Vic Sage is waging his one man war against corruption and crime in Hub City.  But can he survive being dragged into a web wider and more sinister than he’s ever seen? Your Major Spoilers review of The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 from DC Comics awaits.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1THE QUESTION: THE DEATHS IF VIC SAGE #1

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artists: Bill Sienkiewicz & Denys Cowan
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Willie Schubert
Editors: Chris Conroy & Molly Mahan
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $6.99
Release Date: November 20th, 2019

Previously in The Question: Hub City is a city that is ripe with corruption and crime.  For many years Vic Sage has fought against these forces as The Question as well as the host of a news show. This story continues here in as a prestige format, Black Label title from DC Comics.

The Stage Is Set

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 opens up with The Question infiltrating a brothel.  He neutralizes the bodyguards and attacks one of the patrons inside, who turns out to be an alderman for Hub City.  During his confrontation he steals a ring off the alderman’s finger. Afterwards he leaves to host his news program.  He interviews Myra Fermin, the sister of the mayor of Hub City. The two go back and forth until the interview is over.  After the interview they converse and it’s revealed that the two have a history together and have drifted apart due to their different philosophies.  The two are interrupted by a lawyer working for the mayor and his sister.  Vic notices he’s wearing a similar ring as the alderman.  Vic leaves and visits his colleague Tot.  They talk for awhile and Tot makes the case that the city needs Vic more than The Question, especially since there’s an election coming. Vic dismisses it and heads off to do more investigation.  He discovers during his research that there was a secret society in Hub City called The Elder Society. Three events then take place simultaneously.  The Question goes to investigate the old headquarters of The Elder Society.  Two boys, Caleb and David Fuller, are driving through the city.  Myra Fermin goes to confront her brother about the alderman. During his investigation The Question discovers a pit covered in symbols, skeletons, and an old mask like his except with a bullet hole.  He also starts to see flashes of things that seem like memories as well as hearing the name “Zsasz” coming from the pit itself. Caleb and David Fuller are pulled over by a cop who ends up shooting David. Myra pushes her way into her brothers office to see him and his friends beating the alderman.  By the time The Question leaves the warehouse, footage of the cop shooting David Fuller has been spread and the city is thrown into mayhem.  The Question leaves the city to speak to The Dragon, the man who originally trained him.  While there The Question is drugged in order to find the answers he wants, and he is left in a hallucination world.

Old School Hard Boiled Detective Story In A Modern Complex World

On The surface, The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 is a typical detective story with a hint of something supernatural happening.  But what makes this feel special is what’s happening in the periphery.  There seems to be a concerted effort by Jeff Lemire to make Vic seem out of place and at odds with a complex world, as much as possible. Vic spends time lamenting about how the internet has ruined old fashioned investigating, he rails against the new age concepts The Dragon believes, he even dismisses the idea that his persona as a member of the press is more important than his role as a vigilante. Vic even flat out runs away from the city when it begins to spiral into racial tension and violence.  As for the plot there hasn’t been enough revealed about the central mystery, and what has been shown has been intriguing but not exactly interesting. So far it’s a secret society with ties to the occult, which is a well trodden trope, but has room for expansion as this mini-series goes on.

Art That Both Lifts UpThe Story and Hinders It

Bill Sienkiewicz, Denys Cowan, and Chris Sotomayor come together to create a look that is truly dynamic to look at.  With a story that really pushes the idea of right and wrong and no real middle ground, it’s fitting that the art consistently shifts between detailed, visceral panels and more abstract, implied imagery. While this dichotomy makes for an interesting reading experience, there are some things that get lost.  For example, the sequence of Vic in the warehouse and coming across the pit is difficult to understand visually due to the lack of detail. It’s a classic case of form over function.

BOTTOM LINE: A Strong, Complex, Opening Chapter

There’s a lot going on in in The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1, some of it good some of it average, but none of it bad. The central mystery that drives the plot is boilerplate but the smaller events surrounding that plot are complex and create a more complex story than what is directly presented. The art is nice and dynamic but also hurts the story by being too abstract at times. 3.5 out of 5 stars


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The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1

70%
70%
Complex

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 is a dense and complicated book. It has big ideas, the parts that explore those issues carries the issue more than the main plot does.

  • Writing
    7
  • Art
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  • Coloring
    7
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About Author

At a young age, Jonathan was dragged to a small town in Wisconsin. A small town in Wisconsin that just so happened to have a comic book shop. Faced with a decision to either spend the humid summers and bitter winters traipsing through the pine trees or in climate controlled comfort with tales of adventure, horror, and romance, he chose the latter. Jonathan can often be found playing video games, board games, reading comics and wincing as his “to watch” list grows wildly out of control.

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