Vandal Savage

Vandal Savage is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Savage is immortal,[3] and he has plagued the Earth with crime and violence since before the beginning of recorded human history. He is a brilliant yet sadistic 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.[4]

Vandal Savage
Vandal Savage (circa 2016).png
Vandal Savage in Superman #47 (Feb. 2016),
Art by Tom Derenick
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceGreen Lantern #10 (December 1943)
Created byAlfred Bester (writer)
Martin Nodell (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoVandar Adg
SpeciesEnhanced Cro-Magnon
Team affiliationsSecret Society of Super Villains
Injustice Society
Demon Knights
Legion of Doom
Council of Immortals
Justice League United
Notable aliasesKhafre, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Vlad the Impaler, Jack the Ripper, Burt Villers, Cain, Licinius,[1] Blackbeard,[2] Adolf Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte
Inhuman cellular regeneration
Superhuman physical attributes
Genius-level intellect
Excellent combat skills
Schooled in millennia of history, warfare, and science

Vandal Savage, under the name "Curtis Knox", made his live-action debut in Smallville, portrayed by Dean Cain. The character was later introduced into The CW's Arrowverse, where he was portrayed by Casper Crump. He was the main antagonist in "Heroes Join Forces", the crossover between the season two of The Flash and season four of Arrow, and during the first season of Legends of Tomorrow, later making a cameo appearance in the latter's fourth season.

Publication historyEdit

Vandal Savage first appeared during the Golden Age of Comic Books in Green Lantern vol. 1 #10 (December 1943), and was created by Alfred Bester and Martin Nodell.[5]

In October 1947, Vandal Savage was one of the six original members of the Injustice Society, who began battling the Justice Society of America in All Star Comics #37 (Oct 1947).[6]

He returned in the Silver Age in The Flash #137 (June 1963).[7]

Fictional character biographyEdit

In the days of prehistory, 50,000 BC, Savage was a caveman named Vandar Adg, leader of the Cro-Magnon Wolf Tribe. He was bathed in the radiation of a mysterious meteorite, which gave him incredible intellect and immortality.[8] 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 person 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.

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 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.[volume & issue needed]

He claims to have ruled hundreds of civilizations under hundreds of names: Khafre, Cheops (builder of the pyramids), Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Blackbeard, and Vlad the Impaler, to name a few.[9] He also terrorized Victorian era London as Jack the Ripper. He realized 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 (whom he served as Marshal Savage), 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 been Alonso Pérez de Guzmán). He was the court physician in France and even used the royal family for syphilis experiments.[volume & issue needed]

Following DC's 2011 reboot of its continuity, The New 52, Vandal Savage is revealed 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. This incarnation of Vandal Savage was less of a threatening, scheming villain and more a likeable, roguish thug. Savage was still a force to be reckoned with, but nonetheless bound to a deep-seated respect for "his fellow immortals" Etrigan and Madame Xanadu, even taking a place among the assembled heroes.[10] He is eventually thought to be a traitor.[11] Savage ends up betraying Mordru in turn in order to pillage the supplies of the Horde.[12] 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 in line with the present-day Vandal Savage.[volume & issue needed]

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 Injustice Society of the World 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 realized his trick and freed the heroes. This caused the JSA to revive.[13] 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 United States. While leading an army of prison escapees from Gartmoor prison whom 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.[volume & issue needed]

After the events of the 2008 "Final Crisis" storyline, 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 did not hesitate on forming a group of villains to make an attack on this new team so that they would not 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.[volume & issue needed]

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, whom 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.[volume & issue needed]

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.[volume & issue needed]

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.[volume & issue needed]

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 Appellaxians. 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".[volume & issue needed]

Immortal ManEdit

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 the DC Universe, Savage is about 54,001 years old, although different numbers have been given in the past, from one million years in his first depiction, to 31,637 years in recent issues of JSA: Classified.

DC One MillionEdit

In this series, it is learned Savage has a base deep inside the Egyptian Sphinx. A confrontation with the 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 A.D. 85,271 (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 after defeating some thugs, 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, the Siren, and the 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. The 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 the Siren switched sides.

Villains UnitedEdit

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.[14] When the Society lodged a final ambush against the Six, Savage threatened to kill Luthor if he did not call off the attack, saying that he could not allow anyone to harm his daughter. This was shown to be due more to ulterior motives than fatherly love, as in issue #3 of the Secret Six miniseries, it was revealed Savage wants his daughter to produce an heir with Catman, and he has been putting bounties on the Secret Six's heads as a warning of what will happen to her lover, Knockout, if she refuses him.[15] 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 its inner cabinet members.

The Flash and the JSAEdit

Savage was seen as leader of a doomsday cult. He attempted to use a device to pull an asteroid into Earth, but was thrown into space with the asteroid itself when the Flash reversed the polarity of the device.[16] 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 11 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.[17]

Savage returns in the first story arc of the new Justice Society of America, the mastermind behind a group of Neo-Nazi 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 the Minute-Man, General Glory and Mister America, along with their families. The Fourth Reich kills nearly all of 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.[18]

Salvation RunEdit

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.[19] 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 the 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).

Final CrisisEdit

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.[20] Using the Spear, Cain is able to separate the Spectre from his human host, and make him his slave.[21] 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).[22]

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[23] (despite the fact that 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).[24]

Batman: The Return of Bruce WayneEdit

In the distant past, an amnesiac Bruce Wayne walks out of the cave where Anthro died[25] 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." Savage holds Wayne hostage until a younger member of the tribe frees him and aids in his subsequent fight against Savage's mob.[26]

In the 1800s, Vandal Savage, under the name of "Monsewer Sauvage" and currently weakened from a cancer in his intestines, 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 (which he took to control the pain from his 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) whom 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.[27]

The New 52Edit

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 the Shining Knight.[28] 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.[29] He is a master tactician and incredibly strong, and uses his many skills that he has picked up over his long lifetime to aid his teammates.[30]

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 (a.k.a. Kass Sage), who is a police officer.[31]

During the Trinity War storyline, Vandal Savage appears as a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains. He assists Giganta and the 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.[32]

A recent storyline where Superman loses his powers is revealed to be part of a complex plan by Vandal Savage to undermine the world's heroes before abducting several members of the Justice League, using them to power a machine that will draw in the asteroid that gave him his immortality while triggering that power in various modern descendants of his. Although Superman is able to regain his powers by subjecting himself to a dangerous form of 'chemotherapy', where he deliberately exposes himself to kryptonite to burn away what radiation was preventing his cells from absorbing sunlight,[33] analysis reveals that Superman is now absorbing power from kryptonite that will soon kill him. Despite this, Superman refuses to give in, as various minor heroes assist him in confronting Savage's descendants before he takes Metallo's kryptonite heart (willingly donated) and charges into Savage's base.[34] Although Savage is able to use the asteroid and the drained Justice League to charge his children's powers, when Savage shoots Superman with a toxic bullet, the toxins burn away the last of the radiation contaminating Superman's cells, allowing him to literally fall into the Fortress of Solitude—'stolen' by Vandal as part of his plans—and regain the last of his powers.[35] Using his enhanced abilities, Savage attempts to win Superman's loyalty by revealing that the asteroid that empowered him could have hit Krypton before it was redirected to Earth, suggesting that a Kryptonian with his powers would have saved the planet, and then showing him a vision of a future where Savage rules the world with Superman as his general against enemy threats, but Superman rejects both of these visions as he genuinely doesn't believe that strength alone solves anything, working with Savage's son the Puzzler to push the asteroid back out of Earth's orbit.[36]

DC RebirthEdit

After the events of DC Rebirth's No Justice, Vandal Savage is shown attempting to build a new Injustice Gang. His plans are thwarted by Lex Luthor, who arrives with his new Legion of Doom to mock Savage for knowing the truth about Perpetua but never trying to use her power. Savage tries to convince Lex not to pursue his course, but Lex defeats him in combat and beats him to death with a doorknob made from a piece of the Totality, the oldest energy source in existence, and one of the few things that could successfully kill him for good. His corpse was then seen held on Gorilla Grodd's shoulder.[37]

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Since exposure to an unusual radiation generated by a crashed meteor, Savage has been functionally and biologically immortal, remaining unaged for over fifty thousand years. He was also endowed with meta-human regenerative capacities, 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. The radiation also enhanced Savage's strength, stamina, and speed, and enhanced his intellect to above average levels. Savage still feels pain, but over time, he has developed great endurance to it. His long lifespan 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 as a way of replenishing 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, 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.

In the DCnU story line, it was revealed the irradiated meteor which gave Savage his immortality and augmented physicality was Kryptonian in origin.[38] Im-El, an ancestor of Kal-El's, managed to avert a cataclysmic impact event by sending the asteroid towards prehistoric Earth. A fragment of the asteroid was what gave Savage his bolstered physique and immortality, also having the effect of bestowing on the progeny of his family line with odd powers and abilities included. The closer Savage's asteroid came to the planet, the more these powers would intensify, to the point that Savage was able to injure a weakened Superman. The extent of all these new abilities bestowed on him was not fully explored, as the comet was forced away before it could be explored in greater depth.

Other versionsEdit

Batman: Dark Knight DynastyEdit

Vandal Savage is 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, starting with medieval knight Sir Joshua of Wainwright, to contemporary Bruce Wayne (Vandal saved Bruce's parents from the mugging that killed them otherwise, 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 is left drifting through space on the meteor, determined to learn the purpose of his life.

Kingdom ComeEdit

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 is mauled by that timeline's version of Wildcat. In the novelization, Spectre expresses deep annoyance at the fact that Savage's immortality prevents him from administering justice on him. Savage, like Luthor, assists with victims of the nuclear fallout—in the additional epilogue, Batman praises Savage for his extensive healing experience.

Star Trek/Legion of Super-HeroesEdit

Savage appears in the Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover, co-published by DC Comics and IDW Publishing in 2011. In the 6 issue miniseries, the crew of the USS Enterprise join forces with the Legion of Super-Heroes after they are both accidentally thrown into an alternate timeline. In this timeline, Earth rules a galactic empire and is led by Vandal Savage. Kirk realizes Savage is also the mysterious immortal Flint. Savage/Flint had 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, the rest confront "Emperor Vandar the First" in the future. Vandar attempts to torture them with the goal of learning about the 'mistakes' in their histories so that he can 'correct' them in his timeline, but Kirk mockingly informs Vandar that his actions prove that he is nothing more than the caveman he was at the start, incapable of considering the idea that progress might be possible in any way other than beating his opponent to death. The alternate timeline is undone when Spock and Brainiac 5 release Q in the past; Q's escape undoes Vandar's changes and splits Vandal and Flint back into separate entities, Flint being a Vandal Savage who turned his life towards art and science rather than conquest.


In the 1999 Elseworlds story "Flashpoint" (not to be confused with the 2011 crossover story arc of the same name), Savage runs a space-exploration corporation with the help of the crippled Barry Allen. He tries to use technology stolen from J'onn J'onzz to kill humanity (he wants to commit suicide in the grandest manner possible), but is killed by Barry Allen, who sacrifices his life to stop the alien device.[39]

The MultiversityEdit

Another version of Savage, this one an interdimensional pirate, features in The Society of Superheroes #1, part of the Grant Morrison-written 2014 limited series The Multiversity. This Vandal Savage is a native of Earth-40, a world dominated by pulp-fiction villains. With a crew that includes versions of Lady Shiva and Blockbuster, he invades Earth-20, another pulp-inspired world with a cadre of heroes led by Doc Fate. Savage sets his sights on Immortal Man, needing to spill immortal blood to raise the demon Niczhuotan. Immortal Man overpowers Savage and it is Savage's own blood that is spilled. Although he dies, Savage's purpose has been fulfilled.


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 (from Beowulf) is also one of Vandal Savage's children[40] claiming that Vandal Savage "mounted the cave beast of my mother". He refers to Vandal as "Cain", the first murderer. Another of his children is Cliff DeWitt, the owner of the Lab, the organization that gave Resurrection Man his powers. Within the New 52, he has another daughter named Kassidy Sage, [41] an FBI agent who reluctantly consults her imprisoned father on a case as well as the father of Angelo Bend. Bend was the US President's Chief of Staff and Vandal Savage supposedly killed him when he ripped out his tongue, but Angelo later appeared alive wearing the classic costume of the Angle Man. [42]

In other mediaEdit



  • 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 superhuman regenerative 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, as revealed in the episode "Maid of Honor" that his age is half of that in the comics—25,000 years. He first appears in "The Savage Time", where Vandal's future self goes back in time and gives his past self technology to help the Germans win World War II. His plans are thwarted by the Justice League, along with the help of the Blackhawks and Easy Company. He next appears in "Maid of Honor", where he claims to be his own grandson and is betrothed to Princess Audrey in order to become the ruler of Kasnia, seeking command of a satellite rail gun before it is destroyed by the Justice League. The two-part episode "Hereafter" features a version of Savage from an alternate future, in which he succeeded in destroying all life on Earth. Having lived alone for 30,000 years, he regrets his earlier actions, going so far as deciding not to use a spaceship he'd built to leave Earth, instead opting to stay on the planet as a form of penance. Working with a time-displaced Superman, who had been seemingly killed by the Superman Revenge Squad a few months before Vandal destroyed humanity but had been sent to this future instead, Vandal is able to reset the timeline by sending the Man of Steel back to the 20th century via his new time machine. (He couldn't do this himself as the machine prevented him going back to a time where he already existed.) As a result of the timeline being reset and his destruction of life on Earth undone, the alternate future Vandal Savage quietly thanked his friend, Superman, before being erased from existence, finally at peace with his newfound redemption.
  • Vandal Savage appears in Young Justice, voiced by Miguel Ferrer in the first two seasons and David Kaye in season 3 due to the former's death. He appears as member L-1 and head of "The Light" (Project Cadmus' Board of Directors). In "Evolution", it is revealed Vandal Savage was a prehistoric Cro-Magnon from Mongolia and gained three facial scars from the claws of a cave bear, prior to acquiring his powers of immortality and accelerated healing which helped him survive a fight with Neanderthals. He is also revealed to have been allies with Darkseid since when he was posing as Genghis Khan in the 13th century. Savage also posed as Blackbeard and Sun Tzu as well as Atilla, and also posed as Marduk when he led Babylon and foiled Starro during the 2nd millennium. He's also revealed to have spawned many children including Ishthur and Nabu from Babylon, two unnamed ones which used elements during the Mongol Empire, Cassandra (similar to her Legends of Tomorrow counterpart), and Olympia. He believes in the survival of the fittest and sees the Justice League's actions as keeping humanity from evolving. He shows a softer side. He shows sympathy for Black Manta when Aqualad was comatose, being able to relate from being a father himself. He shows affection to his children and is willing to guide them, as he told his daughter Cassandra how to use Warworld. He also shared a moment with his other daughter, Olympia before killing her as a show of mercy to prevent her from suffering further from Alzheimer's and told Cassandra to prepare a proper funeral for her. After being informed by the Ultra-Humanite in "Antisocial Pathologies" that Granny Goodness has discovered the Anti-Life Equation after she kidnapped Halo, Savage snaps a tablet he was holding in anger. In "Terminus", he goes to the Outsiders' base and informs them of Halo's whereabouts in exchange for one thing: they tell Granny who sent them after her. After Granny's plan is foiled, the Light has seemingly reconciled their partnership with Darkseid, though Vandal now secretly considers him a potential threat to be dealt with in time. He also vows to keep an eye on Halo as she could potentially help Darkseid & the Light if they need it.

Live actionEdit

  • Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo had expressed interest in featuring Vandal Savage on the 1990 Flash TV show had the series been picked up for a second season.[43]
  • 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. The character was originally referred to as Vandal Savage in the script, but the producers were told by the studio that they could not use that name. However, it is still implied that the character of Knox is just Vandal Savage using an alias. This notion is reinforced years later when the Vandal Savage character uses the alias Curtis Knox in an episode of Legends of Tomorrow.[44]
Casper Crump as Vandal Savage in the Arrow episode "Legends of Yesterday"
  • In the Arrowverse, Vandal Savage is portrayed by Casper Crump. This version of the villain has had his origin story combined with that of the character Hath-Set.[45] Hath-Set is an Egyptian priest who kills Prince Khufu and Priestess Chay-Ara. The three are exposed to dark matter from meteorites, later revealed to originate from Thanagar, which grants Hath-Set immortality and Khufu and Chay-Ara the ability to reincarnate.[46] For 4,000 years, as Vandal Savage, he kills each of Khufu and Chay-Ara's incarnations throughout history to retain his immortality. He serves as mentor to some of history's greatest conquerors and amasses a wealth of knowledge on many subjects.
    • Savage serves as the main antagonist of "Heroes Join Forces", the second annual crossover between The Flash and Arrow. He attempts to force the Flash and Green Arrow into handing over Khufu and Chay-Ara's current incarnations, Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders, by threatening to destroy Star City and Central City with the Staff of Horus. He succeeds, and most of the heroes and their teams die, but the Flash survives, travels back in time and warns Green Arrow. When the events play out the second time, the heroes defeat Savage, and he is reduced to ashes by the Staff. His ashes are later collected by Malcolm Merlyn, who claims that Savage now owes him a debt.
    • Savage returns as the main antagonist of the first season of Legends of Tomorrow.[47] With Savage destined to conquer the world by around 2166, Time Master Rip Hunter assembles a team to track him through various points in history, ranging between the past and the future, attempting to limit his allies and eliminate his resources. Hunter reveals that Savage cannot be killed for good unless Hawkgirl delivers the killing blow with a dagger that Chay-Ara was holding at the moment of her first death. After the team have been chasing him around various periods of history trying to limit his powers, they learn that Savage is actually working with the other Time Masters who see him as the only one who can avert a Thanagarian invasion to occur after 2166. After the Legends destroy the Time Masters, Savage contacts two past versions of himself and looks to create a complex temporal paradox by detonating three Thanagarian meteorites in three different times. However, the radiation exposure renderes Savage mortal, leaving him and his past selves open to be killed by Rip and the team in the season finale. The team then destroy the meteorites, foiling Savage's plan. In season four, Savage appears in hell, where after apparently being assigned to torture Ray Palmer he has instead been befriended by him, having grown fond of the Legends after his death.


  • 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. His origins are mentioned to be the same as it is, with him receiving his superhuman intellect and immortality from radiation of a meteorite.... only it was set on Sumatra.[48]
  • Vandal Savage appears in the animated film Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League – Cosmic Clash, voiced again by Phil Morris. After Brainiac scatters the Justice League across time, Batman and Flash use the cosmic treadmill to travel to the Stone Age to find Wonder Woman. That timeline's Vandal (who has not yet experienced the meteorite that gave him his intellect and immortality) enslaved several cavewomen in hopes of forming an empire with them, until Wonder Woman (who had her memories warped to stabilize the timeline) arrived to banish him and his male warriors. Vandal is then seen by Batman holding a cavewoman hostage. When Batman frees the hostage, she captures Vandal and Batman and takes them to Wonder Woman to be roasted in a pit of lava. Batman manages to free him and Vandal from the restraints and Vandal gets away. The present day Vandal can be seen along with Cheetah at the beginning of the film being arrested by the Justice League and forced into a police car.
  • Vandal Savage appears in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, voiced by Jim Pirri. His origins are mentioned to be the same as it is, with him receiving his superhuman intellect and immortality from radiation of a meteorite. It is also mentioned that he adopted the names of several conquerors in history such as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Genghis Khan. He is the father of Scandal Savage. It also appears that he holds no regard for his daughter's happiness, as he is evidenced by ordering his men to mortally shoot Scandal's lover, Knockout, and further wounded her himself when Scandal asked for his help in saving her. In the film, he pursues the "Get Out Of Hell Free" card, despite being immortal; so that he may be spared from damnation and spend his afterlife in Heaven. During the confrontation at his residence, the Suicide Squad questioned his desire for the card, stating that he was immortal and does not need it. Vandal later revealed that despite his immortality, he has had many near-death experiences within the last decade than ever over the millennia before, due to the existence of meta-humans. This led him to the logical conclusion that despite his immortality, death is inevitable; even for him. He has Professor Pyg surgically implant the card inside his body to prevent anyone from getting it, and positioning it in such a way that any attempts to get the card would instantly kill him, thus using up the card on him instantly. He is seemingly killed when Professor Zoom removes the card from his body by vibrating and phasing his hand through Savage's chest.

Video gamesEdit


  1. ^ JSA Classified #10 (May 2006)
  2. ^ JSA Classified #11 (June 2006)
  3. ^ Baron, Mike (w), Guice, Jackson (p), Mahlstedt, Larry (i). "Heart... of Stone!" The Flash v2, 2: 1/4 (July 1987), DC Comics
  4. ^ "Vandal Savage is number 36". IGN. Retrieved 2015-10-02.
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  6. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Manning, Matthew K.; McAvennie, Michael; Wallace, Daniel (2019). DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle. DK Publishing. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-4654-8578-6.
  7. ^ Wells, John (2015). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1960-64. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 126. ISBN 978-1605490458.
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  11. ^ Demon Knights #5 (January 2012). DC Comics
  12. ^ Demon Knights #7 (March 2012). DC Comics
  13. ^ Flash #137 (1962, Savage's first Silver Age appearance)
  14. ^ Villains United #5
  15. ^ Villains United #6
  16. ^ Flash (2nd series)
  17. ^ JSA: Classified #10–13
  18. ^ Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #54
  19. ^ Salvation Run #4
  20. ^ Final Crisis: Revelations #2
  21. ^ Final Crisis: Revelations #3
  22. ^ Final Crisis: Revelations #5
  23. ^ Detective Comics #863
  24. ^ Detective Comics Annual #12 (December 2010)
  25. ^ As shown in Final Crisis" #7 (March 2009)
  26. ^ Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1
  27. ^ Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4
  28. ^ Demon Knights #4
  29. ^ Demon Knights #16
  30. ^ Demon Knights #1–26
  31. ^ DC Universe Presents #9
  32. ^ Trinity of Sin: Pandora #2
  33. ^ Superman vol. 3 #47
  34. ^ Superman vol. 3 #48
  35. ^ Superman vol. 3 #49
  36. ^ Superman vol. 3 #50
  37. ^ Justice League #1 (2018)(
  38. ^ Superman Vol 3 50
  39. ^ Flashpoint #1–3 (Dec. 1999 – Feb. 2000)
  40. ^ Secret Six #14
  41. ^ DC Universe Presents #9
  42. ^ Aquaman #23.1: Black Manta
  43. ^ "Behind the Scenes with the Flash" The Flash TV Special 1 (1991)
  44. ^ "Night of the Hawk". DC's Legends of Tomorrow. March 10, 2016. The CW.
  45. ^ "Arrow: Legends of Yesterday review". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  46. ^ "Their Time is Now". DC's Legends of Tomorrow. January 19, 2016. The CW.
  47. ^ "VANDAL SAVAGE Revealed As DC's LEGENDS OF TOMORROW's First Big Bad". 2015-05-14. Retrieved 2015-10-02.
  48. ^ "World's Finest". Retrieved 2015-10-02.
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