The Vigilante is a lesser-used and relatively unknown character in the DC Comics canon. Despite the presence of Adrian Chase in the peacemaker HBO Max series, it’s been years since anyone using the moniker of Vigilante has shown up in the comics (outside of Greg Saunders in the Stargirl Spring Break Special by Geoff Johns and Todd Nauck and a brief Future State cameo).
That said, there have actually been several DC characters who’ve used the Vigilante name, and they’ve taken on evil in many forms. Some of these villains have been quite powerful, which is surprising given that Vigilante is just a guy with guns and body armor.
10 The Controller Used His Army Of Exterminator Robots To Fight Vigilante
The Controller was a recurring enemy of the Vigilante. This isn’t to be confused with the Controllers, who are an off-shoot of the Maltusians and frequent enemies of the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps. This Controller was a man by the name of Aloysius Clarke. He was the mad scientist type who used an army of deadly robots known as the Exterminators to carry out his evil deeds from him.
The Controller survived through a handful of encounters with the Vigilante, but Aloysius’ luck eventually ran out. Adrian finally killed the Controller in Watchman #11 by Marv Wolfman and Ross Andru.
9 Tobias Whale Was An Enemy Of Adrian’s Brother, Dorian Chase
Eventually, Adrian Chase took his own life after he was overcome with guilt for the people he’d killed. Years later, his brother, Dorian, would take up the Vigilante name. He continued his brothers’ war on violent criminals, which led him to several encounters with Tobias Whale.
Whale is most known for his conflicts with Black Lightning, but Dorian provided a thorn in Tobias Whale’s side too. For the uninitiated, Tobias Whale is a vast boulder of a man who runs a large criminal empire. He’s proven himself fairly capable in a fight, even if he avoids it when he can. More recent interpretations of Whale have him more muscular than rotund and a more dangerous fighter than he’d ever been before.
8 Two Vigilantes Took On The Peacemaker Himself
Christopher Smith, aka the Peacemaker, has had a fairly complicated DC Comics history himself. He was originally a Charlton Comics character who was introduced into the DC Universe through Crisis on Infinite Earths and History of the DC Universe by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. He seemed to break bad after Crisisand it’s believed he experienced head trauma during his fight with the Anti-Monitor that contributed to this.
Adrian Chase retired as Vigilante for a time during his series. He was replaced by Alan Welles then Dave Winston. The latter encountered Peacemaker on a hijacked airplane and Peacemaker killed him. Adrian Chase would later have skirmishes with Peacemaker over this, but neither succeeded in killing the other.
7 Icicle Is A Justice Society Villain Who Also Fought The Vigilante
Icicle is a recurring villain of the Justice Society of America. His name reflects his powers, with Cameron Mahkent able to lower the temperature around him and freeze water particles into ice. He ran after Dorian Chase during his stint as the Vigilante.
Despite the Vigilante’s propensity to kill his enemies, the Icicle survived this experience. Vigilante did as well, which is fairly impressive considering how Icicle has fought the likes of the original Flash and the original Green Lantern.
6 Jericho Became A Threat To Vigilante And The Teen Titans
Jericho, aka Joseph Wilson, is the son of Deathstroke and a former member of the Teen Titans. Jericho was thought to have died when he begged Slade to kill him after Joseph was corrupted by the Souls of Azareth.
Jericho fought Vigilante Dorian Chase and the Teen Titans during a crossover called “Deathtrap.” Jericho is a difficult foe to pin down given his ability to hop between bodies through eye contact. At the time, he had a new physical body given to him at an earlier point by Raven. In the end, Dorian gouged out Jericho’s eyes to keep him from causing such misery again.
5 Nightwing Has Had Trouble With People Who Use The Vigilante Name
Outside of Greg Sanders, people who use the name “Vigilante” don’t tend to get along with other superheroes (given the Vigilante’s more lethal methods). Both Adrian and Dorian Chase had encounters with Nightwing. Neither Vigilante was out to kill Nightwing, and Dick Grayson was unable to apprehend either Vigilante. In fact, he had to work with Dorian to stop Jericho.
Dorian Chase seemed to fade into obscurity after his short-lived series by Marv Wolfman, Rick Leonardi, and Tom Lyle. However, Dorian did have another encounter with Dick Grayson after the latter took up the mantle of Batman.
4 The Batman Hunted Down The Vigilante After He Was Framed For Murder
Adrian Chase had an encounter with Batman as well, but this was back when Bruce was still Batman and Dick Grayson had just taken the name of Nightwing. Batman isn’t a fan of capital punishment, but he only hunted down Adrian Chase over the murders he didn’t commit.
Adrian had been arrested but set loose when it was proven he hadn’t committed the murders he was accused of by Detective Harvey Bullock. Batman and the Vigilante had a fight after this which was stopped by Bullock when he cleared Chase’s name from him.
3 Adrian Chase Had A Tussle With The Teen Titans’ Cyborg Early In His Series
The Vigilante also had a less-than-friendly encounter with Cyborg early on in the Vigilant only series. Surprisingly, this wasn’t the premature end of Chase’s crimefighting career given how powerful Vic Stone really is. This ended with Vigilante going after a man named, ironically, William Stryker.
Dorian Chase would also have to fight Cyborg during “Deathtrap,” as Jericho had inhabited Vic Stone’s body. The Teen Titans had to send a shock through Cyborg to eject Joseph Wilson from his body.
two The Original Vigilante Had Tussles With An Entity Called The Nebula Man
Greg Sanders, the original Vigilante, was a man with a love of the Old West and cowboy films. This led Greg to dress up like a cowboy and use his shooting skills to fight crime. He had a less lethal streak than any of his successors of him, and he never actually had any connection to the Chase brothers.
Greg was on an obscure DC team called the Seven Soldiers of Victory alongside Green Arrow, Shining Knight, the Crimson Avenger, and others. They battled a powerful cosmic entity called the Nebula Man. The Nebula Man ended up scattering the Seven Soldiers across time, thereby putting an end to the team for a while.
one Vigilante Joined The Fight Against The Anti-Monitor In “Crisis On Infinite Earths”
Watchman was also part of the Crisis On Infinite Earths story, but it was during the period that Adrian Chase had retired from crimefighting. This means that Alan Welles, Chase’s first replacement, took part in one of the grandest cosmic battles to have ever taken place in the DC Multiverse.
Vigilante fought against the Anti-Monitor’s shadow demons alongside many other DC superheroes, and he participated in the grand charge to bring down the Anti-Monitor at the end of the story. Unfortunately for Welles, he was deeply mentally unwell, and Adrian Chase had to put him down after Welles began killing innocent bystanders.
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