50,000 years ago, Vandal Savage was a caveman, who was exposed to radiation from a meteorite. This radiation granted him immortality and possibly increased intelligence. Savage would then go on to be one of Earth's greatest tyrants, coming close to death's door multiple times. According to Amanda Waller, he adopted multiple aliases of famous rulers during his reigns, such as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Genghis Khan. Over time, Savage would build his power and gather followers, garnering a reputation so dangerous the Justice League considered him a dangerous foe, keeping an extensive file in their database. Savage would also sire thousands of children, one being Scandal Savage, though he claims that all of them were disappointments. Nevertheless, Scandal served him willingly.
Despite his vast power and immortality, Savage became concerned due to the emergence of meta-humans within the last decade. This was due to the fact that his immortality did not grant him regenerative capabilities, and could be killed like any normal human. He eventually learned about the "Get out of Hell Free" card and began formulating a plan to attain it so that he may be allowed passage into Heaven should he be killed.
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay
Savage learned that the card was in the possession of the current Doctor Fate. He tasked his daughter, Scandal, and her lover, Knockout, to steal the card from the Tower of Fate, and to kidnap Professor Pyg from Gotham. After being informed by Scandal that they have both Pyg and the card, Savage takes a squadron of men in his ship to meet at her location. When he arrived, however, he saw that the Suicide Squad had incapacitated both Scandal and Knockout.
Not wanting to lose the card, Savage ordered his men to open fire on the squad, going so far as to permit them to gun down Knockout, Scandal's lover, without any remorse. After seeing Deadshot hold the card, he ordered his men to cease fire, not wanting it to be used up at that moment. Savage then ordered Scandal to load Pyg on the ship, coldly shooting Knockout when she begged him to help her. Savage then offers the Squad a deal: surrender the card and he will spare their lives. Deadshot then threw the card at his feet, allowing Savage to obtain it. He then proceeded to order his men to shoot at the elevator. blowing it up with a rocket launcher. Attaining everything he needed, Savage and men left for his complex, leaving Scandal behind and Knockout for dead.
Upon arriving at his complex, Savage had Professor Pyg graft the "Get Out of Hell Free" card into his body in a way that it can only be removed by killing him. After the surgery was completed, he executed Pyg and prepared for the Suicide Squad to storm his complex.
The remaining members of the Squad; Copperhead, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and Harley Quinn, (Bronze Tiger was incapacitated due to injuries and Killer Frost allied with Zoom), proceeded to storm Savage's complex. Upon confronting Savage, Deadshot demanded where the card was. Savage, maintaining a calm demeanor, told them it was "in him," showing them the surgical scar. He then went on to explain that while he was immortal, he was not invulnerable and that the rise of meta-humans prompted him to be prepared. After the explanation, Savage proceeded to incapacitate the entire Squad, utilizing a device that neurologically immobilized them.
As Savage was preparing to execute the Squad, Zoom and his cohorts arrived, quickly incapacitating the immortal. Zoom then had Frost incapacitate Savage with her freezing abilities. Completely immobilized, Savage was helpless as Zoom used his phasing ability to remove the card from his body, resulting in his death.
Despite his age, Vandal Savage retains his youth as he was in his prime, appearing as a man in his mid to late 40's. His attire consists of a coat where the left side goes over the right. It also has red edges on it. He has a muscular build and possesses a tall frame, towering over Deadshot by a foot. He has long black hair and a widow's peak in the front, possessing brown eyes. One notable trait is that he has a scar over his right eye, presumably from his days of battle. After the surgery, Savage possesses a vertical scar over his chest.
Savage is known for being one the greatest strategists of all time due to his longevity. Waller stated that he was a tyrant, indicating that as a ruler, he was ruthless and cruel to his subjects. He comes across as cold, willing to do anything to achieve his goals, ruthlessly shooting a heavily injured Knockout without hesitation. He shows no signs of aggression nor rage, demonstrating that he has great mastery over his emotions even when things don't go according to plan. Despite fathering thousands of children in his lifetime, Savage has no real love for them, complaining how none of them ever gave him proper respect. However, Savage seemingly contradicts his own complaint as he mercilessly shoots an already injured Knockout instead of giving her medical aid, ruining his relationship with his daughter Scandal, who along with Knockout loyally devoted herself to obtaining the card for him. This action shows that Savage does not care for anyone but himself, despite having a loyal daughter in Scandal. Although he acknowledges that his actions caused his daughter to seek revenge, he complains that she did not show his respect, making Vandal selfish and hypocritical. His cold and merciless personality comes back to haunt him however, as Scandal betrays him as revenge by giving Task Force X his location, where he loses the card in a conflict between him, Task Force X and Zoom and eventually his own life as Zoom removes the card from his own body.
The rise of meta-humans forced Vandal Savage to accept that his death is inevitable and he began to formulate a plan to attain the "Get out of Hell Free" card, so when his inevitable death arrives, he would be allowed passage into Heaven with all of his life's sins absolved instantaneously. Ironically, his actions to prevent death by obtaining the card led him into multiple conflicts with Task Force X and Zoom, which resulted in his fear death becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Powers and Abilities
- Immortality: Vandal Savage is a meta-human, whose powers were derived from the radiation of a meteorite. This radiation granted him immortality, halting his aging completely. This allowed him to remain in his physical prime even after 50,000 years.
- Caveman Physiology: As a Caveman, Vandal Savage has more tissue density than the average human being, giving him more strength and durability than regular human beings.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Due to his immortality, Vandal Savage has amassed vast experiences an knowledge in various fields, becoming one of Earth's greatest intellects. His experience in battles and formulating strategies also make him a master strategist.
- Leadership: Savage is known for being a tyrant, ruling vast forces of men under his command. This is evident when Waller reads off some of his past aliases as famous rulers of history, notably Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and Genghis Khan.
- Intimidation: Savage's utilization of cruel and brutal methods, as well as his reputation as a tyrant during his time of rule, make him a person to be feared. His reputation was so well known that even Deadshot, who has a fearsome reputation himself, worry about confronting Savage on their mission, asking Waller for more of a reward.
- Fatal injuries: Despite his longevity, Vandal Savage has stated that he did not have invulnerability and that he could be killed by normal means of fatal injuries, making him only functionally immortal against aging. Vandal claimed that this was the main reason why he was determined to get the "Get out of Hell Free" Card.
- The DCAMU Savage is considerably weaker than most of his other incarnations, as he lacks the regenerative healing factor his other selves have.
- In terms of the overall storyline, Savage serves as the secondary antagonist of Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay.