Peacemaker: Who Is Vigilante?

Peacemaker debuted today on HBO Max, bringing John Cena's character from The Suicide Squad to the small screen in the DC Films universe's first official TV spinoff. Instead of teaming him up exclusively with characters from Task Force X, though, the character finds himself shoulder to shoulder with Vigilante, another DC antihero who seems to have created a kind of foul-mouthed riff on a Blue Beetle/Booster Gold-style bromance. Along with Judomaster, the character of Vigilante is on board for Peacemaker, although with Vigilante, he's part of the inner circle. That raises some questions among fans about what they can expect from the character.

Vigilante, real name Adrian Chase, first appeared in New Teen Titans #23 in September of 1982. When The Suicide Squad was in production, a rumor suggested Idris Elba would be playing this character, before it was revealed he would be Bloodsport instead. On Arrow, the character of Vigilante ended up intertwined with two long-running mysteries.  

In season five of that show, Josh Segarra was cast in the role of Adrian Chase. At the same time he first appeared, two mysterious characters made their debut on the show: the villainous Prometheus, and the antihero Vigilante. Fans of course assumed that Chase was Vigilante, as he was in the comics, but instead that turned out to be a misdirect. Chase was instead Prometheus, with the mystery of who Vigilante really was carried on for quite a long time after that.

Whether an antihero or a villain, Vigilante is a dark-clad, gun-toting character who doles out brutal "justice," with himself as judge, jury, and executioner. In the comics, there have been seven different people to use the Vigilante role and the same basic look, including a woman who was married to Deathstroke the Terminator. The character on Arrow, Vincent Sobel, was actually an original character created for the TV show.

In other words, especially with a creative and crazy filmmaker like Gunn, you can expect just about anything from the Vigilante we meet on Peacemaker. In the '80s, there was even a version (Greg Saunders) whose nephew Michael Carter (no relation to Booster Gold, whose name is Michael Jon Carter) took on the role of The Swashbuckler...which feels like something straight out of Gunn's superhero parody Super, and a possibility for the show.

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The character of Vigilante on Peacemaker is played in Peacemaker by Bridgerton's Freddie Stroma, who stepped in to replace Chris Conrad, who left due to creative differences with the producers.

The first three episodes of Peacemaker are now streaming on HBO Max.