THE QUESTION: THE DEATHS OF VIC SAGE #2
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Penciler: Denys Cowan
Inker: Bill Sienkiewicz
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Willie Schubert
Publisher: DC Comics
Ok, let me start off by saying that this might just be in my top 5 DC books of the last 10 years. Lemire, Cowan and Sienkiewicz are a match made in heaven. This could easily be a book published by Image, which is a HUGE compliment. It has such an indie vibe that is perfectly suited for a character like Vic Sage (The Question).
After an unbelievable debut issue that had a strong noir vibe, this one takes us to the Wild West and gives us something completely different. After the events of last issue, its seems that Vic has woken up in the 1800s and he's a Blacksmith. In this era he struggles with a dark past of which he seems to be haunted by. The majority of the issue deals with this struggle of trust evil and trying to hold it back.
When his new friend, Booker, is in trouble he has no choice but to "suit up" and save him. He constantly questions his motives and whether or not he's even capable of goodness after his past atrocities. Lemire delves into the psyche of Sage (Szasz) throughout which makes this read enjoyable on so many levels. He's such a complex character and putting him in this western setting was a stroke of brilliance. His struggle with memories of the past and what's real, help give a sense of uneasiness as you read.
You don't know why he's here, until we near the conclusion. It's clear that Vic was sent here for a purpose, which seems to be supernatural in some ways. After getting saved by a warrior woman, from the villagers who chased him for saving Booker, she explains why she was looking for him. We begin to see question marks everywhere and glimpses of his "real" life. She tells him she was instructed to wait for "Charlie" (Vic's first name) by the "Man With A Thousand Faces". In this cave, he's given his "true face" and then takes us on a journey of balancing the scale of good and evil.
Cowan and Sienkiewicz once again produced one of the most viscerally stunning books I've seen from DC. That double splash page as Vic takes out the evil men in Hub County was so good I wish I could hang it on my wall. These guys are artistic legends and it shows on every page.
The conclusion of the book leads us to the next step on Vic's psychological/supernatural journey, the 1940's. As a huge crime book fan, I'm really stoked about next issue, I love the 40's era and can't wait to see what Lemire does. This book is such an interesting read and I wish DC would take more risks on books like this moving forward, oh yeah and give the Question an ongoing, there's so much potential for even more great stories.