Vandal Savage is the founder and one of the leaders of the Light. Almost fifty millennia of age, Savage has touched nearly every facet of human civilization throughout his long life. Even still, he continues to build towards his grand vision for the Earth for the many years to come. He has had many names, including Vandar Adg,Varl'jat,Marduk and Genghis Khan.
Having lived since the dawn of mankind, Savage believes in a natural order and survival of the fittest. Due to his longevity, Savage believes himself destined to lead humanity. After witnessing the evolution of humanity over 50,000 years, Savage came to believe humanity is destined to become the ruling species of the cosmos. To this end, he views the Justice League with distaste for protecting all of humanity including the weak, rather than using their powers to eliminate them and accelerate the evolution of humanity. In spite of yearning to rule Earth, he will not allow it to fall into disarray as seen when he threatened aliens to stay away from his homeworld and protected Earth from an armada.
Savage is a superb strategist and tactician, forming alliances with other powerful criminals to utilize their resources for his ultimate goal, creating clones of other heroes to maintain surveillance on his enemies and manipulating enemies and allies alike into playing into his schemes. However, Savage is not above making mistakes as the team has sabotaged his plans several times, something Savage admits is due to underestimating their abilities. He even took into account of his past overlooking of the team and declared to not repeat his failings when learning of a new team. Savage even went to the heroes for aid on solving his issue with Granny Goodness, after realizing her plans were a threat.
Despite his ruthlessness, Savage is not completely without heart as he expressed sympathy for Black Manta when Aqualad was comatose, being able to relate from being a father himself. Savage shows affection to his children and is willing to guide them, as he told his daughter Cassandra how to use the Warworld. He also shared a moment with his other daughter, Olympia before killing her as a show of mercy to prevent her from suffering further from her deteriorating mental state and told Cassandra to prepare a proper funeral for her.
Vandal Savage is a tall, muscular male with medium-dark skin tone, strong, rugged features, broad shoulders, and square jaw. He also has three pale scars across his face, brown eyes and black long hair pulled back. Savage wears a long lapelless dark-blue coat with a red stripe on the edges. He also dons black gloves and boots.
The first meta-human
Vandal Savage was a Homo sapiens born around 50,000 years ago near what is now Western Mongolia. One night, when he was 44 years old, he saw a meteor plummeting from the sky and felt drawn to the "Sky Fire" emanating from the fallen meteorite. Savage ran towards it, but on his way, he was attacked by a cave bear. Fueled with the purpose of reaching the meteorite, Savage found the inner strength to kill the beast and the feeling of victory was godlike. However, he did not leave unscathed, as the bear left three deep cuts across his face. Savage finally made his way to the source of the Sky Fire, but as he reached to touch the glowing meteorite, he was ambushed and impaled by a tribe of Neanderthals who were also drawn to the rock. As he laid dying, the radiation of the meteorite turned him into the first meta-human on Earth, healing his wounds. Savage struck back and subdued the tribe with his new-found might. In time, Homo sapiens eventually outnumbered and drove the Homo neanderthalensis to extinction. As a side effect to his accelerated healing, Savage is in a permanent state of cellular regeneration, resulting in a preternatural longevity.
Vandar Adg, founder of Atlantis
Roughly 38,000 years after his contact with the mysterious meteorite, Savage, going then by Vandar Adg, settled a village for his gifted offspring and many descendants to live in peace under his rule. He named that settlement Atlantis. In time, Vandar left his village to conquer more lands and upon his return, he found his utopia destroyed. He stumbled into the interloper—whom he would come to know as Klarion—who had laid waste to most of his spawn, relishing in his carnage atop a mount of Vandar's dead relatives. Vandar lunged at Klarion, only to be struck down by a snap of his foe's fingers. Vandar rose again fully restored and quickly realized that his opponent was no mere meta-human, but rather an ancient elemental being. During the subsequent 300 days and nights, Vandar was killed in 300 different torturous ways, only to rise up again each time. This intrigued Klarion enough to stop.
The two finally exchanged words and Vandar learned of the Lords of Chaos and Order that helped govern the cosmos. Realizing the potential value of this entity, Vandar needed time to think of how he could use him, but he also needed to get Klarion to stop murdering his kin. When the Lord of Chaos asked why he would leave his people alone, Vandar asked the entity to give him one thousand years and meet him back in that same place, and he would see why. Klarion agreed.
Varl'jat, bane of Atlantis
For the next one hundred years, Vandar helped rebuild and repopulate the village of Atlantis, all the while mulling over how he could use the Lord of Chaos Klarion for his purposes. Atlantis became a grandiose, fortified city and after the birth of his latest grandson, Vandar ventured out into the world again.
Some two hundred years later, Vandar had adopted the name Varl'jat and returned to find Atlantis a prosperous city-state, ruled by Arion, his grandson, still alive after two centuries. Varl'jat found out that Arion, also an immortal like himself, had begat a new bloodline: the Homo magi, magical meta-children born from Arion's infusion with the magic of the crown bestowed to him by the Lords of Order. Also thanks to that magic, Atlantis had become highly advanced with tech-sorcery, and with his martial expertise, Varl'jat helped expand the city to become capital of a kingdom spanning the entire Atlantean continent, thus forging the mightiest civilization that had ever existed on Earth.
However, this was not enough for Varl'jat's ambitions. After traveling the world, he had realized that he could not claim supremacy over the Earth when three-fourths of its surface was covered in ocean, beyond his control. Varl'jat proposed to Arion that he used the power of his crown to sink the Atlantean capital, hoping that the trauma would activate the dormant Meta-Genes laying inside his Homo magi descendants. However, much to his dismay, Arion rejected the proposition. Undeterred, Varl'jat bid his time until Klarion returned on the thousandth anniversary of their original bargain. Upon his return, Varl'jat and Klarion stroke a new pact and Klarion agreed to sink Atlantis. However, Varl'jat did not account for Klarion's unfathomable thirst for chaos and, with a heavy heart, Varl'jat watched in horror as the Lord of Chaos sank the entire Atlantean continent, killing countless of his kin in the process, including Arion. Though, as he had predicted, the meta-genes of a few Homo magi were activated, thus spawning the water-breathing Homo mermanus, who would eventually come to dominate the seven seas, as Varl'jat intended.
Over the following centuries, Savage adopted different aliases, some of which went down in history, such as Marduk, Sun Tzu,Atilla the Hun, Genghis Khan, and Blackbeard the Pirate. As Sun Tzu, he wrote The Art of War.
Marduk, the demigod hero
Around the second millennium BCE, exactly 7,586 years after the fall of Atlantis, Savage established himself in Babylonia as the demigod hero called Marduk. He sired a son named Nabu and a daughter named Ishtar and together they ruled his new kingdom. However, this proved to be more difficult than Marduk had anticipated, due to his Babylonian generals' independence of mind. In 1,800 BCE, Klarion paid Marduk an unsolicited visit and offered a solution for this problem. Against his own son's advice, Marduk accepted Klarion's help, who proceeded to teleport a Starro-creature from deep space. Although, instead of submitting Marduk's generals to his will, the creature put his entire Babylonian army under its own control. Marduk led his children against the alien creature, losing his son Nabu in battle. Eventually, Marduk and Ishtar came out victorious and threw the creature's remains into the Arctic sea. Henceforth, Marduk and Ishtar became known as "The Light", for leading their people through their darkest hour.
These events, indirectly caused by Marduk's alliance with the Lord of Chaos, resulted in the ascension of Marduk's son to the ranks of the Lords of Order and subsequent emergence of Doctor Fate.
Sometime during this period, the alien weapon Tiamat was set loose on Earth to end the conflict between chaos and order by destroying the world. According to legend, the gods of Mesopotamia, not wanting the status quo to be challenged, chose the demigod Marduk to battle her. Marduk petitioned with the gods to wield the power of lightning and rain and defeated the alien. He locked her away but purportedly gave his life in the process. Marduk was inducted in the Babylonian pantheon posthumously as the God of Gods. What did not pass into legend was that he had used the Tablet of Destiny.
At the end of the 12th century, Savage, who was going by Genghis Khan, built the biggest empire in human history theretofore. At the turn of the century, Savage clashed with Darkseid's forces who were attempting to conquer Earth. Alongside his two meta-human sons and army, Khan posed resistance, but they were easily defeated. However, Darkseid was impressed by Khan and his sons' meta-abilities. Seizing the moment, and with his eyes opened to the greater universe, Khan proposed an alliance with Darkseid to conquer the galaxy, with the understanding that their two planets would have to battle each other when all other planets had fallen. Darkseid agreed to the terms.
In between identities, he disappeared from the public eye for decades. This way, he managed to retain his anonymity well into the mid-20th century.He eventually fell afoul of the Justice Society of America and the All-Star Squadron, though he did not feel they were a threat to his larger plan as he saw them as nationalistic groups.
At some point after 2000, Savage had an undocumented conflict with the Flash.
Somewhere between 2006 and 2007,shortly after the Justice League was publicly announced,in a casual conversation with Ra's al Ghul, Savage posited that the League defied his ideas of a natural order and the survival of the fittest by protecting the weak.He was particularly disturbed by the fact they acted as a global organization, championing everyone, unlike earlier superhero teams. Therefore, to countervail their efforts, Savage decided to reassemble a group of his that has existed for millennia:The Light. Soon afterwards, Savage extended invitations to Ra's al Ghul, Lex Luthor, Queen Bee, Ocean-Master, Brain, and Klarion,thus securing clout on different spheres of influence (the underworld, business, politics, the sea, science, and magic, respectively), on top of all the benefits derived from each member's individual talents and expertise.
When Aqualad, Robin and Kid Flash broke into Cadmus, Mark Desmond requested an audience with the Board of Directors, and briefed them on the incident, also informing them that the three heroes had been apprehended. L-3 ordered Desmond to clone them and Savage told him to dispose of the originals. This course of action ultimately failed and the boys broke out and took Superboy with them. Savage initially dismissed the severity of the ordeal and remarked that the loss of the clone could be played to their advantage.
After the arrest of the Injustice League, Savage viewed the test of the Kobra-Venom plants a success and how, with their "proxies" exposed and arrested, the Light could continue to operate without suspicion. The other members of the Light appeared by threes on either side of him, and he stated that shadows still concealed their Light.
In an attempt to intercept Kid Flash's delivery of a heart intended for Queen Perdita of Vlatava, on behalf of Perdita's uncle Count Vertigo, Vandal Savage attacked four members of the South Dakota Highway Patrol who had been charged with clearing the route. Kid Flash stopped to rescue the patrolmen and fought Savage for about 15 minutes. The fight was inconclusive, but when Kid Flash realized that he was wasting too much time, he ran off to deliver the heart.
After the Light's mole rendered every member of the Justice League under their control, a mind-controlled Batman gave Vandal Savage security clearance to enter the Watchtower, where every member of the League silently bowed before him. Savage confirmed to Red Arrow that he was the mole and he watched the sunset on Earth from a window. While he basked, Red Arrow escaped.
Savage oversaw the operations from the observation deck. He was surprised to see Black Canary, Red Tornado and Red Arrow, but knew they were lying about their motives. Klarion saw they weren't online. He had Hal Jordan restrain them, and Vandal gave each of them a new chip of Starro-tech. As he explained his motives to them, Klarion discovered the Team had taken out multiple Leaguers already and that the three heroes in front of them were immune to the mind control. Klarion had to call in six Leaguers from an away mission to restrain them. Vandal concluded that, now that the Team knew how to negate Starro-tech, lethal force was an option.
The Team wasn't killed; in fact, they succeeded in tagging all Leaguers with their cure-tech. Despite Klarion's protests, Savage opted for an escape. They could not risk damaging the Watchtower and causing the death of the League, as they were still part of the Light's plans in some way. Klarion teleported them both away.
Vandal Savage attended the Justice League's trial on Rimbor. He sat in the shadows near Mongul, whom he goaded into attacking the Earth by noting the Reach would be too powerful with meta-humans under their control, posing a threat to his plans of galactic domination. He watched as Mongul left and was pleased by his act.
The Light held a conference where Sportsmaster stated his grievance; he wanted to kill Black Manta's son as compensation for killing his daughter without permission. Vandal told him killing Kaldur'ahm was a nonstarter, so Sportmaster attempted to kill Black Manta instead, but was stopped by Deathstroke, who Vandal had ready to replace Sportsmaster. Sportsmaster then escaped via helicopter.
Vandal boarded the Manta-Sub, visiting a catatonic Kaldur'ahm. As a father himself, he said he understood Black Manta's pain. He had a solution to make Kaldur'ahm whole again; he borrowed Psimon from Queen Bee to sift through Kaldur'ahm's mind for every fractured memory.
At a fruit juice production line, Lex Luthor informed Vandal that the Team had left the most profitable piece of the business untouched and stated that shipments were already being distributed to needy nations and would soon be available worldwide.
Inside Luthor's office, Vandal asked if the Team procured a sample of the additive, which Luthor confirmed. Lex then showed him a document with pictures of the rescued abductees, stating that they must form a Team of their own.
Following the Team's successful liberation of Blue Beetle and Green Beetle, Savage and other members of the Light met with the Reach. The Ambassador aired his grievances, with Savage giving permission to Kaldur'ahm to address them, given nobody else had sacrificed more for the Reach or the Light. Words, though, turned into a fight, which was broken up by Kaldur. He asked about the Justice League, and Savage said that well-placed bribes, as well as outrage from the attack on Rimbor, would ensure the League's conviction. Savage watched as Ra's al Ghul exposed Tigress as Artemis, something that shocked him.
With Artemis's cover blown, the Light and Reach realized that Aqualad had been manipulating them. Miss Martian, disguised as Deathstroke, shot the two non-mortally, and Kaldur triggered a recording revealing how the Reach had been manipulated by the Light, as well as how Savage had engineered the sabotage of the Reach's drinks. Savage angrily ordered "Deathstroke" to turn it off, but the latter claimed to have no idea how. Once the recording had ended, Savage commented that Kaldur was the first in 50,000 years to severely damage his plans and that he would be impressed if he wasn't so angry.
But his anger was nothing compared to the Ambassador's for being played and threatened to use the Warworld. When Savage revealed he had the key, Aqualad and Artemis dropped the act, Miss Martian revealed herself and other Team members arrived. Savage brought in soldiers from the League of Shadows and then ordered them killed, but Kaldur'ahm told him that he underestimated them, revealing that the rest of the Team had infiltrated the strike force. Watching the events, Savage grudgingly acknowledged Aqualad was right on underestimating the team and stated they will no longer take them lightly and fled with Klarion to the War World.
Arriving above the skies of Rimbor, Savage delivered a warning to the planet that he was from Earth and that his planet was not to be touched by alien incursion or invasion, lest punishment be administered. The League, who had just been freed, questioned how he planned to back up the threat, and immediately afterward the Warworld appeared in the skies over the planet.
Vandal Savage arrived on Apokolips via a boom tube. He walked past Desaad and G. Gordon Godfrey and approached a tall figure standing at the end of a balcony. The figure turned around and shook hands with Savage, as he remarked how it was "business as usual".
Vandal was brooding over the distant landscape when Olympia approached to warn him of an imminent threat from space. Savage wondered if it was a meteorite, but it was an armada of warships.
Savage called Lex Luthor to brief him on the situation and ask if he could alert the Justice League or the Green Lantern Corps. However, they reached the conclusion that their scheming had been too effective and the heroes were currently either busy, impaired or ill-equipped to deal with the threat. Since Klarion was also busy with Project Rutabaga, Savage decided to take matters into his own hands.
Savage hailed the incoming armada and declared that Earth was off-limits to all incursion or invasion. He warned them to retreat or they would suffer the firepower of the Warworld. Instead of retreating, the Armada began to accelerate, so Savage opened fire. Cassandra alerted him that another armada was incoming from the other side of the solar system, and Savage realized that it was someone who knew the Warworld couldn't be in two places at once. He contacted Darkseid to ask for resources and his partner acquiesced.
Darkseid deployed his son Kalibak, who then annihilated the entire one of the armadas by sacrificing one meta-human. Savage noticed that one alien had a star creature brethren latched to his face and realized how he could win the battle. He turned the control of the Warworld over to Cassandra, who detected another ship scurrying away in the darkness of space, behind the armada. Savage boom tubed to the ship and single-handedly battled Starro.
As Savage was storing the remains of Starro in a stasis chamber, Cassandra lauded her father's accomplishment and Olympia declared that she would record this new chapter immediately. Savage reminded Olympia that his story must not be recorded, because he had millennia long-term plans that he couldn't risk being revealed. He asked her why she liked the chapter about his encounter with the bear so much, and as she explained that it was a defining moment in his story, Savage snapped her neck and laid her on the floor. He told Cassandra to arrange for a funeral worthy of the Gods, as any daughter of Vandal Savage deserved.
After the failed hit on the New GenesisianBug, Savage was finally able to confirm that Nightwing had assembled a new covert team, just as Count Vertigo and Ra's al Ghul had reported. He further noted that heroes like these were capable of causing them a lot of trouble, as they had learned the hard way. Granny Goodness then stepped forward, assuring the Light that a plan was in motion to deal with Nightwing's team.
Vandal Savage hosted a video conference with the other members of the Light. Gretchen Goode informed them how Nightwing, Black Lightning, and the Motherbox slipped through her hands. Ultra-Humanite told her not worry about Halo, as he already has plans to capture her. Gretchen remarked that Ultra-Humanite was not the only one who has interest in Halo, and in turn he pointed out that securing Halo was his operation and, per Light-tradition, that gave him first rights to her. When Gretchen turned to Savage for reassurance, Savage silently confirmed Ultra-Humanite's statement.
Khüiten Peak January 22, 18:57ICT
As Savage was looking over his monitors, a boom tube opened behind him. Knowing what that meant, he grunted and walked through into Apokolips. Darkseid was waiting for him and somehow convinced him to hand over Halo to Gretchen.
Hours later, the Light had another conference, minus Gretchen. Deathstroke explained how the Markovs escaped Helga Jace's control without blowing Tara's cover. Ultra-Humanite posited that by handing Halo over to Darkseid, the galactic balance of power would shift irrevocably, as she was the living key to the Anti-Life Equation. Savage was alarmed by this news and crushed his tablet in his bare hands.
Savage went to the Premiere Building and rang on its doorbell. After being brought up, he said he was here to offer the Team coordinates to Halo's whereabouts. When Conner asked what the catch was, Savage said he only wanted them to let Halo's abductor know that it was him to who had sent them.
Along with the rest of the Light, minus the ousted Gretchen Goode, Savage watched Tod Donner's report about the Justice League taking down a meta-human trafficking ring in outer space and rescuing 316 abductees. The Light decided to proceed with the next step of their plan.
Through a monitor, Savage convened with the Light. He tacitly agreed to sanction the death of Garfield Logan by the hand of their mole, Tara Markov, and thus publicly disgrace the Outsiders and inevitably enforce worldwide registration and regulation of heroes and meta-humans.
In the aftermath of Brion Markov's crowning, Klarion and the Light discussed their victories, as they now controlled Markovia through the "Puppet King" Brion, thanks to their newest Light member: Zviad Baazovi. Savage briefed them on his partnership with Darkseid and remarked that they should keep an eye on Halo, for she could be the key to their partner's much sought out Anti-Life Equation, and likewise the key to their own victory.
In another Light video conference, Zviad Baazovi was briefing his cohorts on their successful operations in Markovia, when suddenly a crimson energy wave swept over the headquarters, unnoticed to everyone besides Klarion. As Savage asked Zviad about Secretary General Troia's lobbying to send UN inspectors to Markovia, Klarion left in a panic, leaving Savage perplexed.
Later on a mountain top, Vandal met with his old acquaintance, Phantom Stranger, who recollected Savage and Klarion's first encounter centuries ago and how their bond was forged. When Vandal grumbled over being told something he already knew, Stranger remarked it was to remind him of what must not be forgotten. Savage cursed him and his cryptic statements, but before he could ask him what he meant, Stranger was gone.
Savage reminded Nabu that chaos and order can serve each other, as long as balance is maintained, but wondered who would restore order in the wake of the unfettered chaos wrought by Child. Savage concluded that, unlike Klarion, Child was beyond his ability to control and Nabu's ability to counter, due to his aging host body.
Savage boom tubed to meet with the Stranger, and told him they had work to do. The Stranger teleported them both away with a small smile.
They went to speak with the Lords of Order and Chaos. Savage tried to convince them that he, as the ally of Klarion and father of Nabu, was best placed to maintain the balance on Earth. The Lords, speaking through the Stranger, rebutted that it was Savage that had made Earth a key front in the battle between order and chaos through his arrangement with Darkseid. Savage countered that the arrangement will end with a battle between Earth and Apokolips, and that should Apokolips win the Anti-Life Equation would control the galaxy, ending chaos and rendering order moot. The Lords agreed with Savage, with Chaos agreeing to pull their support of Child, but not to call her back. Savage was satisfied.
Following the defeat of Child, Savage met with his daughter at the storeroom for Project Lifeboat on the Warworld. He decided to leave the valuables there in anticipation of another inevitable crisis. He ordered Cassandra to have Psimon confirm the integrity of the Psy-Backs, then have the room sealed and its only key given to him. He wanted it done quickly so they could focus on their top priority, Project Thrinos.
Following Project Thrinos's failure, Savage was visited by Doctor Fate. Fate told Savage he should not have been surprised that the Lords of Order did not allow his agent to use Arion's crown. Savage declared them fools, insisting he would have brought order to three-fourths of the world. Fate observed that the Book of Chaos which Savage had opened on Atlantis was now closed, and left, leaving behind an enraged Savage, who broke Arion's flute.
Immortality: Exposure to the radiation from the meteor has granted Savage an endless lifetime, enabling him to survive for around 50,000 years and still be in his prime.
Healing: He has a healing factor, allowing him to rapidly get restored to his full health. However, scars inflicted prior to his empowerment endure. He has been able to recover from over 300 different "deaths".This also further enhances his strength by allowing him to go to his physical limits without injury.
Strength: He has above average strength and resilience.
Abilities: Various combat and strategic skills learned and honed over his 50,000 years of life.
This marks Vandal Savage's third animated appearance. He had previously appeared in Justice League and in Justice League: Doom. Although the latter is independent of Young Justice, both versions of the character were designed by Phil Bourassa.
Savage has three facial scars that bear a striking resemblance to those that Demona gave to Gillecomgain, which later came to be the signature mark of the Hunters, from Greg Weisman's Gargoyles. However, Savage's scars are not an intentional reference to the Hunters. They were part of his original design by Phil Bourassa.
The producers chose Vandal as a major villain for the series as they found pitting someone with his long history against young heroes very appealing.
↑This designation was removed because Savage was never intended to be an authorized guest. Someone else would later become A-04. Weisman, Greg (2012-08-29). Question #15522. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-09-10.