Vic Sage made a name for himself as a tenacious and combative investigative television journalist in St. Louis before moving to Gotham City and joining the news department at WGBC. He's an inveterate muck-raker and doomsayer whose exposure of civic corruption, corporate greed, and criminal outrage makes for great television but never seems to have much of a positive consequence. He's great on camera and charming in public, but his coworkers and bosses find him to be frequently obstinate, occasionally erratic, and intensively private past a certain point.
Central Standard Time (UTC-6, North America)
"Eenie, meenie, miney, mo, which way should the Question go? In honor of the last presidential election... I'll choose right. Uh, oh. Bad choice."
Angsty, Comedic, Gritty, Heroic, Romantic, Social
(First section is adapted from the write-up at http://www.writeups.org/fiche.php?id=1686): Charles Victor Szazs was an orphan raised in a St. Louis orphanage who grew up to be a muscular, tough and aggressive young man ill-at-ease with his lack of past and identity. College and journalism degree allowed him to create an identity, though: crusading journalist Vic Sage,who exposed the crime and corruption plaguing the city. Still, as "one man against a tidal wave," his work seemed sensational but meaningless. He was driven to take more direct action to both expose and to stop the urban and moral decay around him.
That chance came when Dr. Artistotle ("Tot") Rodor, his former college biology professor, came to him with information about Dr. Arby Twain. Rodor and Twain had co-developed Pseudoderm, an artificial skin that would have revolutionized the treatment of wounds except for two problems: not only was the aerosol that was used to bind it to flesh a mild hallucinogen but also if any of the wounds it covered were infected, the Pseudoderm could trigger a fatal allergic reaction. Though they agreed to stop the commercial development, Rodor had learned that Twain was selling the deadly failed formula to third-world countries. Sage decided to go after Twain personally, and Rodor, who soon became a good friend, offered to fashion a mask made of Pseudoderm for him since his face was far too well known all over St. Louis. The nameless, faceless, unexpressive vigilante soon became known as the Question.
Both Vic and the Question snooped, investigated, and brawled their way across the St. Louis airwaves and mean streets, until finally the Question was beaten (by Lady Shiva), shot, and left of dead. It was Lady Shiva herself who rescued him and took him to Richard Dragon, under whose tutelage Vic not only greatly developed his martial abilities but also began to embrace the "emptiness" he felt as a recognition of the calm at the soul of the world, behind all of the human drama and desire. That philosophy has given Vic some control over his anger and his penchant for violence, while his burning desire to see justice done at any cost has become moderated over time by a curiosity about the truth of human motivations as well as human behavior. He still is able to successfully perform as a journalist, keeping his same targets and his same wit, but he is less likely now to be eaten up inside by hatred for the wrong and more likely to seek to put things right simply as a tool of what is right.
His time in St. Louis as the Question had much triumph and tragedy, but finally it became clear that he could no longer stay there. The ties of relationship that had held him (including with his friend and mentor Tot) had come unbound, and keeping the Question and Vic Sage separate was increasingly difficult as both became St. Louis fixtures. Besides, his on-air work had reached a point where it would look suspicious for him not to "step up" into a larger market. He finally took one with Gotham Broadcasting––half-way across the country, in a major market that looked like he could follow his curiosity both on-the-air and on the streets.
Vic's martial arts training has provided a basis from which he has developed a sort of "practical" acrobatics that's useful for getting around in urban settings.
Profession:Computer Usage (4)
Vic has expanded his investigative repertory over the years to include computers, especially since he no longer has Tot to rely on.
Vic has studied and practiced both how to find things out as a journalist and as a detective.
Good reflexes and calm make for a good driver. Having the car he has helps, too.
Combat:Martial Arts (7)
Vic is an expert martial artist. He has trained with Richard Dragon and fought Lady Shiva on nearly equal terms, and he has been sought out as an opponent by international masters.
His marital arts training and meditative practice have helped him develop the ability to move with a great deal of grace, calm, and quiet. This means he can sneak about when he needs to.
There is a calmness at the center of Sage's being that, when accessed and not disturbed, aid both his perception and his reactions.
The Volkswagen with a Porsche engine is long gone. In its place is a battered-looking dark blue 1997 3-series BMW. The car's external identifying badges, but the dash reveals that it's an M3 (and enough open road would reveal that it has had its speed limiter removed so that it can likely do upwards to 180+ MPH).
His calm aids his natural charisma, as doe his wit and his experience as a television performer. He can often command the attention anyone who does not have very well-developed willpower, at least for a few moments, and for those without strong wills he can often hold that attention.
This is Sage's and the Question's motive force. Once it is engaged, turning him aside from satisfying that curiosity is damn near impossible.
His Pseduoderm mask (carried in his belt-buckle, though he keeps at least one spare on his person as well) cannot be removed once it adheres to his face and solidifies. It will remain in place for at least 24 hours unless he uses the binary gas to loosen it for removal. The mask has a filter that keeps him from being affected by the gas, which itself is disorienting and mildly hallucinogenic, and it also temporarily acts as a filter for other airborne substances. Pseudoderm is very tough; it won't stop a bullet, but it is nearly impossible to cut and provides some protection to this face. The binary gas also changes the color of his hair and (treated) clothing, further disguising him.
He's a big guy without a face who is highly verbal and persuasive who carries himself considerable physical confidence.
While he does have innate and practiced calm, at the same time Sage has always had a bad temper. He doesn't just get mad, he stays mad and can become resentful, vengeful, and bullying. In his work as Sage, this leads him to be a tactless and sometimes unreliable jerk; as the Question, it comes out as a smart mouth and a penchant for taking things personally. It also interferes with his ability to investigate and to make decisions.
He considers many points of view in all situations (as well as his own demons) so much that actions that would be clear to others, such as bringing down the bad guy, may not be clear to him at all. If he is in doubt, he'll stop or even walk away rather than persist in fighting, even if he is fighting alongside someone else.
Vic no longer has Tot to rely on: not for technical expertise and invention, and not as a sounding board and a voice of reason. He always felt he was safe with Tot, and moving away from that safety has left him feeling vulnerable and disoriented. Moreover, though he has enough Pseudoderm and gas to last for a long time, but he's not sure how long or what to do when it's gone.
ot only would being known as the Question undermine Sage's credibility and work but also being known as Vic Sage would undermine the Question's ability to unbalance people to his own benefit. If they knew he was just a guy in a mask, he would be a lot less effective. Some of the reason he left St. Louis was this fear of exposure.
Sage turned to the Question as an identity in part because he could beat up people anonymously for "a good cause." Despite his training and experience, he has to struggle not to give in to this and be violent because he enjoys it, and he doesn't always win that struggle.