Vic Sage: 1974 - 1999
Vic Sage was born Charles Victor Zsasz in Gotham City, the first son of Victor Charles Zsasz, a man who left Charles and his mother in the middle of the night. Charles’ mother would succumb to a sickness and Charles was placed in the care of an orphanage when authorities could not track down his father. Charles would go on to grow up into a teen orphan with a reputation as a troublemaker, priding himself in defiantly enduring the physical abuse of the orphanage’s overseers. When he was fifteen, Charles’ father would track him down and bring him home. Though pleased to find his father still among the living, Charles would struggle to find a place in his father’s new family with a stepmother that doted on Charles’ troubled half-brother (confusingly named Victor Charles Zsasz, Jr. - their father was not a creative man apparently) while having no interest in Charles’ own accomplishments.
Despite lacking his parents’ encouragements, Charles managed to get into college, but higher learning did not mellow his violent tendencies, In his first summer reprieve from college, Charles brutally beat a drug dealer for giving his younger brother LSD, which would forever cause a rift between the brothers. This ultimately would fester over the next couple of years until the two threw down on their parent’s front lawn during their father’s birthday. Ashamed that he put his brother in the hospital, Charles exiled himself from his own family.
Cut off from his family, Charles almost had to drop out of college but a professor named Aristotle Rodor believed in Charles and helped Charles apply for student loans and grants that would help him finish his education. Rodor would even let Charles live in a spare room of his own home. After graduating from Metropolis University (where he nursed an unrequited crush on fellow student Lois Lane), Charles made his mark as a highly outspoken and aggressive reporter for the Daily Planet. In 1999, Charles was offered a position as host of an investigative television series for GBS News. While awaiting the debut of his series, Charles received word that his parents had been murdered.
The Question: 1999 - 2010
After confronting his incarcerated brother and learning that his brother had killed his father and stepmother, Charles returned to Hub City. Convinced to change his name to distance himself from his serial killer brother, Charles took a name inspired by the two most important role models in his life: choosing the surname “Sage” as a nod to the kind and scholarly professor that had been a surrogate father to him when he needed it the most and using “Vic”, his father’s nickname, as his new first name. And so, Vic Sage was born.
In 2004, as a host for the GBS's mystery investigation series, Vic was approached by his old professor, Aristotle Rodor. Tot was scared after his two co-inventors of a prototype skin graft substitute had turned up dead in mysterious accidents. When Vic learned that Tot’s attempts to go to the police were hampered by a U.S. Senator whose election campaign was being funded by the same pharmaceutical company interested in buying the rights to the formula, Vic’s righteous fury and insatiable curiosity got the better of him. Tot whipped up a mask using the same prosthetic (called Pseudoderm) to cover Vic’s famous features. What Vic uncovered in a manner of nights exposed a grand conspiracy that, when exposed, would result in the resignation of three United States Senators and solved thirteen murder cases, even freeing four men wrongfully convicted of those crimes.
When the JLA was asked to comment on the case, believing Batman to be the mysterious investigator, Lois Lane asked the Caped Crusader “If not you, then who did solve the case?” to which Batman famously replied: “A good question,” thereby inspiring Vic’s heroic moniker and prompting Vic to carry on with his training and step out of the shadows and join the JLA.
As years went by, Vic fell into a rabbit’s hole of conspiracy theories. Scary thing, he was proved to be correct much of the time. But his time as a hero would be brief as just five years into his crimefighting career, Vic discovered he had lung cancer and secretly recruited Renee Montoya to become his protégé. Here’s looking at you, Vic. We miss your crazy ass.
Recently Renee Montoya discovered clues that Vic Sage may have been murdered and has recruited Kate Kane to help her solve the mystery.
- Athletic and Acrobatic Training
- A Man of Many Faces (or none at all)
- Genius Investigator/Kooky Conspiracy Nut
- Expert Martial Artist and Boxer
- World-Class Interrogator/Investigator
- Remarkably Gifted Journalist & Philosopher
- Amateur Urban Shaman & Occultist
- Really Good Poker Face
Trivia and Quotes
- The Question joined the Justice League in 2004 nominated by Batman. His position was later given in 2012 to Renee Montoya.
- During the tail end of the Cataclysm, Sage and Helena Bertinelli became close and began a romantic relationship. Vic wanted to train her to be his replacement, but Tot convinced him to break things off with her and train Renee Montoya instead. Tot reasoned that Helena was too young, too full of potential, and too invested in Vic emotionally that it would not be fair to have her suffer through the tragic loss of a second boyfriend, having previously been involved with Jason Todd.
- Vic has some sort of lens for his eyes and some sort of filter or mesh for his mouth and/or nose in his mask.
- When the JLA disbanded, Vic and Captain Atom founded Extreme Justice in Hub City, but it disbanded too after only eight months.
- Vic Sage thought Lyndon B. Johnson was behind JFK's assassination.
- After reading Rorschach's journal, Vic Sage originally tried to emulate Rorschach's brand of justice (at least, from the early days of Rorschach's career). However Vic did not anticipate how difficult it can be to effortlessly break hands and after failing to do so during an interrogation, Vic found himself the one in for a beating. The Question was able to turn the tides and come out victorious and as he dealt a knock-out blow and dusted off his coat, witnesses to the event recall the Question muttering "Rorschach sucks" to himself.
- He and Tot tried to solve the mystery of Edwin Paine's death, but failed. After visiting his grave the ghost of Edwin haunted the Question's bunker.
- Vic Sage's ghost cannot be summoned. Edwin Paine tried but failed. He must have found some way to ward his grave.
- This version of the character is unique to Earth-27 as Roy has taken certain liberties with the character, particularly in his relation to a certain tally-loving serial killer. In the comics, his actual surname is spelled "Szasz".
- Roy didn't expect that Earth-27 would become this big and in the process made some decisions that cut out certain possibilities. Among these things was exploration of Vic Sage's stint as The Question.
- "Rorschach sucks" is a nod to Question, Vol. 1 #17.