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Vigilante was the western-themed hero who debuted in Action Comics #42 (November, 1941), published by DC Comics. The story was written by Mort Weisinger (who also wrote the first stories about Aquaman, a knock off of Marvel's Sub-Mariner; Green Arrow, a knock-off of Fawcett's Golden Arrow; and Johnny Quick, a knock-off of DC's own Flash) and drawn by Mort Meskin (who, among many other credits, was the first to draw Sheena, Queen of the Jungle). Probably because of its double-Mort credits, the feature was signed "Mort Morton Jr."
Despite the theme, the series had a mostly urban setting. In everyday life, Vig, as he was called, was Greg Sanders, a country or western singer known nation-wide as "The Prairie Troubadour". He cultivated a genial, mild-mannered appearance, but as the son of a western sheriff and the grandson of an Indian fighter, he was as rough and tough as they come. He was equally at home on a horse, when in his native Wyoming, or a motorcycle, when in New York City, where he lived. He first assumed the Vigilante persona when he tracked down his father's murderers, wearing a basic "western" outfit with a broad, white hat, and hiding his identity with a bandana.
Vig picked up a sidekick in Stuff the Chinatown Kid, who became a permanent addition to the cast in Action Comics #45 (February, 1942). Stuff didn't maintain a secret identity, like most of the kids who assisted comic book vigilantes at the time, but he remained a part of the series as long as it lasted which was quite long, compared with most 1940s costumed characters. In fact, he remained in the Action Comics back pages until #198 (November, 1954), years after most of his contemporaries had been forgotten. His 157-issue run stands as one of the longest of any of Action's back-up features, longer than those of Tommy Tomorrow, Zatara the Magician or even Supergirl.

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