The Question v.1 #9
"Watchers" - Oct. 1987
- Script: Dennis O'Neil
- Pencils: Denys Cowan
- Inks: Rick Magyar
- Lettering: Gaspar
- Colors: Tatjana Wood
- Editor: Mike Gold
- Cover: Denys Cowan & Bill Sienkiewicz
- Published by DC Comics
The Question checks his watch from a rooftop as he looks down on the situation below. A midnight meeting between some drug dealers and Izzy O'Toole, chief of police detectives, starts with a briefcase containing $20,000 and a kilo of cocaine. The drugs and money are a payoff for the department to look the other way, but Izzy's not turning a blind eye. He pulls his police revolver out and the men's hands go up. One of the men, behind Izzy, brings his hand up with a gun in it. The Question strips the gun away and takes down the rest of the gang.
Izzy wants to know why the Question is following him. The Question says it's a matter of curiosity -- he wanted to know what Izzy was going to do. Izzy confides that he didn't bring back-up because he didn't know himself until he was in the moment. Sage arrives at dawn to find Tot still awake, looking at bugs under the microscope. He asks Tot for a moment to talk, but the moment is interrupted by a gas bomb crashing through the window.
Two men come into the house wearing gas masks. One heads for the unconscious Tot, but Sage, holding his breath, defends his friend by kicking his opponent in the gut. The other intruder stands back, summing up Sage. he comes at him with a barrage of blows and kicks that Sage dodges, but one man has a gas mask and the other doesn't. The lack of oxygen takes its toll on Sage and he quickly falls in battle.
Sage awakens to the smell of rotten oranges. Sunlight pours through the window, and Sage surmises that he's been unconscious for three hours or more. Tot's gone. Sage devotes a spot to the missing scientist on the next night's news -- complete with a pencil sketch because Sage couldn't find a photo -- and, after a confrontation with Finch, decides to investigate on his own.
Feeling bad about knowing next to nothing about his supposed friend, Sage stops at the neighbor's house t ask about a plumbing van he recalls seeing parked on the street. She warns him about martians and hippie rays, but eventually turns over the license plate of the van. Sage has Izzy run the plate, which, it turns out, belongs to a top-secret government agency that's not supposed to exist anymore -- from a lab where they experimented with LSD as a truth serum.
Sage drives to the nearby city of Fairview, where the lab is located, encounters an electric fence, and decides to change into the Question. He climbs the top of a nearby pole, thanking the Fairview comptroller who took the money that the city designated for putting the electric lines underground to Rio with a pair of cocktail waitresses. The pry bar does the trick and the Question soon finds himself over the fence, smelling oranges. The green van he remembered from Tot's house comes barreling at him and he barely jumps out of the way as it crashes.
The martial artist stumbles from the van, and the Question takes him out with a kick. But no sooner has he delivered the blow than he begins to feel as though he's suffocating. He rips at the mask and tears it free from his face as the thug comes running back. Sage takes a foot to the face and as he rubs his eyes, he begins hallucinating. He sees Tot, crucified on an orange tree, asking who he is. Sage attempts to answer the question, but winds up asking only more questions about his own identity. As he walks toward Tot, the ground opens into a neon chasm with flames below. Sage falls over the edge, catching himself on a limb that bears a single strawberry. As Sage eats it, the thug crushes his hand and he lets go, falling into blackness.
- Vic Sage / The Question
- Izzy O'Toole
- Aristotle Rodor
- The New Secretary
- Tot's Neighbor
Trivia / Minutiae
- The Official DC Comics Website
- The Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
- Mikel Midnight's Golden Age Directory
- Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics
- Who's Whose in the DC Universe
- The Denny O'Neil Message Board at World Famous Comics Community
- From the Cyber-Den at World Famous Comics Community
- The O'Neil Observer Internet Archive cache
- Interview with Denny O'Neil - Conducted by staff of VicSage.com
- "I Was a Teen-Age Comics Artist" - Interview with Denys Cowan
- Catching Up With Denys Cowan - Interview with Newsarama
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