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Vigilante III

Alias: Dorian Chase

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Related Links:
 Vigilante I (Adrian Chase)
• Vigilante II (Pat Trayce) 

Vigilante III Quick Bio: Once an underling for a prominent mob boss, Dorian Chase saw the error of his ways when he was manipulated into murdering his own wife. While serving time in prison, Dorian learned his brother Adrian was the urban commando known as Vigilante. Although Adrian tenure as Vigilante led to his death, Dorian co-opted his brother’s identity as a means to atone for his own past.

Teen Titans File Photo:


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Hero History


The Brothers Chase

Dorian Chase was the son of an affluent and prominent family. His overachieving brother, Adrian, grew up to become a high-principled New York District Attorney. But despite his prilvedged family, Dorian’s life took a decidedly different turn.

Angry young Dorian chased cheap thrills and easy money – leading him to become an underling of mob boss Solomon Bennett. Dorian walked into Bennett’s world willingly, and learned many things under Solomon’s tutelage. He also fell in love and married Solomon’s daughter, Marsha. But Dorian’s life reached a horrifying turning point when one of Bennett’s men informed him that his pregnant wife was fathered by another man. So enraged, Dorian shot and killed his wife, unaware that the whole thing was an elaborate set-up – and the unborn child was indeed Dorian’s.

A trial followed. Dorian was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, and served five years in prison for his crimes. Wracked with guilt at killing his wife for an affair she never had, Dorian vowed to make amends for his various misdeeds. Dorian was visited by his brother, Adrian, who encouraged him to view this horrible predicament as a second chance at life. At the time, Dorian still harbored resentment toward Adrian, “the flawless jewel in the Chase family crown.”

Adrian Chase visit his brother, Dorian Chase, in jail in VIGILANTE #12 [2009].
The final issue of the series at last reveals the origin of the all-new Vigilante.

A Shot At Redemption

Four years later, Adrian’s friend J.J. Davis visited Dorian to give him the news of his brother’s death. It was at this point that Dorian also learned that Adrian Chase – prominent lawyer and judge – had secretly become the gun-toting Vigilante. And although that path eventually led Adrian to take his own life, Dorian decided to co-opt the Vigilante identity as a means to atone for his past. Upon his release from prison, Dorian contacted J.J. Davis, who served as Vigilante’s weapons specialist, and outfitted himself with a revamped version of his brother’s uniform. Dorian’s terrible history tends to color everything he does. But as the Vigilante, he hopes to make up for many of the crimes he’s committed. In truth, he wonders if he will ever truly be worthy of redemption.

Vigilante began his crusade against crime in Europe, where he worked virtually undetected for almost five years. He targeted the mob – often going undercover as a minor-league courier or bodyguard – to learn about criminal activity and then help thwart it. He often relied on using the name and face of Joe Flynn, a thug nobody knew was dead. Often working undercover, Dorian quickly became a master of disguise.

His identity still shorouded in mystery, the all-new Vigilante makes a
graveside confession to Adrian Chase in NIGHTWING #136 [2007].

One of Vigilante’s cases eventually led him to the United States. Vigilante was hunting Dick Grayson’s old friend, Eddie “Metal Eddie” Huang, who had become leader of the 21 Tigers, an international gang of murderers. The trail led to New York City, where Vigilante clashed with Nightwing.

On the heels of that assignment, Vigilante decided to stay in New York to investigate a super-hero conspiracy plot. The mystery unraveled to reveal former Teen Titan Jericho as a would-be political assassin. Driven insane by his possession powers, Jericho’s fractured mind concocted a bizarre deathtrap for his former friends. Vigilante hunted Jericho for his crimes and stopped him by non-lethal means – by cutting out Jericho’s eyes, which were the source of his possession powers.

Vigilante is forced to reveal his true identity to
the feds in VIGILANTE #12 [2009].

Out Of The Past

Solomon Bennett later targeted the Vigilante, kidnapping J.J. Davis as a way to get to gain leverage against him. Ironically, Bennett was unaware the Vigilante was Dorian Chase, the man who claimed the life of his daughter years ago. Vigilante rescued J.J. and convinced him to go underground for his own safety. If Solomon had learned that Dorian Chase was secretly the Vigilante, the mob boss would stop at nothing to exact revenge on his daughter’s killer. To enable J.J.’s escape, Vigilante allowed himself to be captured by the FBI.

Vigilante was forced to admit his identity as Dorian Chase to the feds, who placed him in Stryker’s Island Maximum Security Prison, where he bides his time as he calculates his next move.

 Powers & Abilities


Vigilante is skilled in the use of firearms and knives. He is in superb physical shape and practices several of the martial arts. Dorian Chase is also a master of disguise, a skill which enables his various missions of infiltration.

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Essential Reading


Nightwing #133-137 [2007]: The return of the Vigilante! Yesterday, he challenged the Crimelords of Europe, Asia and Africa, and defeated them. Today, he controls the 21 Tigers, an international gang of murderers. But there was a time when Dick Grayson called him friend and mentor and they both loved the same woman. First appearnce of Vigilante V in issue #133.
Vigilante #1 [2008]: In New York City, crime is on the rise, and terror fills the streets. Gang warfare is escalating, and metahumans are being drafted into battle. Through the corruption and lawlessness, one man emerges to right the wrongs as only he can. So when a Super Hero conspiracy plot is brought to light, the Vigilante returns to find the traitor and mete out his own brand of justice – with extreme prejudice!
Titans #12-13, Teen Titans #69 (prelude) and #70, Vigilante #5-6 [2009]: “Deathtrap” Crossover: Completely unhinged, Jericho continues his assault upon his former teammates. As if that wasn’t enough, he also draws the Teen Titans into his twisted plot. And the Vigilante makes it his mission to stop Jericho – permanently! After promising Rose Wilson that he would spare Jericho’s life, Vigilante stops the threat without resorting to murder: He cuts out both of Jericho’s eyes, leaving him powerless. Tragically, this does nothing to cure Jericho’s deep psychosis, leaving the once-hero in a world of utter darkness.
Vigilante #9 [2009]: The new Vigilante is revealed as Adrian Chase’s brother.
Vigilante #11 [2009]: When a reporter’s girlfriend is killed during a melee between Vigilante and the mob, the hard-boiled reporter decides to track down the masked, gun-toting anti-hero. His trail catalogues Vigilante’s journey from the back alleys of Europe to the streets of Gotham.
Vigilante #12 [2009]: The Vigilante aims to settle the score with the mob by going after the big boss. But this boss just so happens to be his former father-in-law, Solomon Bennett. As Vigilante rescues J.J. Davis from Bennett’s men, he reflects on the events that led to his transformation into the Vigilante. The story begins almost 10 years ago, when Dorian stands trial for the murder of his wife, Marsha Bennett. An underling of mob boss Solomon Bennett, Dorian was manipulated into believing that Marsha was carrying another man’s baby. Consumed with rage, Dorian shot and killed his wife, only to learn he had been set up. Consumed with guilt, Dorian served 5 years in jail for manslaughter, where he learned his own brother’s activities as the first Vigilante led him to take his own life. Upon release from prison, Dorian became the new Vigilante as a way to atone for his own past, and used Adrian’s weapon specialist, J.J. Davis, as his right-hand man. In the present, Vigilante rescues J.J., but must allow himself to be arrested by the FBI while J.J. goes underground. Vigilante is forced to admit his identity as Dorian Chase to the feds, who place him in Stryker’s Island Maximum Security Prison, where he bides his time as he calculates his next move. Origin of Vigilante.

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 Titans and Vigilantes


Who is that masked man? Over the years, multiple DC characters have claimed the title of Vigilante. And several of them have personal links to the Teen Titans. Here’s a quick-list of the Vigilantes that have cultivated ties to the Titansverse.

Vigilante: Adrian Chase

In the 1980s, the comic book medium began to evolve and mature. There was good and evil, but readers started to see the introduction of characters that would be a little more ambiguous. Marvel started the trend with characters like Wolverine and the Punisher. And DC soon followed suit with the all-new Vigilante: an urban commando who waged his own war on crime.

Tough District Attorney Adrian Chase first appeared in New Teen Titans #23 in 1982. Writer Marv Wolfman created a character who grew increasingly irritated by the alarming crime rate. The situation started to reach a breaking point in New Teen Titans #33-34, where Chase teamed up with Robin to bring down Anthony Scarapelli, head of one of New York’s mob families. In retaliation, Scarapelli planted a bomb which killed Chase’s wife and two children.

The story reached its climax in New Teen Titans Annual #2, where Adrian Chase made his debut as Vigilante, killing Scarapelli as Robin watched. By this time, DC had already planned a Vigilante ongoing series. Marv Wolfman explained how he wanted to differentiate the Vigilante from The Punisher: ” I think people simply assumed I was going to send the Vigilante off to kill everyone in creation who was ever served a parking summons or found littering. No way, folks! The Vigilante is obviously a protagonist whose methods are questionable, but he does not use his gun unless he has to. The character, his unique perspective of the law – having once been a District Attorney – and his method of operations make him different from virtually all the other characters of this type in pulp novels or in comics.”

Marv Wolfman launched Vigilante with Keith Pollard on pencils. Some Teen Titans characters appeared during the course of the series, including Cyborg in Vigilante#3 and Nightwing in the two-part Vigilante #20-21. Captain James Hall, who debuted in New Teen Titans, was featured as a supporting character throughout.

After Marv Wolfman left Vigilante, Paul Kupperberg became the main writer. The tone of the book began to change, as Chase himself became more obsessed. Adrian Chase’s tragic end was perhaps preordained by the events of Vigilante #37, where the anti-hero threw a policeman from a fire escape. After that event, Chase sank deeper into despair and self-loathing. In a shocking finale to the series, Adrian Chase took his own life with a bullet to his head in Vigilante #50 in 1988.

Editor Mike Gold explained the unconventional ending in that issue’s letter column: “Inside each of us lurks a potential vigilante who wants to strike back at evil. Luckily, we keep that vigilante in check. Adrian Chase could not. His desire to commit suicide, his actually pulling the trigger, is understandable if not acceptable: he had become the evil he was fighting. Adrian Chase has paid the price of his actions, as he understood it.”

Essential Reading:
New Teen Titans (first series) #23, 26-27, 33-34
New Teen Titans Annual (first series) #2
Vigilante #1-50

Vigilante: Pat Trayce

In the 1990s, grim and gritty characters became quite popular. This led to Deathstroke getting his own ongoing series in 1991. And soon, Marv Wolfman would introduce another all-new Vigilante.

Tough Detective Pat Trayce was introduced in the pages of Deathstroke #6 in 1991, which kicked off a four-part storyline guest-starring Batman. Trayce grew frustrated with the city’s revolving door justice system as mob assassin Jeremy Barker became a federally protected witness. When Trayce was framed for an attempt on his life, she donned the original Vigilante costume to clear her own name in Deathstroke #9. This marked the first appearance of Pat Trayce as Vigilante.

Pat Trayce left her job as a detective behind her and decided to become the new Vigilante full-time in Deathstroke #10-11. Slade Wilson initially refused to train her, but eventually relented. The two soon became lovers, beginning a tumultuous romantic relationship. Pat Trayce returned in Deathstroke #21, and became a recurring character in the series, clashing with Slade while alternately enjoying an occasional physical dalliance with the famous mercenary.

Deathstroke #0 and #41 started a new direction for the title, wherein Slade Wilson was framed for murder and hunted by various DC characters. Pat Trayce was kidnapped and tormented by Slade’s now-insane ex-wife, Addie Kane. The storyline was ultimately resolved in Deathstroke #50 and Annual #4. By this time, Trayce had let go of the anger and vengeance that had driven her for so long.

Vigilante appeared next in Deathstroke #55, where it was revealed that Trayce had taken over Adeline Kane’s Searchers Inc. company, and renamed it Vigilance. Pat claimed she went a little crazy, thinking she could take the law into her own hands, and vowed that Vigilance would be a company dedicated to helping people. She remained a supporting character in Deathstroke until its final issue, Deathstroke #60, in 1996.

Pat Trayce appeared next in the Hawk & Dove 1998 mini-series, where Vigilante and Vixen were called to track down Hawk & Dove at the behest of Checkmate. She also returned to assist Resurrection Man with a new incarnation of the Forgotten Heroes and aided the JSA during the “Our Worlds at War” galactic crisis.

Essential Reading:
Deathstroke #6-11, 21, 29-30, 34, 38-39, 0, 41-46, 55-60
Deathstroke Annual #1, 4
Hawk & Dove (mini-series) 1997

Vigilante: Dorian Chase

Yet another all-new Vigilante was introduced in the pages of Nightwing #133 in 2007. In a story penned by Marv Wolfman, an entirely new Vigilante was hunting Dick Grayson’s old friend, Metal Eddie, who had become leader of the 21 Tigers, an international gang of murderers.

The storyline continued through Nightwing #137, but the reader never learned Vigilante’s true identity. The mysterious gunman is seen visiting the grave of Adrian Chase, and explained, “he’s not out to save the world, just himself.” His connection to Chase was not yet made clear, creating an intentional mystery surrounding the character.

Writer Marv Wolfman shared some insights into the creation of this new Vigilante on his column at marvwolfman.com: “When I was asked to bring back Vig by DC honcho, Dan Didio, I spent a lot of time coming up with a new and surprising back story so he won’t fit into the “My family was murdered and now I seek revenge” school of vigilante characters, everyone from Batman and Spider-Man to Punisher and even the last incarnation of Vigilante I wrote back in the 80s. This Vigilante’s family didn’t die. In fact he didn’t have a family (wife or kids) to have died. […] This Vigilante is a series of mysteries beyond the evil plots he’s dealing with, and clues will be dropped along the way as to who he is.”

Vigilante received an ongoing series of his own in 2008. His first name, Dorian, was revealed early in the series, but his background was still shrouded in mystery. Finally, in Vigilante #9, it was revealed that Dorian was the brother of original Vigilante, Adrian Chase. Vigilante #11 gave more clues to Dorian’s backstory, as a hard-boiled reporter decided to track down the gun-toting anti-hero.

In Vigilante #12, the final issue of the low-selling series, readers finally learned most of the details surrounding the new Vigilante’s mysterious origins. The story began almost 10 years ago, when Dorian stood trial for the murder of his wife, Marsha Bennett. An underling of mob boss Solomon Bennett, Dorian was manipulated into believing that Marsha was carrying another man’s baby. Consumed with rage, Dorian shot and killed his wife, only to learn he had been set up. Consumed with guilt, Dorian served 5 years in jail for manslaughter, where he learned his own brother’s activities as the first Vigilante led him to take his own life. Upon release from prison, Dorian became the new Vigilante as a way to atone for his own past, and used Adrian’s weapon specialist, J.J. Davis, as his right-hand man.

As the series came to a close, Vigilante rescued J.J. from Solomon Bennett’s men, but allowed himself to be arrested by the FBI while J.J. went underground. Vigilante was forced to admit his identity as Dorian Chase to the feds, who placed him in Stryker’s Island Maximum Security Prison, where he was left to calculate his next move.

Essential Reading:
Nightwing #133-137
Vigilante #1-12

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 Marv Wolfman on The All-New Vigilante


Wolfman’s Vigilante Vows
courtesy of http://comicon.com – posted December 24, 2008
BY JENNIFER M. CONTINO

Before the first issue of Vigilante saw print, Marv Wolfman gave us some teasers about this new incarnation of the classic character. Now, we’ve got even more information from the scribe about the man behind the mask, his involvement in DC’s Faces of Evil, some other DCU notables who might be making the scene in this series and writing “older” for today’s audience.

THE PULSE: In September when we talked about your return to Vigilante you mentioned, “now that comics can be written older instead of just for kids, I’m really excited about getting to do those kinds of stories.” Having read most of your work since The New Teen Titans, I’d say you never really were writing to kids; so what do you mean by saying you can “write older”?

MARV WOLFMAN: Although the themes in Titans were older, the writing was straight forward so it could be understood by younger readers. There’s a way to write where you make sure every T is crossed and every I is dotted so the youngest readers can still follow a complex story. I leave a lot more open in Vigilante knowing I don’t have to explain everything and the readers can figure it out from what is there. Also, once we’re past the crossover stories, we’ll be dealing more with crime stories that can get a lot grimmer than the Titans stories did. Relationships are handled differently. Events can be stronger. This isn’t XXX rated or Vertigo rated but we don’t have to 100% make it kid friendly.

THE PULSE: The second issue of Vigilante is a “Faces of Evil” crossover issue, did you know about this a long time ago or did you find out later and have to finagle a few things around?

WOLFMAN: I found out just before I wrote it. Fortunately I didn’t have to take anything out as I was able to use the Faces of Evil sections to tell what I had wanted to tell anyway. By the way, it’s the third issue that’s the Faces Of Evil story, not # 2.

[Editor’s Note: January Previews listed #2 as a “Faces of Evil” crossover.]

THE PULSE: How does the newest Vigilante get involved with the “Faces of Evil”? Which Face is he, well, facing?

WOLFMAN: We’re not really tied in strong.

THE PULSE: What jail does Vig find himself in? There are a lot of different ones that house supervillains in the DCU ….

WOLFMAN: Stryker’s Prison in New York.

THE PULSE: Out of all the jail houses around, why Stryker’s Prison?

WOLFMAN: 1: It was in NY. And 2: It houses super-villains, so we were able to use Electrocutioner. And 3: It’s where the person Vigilante needs to find (not Electrocutioner) is imprisoned.

Marv’s mysterious new Vigilante.

THE PULSE: We’ve seen other heroes (and policemen/women/beautiful detectives working for Charlie) undercover behind bars, how is what you’re doing here different from that formula of “good guy goes to jail, good guy discovers secret, good guy gets sprung from the joint”?

WOLFMAN: Because the person who is Vigilante was in prison himself for five years for crimes he did commit, his reaction to being sent there again is very different form someone who is merely undercover.

THE PULSE: Usually those good guys who wind up behind bars have a person in place to get them out, but Vigilante is kind of a loner. Has he thought that far ahead about the what to do next? Who is he working with here?

WOLFMAN: That would be telling. Sorry.

THE PULSE: Why did you want to make one of his confidants J.J. Davis? What does that add to the mythos here?

WOLFMAN: I had several reasons for including JJ. 1: He was the original Vigilante’s tech and weapon guy and 2: Nightwing used him in the issues I wrote. So, since he had already been introduced long before I knew there’d be a new Vigilante, it made sense to move him over since although this Vigilante is not Adrian Chase there is a connection to him.

THE PULSE: Who are some of the people he encounters behind bars?

WOLFMAN: The Electrocutioner who I created many years ago and was brought back into the DCU more recently by others.

THE PULSE: Why did you want there to be such a mystery around his identity?

WOLFMAN: Originally I pitched the book so not even the reader would know who he was for awhile, but because of the crossovers that wasn’t possible. But then I realized how I could make that work anyway. So in issue #1 we learn who Vigilante is, but honestly we don’t. I want the reader to know that we don’t know everything about this character up front. You have to spend some time rooting him out as you do with many people you meet. They seem like one person when you meet them but the more you know them the more you see other sides to them. So Vigilante is someone who has served time and has a very troubled past, but we don’t learn what it is, except through hints, for awhile. I won’t keep it secret forever or even a very long time; if the book sells, we’ll learn who he is sooner than later. But I wanted to peel the layers away rather than cutting through it from day 1.

THE PULSE: There’s a lot of speculation that this Vigilante might be Jason Todd or one of the male Team Titans members. What’s the craziest rumor you’ve heard about who’s under the mask?

WOLFMAN: I actually don’t pay attention to rumors or read about them, so I had no idea Jason was considered. But I can tell you it’s not Jason. That wasn’t even a thought.

THE PULSE: The Vigilante seems like an idea character to have roam the DCU canvas. What other places do you plan on having him visit during his first few arcs — after he gets out of jail, that is …?

WOLFMAN: The Jail scenario is just one issue. I know it’s something that could have been longer, but because of how he gets into jail what happened there affects him for issues afterward. In short, the FBI starts to figure out who he is based on who was brought to the jail that week. Once the FBI gets its claws into him things start to go to hell for Vig as they intend to stop whatever his plans are.

THE PULSE: What do you enjoy the most about working on this comic at this point in time?

WOLFMAN: I’m enjoying writing it differently than I do other books. I’m also loving the idea of a regular series, no matter how long it lasts. I was hired for Nightwing to do four issues then four more than four more, etc. So I couldn’t do any long range planning. Here I am and that’s what I love to do more than anything. I love building on stories and taking them in different directions which you can only do right if you plant the clues earlier then slowly exploit them.

THE PULSE: When we last spoke, you hadn’t had the chance to see any of Rick Leonardi’s artwork yet. I’m guessing you have now. What do you think about the way he’s bringing your tale to life?

WOLFMAN: Rick’s work on issue #1 is incredible and from what I’ve seen on issue #2 it gets better.

THE PULSE: What other projects are you working on?

WOLFMAN: As always, stuff I can’t talk about. Wish I could.

Mystery Man: The All-New Vigilante

Shoot ‘Em Up
courtesy of marvwolfman.com – posted November 24, 2008

Vigilante is my new DC comic and one I’m very proud of. If you read my Nightwing book last year you’ve already met Vig and you know there’s some mysteries concerning him. When I was asked to bring back Vig by DC honcho, Dan Didio, I spent a lot of time coming up with a new and surprising back story so he won’t fit into the “My family was murdered and now I seek revenge” school of vigilante characters, everyone from Batman and Spider-Man to Punisher and even the last incarnation of Vigilante I wrote back in the 80s. This Vigilante’s family didn’t die. In fact he didn’t have a family (wife or kids) to have died. You also may have noticed that we never showed you Vigilante’s face in Nightwing; that was deliberate. You’ll see his face in Vigilante #1. But not really. You’ll find out his name in that issue, too. But not really. This Vigilante is a series of mysteries beyond the evil plots he’s dealing with, and clues will be dropped along the way as to who he is.

I’ve wanted to write a crime comic for the longest time. As proof I was the Marvel editor-in-chief way back in the 70s who suggested we use Spidey villain, The Punisher, as the lead in his own black and white magazine. Vigilante is a crime comic dressed up in bullet proof armor.

I’ve got a lot of plans with the book that I hope will surprise folk, so I do hope you’ll find time on Christmas Eve day to trudge down to your comics shop and pick up the book. Or better yet, go to your shop now and place an order for them to hold until you can pick it up a day or two later.

As I say, I’ll remind folk a few more times as the release date approaches. But thanks in advance to all those who place their orders early. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

And lest I forget, the art by Rick Leonardi is simply fantastic. I could not be happier.



Sources for this entry: titanstower.com


End of titanstower.com transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind titanstower.com. He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author