Last character introduced in Arrow episode A Matter of Trust is a precious new ally to Mayor Queen and his staff, the new D.A. Adrian Chase, portrayed by Josh Segarra. Chase introduced himself as a honest and incorruptible crime fighter, with a strict anti-vigilante policy, who tries to clean up Star City through the legal system. Well, spoiler alert, but we’ve seen him (sort of) under another view already, since when Felicity looks for recruits for the new Team Arrow, the sketch of a vigilante she doesn’t call for is seen on her computer, and she just names him “Goggles“… well, that’s Adrian Chase’s alter ego, the Vigilante (not much fantasy there), and he’ll show up in episode 7, titled Vigilante (again, what’s the problem?!). Funny thing is, his methods will result too extreme for Green Arrow and his team, and that says quite a lot. Now, let’s see who Adrian Chase is originally.
Born in New York City, Adrian Chase was the son of famous lawyer Charles Chase, and he grew up with his brother, Dorian. As all the Chases before him, Adrian studied and graduated at a law school, becoming a lawyer just as his father, and then a judge. He made quite a career in the legal system, and he was even appointed District Attorney of Manhattan: honest and uncompromising, Chase declared war to the organized crime, especially to the Mafia families controlling the city. In the meanwhile, he had met Doris Brinkley, a woman he had fallen in love with: the two got married, and they had two children, Adam and Drew. Adrian’s job often put him at risk, but New York had also protectors other than the law enforcers, as it was the home of the New Teen Titans, a group that often cooperated with the District Attorney office and operated where the law couldn’t. The results of this cooperation were soon blatant, as Chase managed to corner one of the most powerful Mafia families in town, the Scarapellis… but the criminals weren’t exactly keen on going down without fighting, and they organised a bomb attack to kill the D.A.. The bomb didn’t kill Adrian, but it murdered his wife and children. Broken, Adrian Chase realized there were far too many things he couldn’t do while being restraint by the law: blinded by his thirst for vengeance, he dedicated himself to another path, and he started an intense training aimed to put him in perfect physical shape, and to give him a paramilitary preparation. Helped by his friend J.J. Davis, a computer genius and an expert engineer, Chase designed and developed a combat suit and a series of gadgets and highly destructive weaponry, while his friend and coworker Theresa Gomez informed him of criminals who had managed to fool the law: using the first one’s equipment, Adrian Chase hunted down the second one’s targets, delivering them the punishment they had avoided. The Vigilante was born.
The Vigilante was precise and brutal in his hunt, and he savagely beat the criminals who had the misfortune of crossing his path; usually, Chase limited himself to non-lethal force, but he didn’t have anything against killing as an extreme resource. His heroic career, however, was signed by failures, as he first beat nearly to death an ex-convict, only to learn afterwards that he had been unjustly imprisoned as he was innocent, then while trying to incriminate mob boss Warden Quilt he ended up killing both him and his bodyguard Brand; if this wasn’t enough, a police agent got killed as a direct result of the Vigilante’s actions. Ridden with guilt and in pain for all the suffering he had caused, Adrian decided to give up his mantle and to pursue justice as a judge, as he was supposed to do, but the mask kept calling for him. When another man dressed as the Vigilante showed up, delivering a lethal justice to everyone and executing even snatchers and bullies, Adrian felt it was his responsibility to stop him, and he hunted the second Vigilante down and confronted him. Chase was far better trained and he killed the copycat in battle… only to discover that behind the mask there was his friend and fellow judge Alan Welles. Feeling guilty for both giving Welles the example and for killing him, Chase renounced to his costume, letting yet another copycat (another friend, his bailiff Dave Winston) take his place, at least as long as he didn’t kill anybody. Winston, however, got killed by the supervillain Peacemaker, and just when he was trying to save Adrian: this only increased Chase’s sense of guilt, and cracked once and for all his sanity. Wanting to avenge his friend, the Vigilante made a comeback and faced the Peacemaker… only to be publicly defeated and unmasked on television. With the whole world knowing who he was, Adrian Chase’s life was over, and he was forced to live in hiding, giving all himself to his Vigilante persona. Now, however, everything was different, and the Vigilante didn’t care anymore who lived and who died, innocent or guilty: if the crime wanted total war, total war it would have had from him.
Adrian Chase is a broken man, transformed by his sense of guilt and thirst for vengeance: first an incorruptible and honest law enforcer, who believed in the system and worked hardly to make it better, he’s now a deranged crime fighter, who kills with no regret and who doesn’t even care of the collateral damage he causes (he even kills innocent cops in his war on crime). As the Vigilante, he’s a highly trained athlete and martial artist, and his complete synchrony between mind and body allows him not to feel pain nor fatigue; he’s an expert marksman, armed with an arsenal of lethal weapons (even if her prefers revolvers and sniper guns), a skilled driver and pilot, and an expert detective; his infrared goggles allow him to see in complete dark, and his motorcycle has been modified to become a lethal weapon as well. Bent on an unrelenting struggle against criminality in every form, the Vigilante is a man who completely lost his sense of self, and who now lives for the killing… exactly like the men he’s hunting down.