- "Do you have any idea what it's like to lose someone you love? It's like never being able to breathe again."
- —Phillip Karnowsky to James Olsen[src]
Phillip Karnowsky was a former Navy SEAL and the husband of the late Julie Karnowsky. After his wife's murder, Phillip became a rogue vigilante, targeting criminals who escaped justice on technicalities until he was stopped and apprehended by Guardian.
As a Navy SEAL, Phillip Karnowsky served three tours in the most dangerous parts of Iraq. At some point after his service, he fell in love with and married Julie.
In 2016, Julie was killed in a shooting, much to Phillip's devastation. He was further angered when Julie's murderer was acquitted due to a technicality regarding the murder weapon.
Following the trial, Phillip dropped off the grid for months. In November 2016, he personally tracked down and killed Julie's murderer.
Afterwards, Phillip continued targeting criminals who he believed cheated the justice system through judicial technicalities.
After the Guardian apprehended a target and left, Phillip killed the criminal. A surveillance camera outside a pub filmed the killing, but his appearance was foreshadowed, leading the public to believe it was the Guardian's work.
Phillip and the Guardian had a confrontation after he killed a drug dealer. The fight was interrupted by the arrival of the NCPD. Soon, he was arrested after James defeated him in battle, clearing Guardian's name in the process.
- Peak of physical human condition: As a former Navy SEAL and vigilante, Phillip is in peak physical condition.
- Expert hand-to-hand combatant/martial artist: Phillip is proficient in hand-to-hand combat, as he was able to fight evenly with James Olsen for a while during their confrontation.
- Expert marksman: Due to his training in the Navy, Phillip is an expert in using firearms.
- Protective suit: Phillip wore a suit as his vigilante alter-ego until his arrest. It is unknown what materials the suit is made out of.
- In spite of being based on Barrage, in the Netflix subtitles Phillip is credited as "Vigilante". While in his costume, he wears a red bandana similar to Gregory Sanders, the first DC character to use the alias of Vigilante.
- He is incorrectly referred to as an Executive Officer in the file Winn is able to retrieve and gives to James. Philip's shoulder patch shows two red chevrons, indicating his rank as Petty Officer, Second Class. As Philip was a Navy SEAL, he also holds the rating of Special Warfare Operator. The file should read Special Warfare Operator, Second Class instead of Executive Officer.
Behind the scenes
- Phillip Karnowsky first appeared in Superman Annual Vol 2 #2 (1988) as the villain Barrage. He is an enemy of both Superman and Maggie Sawyer.