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Banner: The Question by Denys Cowan

The Question at DC Comics

Character reworked by O'Neil/Cowan

The Question by Denys Cowan from The Question v1 #15
Art by Denys Cowan from
The Question v1 #15

The Question came to DC in part of a gift purchase of the Charlton "Action Heroes" -- Captain Atom, Nightshade, Blue Beetle, Son of Vulcan, Judomaster, Thunderbolt, Sarge Steel and the Question -- for then-DC editor, former Charlton writer/editor Dick Giordano. The original plan, as detailed in the article, "Project Blockbuster" by Robert Greenberger in Comic Book Artist #09, was for the Charlton characters to feature in short, serialized stories in a monthly series, with the Question's particular stories to be penned by Mike W. Barr and drawn by Stan Woch. This idea soon went bust, with little artwork actually completed.

The Action Heroes made their debut in the DCU as Earth-4, one of many alternate worlds being collapsed into one during the historic Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1986, and many of their fold earned solo books, including Blue Beetle (where the Question made his first post-Crisis story appearance), and the Question himself. All of this, of course, while the seminal Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons maxiseries The Watchmen riffed on a sort of alternate universe version of the Action Heroes.

Denny O'Neil and Denys Cowan's version of the Question debuted to jeers from the Ditko audience who cried foul on O'Neil's non-objectivist portrayal of Ditko's creation. O'Neil addressed the issue by having The Question die at the end of the first issue, resurrected in the second and born again as a wholly different character. O'Neil's Charles Victor "Vic Sage" Szasz was an orphaned protector of a hellhole -- Hub City -- taught by a zen Kung Fu master, and dealing with a wealth of grotesque characters and villains as Hub toppled like Sodom and Gomorrah around him. The series became known for it's thoughtful handling of real-world issues, an excellent letter column, and, from some, for not being Ditko. The series featured detailed and absorbing art by a young African-American named Denys Cowan, who, along with inker Rick Magyar, was twice nominated for the Eisner Award for best art team.

After the Question series, and a brief follow-up Question Quarterly finished their runs, Vic Sage skipped here and there across the DC universe, making appearances in other O'Neil-penned one-shots and cameos in other characters' books. Giordano joined writer/inker Bob Layton (former Charlton Bullseye publisher) for a simple-but-fun six-issue teaming of the Charlton heroes called the L.A.W. Under the helm of writer Greg Rucka, a self-professed fan of the O'Neil series in college, the Question began a relationship with Gotham vigilante The Huntress in a six-part series called Cry For Blood.

Writer Rick Veitch and artist Tommy Lee Edwards took a new approach to the Question in their 2004-05 six-issue miniseries, turning the Question into a sort of urban shaman who "spoke" to cities through a channel of lifeforce. In the miniseries, the Question comes to Metropolis and has a run in with Superman himself, and it's revealed that, in journalism school, Vic had a huge crush on Lois Lane. The Question currently appears in the series 52, taking place in the year after the lackluster sequel to Crisis, Infinite Crisis.

For more information, see links to specific issues below.

+++ - Denotes a comic where the Question does not appear, yet is intergral to understanding a larger Question-related storyline.

Pre-Series Appearances

The Question v.1

Brave and the Bold

Post-O'Neil One-Shots

The L.A.W.

Batman/Huntress: Cry For Blood

The Question v.2 - Devil's in the Details


52 pages coming soon!

  • 52 #1 - "Golden Lads & Lasses Must..."- May 10, 2006
  • 52 #2 - "Looking Back at Tomorrow" - May 17, 2006
  • 52 #4 - "Dances with Monsters" - May 31, 2006
  • 52 #9 - "Dream of America" - July 6, 2006
  • 52 #11 - "Batwoman Begins!" - July 19, 2006
  • 52 #12 - "Mighty" - July 26, 2006
  • 52 #14 - "Sand and Rust" - Aug. 9, 2006
  • 52 #15 - "Outshined" - Aug. 16, 2006
  • 52 #16 - "Uhebbuki" - Aug. 23, 2006
  • 52 #18 - "Dismantled" - Sept. 6, 2006
  • 52 #23 - "The Island of Professor Morrow" - Oct. 11, 2006

Background Cameos

DCU Animated

Elseworlds / Non-Canon / Unpublished Stories

Who's Who / Reference

See also the entry for non-comic reference guides on the miscellaneous page.