Vandal Savage from Justice Society of America #3,
Art by Dale Eaglesham.
|First appearance||Green Lantern #10
|Created by||Alfred Bester
|Alter ego||Vandar Adg|
Secret Society of Super Villains
|Notable aliases||Khafre, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Jack the Ripper, Burt Villers, Cain, Dr. Curtis Knox, Kr'ull, Licinius, Dean "Rocket" Hall, Blackbeard.|
Superhuman physical attributes,
Excellent combat skills,
Schooled in millennia of history, warfare and science.
Savage is immortal, and has plagued the earth with crime and violence since before the beginning of recorded human history. He is a brilliant tactician with immense technological prowess. He is one of DC's most persistent villains and has fought hundreds of heroes throughout history. In 2009, Vandal Savage was ranked as IGN's 36th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
- 1 Fictional character biography
- 2 Powers and abilities
- 3 Children
- 4 Elseworlds
- 5 In other media
- 6 References
Fictional character biography
In the days of prehistory, 50,000 BC, Savage was a caveman named Vandar Adg, leader of the Cro-Magnon Blood Tribe. He was bathed in the radiation of a mysterious meteorite, which gave him incredible intellect and immortality. An observer from the Bear Tribe would later approach that same meteorite and become Savage's eternal nemesis, the Immortal Man, possessing the power to resurrect as a new persona every time he is killed. According to Lex Luthor, there may be evidence to suggest that Savage was the first cannibal on record. Though the Calculator took this to be a joke, Luthor was apparently serious, and Savage has not shown much regard for human life. He is possibly based on a Bulletman foe who appeared in Americas Greatest Comics #3, Man of the Ages, who had lived for a million years and claimed he would exist as long as there was evil.
In the pre-Crisis universe, Savage was native to Earth-Two, but as seen in Action Comics #516, thousands of years in the past a sorcerer revealed to him both the future existence of the Justice Society (even showing him a battle he would have with them, with Hourman in their ranks), and the existence of Earth-One.
Savage's first mark in the "history" of the DC Universe came when he and a select group of people successfully undermined and destroyed the lost city of Atlantis. That group of people became known as the Illuminati, with Savage serving as its leader.
He claims to have ruled hundreds of civilizations under hundreds of names: Khafre, Cheops (builder of the pyramids), Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar (though he has also claimed to have participated in the murder of Julius Caesar, but Pre-Crisis he claimed history was inaccurate and Brutus failed), Genghis Khan, Blackbeard, and Vlad the Impaler, to name a few. He also terrorized Victorian era London as Jack the Ripper. He realised that his prominence could cause him to be killed accidentally, so he decided to work behind the scenes. He has also worked as close friends and advisers to the likes of Erik the Red, William the Conqueror (whom he advised to invade England under the name Sir Von Savage), Napoleon Bonaparte as Marshal Savage, Ra's al Ghul, Otto von Bismarck (whom he helped to invade France as Baron Von Savage), and Adolf Hitler. He also led the Spanish Armada in its attempted invasion of England (suggesting he may have actually been Alonso Pérez de Guzmán). He was the court physician in France and even used the royal family for syphilis experiments.
Post-Flashpoint, Vandal Savage is stated to have been a part of the Demon Knights, an informal band of medieval based characters operating in the Middle Ages of the DCU, opposing Mordru after the Fall of Camelot. However this incarnation of Vandal Savage is less a threatening, scheming villain and more a likeable, roguish thug, still a force to be reckoned with but bound to a deep-seated respect for "his fellow immortals" Etrigan and Madame Xanadu, even taking a place among the assembled heroes. He is eventually thought to be a traitor. However, Vandal ends up betraying Mordru in turn in order to pillage the supplies of the Horde. He rejoins the rest of the Demon Knights saying that he planned this all along. It is unknown whether or not he is telling the truth. This behavior is more inline with the present-day Vandal Savage.
During the Golden Age, Savage battled the Justice Society of America after first meeting Green Lantern. He attempted to capture the members of the Justice Society out of revenge and place them in suspended animation using technology developed by the ISW member Brainwave, but was thwarted by the Golden and Silver Age Flashes (Jay Garrick and Barry Allen), Barry travelling to Earth-2 after mysterious blackouts happened in cities where JSA members lived. He used a weapon to make them fight each other, captured Jay after the younger Barry beat him, and tried to capture Barry, trying to use an illusion to trap Barry in a suspended animation container. But Barry realised his trick and freed the heroes. This caused the JSA to revive. Savage would continue to make various attacks on the Justice Society in later stories. He was also one of the founding members of the Injustice Society, who were each assigned to capture or kill a JSA member and engineer five jailbreaks to each attack a location in an attempt to conquer the USA. While leading an army of prison escapees from Gartmoor prison who he had incited to riot by dropping leaflets about the ISW from a plane, he attacked an airport where Federal planes were about to land, and captured Hawkman, before Green Lantern impersonated the Thinker during the 'trial' of the JSA and freed the JSA, who jailed the villains. He briefly formed a group of villains called Tartarus.
After the events of Final Crises, 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. Over time, Savage forgot many of his special powers, and never exhibited them to Barry Allen. 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). During this time, he operated the Villers Gallery, an antique salon on Fifth Avenue in New York City. A private investigator by the name of Harold Halston from Thermopolis, Wyoming had been investigating one Varney Sack at the request of a local realtor. Sack turned out to be Savage, and the immortal man killed Halston once he figured the private eye knew too much. In a showdown at the Club Neon, Wally, with the help of Frances Kane, fought Savage. He fell out of a window, but he disappeared before he hit the ground.
Savage surfaced again later, this time selling Velocity 9, a highly addictive super-speed drug of his own creation, which interfered with much of the existing drug trade in New York. He put an ad in the paper that attracted successful yuppies, who he used to do his bidding by giving them Velocity 9 so they could perform high speed crimes. However, these junkies aged at magnificent rates and suffered strokes very easily.
Savage wished to use the heroin distribution network of mob boss Nick Bassaglia to distribute Velocity 9 to lawyers and stockbrokers, hoping to gain financial control of New York. However, Flash, who had gone looking for Bassaglia after he was kidnapped by Savage, was injected with Velocity 9. After giving him a short spurt of incredible speed, it took away his powers. Hoping that a second dose would make him another one of his junkies, Savage told Dr. Conrad Bortz to inject the Flash, who instead injected Savage, who ran away.
He reappeared later, wanting money to leave the country. This money he attempted to acquire by kidnapping Rosie, the daughter of Wally's landlord, Mr. Gilchrist, with a ransom of five million dollars. He set many traps for the Flash, who was looking for Rosie, that led him to Barry Allen's grave, where Rosie was being kept. However, throughout all of this, Savage never showed his face.
He is one of the main villains in the JLA: Year One storyline, working against the recently formed JLA, and harboring a deep hatred towards superheroes and the invading alien Appelaxians. During one confrontation with the aliens, Savage claims to have designed Stonehenge itself, which the aliens have just partially demolished. Savage also mentions that he shut down the Justice Society with "a few well-placed senators."
Ultimately, Savage's enemy the Immortal Man erased himself from existence to save the world during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Mitch Shelley, the Resurrection Man, an amnesiac with similar powers which actually came from nanobots, took over as Savage's nemesis. However, Savage's list of foes is not limited to those two characters. Having lived so long, Savage has butted heads with possibly every single hero featured in the DC Universe, most notably the Justice Society of America and the Justice League of America. Original Green Lantern Alan Scott (in comics, his very first opponent) has been portrayed as one of Savage's main enemies, as well as the original Flash, Jay Garrick. It has been revealed that Savage refers to Hawkman – who has been reincarnated for a few millennia – as "the cockroach". At present, in DC universe, Savage is about 52,000 years old, although different numbers have been given in the past, from one million years in his first depiction, to 37,000 years in recent issues of JSA: Classified.
DC One Million
In this series, it is learned Savage has a base deep inside the Egyptian Sphinx. A confrontation with Martian Manhunter leaves him with a burnt out eye, which seemingly afflicts him far into the future.
Savage will possibly meet his end after he has lived to the year 85,271 A.D. (as seen in the DC One Million storyline), when he is sent back in time to 20th century Montevideo, Uruguay, by a pair of doctored time traveling gauntlets, seconds before it is obliterated by a Rocket Red armorsuit carrying a huge nuclear payload, an action that was, ironically, ordered by Savage himself (Savage was hoping to use the gauntlets to move only through space and arrive at the 853rd century Metropolis). At this point, the time traveling hero Chronos is heard in the background, gloating about having conned Savage in retaliation for a previous adventure when Savage had him stranded in time.
After being foiled or defeated, Savage is known to return for bloodthirsty revenge. This time he had his eyes set on the Titans, a team he had nearly defeated before they ruined his plans for a nuclear assault. This time, Savage decided to form a team of his own. To do this, Savage kidnapped the Titans member known as Omen and forced her to recruit the perfect team for him using her mental powers. Though Omen did what Savage commanded, she secretly selected a team that would quickly fall apart. Recruiting Gorilla Grodd, Lady Vic, Cheshire, Siren, and Red Panzer, Savage formed the group Tartarus. Their first mission was to find the H.I.V.E. Mistress known as Adeline Wilson so that Savage could use her blood in an immortality serum. After slitting her throat, Savage and his team were confronted by the Titans. Red Panzer died in the fight, but Savage and his remaining 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 found her and engaged in another fight with Tartarus that quickly ended after Siren switched sides.
Vandal Savage was seen in the final two issues of Villains United. Originally Savage was a member of Lex Luthor's Society, but he quit the Society and told Lex not to contact him for any reason after Luthor blew him off to welcome some less than competent new recruits. It is also plausible that Vandal quit because his daughter Scandal Savage was working against the Society as part of the Secret Six. When the Society lodged a final ambush against the Six, Savage threatened to kill Luthor if he didn't call off the attack, saying that he couldn't allow anyone to harm his daughter. This was shown to be due more to ulterior motives than fatherly love, as in issue three of the Secret Six miniseries it was revealed Savage wants his daughter to produce an heir with Catman, and he's been putting bounties on the Secret Six's heads as a warning of what will happen to her lover, Knockout, if she refuses him. He has, however, been seen as a member of the Society's second incarnation underneath Libra during the Final Crisis. He actually even serves as one of his inner cabinet members.
Flash and JSA
Savage was seen as leader of a doomsday cult. He attempted to use a device to pull an asteroid into the Earth, but was thrown into space with the asteroid itself when the Flash reversed the polarity of the device. Eventually the asteroid fell back on Earth with Savage, who found his power greatly diminished and having lived through what he called the worst year of his life. His immortality completely drained, he is still able to survive otherwise fatal wounds, but a brain tumor and a strong decay of his biological function are leading him to a fast death, with an estimated life span of eleven days. Savage tries to capture Alan Scott by baiting him with a grotesque (and disguised) Wesley Dodds clone, who, in fact, is his own clone. After a failed attempt to steal Scott's DNA, Savage is left alone in the rubble of his former secret base. Realizing that his clone could be considered his own offspring, and that the blood of his descendants has always renewed his strength, Savage cooks and eats his clone, renewing his energies at least for another year.
Savage returns in the first story arc of the new Justice Society of America, the mastermind behind a group of Neonazi superpowered villains called the Fourth Reich targeting the heirs of several Golden Age superhero bloodlines, in the belief that eliminating the bloodlines will eliminate the heroes' legacies and allow him to continue his goal of reshaping the world according to his own desires. He kills Minute Man, General Glory and Mister America, along with their families. The Fourth Reich kills nearly all Commander Steel's Family. In issue #4, after a battle with Wildcat and his newly discovered son, who is revealed to have the ability to turn into a cat-like creature at which Savage is surprised which he claims to have not been in 116 years, Savage is defeated when hit by a fire truck. He later reappears in Atlantis where he is revealed to have been behind the atrocities in Sub Diego and Black Manta's occupation of the city.
Vandal Savage was one of the villains imprisoned on the "Hell Planet" of Salvation Run. He claims to have puzzled out the mechanical workings of the planet and used this knowledge to locate a "safe zone" without any of the predators that roam the rest of the world. He intends to mate with the female supervillains in his group, and produce an immortal progeny. He has placated some of the more willful of the females (like Phobia and Cheetah) by promising each of them that they will be his queen when he rules the planet. Ultimately, Savage escapes back to Earth along with the rest of the imprisoned villains following an attack by Parademons sent by Desaad (who used the planet as a training ground).
After returning to Earth, in Final Crisis Vandal Savage is placed on the new Society's inner circle by Libra. As he says to Lex Luthor, Vandal is willing to follow Libra in exchange for his heart's desire, an end to his boredom.
In Final Crisis: Revelations, the Order of the Stone (the followers of Cain) comes in possession of the Spear of Destiny. Later, a group of followers led by Sister Wrack enter Vandal Savage's tent. They plunge the Spear of Destiny into Vandal's body. Thus Cain is reborn in him, and agrees to lead the Followers into punishing the Spectre for branding him because of his ancient crime. Using the Spear, Cain is able to separate the Spectre from his human host, and make him his slave. Cain's plans are undone by Renee Montoya, who manages to steal the Spear and reunite the Spectre with his host. The Spectre, forbidden by God to kill Cain, instead sentences him to walk the Earth, unable to disguise himself, being forever reviled and persecuted by the rest of the human race and denied rest until God says otherwise (the Mark of Cain).
The superhero team known as the Outsiders come into conflict with a mysterious group calling themselves the Insiders, who are tracking down the fragments of the meteorite that granted Savage his immortality. It is ultimately revealed that the Insiders were members of Savage's tribe who were also exposed to the meteorite and gained immortality. Savage (still possessing the Mark of Cain) forms a temporary alliance with fellow immortal and cult leader (as well as at times Mass Murderer) Ra's al Ghul to thwart the group's plan.
Whether true or not, Vandal Savage has come to believe he literally is the Biblical Cain. The mark he still bears hampers his ability to do his business and thus he attempts to pass it off - to either the Question or the Huntress. He succeeds, imparting the mark to the Question, who accepts to be branded to spare the Huntress from the disfigurement and the pain  (despite The Question later proves how the brand could be suppressed by acknowledging the flaws, the shortcomings and the guilt of the bearer, a feat made seemingly impossible by Vandal Savage's mindset )
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
In the distant past, Bruce Wayne (apparently amnesiac) walks out of the cave where Anthro died in the prehistoric times and is discovered by a tribe of primitives led by Vandal Savage, who attempts to kill Wayne in the belief that he is a member of the 'Sky People'. He held him hostage until a younger member of the tribe freed him and aided in his subsequent fight against Savage's mob.
In the 1800s, Vandal Savage- under the name of "Monsewer Sauvage" and currently weak from a cancer in his intenstines- wants Jonah Hex to eliminate the man who has been attacking his men, while Savage attempts to torture a woman whose family have been entrusted with a box, marked with the symbol of the bat, that they are to keep sealed until its owner comes to claim it. When he finds from the "doctor" torturing the girl how to open the box; Savage and the doctor escape in a carriage, with the girl and the box, while Batman is busy with Vandal's thugs. Batman catches up with the carriage which eventually falls into a nearby river. The doctor and Savage fall in but when they get out they come face to face with the Batman. Vandal, in an opium fueled delusion (due to the amount of opium he had consumed for the cancer), sees Batman as an actual bat, compared to the girl and Alan Wayne (who had been on the way to kill himself when the carriage had careened into the river) who he sees as skeletons, and remembers that night thousands of years ago when a bat-man had appeared. He is then knocked out by Batman.
The New 52
In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Vandal Savage is a supporting character in Demon Knights, a story based on Arthurian Lore, co-starring with characters like Etrigan the Demon, Madame Xanadu, and Shining Knight. This story taking place in the Middle Ages, Savage is, at this point, traveling the world content to simply enjoy life, living for wine, women, and war. He is a master tactician and incredibly strong, and uses his many skills that he's picked up over his long lifetime to aid his teammates.
An older Savage appears in DC Universe Presents, fashioned as a serial killer. He claims to be of ancient origin, his crimes sacrifices to forgotten gods. He has a daughter named Kassandra (aka Kass Sage), who is a police officer.
During the Trinity War storyline, Vandal Savage appears as a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains. He assists Giganta and Signalman into tracking Pandora. After Giganta was subdued, Vandal Savage steps in and the two fight, until Pandora seemingly kills him. However, Vandal Savage gets up and demands that Pandora give him the box, or else he will continue to try to find a way to kill her. To his surprise, Pandora willingly gives him the box as she thinks she needs him to open it. Vandal Savage takes the box and fails to open it, with Pandora noting that he must have some good on his conscience.
Powers and abilities
Since exposure to an unusual radiation generated by a crashed meteor, Savage has been functionally immortal, remaining unaged for over fifty thousand years and possessing a degree of enhanced healing, although this ability is intermittently portrayed between allowing him to recover from any injuries sustained to just allowing him to survive anything that might kill him; he is even capable of getting drunk like any normal human. 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 causes Savage to be invulnerable to internal damage of bodily functions, Savage is still vulnerable to external damage. Meaning that if stabbed, burned, or dismembered, 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. His long life span has allowed him to gain a broad range of knowledge in a variety of fields, as well as granting him a great deal of influence over the world in general and the villain community in particular. Since a recent experience when he was trapped on an asteroid, Savage's immortality has been weakened, forcing him to cannibalize his own children and clones to try and replenish his energy.
Recent stories have revealed that Savage was suffering from cancer when he acquired his immortality. As a result, while the cancerous cells in his body naturally cannot kill him, they cause him intermittent pain throughout his life, Savage being unable to have them removed as they are considered to be as much a part of his body as his healthy tissue.
Vandal Savage is stated to be Cain, the first murderer himself, and as such he may be as old as the entire human race. He briefly wore the Mark of Cain, a metaphysical scarring with a cross pattern disfiguring his face, until he passed it to Renee Montoya. Though the mark can be suppressed by willpower and by the recognition of one's shortcomings and flaws, Vandal Savage never realized it, instead trying to force the mark on other people.
Being immortal has not stopped Vandal Savage from procreating. Scandal Savage is his daughter and the only one of his children he considers his heir. He has trained her in combat since she was a young child. Scandal is a member of the Secret Six and by her own admission is "damned hard to kill". The Demon Grendel is also one of Vandal Savage's children claiming that Vandal Savage "mounted the cave beast of my mother". He refers to Vandal as Cain, the first murderer. Within the New 52 he has another daughter named Kassandra Sage, an FBI agent who reluctantly consults her imprisoned father on a case.
Vandal Savage was the villain in the 1997 Elseworlds limited series Batman: Dark Knight Dynasty. In this story, Savage is obsessed with recovering the meteor that gave him his immortality, believing that it will reveal why he became what he has. Over the centuries, he finds himself opposing the members of the Wayne family throughout history, starting with medieval knight Sir Joshua of Wainwright, to contemporary Bruce Wayne (Vandal saved Bruce's parents from the mugging that killed them in 'real' history, but killed them when Bruce was an adult to ensure they did not stop him from reacquiring the meteor, only for him and Bruce to perish when they fell to Earth after a battle in space), to futuristic Vice President Brenda Wayne, admiring their spirit and strength of character even as he refuses to allow them to stop his efforts. At the conclusion of this last battle, Vandal was left drifting through space on the meteor, determined to learn the purpose of his life.
Another Elseworld story, Flashpoint, had Savage running a space-exploration corporation with the help of the crippled Barry Allen. He tried to use technology stolen from J'onn J'onzz to kill humanity (he wanted to commit suicide in the grandest manner possible), but was killed by Barry Allen, who sacrificed his life to stop the alien device.
In the limited series Kingdom Come, Vandal Savage is a member of Lex Luthor's Mankind Liberation Front, but is captured by Batman and his allies when he gets mauled by that timeline's version of Wildcat.
In the Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover, the crew of the USS Enterprise- James T. Kirk, Spock, Leonard McCoy, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov and Nyota Uhura- join forces with the Legion of Super-Heroes- Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy and Shadow Lass- to investigate a world where history has been changed so that Earth is ruled by a galactic empire that has conquered other races. Working together, the two groups learn that the villain is Vandal Savage- Kirk recognizing him as the mysterious immortal Flint, Savage and Flint being versions of the same man-, who captured Q during a visit to the distant past and used his power to accelerate Earth's development and create an empire. While half of the group go back in time to discover when history diverged, others confront 'Emperor Vandar the First' in the future, with Kirk dismissing Vandar's boasts of his power as nothing but the bragging of the brutal caveman he always was, Vandar unable to see beyond his old preconceptions that progress is only possible through violence where his adversaries have come from worlds where humanity learned to see other ways. This timeline is undone when Spock and Brainiac 5 work out how to release Q in the past, Q's escape undoing Vandar's changes and splitting Vandal and Flint back into separate entities, Flint being a Vandal Savage who turned his life towards art and science rather than conquest.
In other media
- Vandal Savage is seen in several episodes of the animated series Justice League voiced by Phil Morris. In this version, in addition to being an ageless immortal, Savage also has enhanced healing factor and recuperative powers; allowing him to heal and regenerate any injuries instantly to leave no trace of damage. His origin is the same as that of his comic book counterpart, except it is revealed in the episode "Maid of Honor" his age is half of that in the comics - 25,000 years.
The League first encounters Savage in the three-part episode "The Savage Time", when he manages to alter history by sending a laptop with a message on it back in time to his past self, the information on the laptop allowing the past Savage to take control of Nazi Germany with his new weapon designs and lead them to win World War II. The only League member affected by the time alteration is Batman (as the rest were shielded by Green Lantern's energy at the time) and they eventually find Savage's portal to the past and undo Vandal's treachery, although they initially do not learn of his immortal nature, J'onn simply noting when he sees the future Savage on the laptop screen that Savage has aged well. When Savage's plane crashes into the Atlantic Ocean during his attempted invasion of America, he is presumed dead.
Next, in "Maid of Honor", Savage, claiming to be his own grandson, was engaged to Princess Audrey of Kasnia, but was secretly working with a secret faction of the Kasnian military to install a railgun onto the International Space Station, thereby allowing Kasnia, through Savage, to dictate control over the world. He poisons King Gustav, paralyzing him and causing Audrey to become Queen, making him de facto ruler of Kasnia. He reveals his origin to Audrey. Having learned of his true nature, the League once again foiled him. Despite being in the Palace a meteor was launched at, Savage survives. He was incarcerated in Kasnia- Audrey vowing that they would see just how much punishment he could survive-, but later escaped at some unspecified time.
Savage's last appearance was in "Hereafter" (Part 2), when, a few months after the supposed death of Superman, he used a gravity controlling device to kill the League, but accidentally unbalanced Earth's orbit and killed the rest of the human race. Savage spent 30,000 years alone, ashamed of the catastrophe he had caused and finally realizing his mistake in desiring power. He created a spaceship with which he decided to explore the Universe, but decided to stay on Earth as punishment. After discovering Superman - who had actually been sent to the future rather than killed - in his present, he worked with the Man of Steel to repair a time machine he'd developed, allowing him to send Superman back and change history (Savage himself was unable to use it because the machine couldn't send him back to a point where he already existed, though J'onn and Diana did not have this problem in "Savage Time"). In the end, Savage witnessed the changes Superman had achieved as Metropolis came to life again as he faded from existence with the words "Thank you, my friend" on his lips.
- During the season 7 episode of Smallville called "Cure", the character of Dr. Curtis Knox (portrayed by Dean Cain) is an immortal who has lived for centuries under various names, and has actually been historical figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Jack the Ripper, as well as being an apparent member of the Nazi party. Knox appears as a doctor claiming to have developed the ability to 'cure' meteor freaks, but the procedure, while successful - at the cost of them losing all their memories of a certain period of time, apparently the time since their mutations activated - is really a cover for Knox's true goal: to take organs from meteor-infected people so that he can use them to extend the life of his wife so that he will not have to be alone. Despite Clark's sympathy with his motives, he confronts Knox when Knox attempts to take Chloe Sullivan's heart for his wife, the subsequent battle between Knox and Clark destroying the life-support machines that were keeping Knox's wife alive. Knox was subsequently dealt with by the Martian Manhunter, but he simply stated that he and Clark should continue Jor-El's "Don't ask, don't tell" relationship with him regarding how he disposed of criminals, although he did state that he couldn't kill Knox. An IGN review stated Knox is "obviously based on Vandal Savage." Brian Q. Miller, writer and executive story editor on Smallville, confirmed that the character was indeed intended to be Vandal Savage until studio restraints demanded it to be removed.
- In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, there is a character named Kru'll the Eternal voiced by Michael Dorn. Kru'll shares the same origin as Vandal Savage, both being prehistoric cavemen transformed by a meteorite. However, the meteorite that affected Kru'll, in addition to intellect and immortality, granted him tremendous strength. His appearance and personality deviate from Vandal Savage's as well. Whereas Vandal Savage dresses appropriate to the times and fights in an intelligent manner, Kru'll maintains his look as a caveman and resorts to brutish tactics such as swinging around the club he carries or smashing his opponents with a large rock, though he is intelligent despite his demeanor. Scenes set in the 25th century show him dressed in period-appropriate clothing. In the episode "Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!", Kru'll captures Booster Gold's companion, Skeets. He attempts to use him alongside the same meteorite that gave him his powers to do the same to a group of his associates. As a point of fact, the information for the episode refers to him as Vandal Savage. As a tip of the hat to his comic book counterpart, two of Kru'll's associates are dressed as Genghis Khan and Julius Caesar. The visual appearance of Kru'll and some of his personality traits and methods are inspired by the Captain Marvel villain King Kull. Booster Gold mentioned that they had clashed before in the future, though their supposed "clash" was in reality Booster Gold simply bumping into him, causing Kru'll to spill some of the coffee he was drinking on his suit.
- Vandal Savage appears in Young Justice voiced by Miguel Ferrer. He appears as a member of "The Light" (Project Cadmus' Board of Directors). Outside of his history of him being a caveman that gained immortality upon being bathed in the energies of a fallen meteor, he is shown to have three scars on his face following a cave bear attack (as revealed by Greg Weisman). Previously only known as "L-1", his identity and role of leadership are revealed in the episode "Revelations" after having tricked the heroes into believing that the members of the Injustice League were the masterminds behind the Light's activities when the Injustice League was actually The Light's proxies. Vandal states that "shadows still conceal our Light". In "Coldhearted," Vandal Savage attacks some police officers in order to delay Kid Flash in his mission to deliver a heart to a girl. Vandal Savage thought he was expecting Flash when he heard the authorities were clearing the road for him. Kid Flash then retreats to continue his mission as Vandal Savage quotes "that should suffice." Vandal Savage's attack was all part of Count Vertigo's plot to delay the heart delivery to Queen Perdita of Vlatava. In "Usual Suspects," Vandal Savage had mind-controlled Red Arrow into being The Light's mole so that he can place mind-controlling nanobots (referred to as "Starro-Tech") into the Justice League and enable Vandal Savage to enter the Watchtower to being The Light's next plot. In "Auld Acquaintance," it was revealed that Red Arrow escaped from Vandal Savage while he was basking in glory. When Black Canary, Red Tornado, and Red Arrow meet up with Vandal Savage on the Watchtower, Vandal Savage tells the three of them that Starro-Tech is not flawed as a mind-controlled Green Lantern captures Black Canary, Red Tornado, and Red Arrow so that Vandal Savage can place new Starro-Tech on them as he explains about the purpose of The Light. Vandal Savage learns from Klarion the Witch Boy that the Team is on board. When Vandal is asked if the three heroes should be under their control, Black Canary, Red Arrow, and Red Tornado attack until the other mind-controlled superheroes attack. Vandal Savage discovers that the Team have found a way to create a counter program for the Starro-Tech. After the Starro-Tech is countered, Vandal Savage tells Klarion that it is time to go as both of them get away. In "True Colors," Vandal Savage is with the Light at a meeting with Sportsmaster who informs the group of his complaint revolving around Black Manta's son killing her daughter and that they should do the "Eye for an eye, kid for a kid" outcome. Vandal Savage and Black Manta disagree with this and Sportsmaster leaves upon Deathstroke arriving to protect Black Manta. While meeting with Black Manta on his submarine, Vandal Savage tells Black Manta that he has borrowed Psimon from Queen Bee in order to restore Aqualad's mind. Vandal Savage later visits Lex Luthor at LexCorp Farms where they are both relieved that the Team had not found the real thing that the Reach is producing. In "War," Vandal Savage was present on Rimbor at the trial of the six Justice League members that were controlled into attacking Rimbor when news of the Reach on Earth is made known to everyone present. From within the shadows, Vandal Savage convinces Mongul to go to Earth and deal with the Reach. However Mongul fails in his attempt to destroy Earth after the Team takes him out. In "Summit, Vandal Savage joins the Light in meeting with the Reach in the caves of Santa Prisca. Vandal Savage tells the Reach that he had bribed the tribunal members of Rimbor. When Ra's al Ghul discovers that Tigress is actually Artemis in disguise with a Glamour Charm, Vandal Savage turns his discussion towards Aqualad. When it is discovered that Deathstroke is actually Miss Martin in disguise and the Team arrives, Vandal Savage came prepared and summons some full-costumed operatives to make sure that the Team does not survive yet some of the operatives were the other members of the Team in disguise. Vandal Savage then summons Klarion the Witch Boy to convert a sword into a fire snake as he gets Vandal Savage away. Vandal Savage then appears on the War World and attacks the Justice League members guarding the War World. He sends their defeated body through a Boom Tube back to the Watchtower as he pilots War World away from Earth. In "Endgame," Vandal Savage uses War World to tell all of Rimbor not to make any incursion on invasions on Earth. Vandal Savage then heads to Apokolips to meet up with Darkseid to handle their business.
- Vandal Savage appears as the main antagonist in the animated film Justice League: Doom with Phil Morris reprising his role from the Justice League animated series. Savage forms the Legion of Doom to destroy the Justice League, and hires Bane, Metallo, Cheetah, Star Sapphire, Mirror Master (who had been recruited before the events of the film), and Ma'alefa'ak to kill Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, and the Martian Manhunter, respectively. He gives the Legion Batman's contingency plans for the League (stolen by Mirror Master early in the film from the Bat-cave) with a 100 million dollar payoff for every dead member of the Justice League. Bane buries Batman alive, Star Sapphire makes Hal Jordan lose his will by having some people (including a fake-robot version of Carol) die in front of him, Cheetah infects Wonder Woman with a poison that makes everyone she sees be Cheetah, making her fight them all until her heart gave out, Mirror Master planted a bomb through Flash's wrist that would explode should he remove it, do nothing, or decelerate, should he choose to run (which he did), Metallo shoots Superman in the chest with a Kryptonite bullet, and Ma'alefa'ak coats the Martian Manhunter in magnesium sulfite and lights him on fire. As the Legion celebrates its victory, Savage reveals his origin and his ultimate plan of bringing mankind under his control. Savage's background is identical to his comic book origin except for the fact that he is 80,000 years old instead of 50,000. 5,000 years later the Toba eruption nearly wiped out humanity, but Savage led the survivors enabling humanity to become the dominant species. When he proclaims his immortality, Cheetah slices his throat in front of her companions. To their surprise, Savage gets up a few seconds later and tells the Legion of his plan, taking a moment to hit Cheetah before continuing. Believing that humanity again needs a firmer hand, he intends to fire a missile at the Sun which would leave a magnetic trail that would lead a solar flare to Earth, destroying the Sunward side of the planet upon impact, simultaneously wiping out half the total population and rendering any technology more advanced than a steam engine completely useless. Savage offers the villains as much of the new world as they can handle, second only to himself (Cheetah comments that Savage hadn't really left them any other choice). However, Batman escapes his coffin as the Legion are celebrating and saves the other teammates with the aid of Cyborg. When Batman explains his involvement in the plan to the Justice League, he reveals to the team that Savage had altered his plans to be fatal, instead of merely to subdue them. As Savage finishes telling the Legion of his plan, the Hall of Doom is stormed by the Justice League, with each member dueling their opposite counterparts. Despite being able to launch his missile, the Legion are soundly defeated by the League, with Wonder Woman, Flash, Batman, and Green Lantern defeating Cheetah, Mirror Master, Bane, and Star Sapphire in that order, respectively. Ma'aleafa'ak was apparently killed when Savage launched the missile, and Metallo was decapitated by Superman when he realized the missile had been launched. Savage was eventually defeated by the combined efforts of Cyborg and Wonder Woman, and his plan was ruined when the League and Cyborg managed to make the shield protecting the Hall of Doom extend over the sun-side part of the Earth. Savage was sentenced to life in prison without parole by the World Court.
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- Flash #137 (1962, Savage's first Silver Age appearance)
- Villains United #5
- Villains United #6
- Flash (2nd series)
- JSA: Classified #10-13
- Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #54
- Salvation Run #4
- Final Crisis: Revelations #2
- Final Crisis: Revelations #3
- Final Crisis: Revelations #5
- Detective Comics #863
- Detective Comics Annual #12 (December 2010)
- Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1
- Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4
- Demon Knights #4
- Demon Knights #16
- Demon Knights #1-26
- DC Universe Presents #9
- Trinity of Sin: Pandora #2
- Secret Six #14
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