From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Question is a superhero created by Steve Ditko originally for Charlton Comics and now is owned by DC Comics.
The character's real name is Victor Sage, a crusading television reporter who is out to root out corruption where he finds it. To that end, when he encounters stories he can't investigate by normal
or legal means, he dons a special mask that makes it appear that he has no face (much like the old Dick Tracy villain, The Blank). Then he also releases a special gas that seals the mask to his face and changes the colour of his clothes
and hair to become unrecognizable. Thus disguised, The Question investigates corruption in the face of all danger.
The origin of the character, established in the original DC Comics series, was that Victor, originally Charles Sazez, was
an orphan who had a reputation as a troublemaker. This extended priding himself in defiantly enduring the physical abuse of
the Catholic orphanage where he was housed. He eventually managed to get into college where he studied journalism. However, his higher learning did not mellow his violent tendencies, such as when he beat up
his pusher for giving him LSD which caused the frightening experience of doubting his own senses under its influence.
Victor, taking his current name as he entered journalism, eventually worked in various cities until he relocated to Hub
City. There he made his mark as a highly outspoken and aggressive reporter with a poor reputation for obnoxiousness. Eventually,
he met up with a scientist would be a lifelong friend, Aristole Rodor. Rodor told Victor about an artificial skin he co-developed that was intended
to work as a quickly applied skin replacement, but had toxic side effects when applied to damaged skin that made it unusable in its present form. However, while he had withdrawn the substance's use for now, an unscrupulous partner
decided to proceed with an illegal sale of the invention regardless of the risk to human health. Victor resolved to stop him
and found the artificial skin made for an effective mask to allow him to do this secretly. Thus disguised, Victor stopped
the sale and decided that this new identity, partially inspired by The Spirit, would be useful for future investigations. To that end, Sage convinced Rodor to supply more of the skin along with future
refinments as to allow for clearer vision and breathing as well as the clothing treatments.
The character had limited exposure, first appearing as a guest character in the Blue Beetle, a few back up stories and an acclaimed solo story in a one shot title, Mysterious Suspense.
When the Charlton characters were acquired by DC Comics in the mid 1980s, The Question was the focus of an acclaimed solo series written by Dennis O'Neil and primarily drawn by Denys Cowan. In that series' first issue, The Question was defeated in personal combat first by the martial arts mercenary, Lady Shiva, beaten near to death by the hiring villain's thugs, shot in the head with a pellet gun and thrown into the river to drown. Lady Shiva then rescued him for reasons of her own and gave him directions to meet Richard Dragon as soon as he recovered enough to get out of bed. Once there, Sage learned both martial arts, and eastern philosophy that
changed his perspective into a more sophisticated one that accepted the world's moral ambiguities. When he returned to the
city, he resumed his journalist and superhero careers with adventures that tended illustrate various philosophic points. To
further illustrate those points, Dennis O'Neil had a reading recommendation in the letters page of each issue.