Not About the Answers

Everyone everyone everyone! It’s my 500th post!
To celebrate this momentous occasion, I put together a comprehensive and chronological reading list of all Vic’s major appearances! (i wanted to do one for Nee, too, but oh my god this one took so long. i’ll write it tomorrow, promise!)

CHARLTON COMICS

By Steve Ditko

1967
~ Blue Beetle v5 1-4 (Question back-up feature)

1968
~ Mysterious Suspense 1 (Vic’s first solo book)
~ Blue Beetle v5 5 (also appears out-of-mask in the main feature, faces the same villain in his back-up)

These stories and the one below are collected in the Action Heroes Archive vol. 2 hardcover. Mysterious Suspense #1 is also collected in 52: The Companion. They’re the only Question stories I don’t own.

1975
~ Charlton Bullseye v1 5

When Bob Layton and Roger Stern both were rather young, they ran a comics fan-zine called CPL, which featured the early work of John Byrne and printed the otherwise unpublished sixth issue of Ditko’s Blue Beetle (no Q? back-up to that one). In the early ’70s they partnered with Charlton Comics to create Charlton Bullseye, a magazine featuring news and comics devoted to the Charlton characters.
The Question story in #5 is written by Stern and Michael Uslan, with art by Alex Toth.

1981
~ Charlton Bullseye v2 1

Charlton Bullseye v2 was pretty much a showcase title. This story is a Blue Beetle/Question team-up. It pits Vic against a robot shark, which it advertises on both the cover and the splash page. It was very excited to feature a robot shark.
It’s written by Benjamin Smith, with Dan Reed on art.

AC COMICS

1983
~ Americomics Special 1

AC Comics were commissioned by Charlton to do a team comic based on the Action Heroes for Charlton Bullseye v2. Unfortunately, the title was cancelled before the story was finished, so AC was granted a limited license to print it themselves. It featured the four characters created by Ditko, Captain Atom, Nightshade, Blue Beetle, and our man Vic. I remember there being good banter between him and Ted. Also featured The Banshee, a villain introduced in the Question back-up from BBv5 #2. The story continued beyond this issue, but they had to create new characters to replace the Charltons.
AC also used this limited license to put out a Blue Beetle one-shot in Americomics #3. I’ve never read it.
It was scripted and drawn by Greg Guler, with a plot by Dan St. John and backgrounds drawn by Matt Feazell.

DC COMICS

1985
~ Crisis On Infinite Earths 6

Vic appears for three panels, hanging out in Ted’s Bug when the DC heroes investigate Earth-4. Marv Wolfman and George Perez, obv.
Collected in the Crisis On Infinite Earths trade.

1986
~ Blue Beetle v6 4-6

Ted’s fight gainst the the Alchemist in #4 is televised by a familiar looking reporter. Through the following three issues, Vic and Ted team-up to investigate youth gangs! These are actually really good comics.
Written by Len Wein, with art by Paris Cullins.

By Denny O’Neil

1986-1990
~ Question v1 1-36

Denny’s series wastes no time, he only spends one issue with Ditko’s “outrageous asshole” Vic, and over the course of that issue completely tears him down, to the point where it ends with his death. And then he spends the other 35 issues building him back into something completely different. I’m not terribly fond of Denny’s Vic, he’s a little too grim and mulleted for my tastes. But he is the journey, not the destination, and that’s one of the themes simmering just below this series. It’s, well, not always great comics, honestly. It is horribly dated, and the level of corruption in Hub City descends so far into caricature that it’s hard to take seriously. But it has its moments, and Myra’s struggles during the mayoral election are interesting.
Art mostly by Denys Cowan (#20 is Rick Magyar and #26 is Bill Wray; Cowan’s art changes a lot with his inker, so there’s a big difference from Magyar’s inks on 1-19 and Malcolm Jones III’s from #21 on)
The whole series is collected in six trades, Zen and Violence, Poisoned Ground, Epitaph for a Hero, Welcome to Oz, Riddles, and Peacemaker, the last of which was released just a few months back. They tend to go for about $20 per.

1988
"Fables" crossover
The O-Sensei, best known for teaching the martial arts to Richard Dragon, Bronze Tiger, and Lady Shiva, has set out to find the gravesite of his wife before his death. To do this, he has Shiva help him recruit three warriors, Batman, Green Arrow, and The Question, to locate it.

~ Detective Comics annual 1 (art by Klaus Janson, his Vic is very pretty)
~ Green Arrow annual 1 (art by Tom Artis, Vic is not actually in this one, but it is soooo gooood, Dinah and Shiva spar a bit!)
~ Question annual 1 (art by Denys Cowan, with Ric Magyar)

1989
~ Question annual 2 (art by Bill Wray and Shea Anton Pensa, contains the story of how Vic became the Question)
~ Green Arrow annual 2 (art by Ed Hannigan)

Both of these annuals tell the story of Ollie and Vic teaming up to take on a gang of terrorists (?) utilizing an agent similar to Vic’s bonding gas to put people in a state of mindless bliss. Each is told from a different perspective, but given the order of when they end, I’d say read Q? ann2 first.

1990
~ Green Arrow annual 3 (art by Tom Artis)

This takes place directly after Q?v1 #36. He goes to Seattle to hang with Ollie and dinah and try to figure out what he’s doing now that he’s left Hub City. Also coming to terms with becoming Jackie Connelly’s guardian. They end up settling in South America when a job Ollie and Dinah take brings them there.

~ Question Quarterly 1 (art by Denys Cowan, inking himself!)
And then everyone in the village they settle in is killed. :/

1991
~ Question Quarterly 2 (Cowan again)
And Vic returns to Hub City. So much for the wealth of stories to be told about him after leaving! :/ And Jackie dies. ;_;

~ Question Quarterly 3 (art by Joe Quesada)
This one’s about a movie made in Hub City. It’s kinda funny at points. Also, Joey Q’s mainstream debut, if I recall.

~ Question Quarterly 3 (Cowan on art)
This one was actually written by Adam Blaustein. Aaaaand it’s kinda racist. :/

1992
~ Question Quarterly 5 (art by various)
Rashomoning.

~ Brave and the Bold v2 1-6
Vic doesn’t actually appear in the first issue, but whatever. This is a mini-series written by Mike Grell and Mike Baron, with art by Shea Anton Pensa (who’s kind of awful), starring Ollie, Vic, and The Butcher. Largely deals with social unrest on a native reservation in Quebec.

1995
~ Showcase ‘95 #3 (art by Rick Burchett)
The third story in this issue involves Vic visiting his old orphanage (i guess there was more than one?) and beating up some burglars. The art is fab.

~ Azrael 10 (art by Barry Kitson)
In this issue, Robin and Alfred watch a fake Azrael fight people in a boxing ring, making sure he doesn’t go overboard. He does, obviously. Also in the audience are Lady Shiva and Vic Sage.

1996
~ Azrael Plus #1 (art by Vince Giarrano)
Establishes Vic’s love of gambling. It’s apparently how he makes bread money now that he’s not reporting anymore? I always preferred thinking he just freelanced. Anyway, he’s trying to protect a politician’s daughter, JPV just wants a vacation. The dudes who are after the politician’s daughter have other ideas. They’re led by Junior, a recurring villain from Q?v1. JPV is weird and almost adorable in how naive he is. This is an odd comic.

1997
~ The Question Returns 1 (art by Eduardo Barreto)
Vic returns to Hub City (AGAIN), even though we barely knew he left. Apparently Myra’s in danger? Anyway, he gets there and finds she’s okay and has a boyfriend. His mask has eyeholes due to a coloring error. >:(
The end of Denny’s run, and the last time we will ever see Vic in Hub City (THANK GOD)

~ Steel 38
John Henry Irons is in Casablanca looking for a friend who disappeared. He gets tossed in jail for snooping, and who does he find sharing his cell but Vic Sage? Vic lost a card game. Anyway, team-ups commence.
Written by Priest, art by Denys Cowan.

1998
~ Batman Chronicles 15
Third story. After Cataclysm, before NML, Vic meets Helena for the first time while investigating the theft of vital relief supplies.
Greg Rucka’s second story for DC (and the first one that’s a comic), art by Roger Cruz.

1999-2000
~ L.A.W. 1-6
This is an event mini featuring a team made from the Charlton heroes. A lot of them get rebooted or revamped. Some of them are just assumed to be in generally the same place they were when DC bought the characters. Ted has carpal tunnel. :3 Vic is suddenly an anchorman again with the same hair Christian Bale had in American Psycho, he’s also the team grump. His characterization is incredibly slim until the last issue.
There are also some really uncomfortable race issues with Judomaster’s whole arc, which is pretty much the main arc.
It’s a collaboration between Bob Layton, who did Charlton Bullseye, and Dick Giordano, former Charlton EIC. Layton writes and inks, Giordano pencils. The best thing about this series is easily the extras at the end where they talk about the history of Charlton and their experiences with it.

2000
~ Batman/Huntress: Cry For Blood 1-6
EVERYBODY. YOU OUGHT TO KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS MINI BY NOW. IT IS MY FAVORITE, GO READ IT IF YOU HAVEN’T.
If you need a summary, Huntress’ past is catching up to her in the worst way, Vic is there to help. GREAT AND AT TIMES SEXY EVENTS FOLLOW. it is soooo goooooooooood
Written by Greg Rucka, art by Rick Burchett. Loved by me.
It was collected in trade, but it’s prolly out of print. You might be able to stumble across it though, I know I’ve seen it at my LCS.

2003
~ Gotham Knights 38-40
In this arc, Helena’s recruited by Checkmate to be their new Black Queen. Vic shows up in the first two issues to…suposedly provide help, but really he’s just there, and only barely. And nothing ever happens with Hel’s Checkmte connection because she joins Birds of Prey almost immediately after.
Written by Scott Beatty, art by Roger Robinson.

2006-2007
~ 52 weeks 1-2, 4, 9, 11-12, 14-16, 18, 23, 26-28, 30, 33-34, 36, 38
Vic recruits Nee, they go investigating the Dark Faith together. Much snark is had, many fun-times, they help Black Adam a bit. Then Vic dies of lung cancer. :(
It’s a very good story.
The Vic&Nee beats are chiefly written by Greg Rucka, though Geoff Johns, Mark Waid and Grant Morrison might’ve had some hand in them. Various artists, from quality guys like Drew Johnson and Chris Batista, to the middling-to-bad Eddie Barrows, to the just plain awful Joe Bennett.
Vic’s origin is also summed up in the back of week 18, and just my luck it’s drawn by Joe Bennett. :/

52 is collected in four trades, though I think Vic’s only in the first three. Get the fourth one anyway, you owe it to yourself.

2010
~ Question v1 37
As a part of Blackest Night, DC “revived” a number of old titles for a series of tie-in one-shots. One of them was The Question! It came out the same week as my birthday, I was exstatic. So, Lady Shiva visits because she wants a fight. Nee obliges, doesn’t fair too well. Vic comes around, now a zombie, fights them both. Tot has to put his grief behind him.
Written by Denny O’Neil and Greg Rucka, art by Denys Cowan, with Bill Sienkiewicz on inks!

NON-CANON

~ Adventures in the DC Universe 8
In the main story, Boostle are on a scheme to make money cleaning up a chemical spill…in Hub City! They find criminals to fight while they’re at it. Then, there’s a second story that goes through the whole thing again from another perspective, and it’s our man Vic’s.
Written by Steve Vance, art by John Delaney

~ Justice League Unlimited 8
The Justice League sattelite has been infiltrated by a mole, and Vic’s on the case! He may be surprised when he figures out the culprit, though.
Written by Adam Beechen, art by Carlos Barberi

~ Justice League Unlimited 36
The League has just quelled an alien invasion, but some questions remain unanswered! Vic travels the world trying to put the pieces together, but things are starting to feel a little too convenient about the trail.
Written by Simon Spurrier, art by Min S. Ku

~ Solo 5 - Darwyn Cooke
Vic has a small story in Cooke’s issue of Solo where he…fights terrorists. :/
It’s very pretty, at least.

~ Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again
Vic shows up in the second and third issue, accompanied by Ditko-esque narration boxes. He is in high-Ditko mode, which is a bit funny during the Crossfire-style segments with Ollie, but generally just annoying.
I am ashamed to admit this is the first thing I’d ever read with The Question in it.
Story and art by Frank Miller.

~ Question v2 1-6
This is a very interesting story that shows what happens when you put a Vertigo writer in the DCU. It reimagines Vic as a kind of urban shaman-detective with trace elements of Ditko filtered through some sort of warrior’s code. There are elements I liked, but others I really didn’t. The diatribes I could do without. The crush on Lois Lane, too. Seeing Vic so freely kill his enemies was jarring, especially after the end of Cry For Blood. This Vic is some kind of Vic, but he’s not quite mine. I’m glad it didn’t take permanently, but as a one-time deal it wasn’t bad. The art is gorgeous.
Written by Rick Vietch, art by Tommy Lee Edwards.

  1. borta said: This is amazing, what a great refernce! AND HAPPY 500 :D what an awesome way to celebrate an awesome blog.
  2. magicalgirlserena said: Amazing list!! And congrats on 500 posts!
  3. royaltimes posted this
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