The Question Zen & Violence
The Question Zen & Violence, created by Steve Ditko, was Vic Sage, a driven, justice-obsessed journalist who sought out crime and corruption irrespective of the consequences. This Charlton ‘Action-Hero’ was purchased by DC when Charlton folded and was the template for the compulsive Rorschach when Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons first drafted the miniseries that would become the ground-breaking Watchmen. The rumour-mill suggested that since the creators couldn’t be persuaded to produce a spin-off Rorschach comic the company went with a reworking of the Ditko original.
An ordinary man pushed to the edge by his obsessions, Vic Sage used his fists and a mask that made him look utterly faceless to get answers (and justice) whenever normal journalistic methods failed. After a few successes around the DC universe Sage got a job in the town where he grew up.
Hub City was a hell-hole, the most corrupt and morally bankrupt municipality in America. Mayor Wesley Fermin was a degenerate drunken sot and the real power was insane cleric Reverend Jeremiah Hatch. Reverend Hatch hand-picked gang of “heavies” are supplemented by the world’s deadliest assassin, Lady Shiva.
Reuniting with Aristotle Rodor, the philosopher-scientist who created his faceless mask and other gimmicks, Sage determines to clean up The Hub. However, despite early victories against thugs and grafters, he is easily defeated by Shiva. He’s left to the mercies of Hatch and his gang. A brutal beating by the gangsters breaks every bone in his body. They then shoot him in the head they throw his body in the freezing waters of the river.
Obviously, he doesn’t die. Rescued by the inscrutable Shiva, but crippled, he is sent into the wilderness to be healed and trained by O’Neil’s other legendary martial arts creation, Richard Dragon. A year passes…
- DC Comics
- Trade Paperback
Review by www.comicsreview.co.uk