REVIEW: ‘The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 Is published by DC Comics under the DC Black Label, written by Jeff Lemire, art by Denys Cowan, inks by Bill Sienkiewicz, colors by Chris Sotomayor, and letters by Willie Schubert. The Question is looking for answers. But these questions lead to some of the darkest and oldest corners of Hub City. And maybe even the Question isn’t ready for what lies ahead.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 is my favorite example of how a book can utilize the greater freedom of content provided by the DC Black Label thus far. Unlike some books that have used the more adult nature of the label for pure shock value, this book uses it to talk about harder subjects that might not be welcome in a title meant for all ages. Many of the issues threatening to rip Hub City apart in this story are pulled right out of the headlines of today’s papers and only serve to add weight to the story.

When the Question confronts a high ranking civil servant in a brothel, he recognizes a particular ring the man is wearing. After a quick internet search, the Question discovers the ring belongs to a long-dead secret society. This tantalizing mystery puts the Question’s need to know into overdrive. This sends him seeking old allies in his search for answers.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 is written like a classic Noir title. Lemire’s writing keeps the pace exactly where you’d expect it. The twists and revelations keep this book flowing nicely. The characters also feel right at home in this story as well. All the regular archetypes make their appearance: from corrupt government officials to the hard-nosed gumshoe that is the Question.

Though there is a complaint I do have with The Question himself. In the opening sequence of The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1, the Question is busting a corrupt politician in a brothel that is known for dealing in many illicit things, including underage girls. On his way out he tells the ladies there to make sure the girl gets to the police. He tells them the girl is the only one that has a chance. When one of the ladies refers to him as an asshole he replies, “Maybe. But at least I’m not a whore.” This disregard for these women is disappointing. It gives the character a decidedly judgmental, misogynistic tone I don’t see as necessary. Whether this is a classic attitude of the character or not I can’t say. But regardless, it would’ve been nice for the character to be better than this statement.

The art of The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 is also a great choice for the nature of the story. Heavy shadows lay across the panels building the mystery that the story begins to reveal. Cowan’s art also captures that hard gritty look one expects from a street-level detective story like this. The ugliness of crime and corruption are not shied away from in these panels.

So, with the exception of that one unsightly statement from our title character, I really enjoyed my time reading The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1. It delivers the beginnings of what feels like an interesting and complex web and it leaves the reader just as curious as the Question himself about where this story will take us.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 is available wherever comic books are sold.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1
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TL;DR

I really enjoyed my time reading The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1. It delivers the beginnings of what feels like an interesting and complex web and it leaves the reader just as curious as the Question himself about where this story will take us.