The Vengeance Vigilante is a character motivated by revenge against criminals for hurting them.
A common form is the ordinary family man who has his family murdered by the mob only to have the mobsters get off scot-free due to lawyers or corruption. A history as an ex cop or retired soldier just helps speed things along since our character already knows how to fight.
The character may decide to simply fight crime in general to bring retributive beatings
to criminal scum, or simply go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge
on the mobsters who hurt him. Eventually, a character might begin to see the light of doing good for its own sake
, in which case they'll no longer be this trope. However, a character motivated by vengeance for too long is likely to fall to the darker side of the Sliding Scale of Anti-Heroes
and become a full on villain with a desire to hurt anyone that resembles the person(s) that hurt them.
Closely related to Vigilante Man
, and will frequently overlap. Super Trope
to Crusading Widower
Film - Live Action
- Batman: Depending on the Writer, Batmans general motivations waver between transferred desire for revenge, making the world a better place, and being very mentally unstable.
- The Punisher: The Punisher is one of the few of these that not only is willing to kill, but runs around in a super hero verse, putting him permanently at odds with most of the main heroes who engage in Thou Shalt Not Kill.
- PunisherMax: After seeing his family murdered by the mob, Frank Castle becomes a ruthless criminal hunter, frequently engaging in torture and terrorizing criminals as one of the darker Anti-Hero variants that is still nominally on the side of good.
- Jennifer Blood: Jennifer is a character motivated primarily by her hatred for the mob, which murdered much of her family.
- Law Abiding Citizen: After seeing a criminal get off after killing his family, our "citizen" snaps and takes out his vengeance on the criminals, and the justice system that let them get away.
- The Boondock Saints: The MacManus brothers are attacked by Russian mobsters, think they are on a Mission from God to go kill everyone in the Russian gang... and then an Italian gang.
- Death Wish: Paul Kersey, , has his wife killed by some youths. he goes on a criminal killing spree.
- Vigilante: Eddy's son gets shot dead by a gang member, and only one of the criminals gets sentenced - to two years. Eddy decides to sentence them all, personally, with the help of a vigilante squad.
- Death Sentence: A 2007 Kevin Bacon film, is about a family man who brutally takes the law into his own hands after his son is murdered by gangsters in an initiation rite.
- The Brave One: After her fiancee is murdered by muggers, a woman acquires a gun and becomes a vigilante. She kills criminals while hunting the muggers.
Live Action Television
- Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: A group of female Vigilantes form in the first book. The first 7 books have them mostly motivated by revenge against the criminals who hurt them in various ways and then pulled a Karma Houdini. Some of them are certainly not motivated by having loved ones died.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: In later volumes, starting with the last chapter of A Storm of Swords, Stoneheart goes on a vicious rampage killing all Freys for what they did to her, with the help of a ragtag team of other vigilantes. This then expands to any criminal or anyone who's slighted her.