a Feature Friday post
a Project 1983 post
Covering issues 3, 4, 5, and 6. From DC Comics, Marv Wolfman – writer, Keith Pollard – layouts, Pablo Marcos – embellisher, Gaspar – letters, Tony Tollin – colorist.
Be sure to look back through other posts in this series. If you look at the Vigilante tag it will bring up all previous articles.
Picking up with issue 3 of the series, Cyborg of the Teen Titans is transporting a prisoner. Stryker is guilty of murder but the courts can’t convict him of that charge. He’s going to serve a short jail time for a lesser sentence and the Vigilante intends to balance the scales. The Vigilante tries to take out Cyborg in a safe and temporary manner so he can get to Stryker permanently. The two “heroes” trade philosophies while they battle. The fight takes them across an older couple’s homestead. One wrong move and Stryker nearly adds two more victims to his list. In the end, Cyborg’s words get through to Adrian Chase if not to the Vigilante. Stryker is still alive, but will live the rest of his days wishing he was dead.
Issue 4 features what looks to be a straight forward tale of infidelity sparking a homicide. Instead, it becomes a larger tale of witness assassination. Someone is sending out a new mysterious assassin named the Exterminator to eliminate anyone who could change the course of events. All of this goes back to a new villain who is more metal than man. The Controller.
This conflict isn’t resolved before issue 5 features two new assassins, Saber and Cannon. The two take out numerous members of the mob. As the story progresses it is revealed that someone is acting on behalf of the Controller to take over the Families. Saber and Cannon get a deal to enter witness relocation if they give up their Mob ties. Where is the Vigilante in all of this?
Adrian Chase has taken the time to visit his old friend Marcia, who has been promoted to the D.A.’s office. The two newly single broken sworn servants of the people find some happiness, if only for a night, with each other. Come morning, Chase doesn’t like the deal the D.A., and Marcia, have set up for these criminals. The Vigilante tries to take out Saber and Cannon but is overwhelmed by two professionals two on one.
Lastly, issue 6 sees Chase clinging to life. Through flashbacks it is revealed how he became the Vigilante. Not only the training, but also some sort of quick healing power. Extreme trauma will kill him, but silly things like gunshots and knives won’t hurt for long.
The greater story begins to emerge. Any one man cannot hope to stand in front of crime without consequences. Even a police force full of people and resources can see failures against organized crime. What hope does the individual have? So far the police and lawyers in the story are still alive, but the Vigilante has been left for dead. His violence has only been met with more violence. Directed and focused towards him.
An already broken man like Chase is not going to see these failures and hang up the mask. Go back to the legal above board way of prosecuting criminals. His near death will instead enforce his lethal solutions. Chase will think if the Vigilante kills these assassins and murderers he’s not only protecting society, but also himself on future cases.
I’ve been told that this series does not end well for Chase. Based on that, I think this middle point of the tale is building up his convictions. The more the reader empathizes with Chase, the harder that same reader will turn on him when he finally goes too far.
Tune in next week to see how far this goes!