So I have to make a confession. I don’t know comics as well as I would like to. When looking forward to this week I knew I would be looking at Batgirl, and was quite pleased that Deadman and the Question were also introduced this year. I knew I had the first issue of Deadman, as I have all 5 Trades of his early adventures, I knew I had Batgirl’s first issue, as it is part of the 75th Batman anniversary collection, and I thought I had the first issue of the Question, in a companion book to “52” which has an early Question story written by his creator Steve Ditko. I was surprised and disappointed to find that it was not his first issue from Blue Beetle #1, nor was it from 1967. It was from 1968, the first issue of Mysterious Suspence.
So, I ordered the 75 dollar trade from 8 years ago that does contain his origin, and in a few weeks, when I get it, I will jump back in time and review it. Thank goodness this is a time machine. If only I could use it to actually jump forward in time and retrieve that collection. So, I leave you with a review of the issue I did have Mysterious Comics #1 “What Makes a Hero”. The Question was created in 1967 by Steve Ditko (who co created Spider-man). As Vic Sage, The Question is a news anchor for the World Wide News network. I don’t know a lot about how the industry worked back then, but Vic is offered a sponsorship form Jason Ordi, who is supposed to be a respectable businessman. But earlier, as the Question, Vic had seen Max Kreo a known con man, do a business deal with Ordi. Being the hero type, Vic Sage turns him down and saying he knows of his dishonest ways. Feeling disrespected Ordi orders Kreo to put pressure on Sage to return and apologize and beg for the sponsorship back, just so he can be turned down. Vic is given 2 weeks to prove that Ordi is dirty or he’s out of a job. Despite the pressure of time, and of his coworkers and viewers turning on him, Sage stays strong and convicted, with only his news team supporting him. Eventually he puts into play a ploy to trick Ordi and Max Kreo to give the proof themselves. They both receive letters from an anonymous source stating that he has audio and picture proof of their meeting and that they should come to a warehouse to give the source money, or he will give the proof to Sage. When they arrive they find out it is Sage himself. A fight breaks out that knocks out some lights. Switching between his Question guise and his secret identity he tricks the criminals that they are fighting 2 people. In the end he is able to get pictures and the audio proof he had boasted about having before, and has them arrested.
The story is quite word heavy, it took me about 45 minutes to read the 25 page story. A lot of it is about standing up for what you believe and looking only at facts and being able to back up everything you do. The rest is all the problems people are giving our hero. Not a bad story, it held my attention, but it is a much heavier read by today’s standards. The Question has gone through many changes since then, mostly in Dennis O’neal and Denys Cowan’s 36 issue series where he becomes a much more zen character who has a different motivation for the work he does. Greg Rucka built on the ideas of that series with a Batman/Huntress miniseries and through the weekly series “52” which transitions the mantle from Vic Sage to Renee Montoya. Renee’s story is also seen through several books that Rucka did. Both Questions are among my favourite heroes.
Thanks for reading! Check back for when I do his real origin in a few weeks.
Image from http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/