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The Question

The Question, art by Tommy Lee Edwards

The Question is a comic superhero that appeared in American comic books published under DC Comics. He was created by Steve Ditko and debuted in Charlton Comics’ Blue Beetle issue #1 in June 1967. However, the character was eventually acquired by DC Comics in the 1980s. Later on, The Question was incorporated into the DC Universe.

The Question’s secret identity was initially Charles Sage. Although in 2007, after the miniseries ’52,’ Sage’s trainee, Renee Montoya, became Charles’s successor. She took the mantle of The Question after Sage died because of Lung Cancer. After the DC re-launched The New 52, Charles Sage then re-appeared as a government agent.

The Question Comic Origin

The Question in Mysterious Suspense issue #1, art by Steve Ditko

Charles Victor Sage, also known The Question, was known as an aggressive and highly spoken investigative journalist, who appeared on his own TV show. Subsequently, when Aristotle Rodor, Sage’s former professor, created an artificial skin known as “Pseudoderm,” Rodor approached Sage. He told him about the Pseudoderm he co-invented with Dr. Arby Twain, and how it was intended to work like a skin bandage with the use of a bonding gas. Nevertheless, the fatal effect of being applied in an open wound was still unbeknownst to them.

Eventually, due to the risk it poses, Rodor and Twain agreed to abandon their project and parted ways.  However, Professor Rodor had discovered that Dr. Twain proceeded to illegally sell their invention to Third World nations, regardless of their agreement.Although Sage tried to stop him, he had no way of catching Dr. Twain without having to expose his identity. Consequently, Rodor suggested that he should use the mask made out of Pseudoderm to cover his features.With the permission of Rodor, Sage eventually stopped Dr. Twain’s transaction andgeta confession out of him. Sage used the confession to exposed Dr. Twain’s illegal activities on the television.Seeing the advantage of using the mask as a disguise, Sage decided to use it for his future investigations. He partnered with Professor Rodor, one of the Psedoderm creators, and the two developed a close bond and became good friends. Soon afterward, Rodor modified the bonding gas to change Sage’s hair color and clothing.

Compared to other superheroes in the Silver Age of comic books, The Question was more ruthless and cruel in his methods. For instance, he fought and knocked out criminals in the sewer, with their head on the fast-moving water. Although he doesn’t really decline to pull them out, he usually left a note for police to retrieve them if ever the criminals survived the ordeal.

One of the major and frequent enemies that The Question had faced was the Banshee, also known as Max Bine. Bine was initially introduced in volume four of Blue Beetle issue #4 that was released in August 1967. In the comic series, Bine was the former apprentice of a circus performer known as Flying Dundo, who designed a cape that allows the wearer to fly. However, Dundo was killed by his student, and the cape was entrusted to Bine, making him the Banshee.

Superpowers and Abilities

High-Level Intellect: Charles Sage possesses a somewhat unpredictable way of thinking. He is a genius that can create a weapon for battle using his mind.

Investigation: Aside from his high intellect, Charles Sage is also known as a great detective, second to Batman. During his life as Charles, he is experienced in investigation, as well as in his life as a hero, The Question. Before being a hero, Charles was an investigative journalist. Aside from this, he also has his own show and appeared on the local news that focuses on crime, violent and mysterious news.

Disguise: The Question is also reportedly good in disguise. In fact, he had “various faces,” like the one he had used to spy on Renee Montoya.

Interrogation: The Question, being rumored for his insanity and cruelty, became the fear of his enemies. On many occasions, Charles had frightened criminals to give him the information he needed. Sometimes, he resorts to using a chainsaw to threaten a criminal.

Acrobatics: Charles Sage acrobatic skills may not be as amazing as Nightwing’s. However, he is skilled enough in acrobatics to survive a fall by rebounding off building sides. With this skill, he can also jump from rooftop to rooftop to get around places.

Advanced Hand-to-Hand Combat: The Question was not only a good investigator and interrogator; he also has advanced skills in hand-to-hand combat. With this ability, he can incapacitate a large group of enemies, trained police, and also soldiers using only a minimal force. Aside from hand-to-hand combat, Charles is also skilled in Martial Arts and Dragon Style Kung Fu, with Richard Dragon as his mentor.

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