Peacemaker’s Vigilante isn’t anything like the comics by design
In the DC universe, Vigilante has actually been a great deal of individuals: A Wild West hero with a red bandanna for a mask; a previous district lawyer driven to violence after his household is killed; an undercover police with superpowers thanks to an accelerator mishap.
He has actually just hardly ever been as doltish as he remains in HBO Max’s brand-new Peacemaker program. Represented by Freddie Stroma, Vigilante is presented to the audience through a series of desperate-to-hang-out voicemails he left Peacemaker while the latter remained in jail. It’s a far cry from the tortured loners who bore the Vigilante name in DC’s comics, and there’s great factor for that.
Like Peacemaker, Vigilante is a superhero who’s gone through a variety of modifications throughout the years. He’s had no less than 9 identities, in some cases with very powers and in some cases without. In particular runs he solely utilizes non-lethal force, however in other arcs he’s gotten increasingly more violent with the crooks (and, in some cases, civilians) he nabs. However given that he initially debuted in 1941’s Action Comics #42, the character has actually constantly been a specialist in both armed and unarmed fight.
So why does Peacemaker’s Vigilante seem so different from his (various) comic book counterparts? According to James Gunn, it’s because that’s who he saw this character as in the real world.
“I thought, if this guy really existed, there really was a Vigilante, a guy who dresses up in a costume, and goes around and kills people he says are doing something wrong — what would he really be like?” Gunn tells Polygon.
“And that’s where Vigilante came [from], he’s very off, and he’s a sociopath, but he’s got this sort of sweet aspect to him.”
Most of that aspect manifests itself in his loyalty to Peacemaker, who he looks up to as an older brother. Unlike their bitter conflict in the comics, Peacemaker paints the relationship between the two superheroes as a kinship, even if Peacemaker would rather not see it that way. Both are incredibly skilled fighters, and have a sort of misguided sense of justice. If Peacemaker is the sort of man who “doesn’t care how many men, women, and children” he has actually to kill to achieve peace, then Vigilante is the sort of person who kills when he finds out someone “murdered an innocent person — or did some graffiti.”
Throughout the show, Vigilante walks a fine line of being objectionable but still, bizarrely, endearing in the goofy, almost buffoonish way he conducts himself, even in brutal fight. Unlike the initial Adrian Chase, Peacemaker’s Vigilante isn’t a slick attorney by day; he’s a waiter at a regional dining establishment.
While Stroma credits Gunn with offering him “1,000 colors” to play with to produce “just this weird sociopath,” Gunn thinks it’s Stroma’s efficiency that truly draws out the winning side that assists keep the character grounded.
“I’m very comfortable with the Guardians of the Galaxy, because they aren’t superheroes […] They aren’t dressing up in a mask and saying that they know who’s right and who’s wrong and beating the shit out of them. There are some intrinsic issues with that way of thinking, if you were to say that was real,” Gunn states. “I thought it was a different way to go with the character that also made a little bit more sense for me in terms of what kind of guy would do that.”
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.