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.
Vandal Savage was a Homo sapiens born around 50,000 years ago. 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. Homo sapiens thereafter outnumbered and drove the Homo neanderthalensis to extinction. The radiation to which he was exposed also imbued him with preternatural longevity.
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, Savage established himself in Babylonia as the demigod hero called Marduk and fathered a son named Nabu and a daughter named Ishtar. At some point, he led his children into battle against a star creature that tried to enslave Babylonia. Nabu perished in battle but, with Ishtar, Marduk vanquished the creature and threw its remains into the Arctic sea. Henceforth, Marduk and Ishtar became known as "The Light", for leading their people through their darkest hour.
Sometime afterward, 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, Savage posed resistance, but they were easily defeated. However, Darkseid was impressed by Savage and his sons' meta-abilities. Seizing the moment, and with his eyes opened to the greater universe, Savage 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.
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. 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.
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.
↑This designation was removed because Savage was never intended to be an authorized guest. Someone else would later become A04. Weisman, Greg (2012-08-29). Question #15522. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-09-10.