History (Submitted by Gremlin)
Greg Saunders: 1841 - 1867
Greg was born in River Rock. Though his father was a lawman, Greg was considered a "soft child" and his father thought it best that Greg focus on academics and arts, leaving the boy's mother to raise him. When Greg was a teen, his father made some enemies and he sent his family east, promising to send for them when it was safe again. But that day never came. Greg's mother raised her son to become a musician in Central City known as the "Prairie Troubadour".
With a natural charisma, a good sense of humor, a soulful voice, and a true talent for the guitar, Greg's stage presence led him to his tour throughout the cities surrounding Central City. He turned down offers to become an in-house performer. Greg didn't know why, just knowing he felt a calling to head west.
When Greg realized he was near River Rock, he saddled a horse and rode into a town that was nothing like he recalled. A once truly idyllic settlement had become a den of sin and anarchy. Greg confronted the town's new sheriff, Dan Matthews. As a good judge of character, Greg called Matthews out for what he was: a corrupt puppet for the lawless elements in the town. Greg was arrested and tortured until Matthews realized that his captive was the son of Jim Saunders.
Sheriff Matthews put the word out that he was fixing to hang Greg and soon enough Jim Saunders rode into town with his posse of six deputized eccentric strangers. But Matthews had planned on a fight and had plenty of gunhands ready.
In the heat of the battle, Jim took a bullet meant for his son. As he cradled his father, Jim told Greg to take his guns and finish the fight. Through tears, Greg insisted he couldn't do it. He was a performer, not a fighter. But Jim put his own hat on Greg's head and told him "Nonsense. You're my son. You got the 'stuff', kid. Now go to work."
Greg picked up his father's guns and charged at Matthews. Bullets flew around Greg but none found their mark. When Greg put a bullet in Matthews' chin, the gunhands fled. Instead of ending his father's murderer, Greg took the star off the Dummy Sheriff's chest and declared that there was a new law in town.
The posse helped Greg take back the town, but one by one they left until only Old Walter Travis remained to mentor Greg. Travis taught Greg to shoot, ride, and rope. And once peace was restored to River Rock, the two set out to settle another score.
Prairie Troubadour: 1867 - 1895
History wouldn't recall his name, but the Prairie Troubadour was a western legend who rode in the ranks of the Rough Bunch. Greg and three of his comrades became true legends when the four disappeared without a trace. But that was not the end of the Troubadour's ballad...
Prairie Troubadour: 1895 - 1939
After some adventure with the Rough Bunch, Greg and several other members of the Rough Bunch were invited to join an extra-spatial figure and help form a "Wild Hunt", undertaking a number of adventures in different dimensions and in the strange corners of reality. When Greg returned to Earth, he found his homeworld ravaged by a global war.
Greg Sanders: 1939 - 1963
Under the uncreative alias of "Greg Sanders", Greg enlisted in the United States Army and went to go fight him some Nazis in Europe. During the war, Greg met Sir Ystina under unknown circumstances and with her aid, they recruited five other exceptional warriors. This team's exceptional skills and eccentric appearance caught the notice of a number of authority figures in the Allied Forces who tasked Greg and his team of six to a number of special assignments which were essential in countering the Nazi regime's hunt for esoteric relics and mystical talismans to aid in the war effort.
In the course of these adventures, Greg was given the honor of drinking the waters of Avalon from the Holy Grail by Ystina when he nearly died helping the knight recover the relic from Nazi control. After the war, Greg and Ystina would help American and British governments create a formal version of Ystina's arcane fellowship of seven soldiers... and thus was born Team 7 which became affiliated with the United Nations, as well as Team 1 to Team 6.
Greg remained an active member of Team 7 for a while. Greg even built a real estate investment firm as means to help covertly bolster his team's budget. Greg even settled down with a new wife and lived happily in Midway City until the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Greg had lost a friend who was on Team 1, but the UN didn't want to recognize the man's sacrifice and covered up the crisis. This left Greg questioning his ties to the United Nations. Greg decided to abandon the affairs of Earth entirely.
Desperado: 1963 - Present
Greg spent over two decades in near isolation, working and riding by himself and protecting an extra-spatial construct known as the Murum Fides. Greg would return to Earth in 1987 to hunt Sheeda fugitives. When Greg witnessed the Manhattaning while in Los Angeles, Greg chose to lend his services to the American government.
Greg still had plenty of connections and was able to exploit those to put him in touch with the right people who could help him rebuild a new version of his International Operations experiment with the United States Military, covertly titled "Project Victory". As the Marshal of Belief, he often tasked his team to aid him in hunting down the Sheeda. Eventually, Wonder Woman's involvement brought his Project Victory under scrutiny. As a result, Project Victory was shut down, but Greg did not stop fighting the Sheeda. He was recruited by Mr. Bones who allowed him to bring his team to the DEO's Covert Bureau of Investigations as the "Seven Soldiers of Victory", a special taskforce dedicated to countering the threat of the Sheeda (and capturing meta-criminals on occasion, too).
- (Submitted by Oracle) Old Walter called Greg "Wing" for his knack of charging into battle without a plan, preferring to "wing it." In return, Greg called Walter "Stuff" as Greg would prefer it if Walter "stuff it." When the two eventually went their separate ways, they both showed a fondness for labeling their later companions with these same monikers.
- (Submitted by Proxy) Though he only wears a hat now when sporting his "Desperado" duds, Greg thinks a good cowboy hat is lucky. He often retires hats whenever it's luck has served him good, usually gifting the hat to someone as a means to thank them as a quite literal expression of "taking his hat off to you." This is also a way to honor his father.
- (Submitted by Gremlin) I'm really not certain of the details of how Ystina and Greg met, I've gathered that Greg nearly gave his life to help Ystina recover the Holy Grail after it was stolen by a "double-crossing sumbitch." As he was dying, Ystina had Greg drink from the chalice he helped recover. The two have been bickering buddies ever since.
- Grail Empowered Physiology: Having drank the waters of Avalon from the Holy Grail, Greg has been endowed with certain abilities.
- Immortality: Greg does not age, heals quicker than normal, and rarely falls ill.
- Supernatural Senses: Greg's senses can pierce the veil.
- Joining to Vorpal Entity: As a member of the Department of Continuity, Greg has undergone the joining of an Under-Monitor essence to his soul. This has endowed him with certain abilities.
- Enhanced Cosmic Resilience: Greg is highly resistant to cosmic powers and influences.
- Enhanced Physical Resilience: Greg is more durable to physical hardship than he appears.
- Limited Cosmic Awareness: Greg recognizes most overt cosmic power or anomalies.
- Master Equestrian, Marksman, & Roper: Greg can ride, rope, and shoot like a true western legend.
- Master Guitarist & Vocalist: Greg is an incredibly gifted musician and performer.
- Plenty of Law Enforcement Experience: As a lawman and bounty hunter (in one form or another) for over a century, Greg is an expert in applicable areas of knowledge like hand to hand combat, use of restraints, security analysis, investigation, stealth, and foot pursuits.
- Applied Phlebotinum Handcuffs: Greg carries standard issue Department of Continuity restraints which interfere in the use of powers, talents, and overall dampen the mental and physical abilities of those restrained by the binds.
- Custom D.C. Hero-Cycle: Greg has a special Department of Continuity Hero-Cycle which has been customized to look like a vintage 50+ year old motorcycle with large saddlebags (which are rumored to be much more secured than they appear). This bike handles exceptionally well and can easily keep up with most land vehicles. The bike can even shift dimensions, provided the driver knows the coordinates.
- Hand Canon Revolvers: These special seven-shooters can use any sort of .44 pistol rounds including KO4r, armor-piercing, tracer, dum-dum, or tranq rounds; but Greg prefers silver rounds in one and sim-rounds in the other.
- Lasso (Made from P-10t Threads): Greg's lasso works much like his handcuffs, but somewhat less powerful, is intuitively accurate, and though it is not indestructible, it does mend itself if broken pieces are placed together.
- Luddite: Greg is a bit of a luddite, usually about 10-20 years with adopting technology with proficiency.
- Reckless: Greg is known to be quite reckless.
- Superstitious: Greg is also known to be quite superstitious, particularly obsessed with number"7".
- Physicality: 4 - Expert / Enhanced
- Occult: 3 - Trained / Exceptional
- Weapons: 5 - Master / Remarkable
- Experience: 5 - Master / Remarkable
- Ranged: 5 - Master / Remarkable
- Strategy: 4 - Expert / Enhanced
Trivia and Notes
- Some of the known people Greg has given his hat to include Courtney Whitmore and Shelly Gaynor.
- His identity as Desperado is covert and Greg takes great effort to conceal it.
- The 'V' on his belt means 'Victory'.
- He's a big fan of a certain sci-fi show, because he thinks he looks just like the captain on it. He quotes the show often.
- The "double-crossing sumbitch" claimed to be a rejuvenated Merlin.
- Greg's cell phone ringtone is rhythmic guitar strumming.
- He saw Red X's face, but doesn't know who he is.
- Alex Parker was his previous partner. While he considered him a member of the Soldiers, Alex never actually joined.
- Greg and Jim Craddock were very close friends. Greg admired Craddock's clever wit and charm. In turn, Craddock was usually the first person to ask Greg to sing them a song as they made camp after a long ride. Greg says he was heartbroken and shocked when he learned the circumstances of Craddock's death.
- Desperado has a Threat Assessment ranking of 70, marking him as a High Threat.
- Scandal Savage was one of his deputies when he was a sheriff.
- Greg Saunders' image in Earth-27 is based on Nathan Fillion, who voices the character in Justice League Unlimited. Nathan Fillion also played Captain Malcolm Reynolds in the show Firefly, as well as its sequel film, Serenity.
- In the comics he's called the Vigilante. The 'Desperado' moniker is used to avoid confusion with Adrian Chase.
- The spelling of his last name varies, sometimes it's Sanders and sometimes it's Saunders. The 'Saunders' version of the spelling is used in the Justice League Unlimited version of the Vigilante.
- Walter Travis is a nod to Lee Walter Travis, the Crimson Avenger.
- The 'Wing' and 'Stuff' nicknames are nods to Crimson Avenger's (Lee Travis) and Vigilante's (Greg Saunders) sidekicks: Stuff, the Chinatown Kid and Wing How.
- Greg and Ystina's World War II team is a nod to the first appearance of the Seven Soldiers of Victory.
- In the comics Daniel Matthews is a villain called Dummy.
- Mary Worth is a Batwoman villain called Bloody Mary in the comics.
- Mary Worth exists in Earth-27.