- "My mission. We were cops for ten years. What did we ever accomplish? Not enough, not nearly enough. This is the only way."
- —Vincent to Dinah Drake[src]
Vincent "Vince" Sobel (died February 1, 2018), also called Vinny, was a vigilante and former police detective of the Central City Police Department, as well as the boyfriend and former partner of Dinah Drake. After nearly being killed by Sean Sonus, Vincent survived due to the particle accelerator explosion and upon becoming a meta-human with the ability to regenerate much faster than normal humans, he began a crusade against criminals as the masked vigilante publicly nicknamed, aptly, Vigilante.
Undercover and apparent death
Vincent Sobel was the lover of Dinah Drake. A highly skilled manufacturer, he used to make little boxes with paper roses for her. Vincent and Dinah both worked together at the CCPD as partners and they never told anyone about the relationship between them, even to their captain David Singh.
In 2013, Dinah, under the guise of "Tina Boland", was kidnapped by a criminal named Sean Sonus whilst undercover. Two weeks later, Vincent was kidnapped by Sonus as well. He was brought to Tina, where Sonus pointed a gun to his head, wanting to kill him in front of her. Tina begged for Sonus not to kill Vincent, but he didn't listen. Vincent was seemingly killed by Sonus, who shot him in the head right as he and everyone inside the room was hit by a wave from the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator. In this moment, however, Vincent was transformed into a meta-human with regenerative capabilities.
Beginning of his vigilante activities
Emerging as a vigilante after Genesis Day, Vincent, known publicly as "Vigilante", tried to stop Triad gun running deals, and also tried to stop their money laundering through Star City Trust Bank. These actions brought him to the attention of Felicity Smoak who was researching Star City vigilantes.
Antagonism with the Green Arrow
After the Spooky Crew, a gang of skull-masked criminals, began robbing banks, Vigilante went after them. During their heist at Star City National Bank, he killed Rickie Jenkins. That night, they hit Star City Allied Bank. However, before Vigilante could kill any of them, Team Arrow intervened, with Green Arrow asserting his opposition to what Vigilante was doing, causing the latter to quickly escape. Later on, he targeted the Papp Motel, where the leader of the gang, Eric Dunn, was recovering. Unfortunately for Vigilante, the Green Arrow was there, and he kept Dunn safe, not being affected by any of Vigilante's bullets.
The following night, Team Arrow posed as the gang, pretending to rob Star City Trust Bank. Vigilante saw through the ruse and knocked Artemis out, taking Mr. Terrific. Allowing the rest of the team to go, Green Arrow shot an arrow at Vigilante before he could kill Mr. Terrific, disarming him, and they had a fight that ended in Green Arrow strapping him to a pillar.
Before he could be unmasked, an explosive went off, allowing him time to escape.
Vigilante continued his antagonism against Green Arrow when the latter was tracking down the identity of a mass shooter who attacked the City Hall. As Green Arrow interrogated a member of the Bertinelli crime family, Vigilante shot the mobster and claimed that he's doing Green Arrow a favor with one less criminal on the streets. Green Arrow accused the masked avenger of being a criminal himself, to which Vigilante opened fire at him before escaping.
Targeting Mayor Queen
When Oliver Queen faced impeachment, Vigilante decided to target him for supposedly being corrupt and prepared his weapons, not knowing Oliver was secretly Green Arrow. He attacked Oliver's limo by shooting it, causing it to flip, telling the others in the limo that if Oliver surrendered he'd let them live. Vigilante was attacked by Dinah and Thea Queen. Briefly taken aback at seeing Dinah, Vigilante nonetheless managed to subdue both her and Thea. When Oliver faced him, Vigilante shot at the former, but Oliver dodged the bullets and cops arrived. Vigilante told him Oliver had one more day to live before leaving.
Afterwards, Vigilante was cornered by Prometheus (who had tracked him from a piece of his goggles that broke from the attack) on a rooftop. Prometheus informed him that Oliver was his to kill, to which Vigilante simply responded that he would kill Oliver first. The two engaged in an intense battle, which ended with Prometheus throwing Vigilante off the building. However, Vigilante managed to get away safely.
As Oliver delivered a speech, Vigilante prepared to kill him with a sniper from a nearby building. Before he could, he was attacked by Spartan, Mr. Terrific, and Wild Dog. They engaged in a fight, in which Mr. Terrific took him down with one of his T-Spheres, but Vigilante managed to escape once again. After the charges against Oliver were dropped, Vigilante presumably gave up on targeting the mayor and his "corruption" as he was not seen again.
Targeting Councilwoman Pollard
Vigilante emerged again, to try to kill Emily Pollard for also supposedly being corrupt after her crafting and supporting anti-vigilante legislation. He first attempted to kill her with a sniper rifle, but Dinah saw him and pushed her out of the way. He was caught on video camera, allowing Team Arrow to know he was back. When he attempted to sneak into Pollard's apartment, he was spotted by Dinah again, in which he tried to escape, realizing he couldn't escape in time, he attempted to raise a weapon at her but she used her Canary Cry to destroy his googles. He took off his mask revealing his identity to her, throwing her off, this allowed him to escape. Vincent later trapped Pollard again and attempted to kill her but Dinah once again showed up dressed as Black Canary, only for a police officer to aim his gun at the pair, when he shot the gun, Vigilante took the shot, Dinah sent the cop away to get an ambulance, but was shocked to discover that Vigilante had a healing ability. Vincent explained to Dinah, that what they did as cops did no good, she allowed him to escape and didn't inform her team. Later on, Vincent left a gift for Dinah in her car - the same kind he used to when they were together, revealing there may still be a part of the man whom she loved left in him.
Working with Cayden James
Vincent continued to send messages to Dinah all the time, eventually Dinah agreed to meet him and he wanted to be with her. She refused him and told him to leave Star City or next time she will take him down. Unknown to her, the conversation was watched by Oliver Queen, Felicity Smoak, and John Diggle, which caused a confrontation which ultimately led to Dinah leaving Team Arrow. Dinah contacted Vincent and she told him that she needed a friend, unknown to her, he has been working with Cayden James as he and the Cabal have been watching Dinah and Team Arrow for months.
When the Legion of Doom used the Spear of Destiny to rewrite reality, Damien Darhk became the mayor of Star City. In this reality, Vigilante tried to oppose his rule and was killed for it. His mask was placed in his office beside other vigilantes and heroes who Darhk had killed and kept their masks as trophies.
Vincent's death at the hands of Laurel Lance under James' orders served as the catalyst that resulted in Dinah Drake returning to her ruthless and destructive ways once again.
Vincent's death was avenged when Ricardo Diaz killed James. Meanwhile his killer, Laurel, redeemed herself and became a hero in her own right as well as an ally to Team Arrow.
Before becoming a meta-human vigilante, Vincent was considered to be a good individual.
- "I don't have to convince you. Because you're not stopping me from doing this"
"Are you sure?"
- "I am. Because you know saving this city means doing whatever's necessary."
- —Vincent Sobel and Oliver Queen[src]
After becoming a vigilante, Vincent became extremely violent, cruel and ruthless, even towards criminals who had only committed minor offenses, he is also willing to kill criminals in cold blood, even if they have not physically harmed anyone.
Vincent claims that he was exactly like Oliver Queen (under the guise of Green Arrow) only more effective, which was not entirely without merit given how similar his methods are to Oliver's when the latter was starting out, particularly a murderous "no mercy" attitude towards criminals.
Vincent could be described as a fanatic where his crusade against crime is concerned, when Oliver (in the guise of his civilian identity) was threatening to face impeachment from his career as the mayor of Star City, he tried to kill the latter, simply because he covered up the death of police detective, Billy Malone, claiming it was government corruption, he was similarly willing to sacrifice innocent lives as "collateral damage" if he deems it necessary, likening his actions to a war and thus being willing to take such extreme measures. He thusly views Green Arrow with contempt for his unwillingness to take similar actions, feeling that the only reason Green Arrow did not do so was because he had not suffered sufficiently.
As lost in bitterness and a vengeful attitude towards criminals as he's become, Vincent did genuinely believe he was doing the right thing; he saved an innocent from men who intended to traffic her and then told her to run, he also still cares for his former partner and ex-girlfriend, Dinah Drake, choosing not to kill her when she first opposed him and later taking a bullet for her, the subsequent interaction between them revealed that the reason he had not sought her out in the years since is because he did not wish to be "distracted". Between it all, it is apparent that, as John Diggle (correctly) deduced, part of the old Vincent still remains, particularly his feelings for Dinah.
Vincent prioritize his secret above his targets because he retreated when Mr. Terrific's equipment hit and destroyed his goggles.
Since reconnecting with Dinah Drake, Vincent had become far less violent, cruel and ruthless towards criminals, to the point that he only scares these said criminals into turning themselves over to the police. Vincent did not care what other individuals in general think about him (with the exception of his girlfriend, Dinah) particularly Oliver Queen.
Powers and abilities
- "You're not the only one dark matter did something to. Everything heals now."
- —Vincent Sobel to Dinah Drake[src]
- Meta-human physiology: After Vincent was struck by the energy of the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator, this altered his DNA and supercharged his cells, augmenting his physiology and to access his powers.
- Accelerated healing factor: Vincent had the power to heal at a much faster and more efficient rate than normal humans, as his body could heal from severe and even fatal injuries such as a bullet to the head.
- Peak of human physical condition: Vincent was in top physical condition and well-trained, as he was able to kill one of Eric Dunn's followers and later injure and defeat the other. He was able to battle Green Arrow with an injured shoulder for some time (but this is probably due to Vincent's accelerated healing factor) albeit being pushed back. He can also catch a shuriken thrown at him by Prometheus.
- Keen-level intellect: Vincent was familiar enough and able to construct Morse code messages without having to look it up.
- Expert of deception/Manipulator: According to Dinah Drake, Vincent was so good at infiltrating criminal organizations, that he can sometimes forget which side he was on.
- Computer specialist/Skilled computer hacker: Vincent had at least basic computer hacking skills.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Vincent had excellent combat skills as Vigilante. He was able to defeat multiple bandits and thugs, fight on par against John Diggle, and defeat an Olympian awardee like Curtis Holt. Vincent was able to fight on par with Green Arrow and Prometheus respectively, but not enough to actually best them.
- Expert marksman: Vincent prefers guns and rifles as his favorite type of weapons, and has great proficiency with them, as was shown in battle against Eric Dunn's group and Team Arrow. His aim is so precise, he was able to shatter one of Artemis' launched arrows by firing a bullet straight down the head.
- Intimidation: Vincent was able to effectively terrorize people, both his enemies and unwilling allies; like a gun shop owner. The latter said that Vigilante was much more frightening than Spartan. Vincent was so terrifying to the point that he could put the fear of god in the eyes of criminals, spurring them to willingly turn themselves over to the police.
- Stealth: Vincent had great skills in stealth, being able to sneak closely to Mr. Terrific and Artemis before silently defeating both of them. Vincent's skills allow him to seamlessly disappear from sight without a trace, making it difficult to keep up with him.
- High tolerance for pain: Vincent had a high tolerance for pain, as he forcefully pulled his hand out of a pair of handcuffs, yet was barely fazed. Due to his healing factor, Vincent was able to endure a lot of pain inflicted on him when being tortured.
- Limited healing factor: Despite his accelerated healing factor, Vincent was unable to heal his damage left eye. He also could not heal from Laurel Lance's sonic scream; which ultimately led to Vincent's death.
- "Cold-blooded murder. You're the criminal."
"I'm you, and the only difference between us is that I use a more efficient weapon."
- —Green Arrow and Vincent Sobel[src]
- Vigilante suit: Vincent's suit is comprised of black leather and computerized orange goggles that resemble ski goggles.
- Heckler/Koch MP5K: Vincent's main submachine gun.
- FN SCAR-L: Vincent's main assault rifle with a mounted FN MK 13 Mod 0 grenade launcher.
- Glock 17: Vincent's main sidearm.
- Nemesis Arms Vanquish: Vincent had a suppressed sniper rifle.
- Bola: Vincent used a bola to subdue Dinah Drake during his first assassination attempt on Oliver Queen.
- According to Felicity Smoak's files, Vincent considers himself a red hat hacker or "hacktivist".
- Felicity originally nicknamed him "Mr. Ski Goggles".
- Vincent's eye not being able to heal despite his accelerated healing factor is very similar to Slade Wilson; they both have or had an accelerated healing factor that failed to heal their eye.
- Vincent mentioned that he and Dinah Drake were cops for nearly 10 years before the particle accelerator exploded. Assuming that they both joined the CCPD between the ages of 18-21, and including the three years between the accelerator explosion and Dinah becoming Black Canary, that puts both Vincent and Dinah around the ages of 31-34.
- It is shown in "", that he knows Morse code.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Vigilante is the alter ego used by multiple characters, most notably District Attorney Adrian Chase who in Arrow is still the District Attorney by day, but by night is instead Prometheus. Adrian eventually ended up committing suicide, and the Arrowverse Adrian Chase did as well (albeit for drastically different reasons).
- Vigilante's modus operandi has similarities to that of Hunter Zolomon from the comics. Hunter claimed that Wally West could not operate as the Flash truly effectively until he experienced personal tragedy, which is why he fought Wally as Zoom. Vigilante said something similar to Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, claiming that if he still shows mercy to the criminals, the only explanation is that his personal tragedies never truly hardened him into a person capable of doing "what's necessary", not knowing how many tragedies Oliver had already suffered in his life.