WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains

Vandal Savage

Personal information

Real Name: Vandar Adg


Residence: Usually Mobile 
Occupation: Professional Criminal, Would-Be Conqueror
First Appearance (Golden Age): Green Lantern #10 (December 1943)
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): Flash #137 (June 1963)

Character History

Vandar Adg, the man who ultimately be known as Vandal Savage was born during the Pleistocene era of Earth’s history, which occurred between 2 million and 12,000 years BC.   When Adg was roughly 40 years of age, about 50,000 years ago by best estimates, he was the leader of a Cro-Magnon tribe in what is now Western Europe.  On a hunt one day, he was started to see a ball of fire in the sky streaking toward, a meteor that exploded in mid-air, bathing in him unknown gasses.  The encounter left Adg is a coma, in which he lay for weeks to months.  When he revived, he felt more vital and energetic than before and noticed that he recovered from wounds more quickly and completely than before.  Moreover, as time passed, he noticed that his peers aged and died while he remained unchanged.

Realizing he was immortal, he became ruthlessly ambitious, taking decades to master skills of strategy, engineering, ballistics, geography and of course history, as he literally lived it.  He claims to have been the Pharoah Cheops and the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan.  Realizing the he was immortal but not invulnerable, he took on advisory roles to manipulate affairs in France by aiding Napoleon and Prussia by aiding Bismarck.  It should be noted that many of these accounts are from Savage himself and lacking records of such antiquity, may be view with some degree of skepticism.

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The first definitive encounter with Vandal Savage occurred in 1943 when he appeared in Gotham City, fraudulently identifying himself as Doiby Dickles.  The real Dickles, picking up him in his cab, angrily confront Savage but is put off by Savage’s grim stare and then pursued by Savage’s hirelings.  Reporting all this to Green Lantern, the hero returns to confront Savage, who reveals this was all a ruse to get Green Lantern to reach out to Alan Scott for him.  The Lantern returns last in his Alan Scott identity and learns that Savage is aware that he owns a small amount of stock in Consolidated Steel which offers to buy.  Suspicious, Scott declines but Savage’s men then ransack his security vault and his apartment to recover the stock.   In hot pursuit, Green Lantern confronts Savage, who feigns misunderstanding and returns the stock.  Scott later learns that the brief possession Savage had of the stock allowed him to attain a controlling interest in Consolidated Steel, a major producer for the US Army.   

Over the next several days, a back and forth occured with Green Lantern attempted to probe Savage’s actions and Savage out-maneuvering him.  Ultimately, after revealing his origins, Savage also reveals he has deduced that Scott and the Lantern one in the same and threatened to reveal it.  Congress, in the meantime, believing that Savage is to be credited with the success of Consolidated Steel, nominate him for a leadership role in war production, which Savage desired as he intended American lose the war to further his own ambitions.  Green Lantern bursts in and reveals Savage’s deceits, causes Congress to hesitate.  Threatening to reveal Green Lantern’s secret identity, the hero said it would be worth it to see Savage spend millions of years in prison as he could not die.  Thwarted,  Savage flees to his hideout in the caves of Kentucky with Green Lantern not far behind.  In a climactic confrontation, as Savage gets the drop on the heroes, the floor gives way, burying in a cave-in.  Green Lantern then leaves, satisfied that threat posed by Savage is over (Green Lantern Vol. 1 #10).

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Green Lantern’s view was optimistic however as Vandal Savage survived and continued to be a threat.  In 1947, he became one of the founding members of the Injustice Society, a collection of the Justice Society’s most inveterate foes.   The Injustice Society resolved that the Justice Society were the greatest obstacle to their success and resolved to eliminate them by targeting them individually.  Savage’s target was Hawkman and using advanced airship technology to stage a massive prison break, providing an army of criminal for the Injustice Society’s use.  Hawkman intercepted Savage and the escapees at the airport but was overwhelmed and caged by Savage.  Later, Hawkman and other captured JSAers were put on a mock trial, but when the judge presiding is revealed to be Green Lantern, the Injustice Society were quickly overwhelmed and sent to jail (All-Star Comics #37).

The activities of Vandal Savage for the next 15 years are largely unknown, tho he is thought to have spent some time in prison.  In 1963, using a collection of technology of his own design as well as that of fellow ISW members Brain Wave and Per Degaton, Savage set out to capture the entire Justice Society. Using some transparent cubes, he captured Hawkman, Wonder Woman, Johnny Thunder, Dr. Mid-Nite, the Atom and Green Lantern.  He had lured them into his traps using a light display in the sky to attract them, not realizing the dimensional disruption that produced the lights also appeared on Earth-One.  When he deployed  them over Keystone, they simultaneously appeared over Central City.  Realizing the pattern of lights corresponded to the home towns of JSA members, The Flash of Earth-One vibrated to Earth-Two to consult Jay Garrick.  When the lights appeared again, both Flashes investigated and when Garrick was trapped by Savage, Allen freed him. 

Not understanding why his trap had failed, Savage investigated personally and realizing their were two Flashes, lured both back into his cave hideaway in Kentucky where he exposed them to a beam that caused them to begin battling each other. When Barry seemingly overcomes Jay, Savage steps out to engage the remaining Flash.  When Allen vibrates into invisibility,  Savage does not witness Garrick secretly freeing the rest of the Justice Society.  Confronted with 8 heroes, Savage surrenders and is taken to prison (Flash #137).

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    Savage again vanished for nearly a decade, during which he began to experience an aging process that he attributed to loss of effects from the meteor that immortalized him. His research told him that the meteor had not actually exploded in the past but actually shifted to limbo and he rationalized that if he could be bathed again, he would be rejuvenated.  Using Degaton’s mind control ray from his previous encounter, he convinced sleeping Jay Garrick to go to Limbo to divert the meteor.  When Garrick’s speed was insufficient, he lured the Flash of Earth-One and disguised as Dalvan, sent him to “help” Garrick, hoping two speedsters would do the job.  Belieivng that the meteor had to be diverted to save Earth-Two, both Flashs raced through time and space to move it, defeating a temporal guardian en route.  As the meteor was shifted, the saw history unfold and realized they had been manipulated by Savage.  When they emerged with the meteor, their attempt to intervene was blocked by Savage but to the villains dismay, the trajectory of the meteor was for a dead impact, blasting  the villain apparently out of existence (Flash #215).

Savage was not killed but rather partially phased to Earth-One.  There he sent mental images to Barry Allen and Hal Jordan, the Flash and Green Lantern of Earth-One, revealing that he had kidnapped their significant others and challenging them to rescue them.  In reality, Savage had deduced that he could be fully rejuvenated if he were exposed the same meteor that empowered him but in the Earth-One universe but needed energy from a power ring and a super-speed aura to activate it.    The two heroes complied but instead extinguished the meteor and exposed Savage from hiding, where he revealed his actions.  He was presumably returned to Earth-Two from there (Flash #235).

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    On Earth-Two shortly thereafter, he somehow managed to travel back to Arthurian times and assumed the role of the King of Camelot.  Alerted by the Merlin and the Shining Knight, the Justice Society traveled back into the past to confront the threat to the historical timeline, only to learn the entire plan was a ruse to draw the JSA into history to be coerced into following Savage farther yet, this time to a artificial planet with an Kryptonite sun.  There he plotted to drain the life forces of Power Girl and Superman to restore his failing immortality.  While he managed to significantly drain both Power Girl and Superman, his plans were foiled by the escape of Hawkman and the Star-Spangled Kid, who turned the tide against him causing him to flee.  He left into a dimensional portal aided by unknown beings, the identity of which have never been revealed (All-Star Comics #64-65).

The next case of Savage is somewhat unclear. It is known that as King of Sumeria of Earth-Two, he learned that he would never win in the Earth-Two timeline but Earth-One’s history could be altered through a series of “time bombs” dispersed through history that altered things such that he became the rule of Earth-One.  It is unclear if he enacted this plan as King of Sumeria (where he doubtless lacked technology) or held it until the 1980’s and having seen the Sumerian prophecy borne out, dispersed the bomb.  Regardless, the bombs were effective and installed Savage as ruler of 20th century Earth.  Superman, his loyal servent, was targeted by the resistance of Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White and converted, causing Savage to flee back through time.  Alerted by his scientist Luthor, Superman followed Savage into the past where the bombs were removed and Savage was found in the Mesozoic, waiting on a similar meteor.  Again Savage was disappointed and apparently destroyed by the meteor, though Superman suspect he was converted to energy instead (Action #515-516).

Vandal Savage appear again on Earth-One has the head of a technology company called Abaraxas.  Introducing himself to the people of Earth-One as a reformed villain from Earth-Two, he claimed to have created life-saving technologies as a reform for past actions.  Superman was suspicious and indeed, Savage over several months began a campaign to make him look foolish and jealous.  He was finally thwarted when Superman captured his gloating confession on video and broadcast it to the world, sending him fleeing in shame (Action #542-543, #552-553, #556).

Savage was seen during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, notably as part of the Villain War but his final fate on this world is unknown.

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Powers and Abilities

Vandal Savage's primary super-human ability is immortality.  As part of this, he appears to have extremely high, arguably super-human resilience  but is not frankly invulnerable.  As a result of extremely long life (50,000 years), Savage has accrued considerable education, experience and accumen in an extensive array of disciplines from the athletic to the sorcerous to the technological.  He has likely also accrued considerable wealth, that he uses to advance his ceaseless agenda of world domination.

Weaknesses and Limitations

While highly skilled and resilient, Savage can be injured with sufficient force and has been dissolved and re-formed many times from repeated contact with the meteor that empowered him. Psychologically, he is arrogant and assumes his immortality confers innate superiority, an over-confidence that is the primary root of his failures.

Multiversity Villains


Prior Earth-0

The history of Vandal Savage in the Post-Crisis timeline is thought to include most of the incidents as the Earth-Two/Earth-One timelines but a much greater history is known.  In addition to flash points across history, more recent actions include alliances with Chang Kai-Chek in the 1920's (Guns of the Dragon LS) and the early 1950's using new television technology against the JSA (Justice Society LS).  He was an early antagonist of the Justice League (JLA Year One) and well as battling heroes as diverse as the third Flash (Wally West), the Titans, the Ray, Superman, Batman and Hawkman.  While he has a general antagonistic relationship with other villains such as Lex Luthor, he occasionally joins organizations such as the Secret Society organized by Libra (Final Crisis LS) and the Fourth Reich which he organized (Justice Society Vol. 3 #1). How much of this might have also occurred on Earth-Two is unclear.

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 The Vandal Savage in this timeline also has a number of children, most notably Scandal Savage (Villans United #1), who has pursued a career in her own right.  Savage has also claimed to be the ancestor of modern age individuals such as Roy Harper and the creator through experimentation of the hero Damage.  Given Savage's propensity for deceit, it is not clear how much any of these relations are genuine.

His final fate in the Post-Crisis timeline is unknown.


 The Vandal Savage of Earth-21's history is not well-established but he was known to be a prisoner of government agents in the late 1950's and held in Faraday's prison for metahumans (DC Frontier LS).  Nothing else has been revealed in this timeline.


 The Vandal Savage of Earth-22 is thought to have a similar, brutal history as in other timeline and in the mid 21st century, has become a member of Lex Luthor's Mankind Liberation Front.  When the Front's ulterior motives were revealed, he was defeated by Batman's Silent Cavalry and put to work helping victims of the fallout from the apocalyptic events in Kansas (Kingdom Come LS).


 A somewhat barbaric version of Vandal Savage exists on this world and is opposed by it's President Superman (Infinite Frontier LS). 


On this tortured Earth, the forces of evil have overcome the forces of good and Savage leads the Society of Super-Villains, who engage in battle with Earth-20's Society of Super-Heroes with alignment of worlds is possible.  He is thought to have been killed in the final battle with Earth-20's Immortal Man but given his deaths in other timeline, it is difficult to know how final this might be (Multiversity: Society of Super-Heroes).




Reprinted in

Green Lantern #10

1st appearance, vs. Green Lantern

Green Lantern: 80 Years of the Emerald Knight

All-Star Comics #37

Joins Injustice Society, vs. JSA

DC 100-Page Spectacular #17, All-Star Archives #8

Flash #137

vs. the Flash of Earth-1 and the JSA

The Flash #213, The Great Flash Stores Ever Told,  Justice Society of America 100-Page Spectacular, Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups Vol. 1 TPB, The Flash Archives Vol. 5, Showcase Presents the Flash #2, DC Comics Classics Library: The Flash of Two Worlds, The Silver Age Flash Omnibus #1,  The Flash: The Silver Age TPB Vol. 2,  The Flash of Two Worlds Deluxe Edition

Flash Comics #215

vs. The Flashes of Earths-1 and -2

Flash #235-236

vs. The Flashes of Earths-1 and -2, Dr. Fate

All-Star Comics #64-65

vs. the Justice Society

Justice Society TPB Vol. 1, Showcase Presents All-Star Comics Vol. 1, All-Star Comics: Only Legends Live Forever

Action Comics #515-516

vs. Superman

Action Comics #542-543

vs. Superman

Action Comics #552-553

vs. Superman and the Forgotten Heroes

Action Comics #556

vs. Superman