Victor Sage (New Earth)

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Mainstream Universe‎, 1986‎-2011‎

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Real Name

Charles Victor “ Charlie ” Szasz

Main Alias

The Question

Other Aliases

Victor Sage

Relatives

Unnamed mother (deceased),
Unnamed father (deceased)

Affiliation

L.A.W., JLA, Black Lantern Corps

Base Of Operations

Hub City · Chicago, Gotham City, Metropolis

Status

Alignment

dependable

Identity

Secret Identity

Citizenship

american

Marital Status

Single

Occupation

Television Investigative Journalist

Characteristics

Gender

Male

Height

Weight

Eyes

Blue

Hair

Strawberry Blond

Origin

Universe

New Earth

Creators

Steve Ditko

First Appearance Appearance of Death
Blue Beetle Vol 6 #4
(September, 1986)
52 #38
(March, 2007)

When Vic Sage, a television fact-finding diarist, encountered stories he could n’t investigate by normal, legal means, he donned a special mask ( kept in his belt warp ) that made it appear that he had no face. As the Question, Sage investigated corruption in the face of all risk, leaving a blank “ calling wag, ” which, when touched, emitted a smoky motion commemorate. [ 1 ]

childhood and Early Career

Victor Sage was born Charles Victor Szasz, and grew up an orphan who had a reputation as a troublemaker. [ 2 ] Szasz prided himself in rebelliously enduring the physical pervert of the Catholic orphanage where he was housed. Though he managed to get into college, higher eruditeness did not mellow his violent tendencies. Sometime during college, he viciously beat a drug dealer for giving him LSD, which had caused sage to doubt his own senses under its influence. After graduating from college ( where he nursed an unanswered squash on colleague student Lois Lane ), [ 3 ] Sage made his target as a highly blunt and aggressive reporter with a repute for hatefulness in Hub City. He then moved to television journalism, which finally led him to investigate Dr. Arby Twain. This particular history would alter the course of Sage ‘s life sentence permanently .

Forming the question

sage was approached by his erstwhile professor, a scientist named Aristotle “ Tot ” Rodor, who told Sage about an artificial skin called Pseudoderm he had co-developed with Dr. Arby Twain. The invention was based on the notes of Gotham criminal Bart Magan and inquiry into Gingold, the chemical responsible for the Elongated Man ‘s powers. Pseudoderm was intended to work as an enforce skin-like bandage with the help of a bonding gas, but had unanticipated toxicity which was fatal when applied to open wounds. Though Rodor and Twain agreed to abandon the project and parted ways, Professor Rodor later discovered that Dr. Twain planned to proceed with an illegal sale of the invention to Third World nations, despite the risk to human health. sage resolved to stop him but had no room of going after Dr. couple without exposing himself. Rodor suggested that Sage use a disguise made of Pseudoderm to cover his celebrated features. Disguised by the Pseudoderm masquerade and armed with information, Sage finally caught up with Dr. Twain, stopped the transaction, and extracted a confession from him. He then left Twain adhere in Pseudoderm in an dry writhe. On television receiver, Vic Sage reported on Dr. Twain ‘s illegal activities .

early on team Ups

With his first venture a success, Sage decided that this new identity would be useful for future investigations. He continued to work with Professor Rodor, who supplied the Pseudoderm and finally modified the adhere flatulence, giving it the ability to alter the tinge of Sage ‘s hair’s-breadth and clothe, equally well. Vic became commodity friends with “ Tot, ” who became a mentor to him in both of his identities. curtly after debuting in Hub City, Vic Sage relocated to Chicago in ordering to join the staff of WWB-TV as a crusade diarist. He would continue to operate as the question there, and would make an ally of Chicago ‘s other resident hero, the Blue Beetle ( Ted Kord ). [ 4 ] He would besides travel to other cities in the course of his investigations, and finally teamed up with Batman [ 5 ] and briefly participated in the inaugural multiverse crisis. The interview ‘s early crime-fighting career was slightly successful, but his black-and-white moral vantage point and miss of commitment would soon lead to a turn compass point for both Sage and his alter self .

Near-Death Experience and Further Training

After his time in Chicago, Vic Sage returned to Hub City and KBEL television, where he worked aboard newsworthiness anchor and episodic love-interest Myra Connelly. During a deputation as The question, he was badly beaten in personal fight by the materialistic and soldierly artist Lady Shiva, and then about fatally beaten by her employer ‘s hood. The henchmen shooting Sage in the head with a shot gunman, but fortunately the rocket did not pierce his skull. [ 6 ] Though he was thrown in a river to drown, Shiva rescued him for reasons of her own and gave him directions to meet Richard Dragon deoxyadenosine monophosphate soon as he was recovered enough to get out of bed. sage took Shiva ‘s advice and sought out the master martial artist, who retained all of his skill even while confined to a wheelchair. Sage spent a class learning martial arts and Eastern philosophy from Dragon. The train changed and deepened The Question ‘s moral position, and the crimefighter became more sympathy of the moral ambiguity of his chosen work. Vic Sage returned to Hub City and resumed his career as the question with a new, broader worldview, and a belief that crime had to be fought at more than one level .

The New question

Though the doubt had originally established himself as a crime champion by stopping street crime, his post-Dragon career found him attacking the taxonomic putrescence of Hub City at its highest levels. Hub City was noted as being “ synonymous with venality, corruption, and violence, ” and possibly even rank Gotham City as the most blue city in the United States .
The Question ‘s work in defending the city extended beyond street crime and into the kingdom of politics and social judge. He re-enlisted as an ally his early girlfriend Myra, who had married the corrupt, alcoholic mayor of Hub City Wesley Fermin in his absence. He besides met Batman again and had the first of what would be many encounters with the green Arrow. After spending months running Hub City while her conserve descended into mental illness, Myra Fermin announced her intention to run for mayor herself and received Sage ‘s broad support. Though Myra ‘s marriage to the mayor was loveless, she resisted the temptation to reunite with Sage. however, her crave was excessively potent, and she had affairs with both Sage and the question, whom she did not realize were the lapp man. Myra ultimately lost the election by one vote, partially due to Sage being besides preoccupied to cast a vote in her prefer on election sidereal day, but she was elected to the put anyhow, as her rival had died as a result of what was called “ the worst tornado in history. ” however, during her victory manner of speaking, her husband Wesley Fermin shot her in the stomach for supporting what he called “ Communist belief. ” Myra went into a coma, and Hub City was plunged far into chaos. For some time, the wonder became the city ‘s lone guarantor of department of justice. The crowd war in the weeks following the election led Sage to a reunion with Lady Shiva, who at inaugural resumed her adversarial relationship with The question and then became an ally to him. Through Shiva, The question was able to meet with the gang-leaders who were creating chaos in the city. finally, Myra awoke from her coma and assumed her character as mayor, regaining some operate of the dominance. Although the Question had the confirm of the mayor and his mentor Tot Rodor, Sage much felt disturb about his character as the city ‘s defender and as a fighter of crime. With the help oneself of his allies, the Question realized that a perverse part of him wanted to know what it felt like to take another person ‘s life, and he managed to successfully ( if temporarily ) defeat his enticement to kill .

Leaving Hub City

Though The question did his best to contain the chaos around Hub City, he felt himself growing increasingly darker as time wear on. A hallucinogenic trip caused his subconscious, in the mannequin of his mother, to tell him that he would never be able to lead a glad life unless he left Hub City. Richard Dragon echoed this vantage point during a visit to Vic sage when he sensed that Sage was on the verge of a major turning detail in his life. sage closely convert Myra ( who had lone recently learned that Vic Sage and the question were one man ) to leave the city with him, but her sense of duty convinced her to remain. Before sage left, Myra gave to him her only daughter, Jackie, and wandered back to the city alone to meet her duties as Mayor and do her best to stand for what she believed in.

sage took Jackie with him to South America, hoping to rid himself of his “ No Face ” interpolate self and find a land free of the clutter and corruption that filled Hub City. however, this sense of repose did not concluding long. sage was quickly drawn into a drug war which ultimately forced him to kill a man to save Jackie ‘s animation. The interview ‘s philosophy from that steer changed once again, as he realized that he had no guilt over the kill and would do it again if necessity. unfortunately, Jackie would die anyhow, en route to her mother in Hub City .

mobile Heroics

After leaving Hub City, Victor Sage held a series of journalistic positions in respective cities, while reviving his motion character when necessary. He would participate in major superheroic events such as the invasion of the Dominators and Brainiac ‘s attack on Metropolis. During this time, the Question helped protect an indian reservation aboard Green Arrow and John Butcher and met the newly heroes Steel and Azrael. [ 7 ] The Question identical briefly became a penis of a superhero team called L.A.W. ( Living Assault Weapons ) during a time when the Justice League of America disappeared. The interview ‘s teammates included his old companion Blue Beetle, Nightshade, Sarge Steel, Captain Atom, and Judomaster. The team ‘s chief mission was to stop Judomaster ‘s former buddy tiger from conquering the world. On that mission, the Question would besides first learn of the cryptic land of Nanda Parbat. sage returned to Hub City respective times and finally received a bittersweet electric shock when he learned that Myra had last moved on. Following the near-destruction of Gotham City after a major earthquake, the Question relocated to Gotham and teamed up with the Huntress to protect the victims. The two heroes engaged in a ephemeral matter. After years of dabbling with hallucinogens, meditation, and his mask-activating accelerator, the Question developed a shamanic awareness, in which he was able to interpret coincidences and thus “ talk to the city ”. [ 8 ] In this state, he was besides able to sense chi or life pull. He became able to “ walk in two worlds ” for an increase awareness of his surroundings and of any disturbances in a city ‘s lifelike decree. This ability came in handy when sage relocated to Metropolis and teamed up with Superman against Lex Luthor and the Psychopomp. During another multiverse crisis, the Secret Society of Super-Villains coordinated a planet-wide break of super-villains from every major prison. With the JLA otherwise occupied, Oracle organized a group of second-string vigilantes to oppose the escapees at each prison. The question joined up with these heroes and, when they made their way to Metropolis, he was transported with the other heroes to fight in what would become the Battle of Metropolis. [ 9 ]

Renee Montoya

Main article: 52 Vol 1 Following the end of the crisis and Batman ‘s disappearance, the motion returned to Gotham City to assume the character of its defender. [ 10 ] His beginning work was removing the bat symbol poser from the Bat-Signal and spray-painting a elephantine question tag in its place. This was not rigorously an act of self however, and he shone the light on Renee Montoya ‘s apartment building in order to get her attention. Three days former, he entered Montoya ‘s apartment and left her an address : 520 Kane Street. When Montoya visited the placement, he hired her to watch an abandon build located there for “ two hundred dollars a day, plus expenses, ” and implied that it would be used by a one-third party. This mysterious behavior would lead to a partnership that would final closely a year. Two weeks and one night later, the two teamed up against a strange creature who entered that building. The course of their investigations then led them to Kahndaq, where they investigated Intergang dealings and prevented a suicide bombard during Black Adam and Isis ‘s marry. The success of this mission earned the motion the order of the Crescent. [ 11 ]

end

After returning to Gotham City, the wonder learned that he was suffering from lung cancer. Though Montoya immediately had Sage hospitalized and later took it upon herself to transport him to the Himalayan city of Nanda Parbat in the hope of using its mystic properties to save him, she was besides late. Having gone through great discomfort and asperity up until the conclusion, Victor Sage, The Question, passed away. [ 12 ] After his death, Renee Montoya took up the cape of the Question, using Sage ‘s old disguise to honor his bequest. Some time later, when the villain Nekron resurrected thousands of corpses on earth for his Black Lantern Corps, Vic Sage was reanimated as a Black Lantern. sage ‘s cadaver went after Renee, Tot, and Lady Shiva, but they managed to elude him by suppressing their emotions and making themselves inconspicuous to him. [ 13 ] Upon Nekron ‘s defeat, Sage was returned to his grave.

Abilities

  • Genius Level Intellect: The Question possesses genius intelligence and has an extremely unpredictable way of thinking. He can make a weapon out of common objects and often uses his mind to win fights.
    • Investigation: Said to be the second greatest detective after Batman. One of many, he has a superior inquisitive mind and has years of experience as an investigative reporter as well as his life as The Question.
    • Journalism: Victor, before becoming the Question, was a TV investigative journalist. He had his own show and appeared on local news which sought out conspiracy theories, local crime rings, and other violent or mysterious news. His journalistic techniques were what drove him to become the Question.
    • Interrogation: His opponents often fear him due to the (arguably true) rumors of his insanity and ruthless tactics.
    • Disguise: The Question has and can assume many aliases and has, as he describes, “many different faces” such as the one he used to spy on Renee Montoya.[14]
    • Philosophy: A self-proclaimed philosopher, Vic Sage has spent years surviving and understanding in the modern to the postmodern world of big city life. He understands the functions of the people within the city and even the city itself on a deeper level.
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Although starting of as a brawler, the Question’s combat skills were further improved with training from Richard Dragon. Using what he had learned, the Question is capable of defeating multiple enemies at once, is fast and agile enough to dodge gunfire, can take a beating without feeling any pain, and be able to kick a car hard enough to move it. His martial arts allowed him to fight off armored soldiers like the Subterraneans, demons and robots belonging to the supervillain Avatar, and superhumans like the genetic animal hybrids of Intergang.
    • Dragon Style Kung Fu: He had trained with Richard Dragon who are one of the most proficient martial artists and kung fu experts.[15]
  • Acrobatics: Although not quite on par with people like Nightwing, he has shown to be a proficient acrobat, and has used this skill to survive a fatal fall by rebounding off building sides and somersaulting to create more drag. He, like many other non-powered vigilantes, can get around by jumping from rooftop to rooftop.
  • Intimidation: He has on many occasions frightened criminals into giving him the information he wants, and sometimes resorts to methods that many heroes shy from, like threatening a killer with a chainsaw.
  • Indomitable Will: His training and lifestyle demanded much determination, and he was rarely known to give up or surrender especially in physical confrontations.
  • Mystical Knowledge: Throughout his adventures, learning zen buddhism and urban shamanism, the Question has learned various mystical and supernatural techniques to aid him in his quest. He can feel sensations in the air, making it difficult to sneak up on him.[16] He knows a mental technique that can help in healing wounds and broken bones. Also, he can see through walls and also track down people by feeling the city he is in. With focus (and the use of his gas), the Question can make himself a floating astral form that can hurt and kill his enemies.[17]

early Characteristics

  • Lung Cancer: Due to his smoking habit, Vic Sage developed terminal lung cancer, of which he eventually died.

equipment

  • Pseudoderm Mask: A mask made out of an experimental substance known as “pseudoderm” that gives the Question the appearance of a man without a face. The mask also serves as another layer of defense and a way to scare or intimidate people. The Question can also mold the pseudoderm with actual faces that he can use for disguises and stealth.[17]
  • Binary Gas: The Question carries a specialized gas inside his belt to apply and remove his mask. The gas is also helpful for disguises since it can change the color of his suit and hair. Besides these, the gas can also be used as a smokescreen against his enemies,[18] and has psychoactive properties to increase his awareness and mystical powers.[17]

Weapons

  • Calling Cards: Question often leaves calling cards that also emit the same binary gas, which he has also been shown to use as weapons, specifically as a custom specialized type of smoke grenade.[19]
  • Firearms: The Question has no problems utilizing guns from time-to-time. He has shown skills in pistols,[20] submachine guns,[21] and rocket launchers.[17]

Continuity Notes and Alternate Portrayals

  • The Question, as created by Steve Ditko in Charlton Comics’ Blue Beetle series, was a very different character than the one described above. Though his origin was the same, The Question was consciously created in order to represent Ayn Rand’s views of Objectivism, which Ditko had come to embrace. Accordingly, the original Question had a stark sense of morality and was somewhat right-wing. Dennis O’Neill’s later interpretation of The Question in his own comic leaves room for the Ditko stories in continuity despite the complete change in his personality, as his near-death experience was meant to be a break from the pre-Crisis version of the character. It is currently unclear how many, if any, of the Charlton stories are considered canon in the Post-Crisis universe.
  • The events of the Infinite Crisis have made some of the DC Comics Question stories unclear in terms of continuity. Lex Luthor, for example, is no longer portrayed as he was in volume two of The Question. It is also unclear whether the The Brave and the Bold series that teamed the Question with Green Arrow and Butcher fits into current continuity, as Butcher is a creator-owned character who is neither published nor referred to in DC Comics publications any longer.

Homages/Influences

  • While Charlton’s version of The Question lay dormant for more than a decade, it helped inspire one of the most unforgettable anti-heroes in comic book history.
    In the mid-1980s, renowned writer Alan Moore intended to devote a mini-series to the Charlton characters recently purchased by DC Comics, thrusting them into actual Cold War history—Hiroshima, Cuba, Vietnam, Nixon, etc.—and the geo-political and social context of a world where costumed heroes had actually existed in real life since the Depression. DC liked the idea, but realized that Moore’s story would prevent the company from ever using the characters again. So, Moore created new protagonists that were patterned after the Charlton “Action Heroes” of the 1960s, but not explicitly linked to them. The Question became the basis for Rorschach, a merciless trenchcoat-and-fedora-clad vigilante who wears a blank mask of shifting “ink-blot” patterns and takes moral absolutism to its most violent extreme. Rorschach was widely regarded as a standout character in the classic comic book series Watchmen, created by Moore and artist Dave Gibbons.
    • Later, an homage to the homage would appear in Question #17, during which Vic Sage reads Watchmen; though Sage is initially fascinated with the character, he gets beaten up after trying to emulate his brutal style of justice. He concludes that “Rorschach sucks.” [22]
  • The Question is not the first comics character whose disguise included a faceless mask. Notably, The Question was a revised and adapted version of Mr. A, a character Steve Ditko had created months before with a similar modus operandi and philosophy.

relate


Justice League 0002.jpgJustice League member
DC Rebirth Logo.png This character is or was a penis of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its respective incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the global by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect land from both interstellar and domestic threats.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the “ Justice League of America members “ category .
Black Hand 008.jpgBlack Lantern DC logo.pngBlack Lantern Corps member
This character is or was a member of the Black Lantern Corps. Those who have died may wield the Black Power Ring, symbolizing their lack of both life and emotion.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the “ Black Lantern Corps members category. ”
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