth volume which started immediately after, this time initially showcasing both Hal Jordan and Sinestro as Green Lanterns.

Greg Saunders

Greg Saunders is the first fictional character known as the "Vigilante" that appeared in American comic books published by DC Comics.

The character was one of the first DC Comics characters adapted for live-action film, beating Superman by one year.

List of fictional judges

This is a list of judges in fiction. The list also include real people portrayed as judges in works of fiction.

Queen Industries

Queen Industries is a fictional business organization in the DC Comics universe. It is owned and run by Oliver Queen / Green Arrow. Oliver reluctantly inherited the company after his parents, Robert and Moira Queen, were killed. It was founded by Robert Queen.

Roy Harper (comics)

Roy Harper is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Roy is one of DC's most longstanding characters, originating in 1940s comics as Speedy, the teen sidekick of the superhero Green Arrow. Like his mentor Green Arrow, Roy is a world-class archer and athlete who uses his exceptional marksmanship to fight crime. Along with other prominent DC Comics superhero sidekicks, he goes on to become a core member of the superhero group the Teen Titans. As an adult, Roy casts off his Speedy identity to establish himself as the superhero Arsenal, and for a time adopts the name Red Arrow to symbolise his having become an equal of Green Arrow. In addition to continuing to serve on occasion as one of the Titans, Roy has had leading roles in the superhero groups the Seven Soldiers of Victory, the Outsiders, the Justice League, and the Outlaws.

Roy's profile as a hero has varied over the years. He was the subject of the award-winning 1971 comic book story "Snowbirds Don't Fly", which was celebrated for its gritty depiction of Roy's battle with drug addiction; the story is considered a key moment in comic book history as it represented the emergence of mature themes in comics. In 2013, ComicsAlliance ranked Harper as #50 on their list of the "50 Sexiest Male Characters in Comics". The character has been adapted for video games and animation several times, and is portrayed in live action by actor Colton Haynes on the television series Arrow.

Speedy (comics)

Speedy is the name of two DC Comics superheroes, fictional characters that have each served as teenaged sidekicks for the Green Arrow (a.k.a. Oliver Queen).

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