Next week on Arrow, fans will be introduced to Vigilante, a masked man looking to do right in Star City, but running afoul of the Green Arrow in the process. Just who is this mysterious new individual looking to make his mark in Star City?
Created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, Vigilante first appeared in the pages of New Teen Titans Annual #2 back in 1983. Known as Adrian Chase, he is a New York based district attorney whose family was killed at the hands of mobsters. As a result of this, Chase would end up seeking justice as the masked man known as the Vigilante. Initially, Chase would take care to ensure that he did not kill his enemies, using non-lethal weapons to disable and disarm. However, when a police officer was killed directly as a result of his actions, Chase would end up becoming more reckless and violent, caring less about those who ended up caught in the crossfire.
As time went on, Adrian Chase found himself tormented over his actions as the Vigilante, and the pain that those actions had brought to others. Finally, after much thought, he would end up abandoning the costumed alter ego, believing he could do more good for the world as a judge.
Eventually, the mantle of the Vigilante would be taken up once again by two of Chase's closest friends. First, fellow judge Alan Welles will fill the role. Much more violent and willing to kill, he was eventually tracked down and killed at the hands of Adrian Chase, who was unaware that it was his friend under the mask. The incident led to increased guilt on Chase's part and also increased scrutiny from a law enforcement task force hired to cover up Alan Welles' role as Vigilante.
Shortly after this, Dave Winston, a bailiff for Adrian Chase, took up the role of the Vigilante. Unlike Welles, Winston refused to kill and instead decided to use his masked alter ego intimidate information out of thugs. Unfortunetly, Winston was killed at the hands of Peacemaker while attempting to stop the hijacking of a plane that Adrian Chase was on. In the wake of Winston's death, Chase would once again assume the role of Vigilante, believing it was the only real way to protect the people he cared about.
Seeking revenge on Peacemaker for Winston's murder, he was beaten and unmasked as a result.
Despite this, Chase would continue in the role of Vigilante - regardless of the constant inner turmoil regarding the violence he engaged in. He would become increasingly mentally unstable - alternating between bouts of enraged violence, paranoia, and terrible remorse for his actions. Chase would even resort to killing innocent police officers who got in his way, and would eventually join the ranks of Checkmate, before finally committing suicide.
While he may be a lesser known than the likes of Deathstroke or Deadshot, this is one masked marksmen we're totally stoked to see take his place in the DC TV Universe.
Will Vigilante join the ranks of Team Arrow? Will he decide to follow his own path to cleaning up Star City? Is it even Adrian Chase under the mask at this point in time? We'll have to wait until next week to find out. Until then, we hope you've enjoyed this look into the DC Comics history of the mysterious masked man known as Vigilante.
Until next time, Infinite Earths fans!
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