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Sunday, June 26, 2005

THE QUESTION by O'Neil/Cowan #12 - #15

Back to THE QUESTION. Since there are going to be a lot of these I now have a summary post linking to all QUESTION related posts I have on the weblog.

Finished off the Santa Prisca trilogy last time. Now back in Hub City.

#12 - "Poisoned Ground", a story about pollution, both of the ground and of politics. In this issue Myra decides to run for Mayor, setting up one of the major sub-plots for the second year of the book. The main plot involved a suburban development in Hub City that turned out to be on dioxin contaminated ground, and the attempts to cover it up. A good story, although I found the "Baby Gun" assassin character a bit annoying and out of place.

#13 - "Be All That You Can Be..." begins a powerful two part story where Vic encounters a rogue group of former military types with mistaken ideas of honour. A very good set-up issue, moving forward some of the sub-plots, showing Vic's behaviour in various extreme circumstances, especially how he's perfectly willing to leap into action as Vic Sage, the Question alter ego being one of convenience rather than identity (although more on that in a later issue). And a killer cliffhanger, leading to...

#14 - "Saving Face" had my favourite cover of the run. Just a wonderful image just by itself, completely absent of its relationship with the contents. With the interior story it's even stronger.

Vic spends the issue buried up to his neck, and there are discussions of honour and discipline. A great sequence where he tries to deal with his situation first as he would have as a rebel child, and then as he would with Richard's teachings behind him. Incredible issue, close to my favourite of the run.

#15 - "Epitath for a Hero" is a bit of a controversial issue, as it has a blatantly racist character showing up, as Vic investigates a series of lynchings with unrelated except for skin colour victims. Private investigator Loomis McCarthy also investigates for his own reasons, and becomes a suspect while dropping racist comments and trying to befriend Vic, oblivious to Vic's feelings towards him. It's a tricky issue to pull off, and I'm not sure that O'Neil entirely succeeds, but most of it works.

This was one of the issues of the series with a major production error, as two pages are reversed right at the climax, making it a very odd read.

Misremembered the issue order last time around, next time features the trip to the northwest and a familiar hero, as well as an even odder crossover.

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