The Vigilante

+ Billy Gunn + Stuff the Chinatown Kid

Created by Mort Weisinger and Mort Meskin

Vigilante I

NAME + ALIASES:
Greg Saunders

KNOWN RELATIVES:
...

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Seven Soldiers of Victory, All-Star Squadron

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Action Comics #42 (Nov. 1941)

Billy Gunn

NAME + ALIASES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Seven Soldiers of Victory

FIRST APPEARANCE: Action Comics #43 (Dec. 1941)

Stuff, the Chinatown Kid I

NAME + ALIASES:
Danny Leong

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Seven Soldiers of Victory

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Action Comics #45 (Feb. 1942); named: Vigilante: City Lights, Prairie Justice #1 (Nov. 1995)

Stuff, the Chinatown Kid II

NAME + ALIASES:
Victor Leong

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Seven Soldiers of Victory

FIRST APPEARANCE:
El Diablo v.1 #12 (Aug. 1990); named: Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (Apr. 2000)

History

The Vigilante battled weird villains of the American Southwest and also joined the Seven Soldiers of Victory. In the Soldiers' last battle, its members were scattered across time. Greg wound up in 1858 and spent nearly 20 years in the Old West. During this time he was also known as the "Prairie Troubador," a popular singer/songwriter. Greg came to enjoy this life but he was eventually "rescued" in 1879 and returned to the 20th Century by the Justice League. (Justice League of America #102)

After his return he started a company called Round-Up, Inc. with his former sidekick, Victor Leong. (El Diablo #12, Stars & STRIPE #9) Greg had other wartime sidekicks: Daniel Leong was Victor's brother and was murdered by the Dummy in 1945. Billy Gunn, an older man was killed by the Spider in 1948. (Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #9)

Four years into his career, Saunders fell prey to a werewolf. He guarded this secret well and always kept a silver bullet in his pistol — for himself. (Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #2)

Even into retirement, Greg stayed active in the Southwest. He knew that there were certain dangers still lurking in his domain, but he'd grown too old to handle them himself. He decided to try to form a new Seven Soldiers by placing an ad calling for heroes. He succeeded in recruiting only 5 others to join him (The Whip II, Boy Blue, Dyno-Mite Dan, Gimmix and "I, Spyder"). This team was very short-lived. All these heroes, including the Vigilante perished after defeating the Miracle Mesa Monster. They were slaughtered by the Sheeda, the "Gods of the Miracle Mesa." (Seven Soldiers Special #0)

After his death, his lycanthropic curse may have enabled him to "haunt" the living world. He re-appeared to the question the allegiance of I, Spyder, (Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #3) and then to try to convince the Bulleteer to continue the fight against the Sheeda. (#4)

Legacy

Greg was succeeded as the Vigilante by Adrian Chase (II), Alan Welles (III), Dave Winston (IV), and Pat Trayce (V).

The Vigilante of Earth-One

Greg Sanders, the Vigilante, apparently had a fairly long career as a hero, including helping out with the formation of the original Justice League of America, before taking a job as a night watchman at a factory. That's where we first see him, as he helped the Justice League of America battle the "Doomsters", a race trying to invade Earth because of its pollutants (which they could breath normally) who were striving to pollute the entire planet more quickly to facilitate a take-over.

The JLA gave the Vigilante a new motorcycle and he proceeded to have a number of fairly mundane adventures over the next few years. He also helped Superman battle a real werewolf. When the Vigilante went to visit his old partner Stuff, however, things took a much more serious turn, as his partner had been murdered by his arch-enemy, the Dummy. The gunslinger avenged his friend's murder, and it looked like he was taking on Stuff's son as his new sidekick. This, of course, established that there was also an Earth-One version of both Stuff and the Dummy.

The Earth-One Vigilante's existence is also corroborated by the appearance of Michael Carter, the hero known as The Swashbuckler. The Batman worked with the Houston-based hero, who told the Caped Crusader that his uncle was the famed Vigilante, whom Batman recalled as "a good man" from the adventure with the "Doomsters".

The only thing about the Earth-One Vigilante that remains a real mystery is his apparent youth.

Post Crisis

The Old West

The Spider, Thomas Ludlow Dalt, ventures to Slaughter Swamp where he's bitten by one of the Sheeda. The Seven Unknown met set to work fixing him up and tell him he'll be helping to kill... himself. They give him perfect aim and make him one with the essence of the spider. Shelly Gaynor takes to the streets as the Whip, granddaughter of the original. She responds to an ad placed by the Vigilante for a new group of heroes. She's a thrill seeker who's written books. She wants to go further into adventuring. She meets Vigilante in Arizona. In Feb. 12, 1875, he helped defeat the Miracle Mesa Monster with Johnny Frankenstein. He spent 5 years there as the masked sherriff of Pepper Gulch before the JLA rescued him. He tells her his seventh soldier got cold feet. She meets the others: Jacqueline Pemberton, daughter of Merry, Gimmix, 26, wears a red wig. Boy Blue, Mexican kid with a ghost suit that affects his density and a horn with sonic power. Dyno-Mite Dan, a fan with fake Dyna-Mite rings. Dalt joins them as I, Spyder and Shelly sleeps with him. Greg ha sflying machines for all of them to hunt the Mesa. They fly at dawn and Dan forebodes that it's unlucky there are only six of them. They track a monster spider to Pepper City. Gimmix stops it with a freeze spray, but more follow it, the advance wave of the Sheeda's "harrowing" led by Neh-buh-Loh. Afterwards, the Unknown Men set to work assembling a new Seven: Plan B. (Seven Soldiers #0)

City Lights, Prairie Justice

James Robinson and Tony Salmons. 1942: Bugsy Siegel gets the idea to put a casino in Las Vegas. Los Angeles, Nov. 1944: With Gene Autry off to war, the Vigilante has come to Hollywood to give movie making a shot. He fights crime too when he is prompted, especially now after Siegel. Two weeks prior, on the set of his film, not acting super well. Agent Monty. Stuff, seventeen, bursts in to tell he's in love with an actress named Stacey. He asks that Greg use his real name: Danny, and asks to try to get her a screen test. Greg records his notes on audio. Stacey later vanishes and Vigilante investigates, finds evidence she's done stag films that lead back to Siegel. In Tijuana he learns she was sold to slavery, ran and was shot. When Greg calls home, Monty says Stuff has been killed when he burst in on Siegel in person. Spelling of last name "Saunders." (Vigilante: City Lights, Prairie Justice #1)

Summer 1945: Vigilante continues to disrupt Siegel's operations, hoping to force him out and make a mistake. Siegel calls in the Dummy for help. He lures Vigilante to a boat that explodes. (#2)

June 12, 1946. Siegel continues to build his casino and get more investors. Greg has been healing for a year and let Siegel think he'd died watching Vegas in secret and recording on his dictaphone. Mentions his own brother Jeff, life on a ranche growing up. Fever took Jeff in 1936. He's bought a new ranch and trains on horseback. Meanwhile Siegel's personal life worsens and money troubles increase. When Siegel catches his girlfriend with another man, Vigilante rides in to stop the murder. (#3)

Siegel's casino is in trouble and his partners order a hit on him, via the Dummy. This brings Vigilante on his cycle back out into public, he can't bring himself to allow a murder no matter who it is, fights the Dummy off. A partner offers the Vigilante the bounty, which he denies but might accept a donation to a charity. Siegel calls for a meeting, Vig explains his vendetta, describes Stuff as half-Chinese. Siegel doesn't remember it, asks Vig to kill him so that he can avoid the hit that's coming. Vig lets him live in fear. As he walks away, Siegel taunts him saying he remembers Stuff's murder, instults his memory and throws the gun to Vigilante, who obliges by shooting him. (#4)

Legacy

Vigilante (Adrian Chase) Vigilante (Alan Welles) Vigilante (Dave Winston) Vigilante (Pat Trayce) Vigilante (Justin Powell) Vigilante (Dorian Chase)

Stuff was first given a name, Victor Leong, in El Diablo #12. At the time of this story, he was considered to have been the Vigilante's only partner. A few years later, a new tale set in the past said that Stuff had been killed in 1945, and that his name was "Danny."

This discrepancy was resolved by Geoff Johns in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #9, in which a different-appearing Stuff says to the Vigilante: "My brother was always ready. Even in the smiling wooden face of death." Victor had taken Danny's place. Stars #9

Notes

Because of his Western character, the Vigilante was one of few wartime heroes to survive DC's super-hero purge of the early 1950s. DC continued to publish his adventures as the "Prairie Troubador" — of the true American Old West. In Pre-Crisis continuity, this Vigilante of the 1950s was considered to have lived on the Earth-One. After the Crisis, the Earth-2's time-shift was used to explain how the Vigilantes of both eras were the same man.

+ Powers

....

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

Original/Earth-Two:

  • Adventure Comics #417, 422, 426, 427, 438-443
  • All-Funny Comics #16
  • All-Star Squadron #1, 29, 31, 50, 56, 60
  • Anthro #5 (text feature)
  • The Brave and the Bold #81 (text feature)
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths #5, 12
  • DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #6
  • Detective Comics #140, 493 (mention), 496 (cameo)
  • Four Star Spectacular #5 (reprint)
  • Ghosts #97-99
  • Infinity, Inc. #11 
  • Justice League of America #100, 102
  • Real Fact Comics #10
  • Secret Origins v.1 #4 (reprint)
  • Secret Origins v.2 #9 (cameo)
  • The Spectre v.1 #6 (text feature)
  • Super DC Giant S-15 (reprint)
  • Wanted: The World's Most Dangerous Super-Villains #3 (reprint)
  • World's Finest Comics #225, 227, 228 (reprints)

Earth-One:

  • Justice League of America #78 , 79, 144
  • Adventure Comics #422, 426, 427
  • World's Finest Comics #214, 244–248

Post-Crisis:

  • El Diablo #12
  • The Golden Age #1, 4 (cameos)
  • Impulse Annual #2 
  • JLA Year One #11, 12 (cameos)
  • JSA #49-51
  • Seven Soldiers #0
  • Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #2–4
  • Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0, 1 (cameos), #9
  • Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen Special #1
  • Wrath of the Spectre #4 (new stories that were to have appeared during the Adventure Comics run)
  • Young All-Stars #1, 3–5 (cameos), 9, 25 (cameo), 27, Annual #1

» SERIES:

  • Action Comics #42-198 (Nov. 1941–Nov. 1954)
  • Leading Comics, #1–14 (Winter 1941–Spring 1945)
  • Western Comics #1–4 (1948)
  • Vigilante: City Lights, Prairie Justice, 4-issue limited series (1995)