The Vigilante Challenge
Warning: This will be somewhat spoiler filled through Vigilante issue 10.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Mid Ohio Con. Marv Wolfman was one of the guests and I had the chance to chat briefly with him about Vigilante, as I was getting a book signed. He mentioned that sales numbers weren’t so great on the book, which really motivated my thoughts for this column.

Vigilante has been a book that has filled an important area in my reading experience. It’s a great mystery. When this new Vigilante appeared in Nightwing, it brought about a few questions for me. Was this Adrian Chase back from the dead? Was it a completely new character? Was there any connection to the previous series? What is the overall hook into this series? Why should I care?

I really have enjoyed the gradually unfolding mystery to the identity of Vigilante. We find out early on that Dorian is his name but not much else. He can adopt a new identity ala the film “Face Off”. This enables him to use his civilian identity to infiltrate organized crime and to gain information from the inside. This is an interesting story element. If things get too hot, he can change his location, identity and contacts to redirect his war on crime. This has the possibility of keeping this book very fresh as each new identity could completely change the way he operates. It could also change the supporting cast.

He has adopted this role to make up for the death of his wife. He is somehow responsible and it’s really clear that he wasn’t on the side of the angels before. What drove him to change his allegiances? What was his role in the death of his wife? How did her father play into this? We learn he is a part of organized crime but we don’t know the details of his relationship with Dorian. Every issue fills in more of the pieces but has us asking more questions.

Another twist on the series is that he is being hunted by the FBI for killing an agent. As you can guess he is not responsible. He seems to have a code which is to avoid killing police. The partner of the deceased agent is the one hunting him. It’s partially out of revenge for the death of her partner but I also feel she is angry that he keeps escaping from them. You can feel her frustration come off the page.

Friend of the show, David Baron, does the color work on this book. The whole artistic presentation is very gritty and edgy. It has a very unique atmosphere. Dorian’s focus is on his war on selected crime organizations and his point of view drives the style of the visuals. It looks like a good crime film.

Vigilante isn’t like anything else I am reading. I would be very disappointed if it got cancelled. As we learn more about Dorian, it just brings about more questions about his background. Marv mentioned that rereading the series will reveal many clues that were presented in earlier issues that point to the solutions of those mysteries. That type of storytelling really grabs me. I love books featuring the top tier characters but it’s great to follow the adventures of some of the B and C listers. Their books tend to view the world VERY differently. If it sounds like a book that you are interested in, issue 11 kicks off his new status quo so it’s a great issue to try out.

Please feel free to send my any comments to ragingbullets@gmail.com or visit our forums. If you try out Vigilante, I would love to hear your thoughts. No matter your experience. It’s always fun to chat comics. I may air some of them on the show.

Sean