The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage Review - Who is Vic Sage?
• DC Comics (Publisher)
One of the best parts of not being well versed in DC lore being introduced to new characters. Last week I read my first Lobo story in Tales From the Dark Multiverse. This week it's "The Question" written by the always awesome Jeff Lemire.
Between Descender, Gideon Falls, Moon Knight, A.D. After Death and Bloodshot I believe that Jeff has earned his spot as one of the best writers in comics. Vic Sage presents Jeff Lemire's take on the character. I don't know much about "The Question" aside from recognizing him. I do know The Watchmen's Rorschach, a popular character directly influenced by Vic Sage.
I picked up the book based on the creative team. I love Jeff but I'm also a fan of Denys Cowan who I've been following recently in my Curse of Brimstone reviews.
Vic is morally Black and White to the extreme. He's not right-wing like Rorschach but the fixed morality drives Vic to deep dive compulsively during the detective work. The obsession lead's Vic to discover answers to questions that would have been otherwise been missed by traditional law enforcement.
The book opens with the brutal takedown of a City official who is trafficking underage girls. The Question also exposes the Councilman in his civilian job as Vic Sage, news anchor. During an interview with Myra Ferman, the sister of Mayor Wesley Ferman. Vic blindsides her with the video of the prior night's events and accuses the mayor of having ties to organized crime.
Post-interview, Vic accusing her of sitting on the fence while her brother runs rampant committing atrocities. The scene ends with one of Myra's attorneys stepping in to stop the line of questioning. The incident leads to further questions as Vic notices that the attorney is wearing a ring with the same insignia as the City Councilman from the night before. After the situation is tabled for a later discussion Vic dawns his Question persona and begins investigating the emerging conspiracy.
Short review, the issue is absolutely fantastic. It gives you everything you need to know about Vic Sage in the opening and sets up a couple of compelling mysteries. The scenario mentioned above is just one. I never felt lost or confused about what was going on with the story or character nor did I feel that I needed to dig into the character's 50+ year history.
I don't believe the book justifies the 17+ age rating. My son is 11 and I didn't see anything in the issue that I would have a problem with him reading. I think the editors may want to reconsider what they consider adult content to bring in new readers. The Deaths of Vic Sage is mature, yes adult, no.
The second and third acts of the book introduce additional plot threads that will need to be resolved including how Vic Sage apparently dies. Its a great narrative and is one of the best uses of the Black Label format we've seen to date.
The art direction perfectly compliments the script. I love the unnerving appearance of The Question's featureless mask as well as the gritty and sketchy design choices of Gap City. Bill Sienkiewicz and Chris Sotomayor complement Denys nicely.
I see a lot of Rorschach and I can see why Alan Moore grafted the character from Vic. I also believe that I see some of Will Eisner's "The Spirit" in the character. Vic Sage's unwavering moral code and worldview make you want to know what makes the guy tick and what if anything can be done to push him into gray areas.
No complaints at all with the issue. I put The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 down and was thoroughly satisfied. I'm not surprised at all though. Putting Jeff Lemire on a title is money.