After he and his teammates on the Demon Knights successfully defend the town of Little Spring from the forces of the Questing Queen, the team moves on while Madame Xanadu explains the relationship between herself and Etrigan and Jason Blood.
In prehistoric times, a caveman named Vandar Adg led the Blood Tribe, a Cro-Magnon tribe. He encountered a mysterious meteorite, and was bathed in its radiation. This radiation wrought a change in him, affording him amazing intellect and immortality. Since this time he has claimed to be numerous famous and vicious leaders, and to have been close with numerous other famous people through history. He has been in conflict with possibly every one of Earth's heroes over the years, usually as a result of his plans to control the world
Vandal Savage was created by Alfred Bester and Martin Nodell.
Silver Age / Earth Two
Prior to the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Vandal Savage was a resident of Earth-Two, though he was made aware of Earth-One relatively early in his life. He was introduced as a villain for the Justice Society of America, and specifically for the first Green Lantern, Alan Scott. He continued as an enemy for the JSA into the Silver Age, making occasional appearances throughout that time. Also in the Silver Age his arch enemy, Immortal Man, was first introduced, a man with a similar origin to Savage who battled him through the years. They continued as enemies until the Crisis erased Immortal Man from existence, and he was replaced by a new arch enemy, Resurrection Man.
Modern Age / New Earth
After the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Savage found himself hardly affected by the event, aside from gaining more enemies. Knowing his developed hatred for the Justice Society, the re-installation of a new team consisting superheroes within the modern time known as the Justice League, quickly gained Savage’s attention to where he didn’t hesitate on forming a group of villains to make an attack on this new team so that they wouldn’t pose any threat towards Savage’s future goals. Yet, none would gain any more hatred from Savage than the supposed new Immortal Man, which was the mysterious Resurrection Man.After his recent fallout with the Justice League, Vandal Savage decided to take care of each member individually, starting with the newest Flash (Wally West). Even though Savage made a surprising attack on the hero, his second attempt to kill off the hero found itself failing with Savage falling to his supposed death.
Far from being dead, Savage would eventually return being a massive threat for Wally when the hero was discovering street thugs having the exact same speed powers as he. Realizing that Savage was behind this, it would be the immortals attempt on taking over the city by peddling the addicting speed drug known as Velocity 9 as an advantage to control his own super powered army to help accomplish his goals. Injecting the same drug into Wally, the hero still managed to defeat Savage, but at a massive cost as Wally found himself temporarily powerless. Savage would once again find his powers at a loss as he rapidly began to age. Feeling that he must avenge himself against the Flash, Savage almost managed to fulfill his goals as he shot the hero at point blank range, but with one of his mortal nemesis Immortal Man helping the hero, Savage’s goals on killing Flash found itself foiled while Savage slowly began to die away.
Post-Flashpoint / Earth 0
Savage's first, and so far only appearance in the post-Flashpoint world, is as a member of the rag-tag group called the Demon Knights. A group of individuals who happened to be in the same area when a massive army under the command of the Questing Queen and Mordru aims to smash through the town of Little Spring to get to Alba Umbra, a mysterious city. Vandal's appearance in Demon Knights is a contrast to his previous appearances as he provides much of the comic relief of the book. While he still posses great strength and skill of arms and leadership skills as he ends up being the traininer and commander of the small garrison of Little Spring, Vandal appears to be thinking mostly with his stomach, such as reacting with gleeful delight when dinosaurs crash into the inn, claiming he hadn't eaten one in centuries. Vandal however still has his darker sides and unknown to the other Knights, he was once close to the Questing Queen, but was banished for kissing her.
Major Story Arcs
Silver Age: Earth Two
Superman of Two Earths
After his recent battles with the Justice Society, Vandal would find himself trying to capture the members of the Justice Society, only to find himself being defeated by both Flashes, Jay Garrick and Barry Allen. After his recent struggles with both heroes, Savage eventually found himself stripped of his powers .Needing a way to restore his lost powers, Savage would come up with an elaborate plan on gaining his powers by means of the hero of Earth-2 and Earth-1 Superman, Savage eventually found himself fully accomplishing his life long goals. At first his struggles with Earth-2 Superman and their Justice Society found themselves defeating Savage and forcing him to gain powers with the Earth-1 Superman. Managing to accomplish this goal, Savage would use this energy to set time-bombs that changed and altered history to where Savage ruled the world. With born into a world where Savage was supreme ruler, as an infant he was given to Savage to act on his behalf, serving as a ward of the court. However this plan would find itself foiled when this realities Lex Luthor managed to restore Superman’s memory and cause the hero to restore the timeline to it’s proper order.
Even though Savage’s plans were foiled, both Superman and Savage knew that the world never learned of the events that just took place. It was this that Savage took great pride on as he knew the hero couldn’t bring him to justice because of how the world had knowledge of the crimes that was committed by Savage. Captain of an industry company, Savage found himself at another attempt of obtaining his goals once more. However, Savage was far from being finished with the only threat to his plans, which was Superman. It was after the combined effort of the team known as the Forgotten Heroes and Superman foiling Savage's plans to send a part of Metropolis into a prehistoric state, Savage managed to rid the hero by successfully using the media as a weapon for the Man of Steel. Claiming that Superman’s actions and powers was an act of irresponsibility and uncontrollable as he pinned the recent incident plus many more (which has been caused by Savage) on the hero. Even though this plan seemed successful and Savage was to find himself rid of Superman, it would be his own gloating that would find Savage’s plans backfiring on him. Exposing his plans and his true goals to Superman without the knowledge of this conversation being transmitted through a live audience. After his exposure and showing his true colors, the world would finally learn Savage’s true colors as the criminal mastermind found himself going into hiding once more.
Modern Age: New Earth
Two threats, two timelines, and the same man
Probably one of the most unique moments within Savage’s history was his attempt to cause a nuclear assault on Washington D.C, Metropolis, Brussels, and Singapore with the use of purchased Red Rocket armor. With the Titans attempting to stop Savage’s plans, he managed to individually take down each member and place them within a Red Rocket suit. Sending the heroes to their supposed deaths, it would be Tempest barely escaping and a biotech virus that was sent by both the mad tyrant Solaris and Vandal Savage from the future 853 century would find the suit steering off-course and hitting Montevideo, Uruguay. With the present day Savage unaware of this scheme and witnessing the devastating results from the virus, he believed that this was an attempt from the JLA, which also caused Savage to release his “blitz engines” that he secretly stored away since World War II. With not only his machinations failing, but due to the efforts from the future versions of the Justice League, his plans of nuclear assault and the killing of the remaining Titan members were foiled.Even though the present day Savage wasn’t a threat, there was still the threat of the 853 century Vandal Savage, as he and Solaris make their attempts on killing Superman Prime. As both JLA and their future counter-parts find themselves in a climatic fight against Solaris, Vandal knew that defeat was at hand and decided to manipulate Walker Gabriel into time traveling into the past and steal the time traveling gauntlets from the Flash while he was still in the present time. Managing to acquire the gauntlets after double-crossing Gabriel, Savage would attempt to use them to make his escape. But due to the Gauntlets being tampered with by Gabriel and the Resurrection Man, Vandal Savage found himself accidentally traveling to Montevideo, seconds before being struck down by the same Red Rocket armor that his past version meant to send towards Washington DC.
It is said that this was the exact moment of Vandal Savage’s real death. Even though it only happens in the 853 century, there isn’t any solid proof that this death may take place due to the possible fact that this Savage was from a different Earth within the future. It's also a fact that Savage within the present wasn't aware of this death at all.
Much like his recent history for making his second attempt on those who foiled and defeated Savage, it was that he always returned for bloodthirsty revenge. This time he had his eye’s set on the Titans, the team he nearly defeated and which he possibly believed was the cause of his plans being ruined when trying to cause a nuclear assault. By attempting on fulfilling his goals, Savage wanted his very own team, which served as a anti-Titans team. In order to accomplish the task, Savage would kidnap the Titans member known as Omen and force her to create the perfect team for him. Even though Omen did what Savage commanded, she secretly selected a team that would find itself quickly falling apart. Recruiting Gorilla Grodd, Lady Vic, Cheshire, Siren, and Red Panzar, Savage found himself with a team that was known as Tartarus.
Their first mission was to find the H.I.V.E Mistress known as Adeline Wilson. Savage wanted her for the purposes of using her blood for an immortality serum. After slitting her throat, Savage and his team would later find themselves going against the Titans which ended in a disaster. With Red Panzar dying in fight, Savage and his team managed to escape by shooting Cheshire and using her as a distraction, leaving her to be captured by the Titans. After learning the location of Omen, the Titans would quickly find her and and another fight with Tartarus that found itself quickly ending after Siren switched sides.
Throughout Savage’s long history, he has been known to see many as his personal enemy. Even though he’s just about fought every hero within the DC universe, there were only two people who held battles with Savage ever since gaining his powers from the meteorite. There would be no man that Savage could express any more hatred for than Mitchell Shelley, AKA Resurrection Man. Another group that was formerly known to be a threat against Savage would rise once more when trying to find their missing leader, the Immortal Man. As the group believed Shelley to be the missing Immortal Man, they would later discover differently when the real Immortal Man has been a captive by Vandal Savage for many years. Later, Savage, Immortal Man, and Shelley would learn the origins of their powers and their connection with each other as they find themselves against an alien threat with the same origins.
The heir of Vandal Savage
Vandal Savage would later reappear once more when being recruited into Alexander’s Luthor’s society of villains. However this didn’t last more than a minute when Savage felt enraged at the notion of how Luthor failed to show the proper respect towards Savage.
Going his separate ways, it would later be discovered that Vandal Savage would treat his abilities and powers of immortality by harvesting organs from members who are blood tied with him. This would quickly catch the attention of the hero Arsenal when himself and his daughter Lian were suitable candidates for Savage. This attempt on using Lian found it foiled by hero and have look into his heritage much more differently for both himself and his daughter.
Even though Savage has been known to father numerous children throughout his time, there has only been one who he has fathered into adulthood. Known as Scandal Savage, she would be raised by both Savage and the only woman that he has ever truly loved. Even though Scandal went her own separate ways as she grew and found herself joining the group known as the Secret Six. Upon discovering this, Savage learned that his daughter was in danger after learning that Alexander’s group of villains was trying take down the Secret Six. Fearing for his daughter, Savage reacted by threatening Luthor’s life if any harm ever comes to her.
With his knowledge of his daughters activities within the team and her relationship with the other team mate known as Knockout, he would later come up with a plan of having a heir by forcing his daughter conceive a child from another team mate, Catman. This plan found not only Savage’s attempts on harming Scandals lover, but also a violent confrontation between both daughter and father that ended with another supposed death from Vandal.
One famous character that Vandal Savage was a father too would be the villain known as Grendal
The worst year for Savage
Throughout Savage’s life, the worst year within his history took place during the Infinity Crises. As Savage decided to take more of a drastic turn for his own ways on taking over the world, he decided to restart human civilization by destroying Earth by pulling an asteroid from orbit and onto planet earth. Leading a doomsday cult to help with his plans of accomplishing such a feat, Vandal found his plans foiled by Flash as the asteroid was sent back to orbit along with Vandal Savage. Eventually Savage would find his way back to earth when he was on an asteroid that landed onto earth, but with a less devastating effect. Weakened from the event, Savage would learn that his immortal days was coming at an end within eleven days and chose to preserve his life by stealing the DNA from one of his old nemesis, Alan Scott. Using a deformed clone of the original Sandman, Vandal Savage’s plans of capturing Scott failed. However, Savage found himself surviving by inhumane means when consuming a clone of himself, preserving his life a year longer.
Savage would later reappear when forming a group of super powered neo-nazi’s known as the Fourth Reich to target the golden age heroes of the newest installation of the Justice Society of America. After successfully killing Minute Man, General Glory, and Mister America, Vandal decided to directly takeout Wildcat himself. Savage, Wildcat, and Tommy would find themselves in an intense battle that was taken into the streets. Not only did Savage’s new team failed, but Savage would meet a violent defeat after being hit by a speeding fire truck. Later after escaping authorities, Vandal found himself responsible for another tragedy by submerging San Diego that was ran by Black Manta, now called Sub Diego, it’s unclear as to why Vandal did this.
Final Crisis - The Mark of Cain
After Vandal Savage returned to earth, he would later show up again right before the events of Darkseid take over for planet earth as a not only followed Libra’s formed group for the sake of boredom, but would also be involved with religious group known as the Religion of Crime that would attempt on not retrieving the Spear of Destiny, but also accidentally reviving Cain within Savage after being stabbed with the spear by the groups leader. With what was believed to memories restored within Savage, he would once again find himself on a path of revenge against the Spectre for punishing Cain within the past. Managing to defeat the Spectre and separate him from his host, he nearly killed both Question and Spectre if not for Questions display of forgiveness that spiritually brought back the Spectre. This time managing to de-power Savages Spear, he was defeated and spared by the Spirit of Vengeance. Yet punishment wouldn’t go unfulfilled for Savage as he was to be forever branded with the mark of Cain and to have the world around see him for what he truly is until God feels that this punishment was justified.
As Savage walked the earth after his devastating defeat, he would later return on a good note when assisting Ra’s Al Ghul and the Outsiders on defeating Savage’s former Cro Magnon group who now called themselves the Insiders. During this event, Savage has been fully convinced that he was in fact Cain and the Spear only restored his memory instead of an act of possession. Savage would later on encounter the Hunterss and the Question, managing through threats against the both of their lives to get the Question to take the Mark of Cain from him and carry it herself. Huntress, as a catholic, was shocked that Renee would do such a thing for her. But the mask Renee wears hides the mark, though it is there when she takes it off.
Vandal Savage would later return in the pages of Action Comics and Secret Six, now fully restored and now posing as a serious threat for Lex Luthor as he attempts on obtaining the Black Lantern power for himself as Savage believed the Black Spheres he had kept watch on for centuries would bring him happyness. Even though his attempts bribed Lex Luthor with the destruction of his building, Savage found this plan unsuccessful after finding himself at odds with both Luthor and her daughter once again.
Powers and Abilities
What was learned through history
Vandal Savage is well known for being a man who holds many skills within the fields of combat. Throughout Vandals long history, he has either been taught or developed many fighting styles of his own. However, Savage prefers to mostly use weaponry when fighting against his opponents. If it’s one thing that Savage favors are skills with use of many hand-to-hand weaponry. From swordsmanship, use of battle-axes, knife throwing, and battle maces, these were Savage’s choice for weaponry before gaining his immortal powers. Even though Savage mostly prefers to avoid direct confrontation, his knowledge and skills within combat does make him a formidable fighter.
Another skilled trait that Savage holds is his display of being a tactical planner and master strategist. From the amount of knowledge that Savage gained through his time within the rise of human development, Savage has just about been taught within nearly all fields of learning. From medicines to politics, Savage has found himself to be experienced within just about all fields that were developed within humanity. What Savage mostly favors and takes great interest in, is certain knowledge that he would find helpful on reaching his goals. As a would-be conqueror, Savage has found himself becoming a deadly enemy because of his knowledge of certain strategy that he learned from many world leader, dictators, and other well-known conquerors. Because of this, Savage has also led a superior personality that finds himself displaying acts of strong leadership, capable of running an entire army at his command or simply manipulating others to do his bidding.
One thing that makes Savage dangerous to humanity and the heroes is his connections with various groups and important characters. Mostly it would be his connection with the mysterious group known as the Illuminati that would have Savage be looked upon as major threat. With the assistance coming from this group, Savage has became a man who’s capable of reaching almost any position among the population within the fields of politics and possibly capable of disbanding any government sponsored or controlled teams.
Vandal Savage’s greatest highlight is his immortality. After discovering the meteor, the radiation surrounding the meteor not only gave Savage immortality, but slightly increased strength, stamina, and speed. Also the effects would change and alter Savage’s brain functioning into a unique state of development that instantly surpassed the Cro-Magnon stage. Because of this, Savage has a body that is mysteriously invulnerable to age, disease, and fatigue. Even though this form of immortality only causes Savage to be invulnerable with internal damage of bodily functions, Savage is still vulnerable to external damage. Meaning that is stabbed, burned, or loss of limbs, Savage’s body would be incapable of healing from the damage. Yet Savage has developed a strong adaptation to the feeling of pain and endurance after taking such damage.
It’s unclear if Savage does have the ability to regenerate, seeing how he was fully revived after falling to his supposed death. If so, then this form of regeneration would act a slow rate without the dependency of another replacing source to heal Savage’s damages. Only way that Savage is fully capable of being healed after taking a great amount of serious damage is the consumption of DNA from his own bloodline. It’s unverified if other members within his bloodline display the same powers or immortality like himself, yet their DNA does mange to find itself fully restoring Savage. What is known, is that if Savage does consume DNA from his own bloodline, then his strength, speed, and stamina finds itself increasing once more.
Within the modern age, Savage has found himself nearly meeting his death because of how many times his immortality has taken a reverse effect. After his many defeats, his access on obtaining DNA from his own bloodline found itself becoming very difficult. With a devastating defeat from his recent battle with the Flash, Savage has found his body failing and his immortality struggling to keep him alive.
After his empowerment from the Spear of Destiny, it’s unclear if Savage’s body managed to be fully restored with strict dependency of consuming DNA from his own bloodline. Yet Savage was last seen at full health.
The unknown ability
What is a possible power that Vandal Savage has is his ability to dimensionally travel to different earths. It’s unclear if Savage was able to do this through means of a certain item or by individually means. However the full extant of this power isn’t clear or if Vandal Savage displays any other powers that he’s unwillingly to perform due to the fact that his trust for areas that are outside of his understanding capabilities within the fields of dimensional and time traveling.
The personality of a gentleman
From the very beginning of his gained intelligence, Savage has developed the means of adapting within numerous societies as either a dominating figure or man who must partake his involvement with certain events. What’s unique about Vandal Savage is that even though he’s intellectually developed, his means for survival and conquering over others hasn’t really changed at all. On a more professional manner than how he went about taking over a certain society with full frontal attacks, Savage has always obtained the goals of being the Alpha primate within humanity. Much like many hunters within the prehistoric age who go about taking over another group, this display of action has always found itself ending in bloodshed. What Savage knows about himself, is that he is indeed a Savage when angered on a certain level. Mostly seen as a man, who’s calm, calculated, and precise, it would be the fact that when he’s in his primitive stage, he’s at a disadvantage as a man who’s bloodthirsty violent and managing to have certain heroes gets the better of Savage because of this.
However, if it’s one thing that Savage does lack is his sense of humanity. Aside from one of his many wives and the daughter that they both raised, Vandal Savage has no feelings for anybody else besides his own personal goals and his own means for survival.
What is also interesting about Vandal Savage is how he tends to avoid dimensional and time traveling. Possibly because these two and anything else related to them do areas outside of Savage’s understanding. Possibly because of the fact that by damaging both time and different earths could cause a devastating effect that may wipe Savage away from existence.
In Other Media
Within certain DC related titles within the media, Vandal Savage has found himself making appearances within the DC Animated Universe series, and also having other characters who strongly resembles Vandal Savages character with other certain shows as well.
DCAU Justice League
In the DC Animated Universe, Vandal Savage would be making his appearance within three episodes of the cartoon known as the Justice League. This version of Vandal does closely resemble the comic version aside from how Vandal manages to instantly heal after receiving damage.
Making his first appearance within the three-part episode known as “The Savage Time”, Vandal has managed to alter the future and have the world at his command by changing the events of World War II. Vandal went about doing this by sending a laptop that contained futuristic weapons designs, future documents, and message from his future self that was meant for him within the WWII timeline. With this information, Vandal did what his exact future wanted him to do and managed to take over the Third Reich from Hitler with his newest designs that promised a promised victory.
With his new designs with vehicles, weapons, and equipment, Vandal led the Nazi’s to a promising victory until his plans was foiled by the Justice League who managed to track the altering events into the past and prevent Savage from altering the future. With the Justice League and certain heroes during the WWII era defeating Savage, the course for a restoring future found itself back on track when the Nazi’s needed a new leader to guide them and it would be Hitler restoring order within the Third Reich once again.
Making another appearance within season two, Savage would appear in a two-part episode known as “Maid of Honor”. This time set within the modern timeline, Vandal Savage has found himself engaged to the princess of Kasnia. Claiming that he was not the same man that the Justice League encountered in the past, he would later reveal his true colors and his origin as after fully marrying the princess. Revealing that he secretly was working with a faction within Kasnia’s military that wanted to install a rail gun within space that could launch meteors at a designated target. However, Savage’s attempt for world domination found itself foiled by the Justice League once again and even though Savage survived a death experience, he would be taken into custody by Kasnia and pay for his crimes within their own form of justice.
Probably one of the most unique appearances that Savage made was wit his last in the second episode of “Hereafter”. With Superman believed to be dead, he was actually displaced within the future where not only earth has changed, but also completely destroyed by Vandal Savage after Superman’s supposed death and successfully killing the remaining Justice League members during the process. It would take about 30,000 years of being alone and isolated that Vandal Savage found himself regretting the selfish acts that caused so much mindless destruction. Upon hearing Superman’s transition call, Vandal investigated and located Superman’s location at the fallen Watchtower.
After sharing a brief and uneasy understanding, Superman quickly realized how Savage changed throughout the years and understood his reasons why Vandal Savage chose to punish himself by remaining on the isolated earth. Superman would later realize the same time machine that Savage built before, and found an opportunity to not only return back to his normal time, but also restoring the future as well by preventing Savage’s attack. With Savage, both men worked together on restoring the machine and found that the machine was missing a power source of miniature sun that the mutated cockroaches stolen years earlier. As both men infiltrated the nest, Superman managed to get the sun and fully restoring the machine. Leaving Savage with respects and a promise of stopping himself within the past, Vandal Savage find himself grateful when he slowly began fading away and a civilized future began to fade in.
Vandal Savage acts as a member of the mysterious group known as The Light,and frequently appears shrouded to other villains through out the season. He later is enlisted by fellow villain Count Vertigo in his plot to slow down Kid Flash enough so the organ he was carrying would no longer be viable in the episode "Coldhearted". He personally attacks Kid Flash in South Dakota, taking the young heroes best attacks but is otherwise unaffected. This continues for 15 minutes, until Kid Flash realizing what's truly important manages to escape. In the episode "Usual Suspects," Vandal Savage was revealed to be the leader of The Light, when he took over the watchtower and mind controlled the Justice League with Starro tech.
Unfortunately, Vandal and his allies made the mistake of underestimating the teenage partners of several League members. The young heroes repeatedly disrupted their plans and finally freed the League before Vandal had been able to keep control of them for little more than one day. Even as his plans unraveled in front of his eyes, Vandal, ever the pragmatist, retreated, deciding he now had enough to begin "phase two" of his master plan.
In Smallville, the immortal villain was called called Dr. Curtis Knox and was portrayed by Dean Cain. In the Season 7 episode, "Cure", Chloe Sullivan seeks Dr. Knox, as he advertizes the ability to cure "meteor freaks" of their powers. However, Dr. Knox's true goal is to harvest the organs from metahumans to save his dead love. Dr. Knox was stopped by Clark before he can harvest Chloe's heart.
Justice League Doom
Vandal Savage acts as the main villain for the animated film Justice League: Doom,during which he plots world domination by killing off half the world's population through the use of a solar flare. He ultimately forms the Legion of Doom consisting of Bane,Star Saphire, Mirror Master, Metallo,Cheetah and Ma'alefa'ak offering each 100 million dollars for each member of the Justice League they kill. To this end he modifies Batman's various contingency plans to become lethal and sets his team against the lead and although they get the best of the League they ultimately fail because of the intervention of the young hero Cyborg. The Legion is then defeated, by the efforts of Cyborg and Wonder Woman, and his plan to cull the world's population thwarted by the League using his own intangibility technology and the Hall of Doom itself.