Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Vandal Savage. How can you not love this guy?

Like a lot of great DC bad guys, Savage has spent an extended hiatus in the realms of obscurity for many, many years. Recently he’s been starting to really ‘pop out’ here and there, you know?

Savage is the sort of Doom of the DC universe (no pun intended). He recently starred as the big bad in the DC comics animated film Doom, a sort of super-cool retelling of the old Justice Friends cartoon show’s battles against the Legion of Doom. Complete with the whole weird Swamp-base thing.

I just love Savage’s STORY. I mean, he’s even got Ra’s al Ghul beat for "creepiest immortal in the DC universe."

Savage’s name isn’t just catchy. He literally started life as a caveman. But the radiation that he was exposed to during a meteor shower transformed him, making him immortal.

The end result is that Savage has literally lived thousands of years. He’s watched civilizations rise and fall, heroes come and go.

What I love about him these days is how well the DC writers capture how inhuman Savage’s perspective has become. I mean if you saw people live and die for thousands of years, wouldn’t you start to get a little bit clinically detached? Wouldn’t everything start to seem trite and meaningless?

Of course, that doesn’t make Savage placid by any means. And that’s the other bit that I kind of love about the guy. Sure, he might be brilliant. I mean, he’s had plenty of time to study and learn ALL of human history, right?

But there’s just a little bit of caveman in there too, you know? Savage IS savage. The way he fights. The way he thinks. He’s BRUTAL--the kind of brutal that someone would need to survive in the wilderness, at a time when the human race was more likely to be stepped on by a massive predator than to die of old age.

It’s been kind of a slow burn but I think the DC writers have started to fall in love with this guy. Even Lex and Grodd seem petty in comparison. Savage’s plans are BIG whatever they are. Sometimes world domination, sometimes even world destruction. A lot of stuff other criminals crave just don’t MEAN anything to this guy.

Of course, you know who I haven’t seen a lot of yet?

While Savage originally was introduced in the pages of Green Lantern, he actually had a nemesis. A sort of immortal superhero who spent his time tracking him down and thwarting his plans. This guy was appropriately dubbed Immortal Man. A character I’ve always loved too. But Immortal Man just hasn’t gotten the same play in the spotlight yet, in DC animated films and memorabilia.

Okay, granted, he’s a little tough to capture. A caveman from the same era, Immortal Man was subjected to the same radiation as Savage. Instead of becoming immortal in a strict sense, however, Immortal man is resurrected. He’s died a hundred deaths fighting Savage and been reborn as hundreds of different people.

I love the scope of this. Immortal Man and Savage have been fighting throughout all of human history, since the dawn of time itself. And most people don’t even know they exist. It’s sort of the ultimate chess match.

Recently, in a story that’s way too complicated for me to explain, Immortal Man was "erased" from existence, like so many characters in those massive DC re-write deals.

Sometimes popularity with the DC types go through phases though. And I would really love to see THIS plot thread come back into the center of the stage IF Vandal Savage is going to be a bigger deal in the DC proper. Just sayin’.