Saturday, December 31, 2011

"The End" Week: the Question #36!

I can still feel horror.  Yay...?
The last issue of a series you like is always going to be sad. But this one...from 1990, The Question #36, "Or maybe Gomorrah" Written by Dennis O'Neil, art by Denys Cowan and Malcolm Jones III.

As Hub City continues to slide into rioting and chaos, on the day before Christmas even, Mayor Myra Fermin and mysterious kung fu master Richard Dragon find the beaten and stripped Vic (or Charlie) Sage. Vic manages to stay conscious for a bit, then collapses after the encounter above. Dragon gets out of his wheelchair and puts Vic in it; then has to explain to the incredulous Myra why he pretended to be handicapped: when Vic met Dragon, he was "full of macho," and probably would've wanted to fight him. If Dragon had beat him, the demoralized Vic would learn nothing; so Dragon allowed himself to be handicapped, as he puts it.

After seeing her office on fire, Myra finds her police chief, formerly crooked cop Izzy O'Toole, sitting next to a body. The thug that beat Vic stole the Question's "No-face" mask; making Izzy think his guardian angel went bad and there would be no reason for him to keep trying to redeem himself. But, recognizing the thug after he shoots him, Izzy realizes he'd been in jail and couldn't have been "No-face." Somewhat reluctantly, Izzy resigns himself to being good again. Stopping a drunk in a Santa suit from attempting rape, Izzy gives the suit to the cold Myra, right as it begins to snow. He says the snow will only cover the garbage until it turns to sludge, but Myra refuses to let it ruin the now:
Exactly.
Making their way to Vic's mentor Aristotle Rodor's house, Izzy then tells Vic he's figured out his secret. A little disgrunted that "my guardian angel is a guy I don't even like a whole lot," he heads back out to work. Myra stays with Vic, sleeping with him. The next day, somewhat recovered, Vic has a snowball fight with her and tries to convince her to leave Hub City. She seems to agree, and arrangements are made with Dragon to get them and her daughter Jackie out of there.

At the school, a nun tries to persuade Myra into taking any other children she can; since the school is out of food, money, and fuel for the furnace. Disraught, Myra explains they have no room, taking off with Jackie.

A helicopter meets them, but the pilot collapses upon landing, as Lady Shiva disembarks. The pilot had tried to back out of coming to Hub City, and she knocked that idea out of him in a hurry. Seeing that Hub City is falling into complete anarchy, it will be an amusing place for her to practice her skills. Vic, as always, is utterly baffled by her.
Shiva is so great in this series, it's disappointing to see her used as 'kung-fu bitch' elsewhere.
In the end, Myra can't bring herself to abandon the city she's sworn to serve. Kissing Vic and Jackie goodbye, she sends them to safety, then solemnly trudges back to Hub...even though I'm pretty sure they drove there. This issue is more about the Question's supporting cast than the main character, and Myra in particular; but O'Neil had done a pretty good job with them over the last three years. It's not spilling anything to say Vic eventually returns to Hub City, but that issue makes me even sadder.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

I've really got to get this series. Too bad it wasn't collected in trade. Or was it?