Real Name: (comic) Unknown; (real world) Derek
Identity/Class: (comic) Unknown; (Real World) Telekinetic human
Occupation: (Comic) superhero; (real world) clerk at Astro City Comics shop
Affiliations: None known
Enemies: (comic) unknown; (real world) Wes Grace and Tucker, from the Chronicles Newspaper
Known Relatives: None known
Aliases: None known
Base of Operations: (Comic) unknown); (real world) Los Angeles
First Appearance: The Chronicle #16 "Man and Superman" (Sci Fi Channel, 8th February 2002)
Powers/Abilities: (comic) flight, superstrength, invulnerability; (real world) telekinetic, able simulate flight and superstrength using this power.
History: (comic) In his origin issue the heroic Captain Vigilant rescues a cat out of a tree, then thwarts a mugging. Later he comes to the aid of two people in a cab accident, and arrives just in time to save a bus from falling off a bridge. However (in Captain Vigilant #23) he fails to stop a bomb exploding and while he manages to rescue some of the people inside, he can't save everyone.
(real world) After an old woman is rescued from a mugger by a flying man wearing a superhero costume, supermarket tabloid The Chronicle gets wind of the story. The editor, Donald Stern, assigns sceptical reporter Tucker Burns to the case, along with photographer and comics fan Wes Freewald, giving a far juicier "ghost in a cab" story to rival reporter Grace Hall. Tucker isn't amused. But the two stories converge when Grace, posing as a cabbie in the hope of picking up the ghost, blows a tire and crashes. Trapped in the burning vehicle, she and her passenger are rescued by the same superhero who averted the mugging. He effortlessly rights the vehicle and rips the door off to free the people inside the cab, before flying off.
The two reporters are ordered by Donald to combine their efforts to get the story. They track down Grace's passenger, whom they believe to be the hero, using a box of matches he left in the back seat of the cab. The matches lead them to a restaurant where they find the man working as a waiter, and he reluctantly agrees to give an interview at his apartment that evening after he finishes work. But when Grace and Wes get there they find the place demolished and the waiter dead. Meanwhile Tucker has tracked down an old story about a young boy who witnessed a cat trapped in a tree being rescued by a flying man. A quick visit to the boy garners a description of a poorly constructed costume and clumsy flight skills, so inept in fact that the rescuer ran off after getting the cat down.
Reviewing the facts, the reporters hear of another superhero sighting, this time rescuing a school bus which nearly ran off a bridge. Investigating, Tucker hears from the driver how he suddenly found himself unable to steer the bus, while Wes finds the bolts on the guard railing the bus nearly went through had been cut. When the added information that the dead waiter was an actor, and that surveillance camera footage identifies him as the mugger the hero stopped, things start to fall into place. Realising the various rescues have been staged, Wes suddenly remembers an old comic from the 80's, Captain Vigilant. In the origin issue the hero performed the exact same sequence of events. Wes points out that if the pattern persists, the next time the hero shows up is in the aftermath of a bomb blast where the hero fails to save some of the people involved.
Tracing the waiter's phone records, the three Chronicle employees track their man to the Astro City Comic shop. Wes distracts the clerk, Derek, at the front, while the two reporters sneak into the back room. There they find a hidden collage devoted to Captain Vigilant, combined with clippings from their paper, which makes Grace realise the ghost in the cab story had been set up to ensure she would be there to witness one of the rescues and report it. Then they discover a bomb, with the clock ticking. Before they can do anything, the doors shut and lock on them. Wes realises that the clerk is the hero, using telekinesis to simulate the powers of his comic book hero out of a desire for public adulation. Distracting him with goading, so that he over-exerts his power, Wes is able to subdue Derek and free his friends. With an hour left on the bomb timer, the reporters call the bomb squad to deal with the explosive device.
Comments: Created by Henry Alonso Myers.
In spite of using the term "real world" repeatedly in the profile above, please note that I don't actually mean any of the above really happened. I'm simply using that term to distinguish which events happened in the comic book depicted in the TV show The Chronicles, and which events happened in the "real world" depicted on said TV show.
Played by Brian Poth. The costume looks a lot like that of Nightman, from the (defunct) TV series based on that character, so perhaps they modified one from that show for use in this episode.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
any other Captains
Malibu comic's Nightman, who looks a lot like him.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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