The Question #37


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The Question #37


  • Words: Dennis O'Neil & Greg Rucka
  • Art: Denys Cowan
  • Inks: Bill Sienkiewicz & John Stanisci
  • Colors: David Baron
  • Story Title: One More Question
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 3, 2010

If it accomplishes nothing else, Blackest Night can be accounted a success for bringing back to the creative team behind The Question and Question Quarterly series, Denny O'Neil and Denys Cowan. Bringing Greg Rucka and Bill Sienkiewicz into the fold just makes it that much richer. The Question of the past existed as an existential philosophy musing in comic form, a brilliant exploration of tough questions with no easy answers. Though its backdrop is Blackest Night, a super melodrama of the highest order, O'Neil and Rucka present us with a tale a little more cerebral, but far from devoid of action.

Professor Rodor studies the Black Lantern phenomenon to seek an answer to the riddle of death. Plucking some hairs belonging to the deceased Vic Sage, the professor attempts to tap into the energy of the Black Lanterns should the Question rise from the grave. Renee Montoya, the current Question, provides the cautionary warning, but is soon distracted by the arrival of Lady Shiva. As is her custom, Shiva forces a duel with Montoya. Their battle is in full force as the Black Lantern Question arrives.

Not having followed the Blackest Night miniseries, it's difficult to guess how much new ground was broken with this issue in regards to the nature of the Black Lanterns. I found the characters' effort to combat and confuse Vic Sage intriguing and perfectly fitting with the contemplative nature of the characters.

Despite the predictability of the Black Lanterns, and their generic motivations, one can't help but get excited by the reappearance of Sage, expertly illustrated by Cowan. The blank face takes on a death's head type appearance, superbly ominous for the zombie Question. Indeed all of Cowan's art is dark and moody in his recognizable scribbly, scratchy style. Paired with the inks of Sienkiewicz and Stanisci, the reader feels drawn into the story so convincingly that the comic feels wet from the stormy weather of the setting. I almost wish the comic wasn't colored, as the line work and inks are more than sufficient to create the mood. Busy producing television animation, Cowan does entirely too little comic art these days, so this issue was an exceptional treat.

Someday, I will catch up on the entire Black Lantern saga, but no in depth knowledge is necessary to enjoy this one-issue revival of The Question. The only real gripe I have is the story is left in a minor cliffhanger, and I have no idea where the resolution will occur. A simple note indicating where to find out would have been helpful. A minor quibble, however, and a small price to pay for the return of one of the great teams of the past with some other heavyweights to boot.

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