104. The Question (25 points)
The Question started out with no real origin. He was Vic Sage, a hard-hitting TV newscaster for World Wide Broadcasting Co. (WWB). At WWB Sage worked alongside his loyal staff of Fred Pine, Al Kert, Bob Hasel and the lovely Nora Lace. The President of the company was Sam Star and usually near him were his children, Syd Star and Cecelia Star. Syd Star would be a foil for Sage throughout his time with WWB.
Sage’s most important friend was Professor Rodor. He helped Sage create his new identity as the Question. Rodor had developed a special mask that Sage would be able to see, breathe and speak through, while looking solid on the outside. Sage carried the mask in his belt buckle. A special gas, Rodor developed and contained in capsule form, upon release would react with a chemical solution pre-sprayed on Sage’s hair and suit to change their color. This gas would also cement the mask to Sage’s face.
The Question would fight crime in with his own brand of black and white justice, letting wrongdoers know that crime would no longer be tolerated in “his” city. Their actions would be dealt with by an objective standard of ethics. Sage would often times elicit information from criminals by threatening to expose them to the same gas that changes him into the Question. They assume the exposure is fatal, though its effects are most likely harmless. Another form of intimidation by Sage would be the calling card he’d leave baring a question mark, which releases that same special gas.
In the DC Universe, the man to be known as Vic Sage was previously Charles Victor Szasz, an orphan who had grown up in Hub City. Charlie spent most of his childhood at an orphanage where he was considered a troublemaker. Charlie was often beat by the nuns who ran the orphanage and harassed by the other children. Eventually he was able to get to college where he studied journalism; however, this career did not help him to overcome his violent tendencies. He eventually met Aristotle Rodor, who helped him put his anger to use by creating the identity of the Question. Charlie then changed his name to Vic Sage and returned to Hub City.
When Vic returned to Hub City he decided that he would utilize his need for justice by becoming a news anchor who highlighted the danger and corruption of the city. During one of his first cases to show how corrupt the mayor had become, he revealed tapes showing misdeeds done by the city's official which brought him into enemy sights. He was beaten by Lady Shiva who then saved his life. When he awoke he was experiencing severe amnesia to the point where he could not remember his own name. Lady Shiva had given Aristotle direction to where Vic needed to go. When he got there he met Richard Dragon who helped him to conquer his injuries and taught him martial arts and meditative techniques. When he was leaving Richard he was challenged by Lady Shiva again, but this time she said if she defeated him she would kill him. He won and returned to Hub City. Returning to the mission he was nearly killed over, some of the people who had witnessed his death believed him to be a ghost. He discovered that the mayor was not behind the corruption, but instead a minister was taking advantage of the mayor’s alcoholism to change the city, and that during Vic's "death" he had forced Vic's girlfriend, Myra, to marry him by blackmailing her daughter, whom Vic did not know existed. Eventually Vic, as the Question, was able to put together the missing links right as the minister abducted Myra's daughter as a sacrifice to God. The minister claimed that God had been telling him to do that and just like when Abraham was going to kill Isaac he would send an angel to stop him. The Question appeared moments before the child was about to be slain the minister believed him to be an angel because he witnessed him dying. The Question saved the girl and spared the minister but Myra ended up killing him anyway. The Question tried to justify her actions and left as quickly as he had appeared.
Vic came to realize he was dying of lung cancer, and there was no way around it. In light of this, he made a decision that the Question would not die. He came to Gotham City and found a former GCPD detective named Renee Montoya in a spiral of depression and self-destruction. In his mind, she was perfect material for a successor. He hired her services as a private detective to look into Intergang and the Crime Bible and was unrelenting despite her wanting to be left the hell alone. He told her to call him Charlie.
During their worldwide investigation of Intergang, he never informed Renee of what he was really doing. He did not tell her how he was training her to carry on his fight. He simply did it. He gave her something new to focus on to pull her out of her depression. He brought her to Nanda Parbat and presented her to Richard Dragon to be taught. He introduced her to his longtime friend, Aristotle Rodor. He made her his friend, whether she wanted to be or not.
Then, finally, his body began to fail him, and Renee became his caretaker. The cancer made its way into his bones and into his brain, putting him in such agony he needed a morphine drip just to stay quiet. Renee tried to do the only thing she could to save his life. She hiked up the Himalayas with his dying body, desperately trying to get him to Nanda Parbat before it was too late. Exhaustion finally overtook her, and he told her she needed to accept that he was going to die. He told her the trick question was not who she was but who she was going to become. She was like a butterfly. And then, he died in her arms, in the snow and just outside of Nanda Parbat.
103. Damage (26 points)
"A classic teenager with a bad face."
"Loved him since the 90's, through the previous Titans team and now in JSA."
"Troubled man with a troubled face3"
This is one of those characters I really do not care for, so I am going to take this write up from the JSA on word. Cool? Cool.
After the events of Infinite Crisis, the DCU skipped one year of continuity. During the missing year, Damage decided to adopt a costume similar to the one of his father (The golden age Atom). This was in part to honor his dad and in other part to cover his scarred face. His personality has also changed, now more rude and explosive than before.
He is offered by Hourman and Liberty Belle a place in the Justice Society because his dad was a founding member, he tells them that he already had offers from the Freedom Fighters and the Teen Titans. After he isn't able to pay the damages for a police car he joins the Justice Society so they cover the bill. He has started to have a close relationship with his teammates, especially with Hourman and Liberty Belle. During one point the JSA was attempting to apprehend Zoom, the super villain that destroyed Damage’s face. Zoom crosses the state of Atlanta's border which makes Damage unable to pursue. Regardless Grant uses his powers to leap over and eventually catch up to Zoom. Damage attempts at capturing Zoom and holds him hostage in Atlanta. Damage displays some sort of aura which activates a power if Zoom even twitches which will cause a massive explosion killing them both and thousands of innocents, Liberty Belle then shows up to help Damage. Damage releases Zoom but Zoom commenting on how weak of heroes they both are grabs a piece of sharpened metal and throws it at Grant. Right before it strikes the killing blow Liberty Belle regains her speed powers and grabs the metal before it injures Grant.
When the ultimate being known as Gog comes to the main Earth from the Kingdom Come Earth, he performs a number of miracles including healing the scars on Damage's face. Damage, and a number of other JSA members including Hawkman, Amazing Man, Citizen Steel, and Northwind become followers of Gog and stay at his encampment in Kahndaq with other heroes as well as Kahndaq citizens. In the one-shot The Kingdom, the JSA try to retrieve their members who now stay with Gog, including Damage. Their efforts rely on The Atom Smasher talking to Grant in his late father's house, since Smasher was so close to Grant's father. This ends badly though, as they break out in a fight, only to be stopped by Sentinel and other JSA members. Magog then appears ready to take Damage back to the camp if it is his choice, he accepts, and leaves the JSA without looking back.
When Sandman learned of Gog's true intentions, he and the rest of the JSA realized that they must kill Gog. When they arrived at his camp, his followers began to defend him until they realized that the JSA were telling the truth. In retaliation, Gog removed all of the miracles he bestowed, including removing the scars on Grant's face. This angered him to a point that Grant unleashed a powerful blast upon Gog, although it had little effect. The JSA eventually topple Gog, and cut off his head. The Kingdom Come Superman and Starman take his head to the Source wall where it will remain forever. Angered by his scars, Grant turns away from his team only to be embraced and kissed by Judo Master, who now seems to be in a relationship with Grant. The JSA then collect their numbers and return home.
102. Black Alice (26 points)
Lori Zechlin is a gothic teenager. Her mother was a drug addict, and one day Mrs. Zechlin couldn't take it anymore. She put on her best dress, took an overdose of drugs, and drowned herself in the pool. Lori found the body after she came home from school. Lori then discovered later that same night that she had a mysterious, magic ability she could use the magical powers of other magical beings. Lori could not use the stolen powers as well as the rightful owners, and had very little control over how long she keeps them. Lori's father became distressed, and began to pretend everything was okay for Lori's sake. She began shutting herself off from her peers. Her only social group was a Wiccan circle, that kicked her out because she was expelling dark energy since her mother's death, but this wasn't really the case, her best friend Dawn, the leader of the circle, became jealous of her friend’s real, and developing ability. The Birds Of Prey, discovered Lori while searching for previously unknown meta-humans. Lori took on the powers of Doctor Fate, to try and kill three drug dealers. When Black Canary saw that Lori was determined to kill the men, she intervened to save their lives. Lori escaped, and continued to be unseen. The Birds of Prey and Lori soon discovered that her boyfriend, Kyle, was cheating on her with Dawn. Oracle took Lori and turned her over to the real Doctor Fate.
During the Infinite Crisis Lori is surprised to see Nightshade and Chimp in her room talking to her dad. She is then teleported to the fight with Shadowpact. When the group and her go to the Oblivion Bar Chimp tells everyone what Black Alice can do and the plan to kill Spectre. When he appears on an island she takes his powers. But, it is revealed that with his abilities stolen, the Spectre becomes almost ethereal, unable to be touched by anything - physically or magically. However, before relinquishing the abilities, she uses them to help hurl Eclipso (who was coercing the Spectre into his violent assaults) into an orbit around the sun.
With the Crisis over, Lori returns home, but is soon approached by members of the Secret Society of Super Villains, as well as the Birds of Prey. Manipulating her, the Society brings back Lori's dead mother, albeit in a near catatonic state, and in retaliation, Lori forcibly evicts the Society members and the Birds from town, declaring she never wishes to see them again. After an incident involving the Helmet of Fate, however, she returns to aide the Birds in finding the location of a person, only to be chased off by Misfit in a bout of jealousy.
101. Soranik Natu (26 points)
"So much burden. That summarizes the character for me. She carries so much of it, yet lives her life the best she can. Honestly, after finding out she's Sinestro's daughter, the "hope" of her home world, the fact every girlfriend of her current beau dies, and balancing her job as doctor and soldier. She deals with just so much and keeps on a ticking. You go girl! JUST WATCH OUT FOR THAT BLACK LANTERN FRIDGE!!!!!!! Damnit DC I know it's coming you bastards."
When first confronted by the Oan power ring, Natu was in the midst of a brain surgery that was going badly. Her patient was crashing and was sure to die unless Natu did something no sane Korugarian would dare. She accepted the ring which had long been reviled as a symbol of the oppression of Sinestro, the homicidal former tyrant of Korugar. Natu quickly used the ring’s power to save her patient’s life. In doing so, one nurse remarked that she had saved her patient but had "damned herself".
Natu was taken to Oa for training where she immediately made it clear to Kilowog, Salakk, and the other senior Green Lanterns that she had no desire to join their ranks. Ordering the ring to take her home, Natu left Oa presumably never to return.
Before returning to Korugar, Natu felt compelled by her people’s reverence for the dead to visit the site where her ring's former bearer, Tarkus Whin, had died. Like Whin before her, Natu was ensnared by an artificial black hole created by the Spider Guild. There, amongst the bones of many of the Guild's victims, Natu found the remains of her predecessor.
Recognizing danger all around her, Natu quickly swallowed her ring while ordering it to decrease her vitals to the point where she appeared dead. She reasoned that whatever killed Whin would have no use for a lifeless Lantern. At the same time, she ordered the ring to send out a distress signal to any nearby Lanterns.
Her gamble paid off when her distress signal was picked up by Kyle Rayner, Green Man, Guy Gardner, and Stel. Ignoring the Guardians' of the Universe edicts against traveling into the Vega system, Rayner and Gardner followed the distress call beyond it's borders. There, they infiltrated the Guild and recovered the comatose Natu.
Still defiant, Natu briskly thanked her rescuers and reiterated her desire to rid herself of the Green Lantern Corps. Her principles were quickly challenged by Kyle Rayner who suggested that, if she truly wanted to honor her predecessor, she would take up his ring and fight as a member of the Corps.
Natu was swayed by Rayner's passion, as well as by Gardner's sarcastic challenge that she "didn't have what it takes". Using the ring she had once feared and despised, Natu created a funeral pyre for the fallen Lantern and then a Lantern's uniform for herself. She would join the Corps.