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"The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Black Label


Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Denys Cowan
Inked by Bill Sienkiewicz
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
Lettered by Willie Schubert
2019, 50 Pages, $6.99
Comic released on November 20th, 2019


Vic Sage has led a double life for some time. By day, he works as a TV reporter, shining a light on the corruption in Hub City. By night, he dons the faceless mask of The Question, taking matters into his own hands to clean up the streets. When a startling conspiracy forces him to...question everything he knows, Vic Sage embarks on an unsettling journey.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage is the latest from DC Black Label, showing a different and far grittier version of the character than what we've seen before. This isn't a quirky detective. This is a hard-nosed vessel for justice, willing to do anything and everything to stop crime in its tracks. That includes taking the fight right to city hall.

Click images to enlarge

The bulk of this debut issue is spent introducing us to Vic, the supporting cast, and the city they call home. Artist Denys Cowan plays up the noir nature of Hub City and the incredible and timeless design of The Question. There's something so very eerie about a faceless mask. It's just formless flesh with no eyes or mouth. Instead, you get the basic form of the face without the features that identify individuals.

This book has an old-school look to it that definitely jives with the dark and brooding nature of the story. Bill Sienkiewicz's inks amplify the shadows that seem to loom around every corner and even delve deep into the souls of the wicked. Colorist Chris Sotomayor keeps the palette muted. Hub City may as well be Gotham with the amount of dirt and grime on every surface. The sun may rise here, but it will never pierce through the dark cloud that hangs over the city.

Click images to enlarge

It's clear that Vic can't help himself when he's seeking justice. He gets a hold of something and cannot let go. This leads to some dangerous circles and in this case, takes him down into the bowels of Hub City. Any normal person would have turned around and ran when they saw a few corpses surrounding a mysterious pit, but Vic Sage is not normal.

The Question is suddenly plagued by strange and terrifying visions. These are interspersed throughout the latter half of the comic, popping up like a flash and jolting the reader. Each one is more violent and shocking than the last. As Vic gets closer to this pit, he starts to hear a weird voice coming from deep down. Letterer Willie Schubert uses pained word balloons that are stretched out, as if the words have struggled to get all the way up to Vic.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage takes this gritty, noir character and puts him through the wringer. It moves from street level corruption to so much more. Writer Jeff Lemire has given us a new and valuable perspective on this character and I'm curious to see where this journey goes next.


Story: fourstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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