Friday, June 23, 2006

Vigilante through the ages...

The Golden Age modern cowboy Vigilante who rode a scooter as he appeared in Action #42 (November 1941). He or some successor of his was killed (or not) recently in some mini-series or other. I'm sure he'll be back. Once Whedon makes the jump from Marvel to DC, I suspect the Golden Age version will rove the spaceways in a starship fighting injustice as a Space Cowboy or something.

Here is the next Vigilante with District Attorney Adrian Chase wearing the non-tactical ski suit with the night-safety reflection tape in New Teen Titans Annual #2 (1983). Chase became the new Vigilante in one of the most obvious tales of foreshadowing that ever appeared in comics. I suspect this was on purpose, since back then the new Vig did create a lot of buzz among fans before he appeared. Chase eventually retired and two more people wore the suit. But when they both died (here and here) in displays of amateurish dumbassery he went into action again and eventually shot himself because he was sad.

The next person who wore the ugly suit showed up in Deathstroke #10 (May 1992). This one was an out of control cop and like most strong women in 90's comics the depth of characterization was that she was either in heat or being a bitch. I confess I pushed the character entirely out of my mind because of the dull suckness of it until a commenter reminded me of her. The only thing new about this character was the belt buckle that pointed to the "Fun Zone".

Here is the new, new, new Vigilante from the final page of issue #6 of Vigilante (April 2006). An insane psychiatrist, this guy psychoanalysed himself and was proved to be a lousy doctor and tactician. He got beat up a lot but has a hot girlfriend. He has the power to ambush people and pull the trigger of a pistol.

Then there is Future Vigilante, who is a cyborg version who appeared in the DC opus Kingdom Come (1996). I'd like to see a steam-punked Vigilante (his body repaired after the events of 7 Soldiers (April 2005) by time-displaced Victorian-era mad scientists), in his own twisted series.

The Not-Vigilante

I'm curious about this character that appeared in 1st Issue Special #11 (February 1976). This guy was named Assassin and not Vigilante. Interestingly, there are parallels between Assassin and Vigilante 2005. The costumes are similar and in both stories, Assassin and Vig are under the care of ineffective psychiatrists, get beat down a lot and have hot girlfriends. A major difference is that the Assassin has scary mind powers and even brain-blasted a few criminals (and readers) into imbecility. I'm wondering if Codename: Assassin might have been an attempt to revive the Vigilante franchise by DC but was changed for some reason. It might explain why a stylized "V" is on the costume of a character named Assassin. If nothing else it might reveal that the writer and/or artist of the 2005 mini has a good comic collection and used it for reference.

Swipe? You be the judge.


  1. I'd like to see the crazy, motorcycle- riding version from JLU show up in the comics.

  2. You forgot the chick Vigilante that appeared in the early nineties in the Deathstroke title, who turned out to be Adrian Chase's old girlfriend.

  3. I didn't forget, I blanked it from my mind because of the suckness. But I'll revise. Thanks.

  4. I love the Vigilante comics (Adran Chase). I hope someday he returns.

    Good blog!


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