Vigilante is the name used by several fictional characters appearing in DC Comics. The original character was one of the first DC Comics characters adapted for live-action film, beating Superman himself by one year.
The original Vigilante was a western-themed hero who debuted in Action Comics #42 (November 1941). The origin of the Vigilante was straightforward, as was typical of 1940's mystery men. Greg Sanders' (the spelling was changed to "Saunders" in the 1990s) grandfather was an Indian fighter, and his father was a sheriff in Wyoming. As a young man, Saunders moved east to New York City and became a country singer, radio's "Prairie Troubadour". Greg returned to his home after his father was killed, bringing to justice the gang of bandits who killed the sheriff during a stagecoach hold-up. Afterwards Saunders devoted his life to battling criminals in the same manner, taking the Western-themed identity of the Vigilante. A slight revision to this came a few months later, when it was explained that the stagecoach was used to transport gold from a mine, and that the bandits were actually Easterners, since the idea of a stagecoach heist in modern times was improbable.
The Vigilante, like many heroes of the era, acquired a sidekick to aid him in his crime fighting. Stuff the Chinatown Kid, was introduced in Action Comics #45. He assisted the Vigilante when a Japanese spy known as the Head framed Stuff's grandfather for provoking a Tong war. Stuff worked with the Vigilante until his apparent retirement.
The majority of the Vigilante's solo adventures were against non-powered, costumed criminals. He was an excellent brawler, trick shooter, sharpshooter, horseman and motorcycle rider, and an expert with the lariat. These skills gave him advantage over his adversaries in his adventures, which centered primarily in New York City.
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Official Site: D.C Comics
Links: Wikipedia Toonopedia Unoff. Guide to D.C Universe