The Question

Victor Sage, known by many for decades as the Question, suddenly disappeared from the DCU and has yet to be seen since. The major loss is felt by all fans of the Question, despite other obscure heroes being present. Sage is by no means a major character. In fact, most may have just learned about him by the 2000’s when he appeared in the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED animated television show.

However, his character and origin have been played with over the years. This character and his modern appearance are far different from his debut in a side story in BLUE BEETLE #1. He started out as a hard-nosed reporter who believed the world was black and white. The more iconic version we know today was first seen in THE QUESTION ANNUAL #2 in 1989. This issue has him literally questioning everything, always finding morally gray answers. This has remained a part of his character ever since.

The character has been extremely impressive, and fans have always loved seeing the Question in comics or television shows. The problems started in the New 52, which is where our case must begin!

The Rebirth of the Question

A few years ago, DC announced they were doing away with the not-so-beloved New 52. They planned to redo all their major titles as well as the mainstream DC Universe. In this form, Vic Sage was present.

In THE NEW 52 FREE COMIC BOOK DAY SPECIAL EDITION #1, DC runs Sage through the ringer. He’s cursed to forget who he is and, thus, must search for answers. He needs to continue asking questions until he finds out who he is. We don’t see much of him afterward. Sage is no longer present in any mainstream story arcs, including in the post-Rebirth DCU.

What To Read From DC Rebirth

When DC announced their Rebirth initiative, they did a lot for their property. Overall, the comics were as reset as they could be, within reason. Truly, everything felt back to normal. Yet, it’s been a while and we haven’t seen Vic Sage pop up anywhere. In fact, the last comic we really saw him in was TRINITY OF SIN “The Wage of Sin,” a stand-alone miniseries.

This was still part of the New 52 version of the DCU, back from 2015. We’re over halfway done with 2018 now, going towards four years without a proper Vic Sage appearance. Isn’t it odd that DC has yet to do this? I smell a conspiracy!

The Renee Montoya Dilemma

The Question
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Renee Montoya was a brief partner of Vic Sage’s before she became the Question herself. She fits into the universe very well today, and it’s unlikely DC will want to stop her involvement. She’s a detective in Gotham City and is often seen with her girlfriend, Kate Kane. You know, Batwoman.

Due to Batwoman’s upcoming appearance in the CW and the fact that she’s a critical part of the Bat-Family, we can’t imagine DC removing Renee any time soon. As fans, we understand this. Sidelining her wouldn’t be ideal, and it would cost them a lot to do so. They would need to find another love interest for Batwoman who clicks with her the same way. Plus Montoya is a great character by herself, so replacing her would ultimately be detrimental.

The real trouble we’re looking at here is that Montoya intertwines with so many aspects of the DCU, that trying to replace her would be crazy. However, we feel like there are a few options that DC can go with if they want to bring Vic Sage back. This is the comic book world, so there are definitely ways.

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How Vic Sage can Return as the Question

The Question
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Due to this being “Rebirth,” it’d be easy to undo the new origin for Vic Sage set during the New 52. We already have new stories and new concepts. This means we cannot base a return solely on what we saw in 2015 or beforehand. What do we need to do most? Find a way to bring back Vic Sage in the biggest way possible, without going too far out.

The best way to do this might be by utilizing Batwoman, Montoya, and possibly even another Bat-Family member or two. The reason? We’re going to use the Court Of Owls, Lady Shiva, and the Mikado for this new narrative. The story must be that Sage was kidnapped, with the reason being unknown for some time.

For this to work, we must be forthcoming and say that we’re using something we’re calling “the universal bleed-over.” In that, parts of the pre-New 52 DCU will be in play here. Though later on, DC Rebirth material will be used to connect him to the world. We’re using the fact that Renee Montoya is still operating as The Question, though not as much as she had. This is mostly a pre-New 52 use of The Question, but one we’re using here for the story. We are also going with the thought that Vic Sage has been gone for some time, and his whereabouts are currently unknown. That said, let’s get started!

The Storyline: Wherefore Art Thou Vic Cage?

The Question
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

A mysterious person approaches Renee and Kate, as they’re dining at a lovely restaurant in Gotham. They claim to have information. This person doesn’t give their name but tells them they saw Sage at a place down the road from there. This will push Renee to search and find answers to all her questions regarding where Vic is. Upon reaching their destination, they find a card lying on the ground.

It’s here that Montoya as well as Kane, both still in their civilian clothing, believe they will find him. However, when they run into the building they only spot a dead man… or what they believed to be, sitting in a chair. It’s not Vic, but rather something else. It’s a dummy with an avian mask that’s all too familiar. Suddenly the lights turn on to reveal the Court of Owls!

They say that they know of Montoya’s friend, Vic. They also know she wants him back, and as long as she does what they ask… she’ll get what she wants. The Court has clearly made an impression already on various characters in the DCU, especially the Bat-Family. However, what they did to Sage is unknown and Renee demands answers.

The Questionable Tactics

The Question
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Court informs them that they knew Sage was undercover. He infiltrated their organization trying to find information on them. This is similar to what Bruce Wayne did years prior, but the Owls discovered Vic’s treachery. They wanted to kill him, but Sage got away before they could do so. The real issue they have is that he took something of theirs. The Court wants to find Sage as much as anyone, and have a few leads on where he could be. However, they don’t want to do the dirty work themselves and know Renee and Kane could find him better than they could. They then throw a package of documents at her feet.

The Owls know Renee would do anything to help Vic, so they make a bargain with her. They will make sure to hand over everything she asks for if she can find Sage and return their object. The Court refuses to explain what Vic stole. However, they claim it’s so important that their entire organization depends on its return.

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The Court of Owls offers to pay any price to help them, as long as they agree to the terms of the deal. The object must be in their possession in six months’ time. Vic Sage will be safe and no one has to die. Yet if they’re unsuccessful… there will be consequences. Every place in which the Court has a presence will burn to the ground. Although our heroes agree — expecting a simple rescue mission — the story will get insane along the way, with twists and turns the likes of which all good Question conspiracies are made of.

The Story of Six Months

Swamp Thing helps The Question
Swamp Thing essentially knows what is going on before most. [Image courtesy of DC Comics]
Kate tells Renee she’s going with her, wherever she goes, to help find Vic. The package they drop at Renee’s feet delivers all known locations Vic might have been. Batwoman tells Bruce Wayne that the Court is up to their tricks yet again, and she may need his assistance down the line. He agrees to assist and call up others who could be of use to them along the way, when requested.

During to Vic’s investigation, he was looking into the world of dark magic. He’d do this all over the world, which left many questions. Kane suggests they speak with Zatanna. Upon arrival, she claims that Sage came to her looking for answers about an ancient magic, one she wasn’t as familiar with. She told him that Swamp Thing might know more.

This leads our heroes deep into a Louisana swamp. Swamp Thing suddenly appears, asking the ladies why they’re disturbing the Green. Renee tells Swamp Thing that she’s searching for Vic Sage, for which Swamp Thing seems tentative to talk about. Zatanna asks why he won’t tell them the truth, and he informs them Vic asked him about the same ancient magic he did for Zatanna. One of which he knew something about, and one of which he felt a disturbance of recently.

He says he’ll send them to the last place he saw Vic, but refuses to tag along. Zatanna claims she too must go, due to other mystical issues she must deal with.

Searching For The Last Known Location…

The Question
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Upon transport, they arrive in yet another forested swampy area. They eventually come across a vast opening, where a derelict building is clearly visible. However, with lights flickering off and on in the building… it certainly isn’t as abandoned as one would assume.

They rush into the structure, only to find Vic tied up. He’s beaten, bloody, and broken. He cannot speak but implies that they are not alone, darting his eyes to the left. Suddenly, Lady Shiva shows up with a sword in hand. She says they don’t want to fight her, for they will die and risk losing Sage altogether. Renee demands to know what happened, and Shiva explains what went down.

Shiva was hired by Dr. Mikado to kidnap Vic. Mikado disappeared years ago, with no one able to find him since then. Why has he shown up now? Sage knows, and he’s also discovered what he’s planning. That’s why they took Vic. Yet why didn’t she kill him? Why is he still alive? Shiva states his life is still valuable, only because of an insane thing he’s done.

Finding Vic Sage

The Question
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Shiva explains that Sage stole an object known as the “GodSphere.” Within the object, however, was actually the true prize; a mysterious serum. It was designed to be given to people little by little, in order to grant eternal life. However, it’s not exactly 100% flawless. You could only use a small dose at a time. It would only help someone avoid aging or sickness in fifty-year segments. Too much could be lethal.

The Court mastered eternal life on their own, so why do they even need this? Leverage. Sage uncovered that the Court was using it as forms of payment over the last few years. It made them richer, and they were giving something nearly priceless. The people they give it to have a major influence, which grants the Court involvement in global politics to change things to their will.

Once you use it one time, however, its addictive properties force you to use it again so long as any is still in your system. With the Owls cutting down the dose, and people running out of money to pay up, they offered power and influence instead for payment. The Owls have plotted sinister things over the years, so Vic Sage couldn’t just sit around with this information. Shiva tells the ladies to come with her, where she reveals the man she is working for.

The Return Of Mikado

Enemy of The Question known as Mikado
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Dr. Mikado wants to replicate the GodSphere formula and in order to live forever. When Mikado disappeared years ago, he became what amounts to a parasite and went from host to host. Yet, like all parasites, the body will ultimately fall to it or rid themselves of it. So for many years, he has been going from one form to the other. He believes he’s found the right body now, but wants to secure it by becoming immortal.

Mikado tells Renee and Kane that, not only will the formula save him, but it can also help other suffering people. However, they aren’t buying it. They know Mikado lost it years ago, despite the good he tried to do prior to that. Yet the villain informs them that they will want to listen to what he has to say, as Vic’s life depends on it.

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The Conclusion For Bringing Back Vic Sage

The Question
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Sage crazily injected himself with the whole GodSphere to avoid Mikado getting it. Mikado explains that Vic will die if they don’t remove the substance. However, then the madman will also get what he wants. If Mikado gets the GodSphere, they might still save Sage but the Court will destroy countless cities. It’s a real Sophie’s Choice situation here.

Renee and Kate agree to let the doctor remove the serum from Vic, which in turn restores him and creates a new villain for the Question. Mikado and Shiva escape, while Kane as well as Renee leave with Vic and head back to Gotham. Kane calls up Batman, telling him that he’ll need to call up everyone he knows. The Court may very well go through with their plans.

Vic Sage eventually decides he wants to return to crimefighting… but he’s uncomfortable taking his codename back from his successor. Renee insists that he needs to become the Question again, as this wouldn’t stop her from being a superhero. For the title of the hero isn’t what makes them one.

Vic Sage, now back as the Question, wants Renee to continue doing what she does best. However, she still needs a new codename. “What about…” Vic offers, and then we end on a black page, which reads: “To Be Continued!” Vic Sage is now reborn as the Question, and we’re onto the next adventure!

A Preview For Our Next Adventure

The Question
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Vic tells Kane and Montoya that he hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with them. During his detective work, he found out that the Court of Owls is the least of their worries.

Vic explains that Mikado doesn’t just hop from body to body, he has the power to bring life to the dead by simply going inside the deceased. His current host, however, isn’t any other dead man. Rather, he got into the corpse of a man once known as Sargon the Sorcerer! Mikado needed a form that could handle the GodSphere and manipulate its properties to his advantage.

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Though Sargon’s powers did go to his daughter after his passing, they would slowly return if Mikado can remain in his new body for good. Sage did not want to alert the mystic world as he felt he could stop it before it happened, which is why he didn’t provide them with much information. However, now’s the time to get them involved. Vic tells them that they must find John Constantine, immediately!

Closing Thoughts

Bringing back the Question would be big for any fan of the comics, but bringing back Vic Sage himself is incredibly important as well. He deserves a series that will get him into as much trouble as possible, and give readers a story they’ll never forget. Remember, we haven’t seen him in a while. We need a really good reason for it and to give him the best comeback that we can. The Question will return with a bang and have a number of villains right off the bat. It’s one insane return story, but doesn’t Vic Sage deserve it? That’s the real question.

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