Vigilante, a 6-issue mini-series from DC Comics. Written by Micah Ian Wright and illustrated by Carlos D'Anda.
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From "The Pulse"...

BY HEIDI MACDONALD
You know him and you love him for STORMWATCH: TEAM ACHILLES and YOU BACK THE ATTACK . Now writer Micah Ian Wright is teaming with artist Carlos D'Anda for THE VIGILANTE , one of three 6-issue mini series coming out next year from Wildstorm that was announced at yesterday’s Superman panel at Wizard World Chicago.

Like THE QUESTION, by Rick Veitch and Tommy Lee Edwards THE VIGILANTE explores some of the themes introduced by Brian Azzarello in him upcoming LEX LUTHOR: MAN OF STEEL mini-series. It also resurrects a character from DC's past, in this case a character from the Marv Wolfman and George Perez run on TEEN TITANS . This Vigilante was Adrian Chase, a DA who took the law into his own hands by hunting down criminals who had escaped the conventional justice system. This version of the character ran 50 issues before taking his own life.

 

The next character to bear the name in the DCU was a bit different, starting with the fact that she was a she, Gotham City police officer Pat Trayce. This version teamed with Deathstroke the Terminator in his book, and had a similar outside the system method of bringing criminals to justice.

So who is this new Vigilante? Is it a new Vigilante? Wright doesn't explain it all for you – but he gives us some clues.

PULSE : Whose idea was it for you to work on THE VIGILANTE?

WRIGHT : From what I understand, it was Jim Lee and Carlos D'Anda . Carlos was active a few years ago, then dropped off the scene while he did work in other industries, and now he's back with a vengeance. We did a 12-page story together in the recent WILDSTORM ANNUAL .

PULSE : Were you familiar with the character before?

WRIGHT : Oh, sure. I was in the perfect age group for the Marv Wolfman/George Perez TEEN TITANS era. I ate it up... Nightwing, Cyborg, Deathstroke the Terminator, Brother Bludd, Vigilante, all that great stuff which came from that amazing team. My dream DC Universe job is Carlos and I on a Deathstroke the Terminator book.

PULSE : Where does the story take place and how does it fit in with the Superman/Metropolis mythos?

These books take place in the regular DC Universe. Superman will appear in my book. My book takes place in Metropolis and it deals with how a Vigilante would operate in the city best known for its Big Blue protector. My book takes a good, hard look at the crime which takes place in the city at the upper levels of society.

PULSE : So…is this is an ALL NEW, ALL DIFFERENT Vigilante?

WRIGHT : Who said it's an All New All Different Vigilante? I mean, on the one hand, it kinda has to be: the original 1980's Vigilante, Adrian Chase, is dead. Or is he? He shot himself in the head... but he also had some type of healing factor which might have taken care of that. Or is that ridiculous? Suddenly here's this new person running around Metropolis in a big V-draped costume shooting criminals, so is it the same guy? Or is it someone new? And if so, why? And what connection do they have to the old Vigilante? Or do they have any at all? Just in case you haven't guessed by now, the book is a mystery.

PULSE : What was your original thought about the character of The Vigilante?

WRIGHT : That the original book was sort of a rip-off of The Punisher and Don Pendleton's "Mack Bolan: The Executioner" books and that in no way, shape or form did I want to try and follow up Don Pendleton and Garth Ennis . Or Marv Wolfman , whose work I really liked when I was a kid. When initially asked, all I could imagine was the internet fan reaction of people saying "Aw, he's just ripping off Garth Ennis ," so I was inclined to turn down the job.

In addition, the whole "Death Wish"/"The Executioner" thing is a tad bit tired anyway. I mean, the Mafia? They're mostly history. Sure, you have the Russian gangs still, but they have nowhere near the control over huge swaths of the country's economy that the Mafia did in its heyday.

Lastly, the original conceit of the 80's Vigilante was that Adrian Chase could know who was a criminal and who wasn't because he was a DA and a judge. He would only run out and shoot criminals whom he was forced to let off on some small technicality of the law who would otherwise have been convicted. That's a quaint idea WRIGHT : that there were loopholes in the law which allowed major criminals to walk on capital crimes. Unfortunately for that approach, most of those loopholes have been closed off, either by passage of new laws or by the radical agenda of the Rehnquist Supreme Court which recently ruled, for instance, that it didn't impinge upon a suspect's rights when a policeman shot him, then denied the suspect medical attention unless he confessed to a crime, then the policeman's sergeant showed up at the hospital and interfered with the suspect's medical treatment and attempted to badger a confession out of the suspect. Since the 1980's, the Supreme Court ruled that and several other unusual interrogation techniques were okay, so I find it a tad bit disingenuous to write about a revolving-door criminal system which I know doesn't exist any longer.

It wasn't until I began to think about what kinds of crime are being gotten away with today that I figured out a good take on the book which fit with the concept of today's justice system.

PULSE : And how did it develop as you created the new character?

WRIGHT : Well, after I thought about it for a few hours, though, I did see one way to do a Vigilante book without that "war on street crime" take on things. I thought: Who's getting away with crime today? The Enron guys. The Tyco guys. The WorldCom/Citibank guys. I mean, WorldCom was a deliberately organized scam to steal $200 billion dollars from the American people and what's been done about it? Absolutely nothing. The federal government has sat by and watched these pirates pillage the pocketbooks and retirement accounts of the American people and they've mostly turned a blind eye to it.

Once I started thinking about THOSE guys, suddenly it was clear who the targets of a 2004 Vigilante would be.

PULSE : Knowing you, and knowing the connotations of the word "vigilante" I'm awfully curious about what this book will be. What goes through your head when you hear the word "vigilante."

WRIGHT : Vigilante: someone who seeks to avenge a crime or injury or punish a criminal without legal authority or due process. I'm not the type of person who believes in "vigilante justice". I tend to think of these people as a menace, not as heroes. A few years ago, a criminal in Texas shot his ex-girlfriend in the parking lot of a Dallas mall. Suddenly a total stranger uninvolved in the scene walked up and shot the man through the car's door. Vigilante Justice, Texas-style. The stranger was acquitted and the message was sent out: don't mess with Texans. But who asked that vigilante to butt in? And what the hell was going through the his mind when he did it? Who shoots someone for a crime they're not even involved in? That takes a seriously messed-up personality. That type of Mentality is going to be one of the topics of the new Vigilante book.

PULSE : What is the tone of the book?

WRIGHT : Dark Comedy with LOTS of explosions. Carlos draws good explosions and I want to keep him happy.

PULSE : Will there be…politics?????? Crap, I hate these email interviews…

WRIGHT : Why, no, of course not. I'm well known for keeping my opinions to myself and just writing straight-ahead spandex superhero comics and I wouldn't want to do anything which might change public perception of me, so no, no politics in this book. Just guys in Spandex shooting rich corrupt businessmen, but absolutely no examination of the politics of those circumstances. I promise. For realsies.

PULSE : Is it a straight-ahead superhero book?

WRIGHT : Oh, sure. I mean, insomuch as someone who kills people who've done them no personal harm can be called a "superhero," then sure, it's a superhero book.

PULSE : How does this book fit into the real world, or does it?

WRIGHT : The circumstances and events of this book seem much more likely to happen any day now than, say, Metamorpho stopping by my house for tea and cookies

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