Who shall I cover this week for History of DC? Hmm…. That is The Question! All right, all right enough of the corny jokes. This week on History of DC, I will be covering the ever so awesome, Vic Sage aka The Question.
Created by Steve Ditko, The Question first appeared in Blue Beetle #1, which was first published by Charlton Comics. Eventually, DC bought Charlton and the legendary writer Dennis O’Neil revamped the character with his own series in 1986. The character is famously known for wearing trench coats, business suits and fedoras, along with his infamous faceless mask.
Vic Sage was known as highly outspoken and aggressive investigative journalist. While investigating Dr. Arby Twain’s illegal activities, Sage was approached by Twain’s former partner and Sage’s old high school professor, Aristotle Rodor. Rodor showed Sage the Pseudoderm, an artificial skin like bandage with potential uses in the medical field. The Pseudoderm would be applied with the help of boding gas but was seen as fatal when applied to open wounds. Sage used a mask made of the Pseudoderm as a disguise to go after Dr. Twain. From here on, Sage created a new identity and continued to partner with Professor Rodor, who would help modify the Pseudoderm’s bonding gas to change the color of Sage’s hair and clothing.
The character was known to be very ruthless in compared to other characters of the time. The Question would fight criminals and at times leaving them to almost drown or in real danger, later notifying the police to retrieve them whether the criminal survived or not.
When Dennis O’Neil later wrote the solo series of The Question in 1987, he changed the character’s origin significantly. In this new series, The Question is defeated by Lady Shiva, beaten near death by some thugs, shot in the head with a pellet gun, and if that wasn’t enough he was thrown in a river to drown. Lady Shiva would rescue the hero and gave him directions to meet with Richard Dragon would teach Sage martial arts and eastern philosophy. When he returned to Hub City, he used his new philosophical knowledge in his crime fighting and journalist career.
In this new era of The Question, O’Neil’s version was primarily focused on the politics of Hub City, fighting the corrupt government. The character was written in a way where he felt conflicted in how he would dealwith fighting crime, at times feeling the need to kill. But never goes over the edge due to his mentor, Aristotle Rodor.
It was in the series “52” that the character passed away due to lung cancer. Right before passing away, Sage recruits and trainsex-Gotham cop, Renee Montoya. Montoya eventually takes on the mantle of The Question being trained by Sage’s former mentors Rodor and Dragon.
The Question has appeared in the New 52 era as a part of the Trinity of Sin. The Trinity of Sin consists of Pandora, The Phantom Stranger and The Question. One key aspect of this new version is that the wizard “Shazam” punishes Vic Sage for being a part of the Trinity of Sin, thus removing his facial features cursing him to forever question everything including his own identity.
….That is The Question! Remember, every week I’ll be covering the history of a requested character by you the fans. So which DC Comics character’s history would you like to see for next week? Just leave a comment below or on our Facebook page with the character’s name and the character most requested will be in the next weeks “History of DC.”