We’ve got a rule ’round the old Den. It’s a simple one, easy to remember: If Denys Cowan is drawing something, buy it. If Bill Sienkiewicz is inking him, buy an extra copy. It doesn’t matter if it’s Deathstroke. Or a crossover that is ridiculous on its face, like Hong Kong Phooey/Black Lightning.Or even a quickie crossover tie-in like Convergence: Detective Comics. This rule has never once failed any of us, and we intend to follow it for this art duo’s latest DC project.
Jeff Lemire is teaming up with the legendary artists and colorist Chris Sotomayor to bring The Question to DC’s mature imprint, Black Label. The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage is a four-part story starting in November that will track Vic Sage through history. In the 1980s, The Question was Cowan’s breakout comic. Teamed with Dennis O’Neil, he turned a Charlton pickup into one of the deepest, most interesting (and eventually most enduring) characters in DC’s stable.
“Jeff is an excellent writer and this might be one of his best stories so far,” said Cowan in a press release. “The series will go through multiple time periods and explore aspects of Vic Sage’s past and present that have never been explored before. Combined with Bill Sienkiewicz’s inks and Chris Sotomayor’s deft color touch, this may be the best version of the Question yet.”
The story starts in old west Hub City with a dead Question and history repeating itself. And my god, it looks amazing.
Sage was originally created by Steve Ditko for Charlton Comics and made his first appearance in Blue Beetle #1. He is also not the tightest adherent to Ditko’s nonsense objectivist philosophy. While the Question certainly dropped some “there’s no such thing as a gray area” knowledge on the criminals he was viciously beating, it was Ditko’s Mr. A (running in an entirely different book at the same time) who would kill the criminals as he shouted Randian gibberish at them. As one of the Charlton characters imported by DC, he was also one of the foundations for the characters who were made legendary in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons Watchmen– he was the basis for Rorschach.
In Cowan and O’Neil’s run (which, if you’re so inclined, is available on the DC Universe app), Sage was broken down and had the Objectivist stripped out of him, to be replaced by eastern philosophy. He eventually became one of the best martial artists in the entire DCU. He also got lung cancer from all the smoking and passed along the mantle of The Question to Renee Montoya in 52.However, what stuck was Ditko’s original character. It was that characterization that informed his appearances on television, voiced by Jeffrey Combs on Justice League Unlimited and by Nicholas Guest on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
For more on DC’s Black Label or what you should be reading next on DC Universe (WALT SIMONSON’S ORION), stick with Den of Geek!
Jim Dandy is a freelance contributor. Read more of his work here.