The Question Annual #2
"Losing Face" - July 1989
- Script: Denny O'Neil
- Art: Bill Wray
- Flashback Art: Shea Anton Pensa
- Lettering: Paul Fricke
- Colors: Bill Wray
- Editor: Mike Gold
- Cover: Ed Hannigan and Malcolm Jones
- Published by DC Comics
The Question's been cut while out patrolling Hub City, and Tot Rodor is out of bandages. Instead, Tot cuts up Sage's faceless mask to use to stop the wound.
The two begin remembering the origin of the Question, and the irony of using the mask as a bandage. Sage was a headstrong reporter who rubbed many the wrong way, spending times between fiery newscasts sleeping with the office assistant Judy. After botching a story and mistaking local doctor Arby Twain for a doctor who botched an abortion, Arbler Twine, Sage should be put on the defensive. Instead, he resolves to go after Twain even harder -- he can tell a "fat lying hypocrite by looking at him."
Tot Rodor, Sage's college professor, seems to have the answer. He and Twain co-invented pseudoderm, a fake skin held on with a binary gas. But under the wrong conditions, the gas caused blood poisoning. Rodor has word that the dangerous skin/gas has been shopped to third world countries by Twain. Driven by the potential guilt, Rodor asks Sage for help.
That night, they invent a faceless sort of costume so that Sage can break and enter freely. They use the pseudoderm and gas -- only fatal on infected, open wounds -- and Sage invents a false identity for himself.
As the Question, he breaks into Twain's apartment and finds the sale already in progress. He manages to take the men down, and he removes their clothes and binds them together with pseudoderm, then calling the police. Switching back to his newscaster face, Sage arrives just in time to find the evidence needed to put Twain in jail -- a lucky break considering the slander charges that could have been brought against him.
Sage ends the flashback and leaves to go on patrol again. No sooner has he gone than Green Arrow arrives, claiming to have seen "No Face" in Seattle, but Tot can provide an alibi. Suddenly, a faceless man comes in -- but it's not the Question. He's joined by another and the faceless thugs beat Green Arrow with a bat. He leaps through the window to escape just as the real Question realizes down the road that he's forgotten his mask.
Walking home again, Sage comes across a prostitute who recognizes him. She introduces herself as Judy, the woman Sage dated those many years ago. He takes her to Tot's house to catch up on things and for a cup of coffee. When they arrive, Rodor tells the story of the attack. Green Arrow comes out of the darkness to reclaim his bow and tells Sage the full story.
Sage assumes that Twain must have sent the men to extract revenge. Green Arrow makes a call and finds out that Twain's latest hiding place is Santa Prisca. He shushes the room and fires off two arrows, taking out the faceless thugs who had returned.
A call to Batman later, and the Question and Green Arrow are stowing away on a Wayne Foundation plane to Santa Prisca. They're picked up by militia members on the beach and taken to a cell. Breaking out is easy, but what to do next? Sage suggests that Ollie put on the faceless mask as well, so they can be indistinguishable from Twain's guards.
After breaking out, the two hear Twain talking to the terrorist Juarez. He's modified the binary gas so that it's lethal. The first dose of gas removes awareness -- "it removes fear, greed hate -- the reasons men do evil," while the second half serves as a protection against the effects of the gas. Juarez plans to release the gas over Hub City. Green Arrow moves to charge them, but Sage holds him back, considering that the gas might alleviate the suffering of Hubbies. Green Arrow charges anyway, and in the ensuing fight, the gas canister springs a leak.
Arrow pulls the Question to safety, and asks why he hesitated. When Sage says that Twain sort of made sense, Green Arrow calls Twain obscene. Twain's men pursue with machine guns, and the pair of heroes are forced to jump out of a window. Arrow's branch holds, but the Question's breaks. Green Arrow regretfully leaves Vic behind, heading for Hub.
Vic takes out the guard nearest him, and finds himself facing Arby Twain, who, after being exposed to the gas, slips in and out of reality until he's gone completely catatonic.
A more complete summary coming soon!
- Vic Sage / The Question
- Tot Rodor
- Arby Twain
- Oliver Queen / Green Arrow
- Bruce Wayne / Batman
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
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