Preview: The Complete Vigilant – Brilliantly Weird Heroes Of Brit Comics Past, Updated For Today

by Richard Bruton

Reality is under threat! And the only ones with a chance of averting the Blood Rapture are The Vigilant. Collecting the three Vigilant volumes and short stories, this brings together all of those classic Brit superheroes from a bygone era, exploding into the future!

When the villainous Dr Mesmer and Von Hoffman team-up to snatch the near eternal Adam Eterno from the mists of time to learn the secrets of eternal life, and recreate the Blood Rapture to bring Hell to Earth.

All that stands in their way is Doctor Sin and his new super team of heroes – The Vigilant!

When the DJ and rapper Sin Tax inherited the mantle of ‘Sultan of the Supernatural’ from his Grandfather to become the new Doctor Sin, he also inherited the responsibility for attempting to prevent the apocalyptic Blood Rapture. But the apocalypse is a lot easier to face down with a team, which is where the Vigilant come in.

So it’s time for Sin, The Leopard from Lime Street, Steel Commando, Pete’s Pocket Army, Blake Edmonds, Yao, and Thunderbolt the Avenger to band together and stop the apocalypse.

Writer Simon Furman and artist Simon Coleby mastermind it all, crafting the main Vigilant tale across the three parts, Maelstrom, Legacy, and Rapture, whilst a host of talents get together to give us solo adventures of Doctor SinSteel Commando, Death Man, Yao, and Death Wish.

And as well as all of these stars of yesteryear, we also get to see Max from the Thirteenth Floor, Robot Archie, Steel Claw, and many more classic heroes.

Although of course, the whole point about these heroes, the whole point of the Vigilant, was that these superheroes of Britain’s comic history were a wonderful mix of heroes, anti-heroes, robots, sorcerors, and everything else they could possibly be. The one thing you won’t find, the one thing there shouldn’t be in the Vigilant if it is going to be a wonderful updating of those classic Brit heroes is a good, old-fashioned clean-cut type found in the US comics of the time. No, here in the Vigilant, these are all the strange, bizarre heroes and anti-heroes of old all updated really well for the modern era.

When the series originally came out, two individual issues and the finale in the Megazine spread over three years, the whole thing was wonderfully executed but suffered a hell of a lot with the slow unfolding of the overall story.

But having it all in one place here really does bring it all together so well. Finally, with all three chapters in the main Vigilant story and all of the solo stories presented like this, we get a far more coherent, far more involving experience, packed full of well-realised characters that both hark back to their origins and give us a vibrant, modern update.

If you read it the first time and didn’t really get the whole point of it or didn’t really get how it all fitted together, this is the perfect time to revisit and discover a whole new world of old Brit classics.

The Vigilant Collection – Published on 15th April by The Treasury of British Comics…

The Vigilant Parts 1-3 – Maelstrom, Legacy, & Rapture – written by Simon Furman, art by Simon Coleby, colours by Len O’Grady, letters by Simon Bolland

Steel Commando – In Between Wars – written by Keith Richardson, art by Warwick Fraser-Coombe and Staz Johnson, colours by John Charles, letters by Simon Bowland

Death Man – The Death of Death Man & The Gathering – written by Keith Richardson, art by Henry Flint, letters by Sam Gretton

Doctor Sin – Don’t Call It A Comeback – written by Rob Williams, art by Luca Pizzari, letters by Pye Parr

Doctor Sin – Tribunal – written by Simon Furman, art by Jake Lynch, colours by John Charles, letters by Oz Osborne

Yao – The Demon Touched ‘Home?’ – written by Bruce Leslie, art by DaNi, colours by John Charles, letters by Sam Gretton

Death Wish – Kids Rule! – written by Karl Stock, art by Henrik Sahlstrom, letters by Simon Bowland

Now, the first few pages of The Vigilant: Maelstrom to set the scene…

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