Monday, August 8, 2011
My idea for an ongoing Question comic book is to feature Renee Montoya as the Fox Mulder of the DCU. She investigates mysteries that other superheroes write off as paranoid conspiracy theories. In a world where White Martians can shapeshift their way into the Oval Office and mad scientists can build machines that control the minds of entire cities, it seems appropriate to have a conspiracy theorist superhero. Who wouldn't be a little paranoid in the DCU when every other month a maniacal madman tries to dominate and/or destroy the world?
This series would introduce Renee Montoya as a workaholic version of The Question that tirelessly looks for clues of any sort of metahuman threat that mainstream superheroes might not notice. She comes across as paranoid and somewhat obsessive compulsive. We see that she has plastered the walls of her apartment with newspaper articles, google maps pictures, magazine covers, notes, all linked by an elaborate system of coded strings and colored push pins.
Renee's on and off again lover Kate Kane (AKA Batwoman) is concerned. Renee has become increasingly insular and something of a hermit ever since she became the new Question. Kate tries to tell her friend that her compulsive clue searching may be turning into an unhealthy obsession, but Renee doesn't listen. Renee is only interested in getting Kate to pass on a message to Batman about an alleged plot to replace politicans with robot replicas. Of course, Batman has heard Renee cry wolf before, and he has stopped taking her calls. Kate refuses to see Renee again until she can take a short break from her manic work as The Question.
Renee becomes even more isolated and obsessed with her fringe ideas. The reader will begin to think that she might actually be crazy as The Question falls into a downward spiral of seemingly paranoid delusions. The first issue will culminate with The Question attempting to assault a public official. Just as we are convinced that Renee has finally lost it, we see that the public official she punched is bleeding coolant fluid instead of blood, and we learn that it actually is a robotic impostor. The Question is vindicated, and this incident both sets the tone for the series and begins the first story arc.
In the first story arc, The Question investigates a plot to replace important government representatives with robot replicas. She is able to determine (by examining the mechanical body of the faux-politician) that T.O. Morrow is behind the conspiracy. He is trying to usurp control of the government by inserting his homemade robotic replicas into important positions of power. When she finally tracks T.O. Morrow to his secret hideout, we learn that the insane inventor has built a warehouse full of robot politicians, and he insists that a huge number of his fake representatives are already embedded in the government at various levels.
The arc culminates in a showdown between The Question and an army of robot politicians. The Question has to fight off this horde of robots that are spouting campaign slogans and talking points as they try to kill her. She is barely able to fend off the mob of robots, and she only survives because T.O. Morrow designed the machines to convincingly replace their real counterparts and not to fight. The Question apprehends T.O. Morrow and frees the real politicians that he has held captive in his hideout, but not before he tries to convince her that he's on her side. T.O. Morrow is paranoid just like The Question, and he was only trying to control the government to avert an impending disaster that he saw on his device that can display images of the future. As the first arc concludes, T.O. Morrow warns The Question of a darker and more deeply hidden conspiracy that looms on the horizon.
The idea of this series is to present The Question as an investigator of conspiracy theory. She deals with hidden metahuman threats that lurk on the fringes of supervillainy. While other superheroes are preoccupied with their superpowered brawls, The Question investigates clues hidden in plain sight that lead to secret plots to subvert the rights of the common man. She is an Objectivist superhero in the Ditko tradition, and she works to preserve the rights of the individual that clandestine and malevolent interests conspire to degrade. The tagline of the series could be, "The Question doesn't trust anyone, and neither should you."