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Vigilante Registration Act

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Insignia Vigilante Registration Act (Smallville)

The Vigilante Registration Agency of the U.S. Department of Domestic Security patch

The Vigilante Registration Act (or VRA) was legislation promoted by the United States Department of Domestic Security that required vigilantes to register themselves with the U.S. federal government.

The enforcement arm of the Vigilante Registration Act was the Vigilante Registration Agency, a division of the Department of Domestic Security. It was first commanded by former Army Lieutenant General Slade Wilson and, after his "disappearance" (from the point of view of the general public), possibly by Lieutenant Trotter.

It was later repealed in a nation-wide vote. (Beacon)

Season Ten

1007SVAmbush0808

The Vigilante Registration Act passes.

The Vigilante Registration Act was somewhat the result of Gordon Godfrey's anti-hero smearing and overall paranoia from the more active nature of groups like the Justice League. Godfrey's vocal dislike of the vigilantes, along with powerful manipulations, caused mass mistrust of superheroes, as demonstrated by people like Cat Grant.

Talk of the bill was soon introduced into the Senate, with chief supporters being members of the United States military, such as General Sam Lane and Slade Wilson. Senator Martha Kent, on the other hand, strongly opposed the bill, much to General Lane's dislike.

S10ep9-0387

Oliver Queen registers.

Word of the Vigilante Registration Act being passed caused great forbearance from groups like the Justice League and Rick Flag's Suicide Squad, the latter of which took dangerous, violent, even terroristic actions such as attempting to assassinate General Lane.

The VRA was passed shortly after Thanksgiving of 2010. However, the government apparently took even more questionable actions secretly, such as approving Wilson's plans to build prisons where he could torture and possibly even kill heroes, both who agreed to register and those who didn't. This resulted in more violent actions by the Suicide Squad and even some more aggressive actions of sabotage by members of the Justice League, such as Aquaman and his wife Mera, including blowing up secret holding camps that the government intended to place the "registered" vigilantes in Patriot.

The Vigilante Registration Agency managed to capture some members of the Justice League twice. The first time, it captured Aquaman, Mera, and Green Arrow in Patriot, but The Blur rescued them. The second time, it captured The Blur, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Stargirl, Impulse, and Lois Lane at the funeral of Hawkman in Egypt and placed them in a virtual dream world while they tried to find out how their special abilities could be controlled. Chloe Sullivan and the Suicide Squad managed to free them.

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The VRA is repealed in a nationwide vote.

In Beacon, the Vigilante Registration Act became disliked by many people across America, thus allowing for a nation-wide vote on whether or not the VRA should be repealed. The majority voted in favor of the VRA being repealed in a nation-wide plebiscite. It is possible that the public was swayed by the intense propaganda effort by Chloe and Lois in getting their articles printed in every major newspaper across the country and the attempted assassination of Senator Kent. While in reality the attempted killing was the work of a clone of Lex Luthor as a tool of vengeance against her son Clark Kent and had nothing to do with the VRA, the general public likely took it as an attempt of a pro-VRA fanatic and an example of how extremist supporters of the VRA were. These two events were just enough to sway the vote in favor of repeal.

Notable Figures

In Support of the Bill
In Opposition of the Bill
Registered Vigilantes

Mentions

Notes

  • The idea of a Superhuman Registration Act has been used frequently in the comics: the Marvel Comics Civil War, Watchmen, Uncanny X-Men, DC: The New Frontier, Powers, and Astro City.
  • DC has had their heroes bullied into revealing their identities before. In the comics, the Justice Society of America was forced to either reveal their secret identities to the government or else be labeled communists during the McCarthy years. This resulted in the group disbanding for many years.
  • The VRA storyline seems to be a re-telling of the maxi-series Legends, which ran across many of the mainstream DC comic titles in the late 1980s. It followed the dissolution of the Justice League of America in the wake of Crisis on Infinate Earths. In the series, Darkseid sent Glorious Godfrey to Earth disguised as reporter G. Gordon Godfrey in order to stir up anti-hero sentiments and pave the way for an invasion of Earth. The series culminated with the creation of a new Justice League (later dubbed Justice League International), a team formed by Maxwell Lord and which featured a line-up that did not include Superman or any of the other traditional "heavy-hitters" of the League. In fact, the only veteran heroes on the new team at first were Batman and Martian Manhunter. The series also launched the introduction of Booster Gold and saw Guy Gardner take the forefront as Earth's new Green Lantern.

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