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Vandal Savage

Titans Adversary

Related Links:
Tartarus • Flash (Wally West)
Damage  • ArsenalLian Harper Cheshire

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A Long Story

In prehistoric times, Vandal Savage was a mere caveman. When a meteorite struck the Earth, it showered Vandal with radiation that gave him the ability to live forever. Over the centuries, Vandal has gone by many names and conquered many lands, but the Justice Society and Justice League are always there to stop him.

Vandal Savage is a brilliant strategist who has orchestrated and won a multitude of wars during his time on Earth. He’s also a scientist with knowledge of the mystic arts. Though Vandal is immortal, he must continually replace his internal organs with those of his descendants to stay alive.

Vandal Savage reveals Damage’s true origin in DAMAGE #12 [1995].

Titans Ties

Through his various schemes and manipulations, Vandal Savage has clashed with several of the Teen Titans over the years. Wally West – the second Flash – became Vandal Savage’s sworn enemy when the speedster prevented the distribution of Savage’s super-metabolism drug known as Velocity 9. In retaliation, Savage has tried to kill the Flash more than once.

The Titan known as Damage encountered Vandal Savage at a high-tech company known as Symbolix, where his true origins were at last revealed to him. Finally coming face to face with Dathan Wahrman, Damage learned the true architect behind his genesis was the immortal Vandal Savage. At this point, Savage revealed to Grant his true lineage as the son of Al Pratt, the original Atom. He also informed Damage of his unique genetic make-up, the combination of dozens of elite super-heroes. With the potential to be one of the most powerful meta-humans on the planet, Vandal Savage took a disturbing interest in Damage’s life.

Later, Arsenal came into conflict with Vandal Savage when the immortal mastermind learned the Harpers were distant blood relatives. Savage kidnapped Arsenal’s young daughter, Lian Harper, in an effort to force the hero’s compliance. But with the help of Black Canary and Conner Hawke, Arsenal freed his daughter and put an end to Savage’s extortion scheme.

Vandal Savage reveals his plan in TITANS #11 [2000].

Tartarus Rising

The evil immortal Vandal Savage later kidnapped former Titan, Lilith Clay, and forced the young mystic to help him assemble the perfect team of Titans adversaries. Lilith reluctantly complied and used her sensory abilities to locate a team of suitable villains. This group would be dubbed Tartarus, named after the underworld prison that held the Titans of mythology. With Lilith’s information, Vandal Savage individually recruited his team: the seductive Siren, the conniving Gorilla Grodd, the self-loathing Red Panzer and the ruthless Lady Vic. Completing the roster, Cheshire arrived to volunteer her own lethal services.

The Titans – with the help of Deathstroke – eventually tracked Tartarus to Zandia and found themselves in a dangerous three-way battle for their lives. Savage slit Addie’s throat in an attempt to synthesize her blood, and offered Cyborg a human body if he would help Savage harvest the blood into a serum. Addie, drained of her regenerative blood, was brain dead. Cyborg agonized whether to accept Savage’s offer. But before a decision was reached, Starfire fired a starbolt at Addie, killing her as a gesture of mercy.

During the melee, both sides suffered casualties. The third Red Panzer was killed only to be replaced by the nihilistic H.I.V.E. soldier, Justin. Vandal Savage shot Cheshire as a means of distraction, leaving her injured in enemy hands. Damien Darhk’s treachery prompted Lady Vic to plunge a sword through his back, seemingly killing him. But Darhk’s blood mingled with Adeline Kane’s before she died, leaving Darhk himself immortal.

Tartarus collapses upon itself in TITANS #14 [2000].

Tempest eventually learned of Lilith’s capture and led a team of Titans to rescue her at Tartarus’ base in Scotland. During the mission, Tartarus battled the Titans but collapsed upon itself due to each member having a different agenda. This was no accident, as Lilith later revealed she purposely chose villains who would be at cross-purposes.  As the team fell, Siren switched alliances during the battle and aided Tempest in escaping. The Titans were successful in liberating Lilith who was free to resume her life.

 Powers & Abilities

Vandal Savage is immortal in the sense that he does not age and therefore cannot die from old age. He can, however, be killed through other means, such as severe injury.

Vandal Savage has regained the use of various superhuman powers that he had lost earlier. The most notable of these is vast superhuman strength. He also possesses an ability to create interdimensional warps. Savage renews these powers through the consumption of his enemies’ blood. Savage must also harvest the organs of his blood ancestors to sustain his immortal life.


 Essential Reading

Flash (second series) #1-2 [1987]: Flash celebrates his 20th birthday with the Titans and his girlfriend, Frances Kane. He then acts as a courier to transport a heart for a donor – and encounters Vandal Savage en route to Seattle.
Flash #12-14 [1988]: The Red Trinity group [Anatole, Bebeck and Cassiopeia] creates their own messenger service, and are now known as the Kapitalist Kouriers. Flash encounters a group of yuppie-types who are hooked on a new drug called Velocity-9, which endows its user with super speed, but with the side effect of causing rapid deterioration to the body. Behind this plot is Vandal Savage.
Flash #48-50 [1991]: 
An aged Vandal Savage tells Wally he has orchestrated Mary West’s disappearance, and intends to bait Wally into a trap. Meanwhile, Savage’s agents systematically abduct each of Wally’s loved ones. Vandal Savage forces Flash into a duel with his kidnapped loved ones as incentive to cooperate. Vandal Savage shockingly shoots Wally – dead!  Wally’s mortal wound at the hands of Vandal Savage is healed by a previous implant from the Kilg%re; Wally recuperates at the McGee’s house. Wally gets a new Flash uniform from the McGee’s and goes to rescue his mother and friends from Vandal Savage.
Damage #12 [1995]: Damage learns his trues origins, as orchestrated by Vandal Savage.
Arsenal #1-4 [October 1998 to January 1999]: Arsenal confronts Vandal Savage in a mini series written by Devin Grayson and drawn by Rick Mays. Guest starring Black Canary and Green Arrow (Connor Hawke). Roy Harper — former heroin addict and one-time Green Arrow sidekick — must consider the failures of his past to face the future and find his own niche as Arsenal. But before he can move forward, there’s a problem from the past that needs a speedy resolution. Roy’s daughter, Lian, has a fatal disorder and the only one that may be able to provide the cure is the villainous immortal, Vandal Savage. Roy Harper’s daughter Lian is kidnapped by Savage and Roy learns he is part of the Vandal Savage bloodline.
Girlfrenzy: Donna Troy [June 1998]: Written and drawn by Phil Jimenez, this Donna Troy one-shot deals with racism. Donna Troy reflects back on a past adventure as Troia; She teams up with Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman to confront the fanatical Red Panzer.
Titans #5 [1999]: A small fishing town has suddenly become terrified of the water its economy depends on as, in the ocean, the mermaid known as Siren sings her song of watery death to all. Tempest, Argent and Damage manage to defeat her, but Vandal Savage rescues her. First appearance of Siren.
Titans #6 [1999]: Green Lantern guest-stars as Red Panzer attacks Troia and Arsenal. The Panzer’s willing to burn all of Harlem (with the help of his neo-Nazi commandos) to kill our heroes; Lian reveals to Chanda that Cheshire is her mother. Origin of Red Panzer. Red Panzer is rescued by Vandal Savage.
Secret Origins of Super-Villains 80-Page Giant [1998]: The bad guys — some new, some classic — take center stage. Vandal Savage organizes Gorilla Grodd, Lady Vic, Cheshire, Siren and Red Panzer into Tartarus (written by Devin Grayson with art by Drew Johnson and Jose Marzan, Jr.), the group plaguing the Titans beginning this month. The origin of Tartarus. Omen revealed as Vandal Savage’s captive. Leads into Titans #10-12.
Titans #10-12 [1999-2000]: “Immortal Coil”: Changeling and Deathstroke guest-star as Tartarus (introduced in Secret Origins of Super-Villains 80-Page Giant #1) attacks the H.I.V.E. The newly formed super-villain team of Tartarus takes on the H.I.V.E., with the Titans caught in the middle. Cyborg faces the ultimate test of his loyalty when the immortal Vandal Savage offers him a human body to call his own. As the battles with Vandal Savage’s villain team, Tartarus, and the malevolent H.I.V.E. heat up, the Titans are at odds…with one another. Adeline Kane revealed to be the H.I.V.E. Mistress in issue #11 and dies in issue #12. Red Panzer killed in #12 and replaced with a H.I.V.E. agent. Damien Darhk becomes immortal in issue #12.
Titans #14 [2000]: Still picking up the pieces from their face-off against the super-villain group Tartarus, the Titans head to Scotland to save Lilith (Omen) from the clutches of the villains. Siren defects and helps Tempest. Tartarus disbands.


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