This page is for the original Vigilante, Greg Sanders. For the current Vigilante. For the third Vigilante.
Greg Sanders' great grandfather was a famous Indian fighter who helped open up the American West to settlement in the 19th century before he was killed in an Indian ambush. Greg's father continued this fighting tradition, but he fought criminals - becoming a sheriff out west. Greg was born in Wyoming and even as a child was thrilled to watch his father get in fistfights with criminals.
Vigilante was created by Mort Weisnger and Mort Meskin.
Greg Sanders from Post-Crisis Earth-2, he was born in the Western United States near the end of World War I, the son of a noted lawman. Choosing to become a singer and songwriter (the 'Prairie Troubadour') rather than follow in his father's footsteps, Greg nevertheless learned to handle a gun and a lasso as well as Sheriff Sanders ever had, and when his father was killed by bandits he'd been trying to apprehend, Greg took up his guns and avenged him.
He swore a vow on his father's grave to dedicate himself to the path of justice, and donned the mask of the Vigilante, dividing his time between the West and New York and partnering with first Billy Gunn. When Greg went after a triad gang boss- known as the Head - sought to provoke a Tong war in New York City's Chinatown area. He framed Lin Chou, the wise leader of the White Lotus Tong, for wrongdoing. Lin Chou's young grandson Stuff, helped Vigilante battle the Head and his men and clear his grandfather's name. Stuff the Chinatown Kid thereafter became the Vigilante's crime fighting sidekick.
In the early 1940s, he became a member of both the All-Star Squadron and the Seven Soldiers of Victory but a few years later, he and the other members of the Seven Soldiers faced the monstrous Nebula Man, and were transported through time to various periods in history (in Greg's case, the American West in the 1800s). He and the other Soldiers were eventually rescued by the time-traveling.
Justice Society of America and their colleagues, the Justice League of America from Earth-One, only to find that while very little time had passed for them, they had been brought 'back' to a period decades into their own future. Having to adjust to life in the present day, Sanders retired from crime fighting for the most part and seldom donned his mask again, though he did appear in costume at the memorial service held for his former teammate the Crimson Avenger. In the Columbia serial, Greg is a government agent under cover as a western actor and singer.
Greg Sanders from Earth-One, he used his natural talent as a marksman to uphold justice as a modern day vigilante, following in the footsteps of the heroes of the old West. He eventually retired and took a job as a security guard at a chemical plant, but uncovered a plot by aliens called the Doomsters to use the plant to pollute Earth for their own ends.
Sanders sought the help of the Justice League of America in defeating the Doomsters and then the League did help him re-establish his career and even providing him with a new motorcycle. The man who had been known as " Stuff" as a boy was murdered by the Vigilante's arch foe the Dummy. The Vigilante and Stuff's son, "Stuff Jr." brought the Dummy to justice, and the young man became Vigilante's new sidekick.
In 1940's,Greg Saunders has put his crime fighting career on the backburner to pursue life as a Hollywood actor. He’s forced to once again don the red bandanna when real-life gangster Ben Bugsy Siegel comes to town and brutally murders Vigilante’s sidekick, Stuff. The Vigilante swings back into action, with a back-and-forth war with the mob that spans over two years, with Siegel’s designs on building a Vegas hotel & casino looming ominously in the background.
In present day, Greg is shown have survived into his old age, just long enough to reform a new team of Seven Soldiers of Victory, he was killed in the battle with a large monster spider of Miracle Mesa. He re-appear as a ghost in Bulleteer, in hopes to recruit a new team of seven to further battle the threat of the Sheeda. He claims Bulleteer's actions will allow him to 'rest'. Greg appears again alive and is the sheriff of Warpath, a town on the Mexican border formerly known for super villain activity. Olsen's narration notes that Saunders has been dead and came back to life, but does not go into detail. Olsen also notes that Saunders appears younger, though he clearly retains all of his past experience.
Major Story Arcs
The Modern Age Greg appeared in Seven Soldiers of Victory, where he dies.
Powers and Abilities
The Vigilante commonly used a pair of Colt Single Action Revolvers with 5.5 inch barrels, as well as his famous lasso. These weapons were given to him by his father. In the brave and the bold cartoons he uses a pair of revolvers resembling Colt 1860s, that never seem to run out of bullets. Another addition to his arsenal in the cartoon is a hidden double barrel gun in his guitar. It appears to fire some kind of Rifle Round.
He has no superpowers, he is merely a skilled marksman, bike rider, mechanic and detective.
The Vigilante: Fighting Hero of the West
In 1947 Columbia Pictures released a 15 episode serial based on The Vigilante.
The films starred Ralph Byrd, best known for his portrayal of Dick Tracy.
It was directed by Wallace Fox and produced by Sam Katzman.
The Vigilante's costume was changed (only the red bandanna remained), and his sidekick Stuff was changed to a Caucasian (played by George Offerman, Jr.).
The plot involves The Vigilante investigating the case of the "100 Tears of Blood" a rare string of red pearls, thought to be cursed.
The villain is known as X-1.
It features music by Mikhail Romanovich Bakaleinikov who also scored the film version of Blondie.
DC Animated Universe
Vigilante appeared in the Justice League Unlimited series as an incidental character in a number of episodes, and he was often paired with Shining Knight. He had a major speaking role in two, Patriot Act and Hunter's Moon where he was played by Nathan Fillion; he also had a minor speaking role in Task Force X, where he was voiced by Michael Rosenbaum.
The DCAU interpretation is shown wearing his traditional cowboy outfit, and rides a motorcycle. Reference is made to his country singer past through his professed ability to play guitar.
Batman: The Brave and The Bold
Vigilante also guest starred more recently in an episode of Batman: The Brave and The Bold, in the prologue of the episode "Night of the Batmen!". He seemed pretty close to his previously animated DCAU appearance.
Voiced by John DiMaggio, the Vigilante only showed up to sing a ballad over a fight scene featuring the Batman against a group of mobsters. Though he gets to fire on Batman foes as they were almost going to get him from behind, thanks to Vigilante's hidden gun inside his guitar.
Justice League: The New Frontier
He appeared in the ending, riding his motorcycle.