- For other uses of the name "Curtis", see Curtis (disambiguation).
- "My hate shall be everlasting. My enmity will never die and it’ll follow you from this life and the next and to the next and to the next."
- —Vandal Savage first attaining his immortality[src]
Vandal Savage (born Hath-Set; before 1700 B.C. – 2021), also known under the names Curtis Knox in 1958 and Sasha Mahnovski in 1975, was a former ancient Egyptian priest in the service of Ramesses II who became ambitious and desired power for himself. He was also in love with the priestess Chay-Ara, but she only had eyes for Prince Khufu, and when Hath-Set learned of this, he was consumed with jealous rage.
After Hath-Set attempted to murder the lovers, all three of them were exposed to a mutative element during a meteor shower, which was actually a product of futuristic technology from the planet Thanagar; as a result, Chay-Ara and Khufu were reincarnated each time they died, and Hath-Set developed the powers of regeneration, as well as that of immortality, supposedly with the condition that he would kill both the priestess and prince in each lifetime they lived in order to maintain his powers, although it appeared that the "curse" was misinterpreted in one way or another, as no future incarnation of Chay-Ara resurfaced after Kendra Saunders became a time-traveler, while Khufu's eventual reincarnation Scythian Torvil served Hath-Set as a loyal servant.
At some point, Hath-Set assumed the name "Vandal Savage" and began his lifelong quest to kill each of his enemies' incarnations in each lifetime, managing to do so 206 times over the next 4000 years to maintain his own immortality.
Savage became more ambitious and sought not to only rule Egypt, but the entire world, and over the course of time gradually began to manipulate world leaders into starting wars to prime the world for his own eventual rule. In the Pre-Flashpoint timeline, Vandal succeeds in conquering the world by 2166, leaving billions dead and the future of Earth-1 in peril. Vandal also had a deep hatred for Rip for trying to murder him in the past and has made it one of his life's missions to get revenge on his foe. He was being pursued through time by Rip Hunter and his team, who were attempting to stop his reign of terror before it began. However, while in the process of attempting to reset the timeline, he was rendered mortal and made vulnerable by the meteorite, and was, with Scythian's help, fatally stabbed by Kendra Saunders before being electrocuted by Rip Hunter in 2021, set on fire by Mick Rory in 1958, and had his neck snapped by Sara Lance in 1975.
Hath-Set was born in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt at some point before 1700 B.C. and became a priest and advisor to Pharaoh Ramesses II. However, Hath-Set secretly despised the pharaoh and desired his power. As the priest, it was Hath-Set's job to make offerings to the Egyptian god Horus, along with the Priestess Chay-Ara, and spare the land of his wrath from the celestial rocks (meteors). Hath-Set fell in love with Chay-Ara, but she was in love with the pharaoh's son, Prince Khufu.
One day, Hath-Set was attacked by an assassin he'd nickname "Gareeb", who managed to overpower him and hold a knife to his throat, but hesitated and Hath-Set fought back. Hath-Set was able to stall Gareeb long enough for the guards to apprehend him, and questioned him, demanding to know his name. He imprisoned the assassin in a cell and starved him for weeks but Gareeb refused to tell Hath-Set anything. Hath-Set confronted his prisoner demanding answers, but Gareeb only defended his actions, saying that he was saving the future. Hath-Set merely replied that the meteorites would destroy the kingdom and Gareeb along with it. Soon afterwards, Gareeb was able to escape. The details of how would boggle Hath-Set's mind for centuries. However, Hath-Set never forgot the man's face and would pass down the story of this assassin to his cults one day who considered him a devil to Hath-Set's story.
One day, after addressing Ramesses II on the meteors and the dangers they posed, Hath-Set witnessed Chay-Ara and Khufu kissing and became consumed with rage towards them both. The following day, Hath-Set walked into Chay-Ara's bed chambers, where he saw her and Khufu together and attacked them. He fatally stabbed Khufu before stabbing Chay-Ara. As both lay dying, another storm of meteors fell from the sky and began laying waste to the kingdom. Hath-Set prayed to the gods for Khufu and Chay-Ara to suffer, whilst Chay-Ara prayed for Horus' protection. Their prayers were both fulfilled as the meteors possessed a special radiation, which affected the three of them, giving them their own forms of immortality. Hath-Set was granted immortality via cellular regeneration while Khufu and Chay-Ara's became immortal via reincarnation, a fact Hath-Set wasn't aware of for some time. However, objects in the general area of the meteor collision were also affected, including the Amon Dagger and Chay-Ara's bracelet, and absorbed the same power and remain the only objects that can kill Hath-Set, thpigh only if used by Chay-Ara as their rightful owner and no one else. At some point, Hath-Set abandoned his name and adopted the new identity "Vandal Savage".
Next 4000 years
Some time in the next two decades, Savage discovered that Chay-Ara had reincarnated but retained no memory of her previous life, her lover Khufu, or even her real name. Much to Savage's joy, this version of Chay-Ara fell in love with him and they lived happily together for years, without her knowing he was the very man who killed her. At some point however, Savage discovered that Khufu had also reincarnated and found Chay-Ara, helping her to remember who she really was. Following this, Chay-Ara left Savage and returned to Khufu's side. Enraged, Savage murdered them both. Upon their deaths, Savage discovered their life force transferred to him, maintaining his youth. After realizing that upon their deaths, Khufu and Chay-Ara would reincarnate in new lives in a never-ending cycle, Savage began hunting them in order to maintain his immortality.
For 4,000 years, Savage hunted down every reincarnation of Khufu and Chay-Ara, killing them in all of their reincarnations, and by the 21st century, would achieve this 206 times. Vandal also grew ambitious and desired dominion over the entire planet, but knew the current resources of his time were insufficient to achieve such a goal, so he secretly began influencing various figures of authority into war to further the development of weapons and scientific technologies and prime the world for his eventual rule.
Vandal became associated with Julius Caesar and guided him through the Gallic Wars, which he most likely had a hand in causing. He claims to have known Tacitus well and that his work and quotes have been misquoted over the centuries. Vandal later met Genghis Khan, under whom served as Khan's most trusted advisor. Vandal was also taught how to resist pain by Robin of Locksley while in turn, Vandal taught Robin the skills of archery. Vandal was also been compared to Machiavelli and Nostradamus.
Around 1831, Savage encountered the current incarnations of Khufu, now Hannibal Hawkes, and Chay-Ara's reincarnation, from whom he stole Chay-Ara's original bracelet. Sometime later, Savage caught up to them and murdered Hannibal while his wife managed to escape, but lived out the rest of her life alone until her death sometime after 1871.
At some point while hunting down the next incarnations of Khufu and Chay-Ara, Vandal traveled to China in 1887 but for reasons unclear, encountered difficulty. He instead caused the Yellow River to flood trying to kill Khufu and Chay-Ara and succeeded, whilst also killing 1 million other civilians.
In 1914, Vandal met and manipulated Gavrilo Princip into assassinating Franz Ferdinand, which led to World War I.
In 1925, Vandal hunted the latest incarnations of Khufu and Chay-Ara, Joe and Edith Boardman, who had already spent years running from Savage. Vandal found them in the middle of the night at a rundown motel in North Carolina and murdered the couple in the room they were staying in. Unbeknownst to Savage, Joe and Edith had a son, Aldus, who was hiding in a closet at the time. Aldus would spend his whole life studying the story of Khufu, Chay-Ara, and Hath-Set in the hopes of one day achieving vengeance for his parents.
Around 1950, Savage became a close friend of Joseph Stalin. In exchange for his tactical knowledge, Savage was taught how to successfully torture a person and was given a unique torture device as a gift.
Before 1958, Savage left the U.S.S.R. and moved to Harmony Falls, Oregon. He assumed the name "Curtis Knox" and fabricated an identity as a psychiatrist, seeking employment at the local insane asylum. He soon became the head of Hallway H, a top secret wing of the facility that Savage would use to focus on highly dangerous experimentation. During this time, he also married a woman named Gail, and the two lived together in a residential neighborhood.
One night, Savage felt a meteor calling to him, drawn to its landing site because it was comprised of the same compounds that granted him immortal life. Several teenagers came across the meteor as well after one couple crashed their car along the side of the road next to the meteor while drag racing. Savage abducted several of the teens with the help of the local sheriff, Bud Ellison, and took them to Hallway H, giving his newly acquired test subjects concentrated doses of Nth metal from the meteor in an effort to recreate his immortality. He only succeeded in turning them into monstrous bird-like creatures, reminiscent of the physical manifestation of Chay-Ara's and Khufu's abilities.
A week later, Savage sensed Chay-Ara's supposed current reincarnation, Kendra Saunders, when she and her "husband" Raymond Palmer moved into the neighborhood. Later that night, Savage and Gail visited Kendra and Raymond, offering a casserole as a welcoming gift. Kendra didn't appear to remember her past with Savage, though he remained open to the possibility she could be faking it. Feigning ignorance, Savage invited Kendra and Ray to a mixer that he was holding that night at his home, where he began to flirt with Kendra in an attempt to learn how much she knew. However, he was shortly called back to the asylum when one of his monsters attacked and killed an orderly.
The next day, Savage came home to find that his private office had been broken into and the Amon Dagger had been stolen from a chest of his possessions. He realized that Kendra did indeed remember her past lives and was planning on killing him. That night, Savage again allowed his experiments to roam the town. Tommy Fuller, one of the teenagers from the meteor crash site, ended up attacking his girlfriend and Jefferson Jackson while the two were out on a date. Sheriff Ellison kidnapped Jefferson and brought him to Hallway H, where Savage injected him with the Nth serum. He was soon called away by a staff member at the asylum, who informed him that Kendra was awaiting him in his office. Though she presented herself as wanting to continue their discussion from the night before, Savage knew what she was plotting and discreetly stole the dagger from her purse while Kendra was trying in vain to distract him. As Kendra tried to reach for the dagger, Savage dropped the act and attempted to kill her with it, but Ray blasted Savage out the window using a gauntlet from his A.T.O.M. suit.
In 1975, Savage was located at St. Roch under the alias "Sasha Mahnovski". Savage had set himself up in a rich mansion, where he kept numerous artifacts collected through the ages, including the Ammon Dagger, and commanded a sizable militia of terrorists.
Seeking one of the Thanagarian meteorites from a rival terrorist organization, Savage traveled to Norway to acquire it, but the organization refused to give it unless he had enough money. Agreeing to their terms, Savage traveled to Norway, stole a prototype nuclear warhead from the military, and explained to his men that humanity only furthers their cause during times of strife, such an example being splitting the atom, which wasn't even thought of until World War II occurred. Savage then put this warhead on sale at the black market, which attracted the most notorious of terrorist organizations, including Damien Darhk of H.I.V.E.. As the potential buyers placed their bids, Savage sensed the presence of Khufu and Chay-Ara nearby, and sold the nuke to a newcomer, Professor Martin Stein, whom neither Savage or Darhk was familiar with. At that moment, Savage begun to suspect Stein wasn't a terrorist and offered a 25% discount to whomever killed him and his companions. At that point Stein's companions Leonard Snart/Captain Cold, Mick Rory/Heat Wave and Sara Lance/White Canary attacked Savage's men and were soon joined by Firestorm and a younger version of Ray than the one encountered in 1958, and the five laid all out war to Savage's men. Amidst his awe, Vandal was confronted by Carter Hall/Hawkman and Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl, Khufu and Chay-Ara's future incarnations, though this Kendra was a younger version of the one encountered in 1958. Savage activated the nuke to distract the others and give himself the chance to escape. Before leaving, Savage killed the terrorists he'd planned to repay with the profit earned from the sale and re-located the meteorite.
The auction was not a complete loss as Savage's men managed to obtain a piece of Ray's suit and began reverse-engineering its mechanisms to develop weapons, while Savage discussed the incident with his right-hand man and deduced that the attackers had technology unheard of and they must be from the future. Savage ordered his engineers to discover the mechanisms of the suit within 24 hours. When one of them expressed doubts, Vandal used the piece of technology to blast the engineer and threatened to do the same to the rest if they failed.
Later that evening, Savage discovered that Leonard, Mick and Ray had broken into his mansion, and Snart and Ray had been caught in a trap in his gallery room. Savage found Mick and held him at gunpoint, then demanded Leonard call his companions and order them to come face him. Savage grew tired of waiting and was moments away from killing Mick, until Firestorm intervened. Though he blasted Savage, he recognized him as Jefferson Jackson from 1958 and a large fight between Savage's men and the Legends broke out outside his mansion. Whilst attempting to flee, Savage was confronted by Hawkman and Hawkgirl, with Hawkman wielding the blade that murdered their first incarnations and the two fought. Hawkman managed to impale Savage with it, only for Savage to be unharmed and turn the blade on him and stabbed him in the heart. Savage reminded a dying Hawkman that the blade belongs to Hawkgirl and she is the only one that can wield it against him. When Carter died, his life force was transferred to Savage and a vengeful Kendra attempted to avenge him, but was hopelessly outmatched against Savage and was stabbed in the chest. As he moved in on her, he confessed how much he truly loved her but reminded her they are bound by a curse of life and death that will forever separate them. Before he could deliver the fatal blow, Atom blasted Savage away and they were able to escape with her alive. Just before being blasted, Savage recognized the team's leader as Gareeb.
Savage took Carter's body to his followers in Africa to perform the ritual to give them all an extra hundred years of life using his blood. Before he began, he was interrupted by the arrival of Sara and his archenemy Gareeb, Rip Hunter. Savage remarked on their previous encounter in Egypt but questioned Rip as to why he was trying to kill him, and why he despised him so much. Savage then searched Rip and found a locket watch with a photo of his wife and child and quickly deduced that he must have killed them in the future, and expressed excitement towards this notion. Savage then demonstrated the ritual to Rip and Sara by bleeding Carter's body into a goblet and drinking from it, increasing his own lifespan further and passed the cup to his followers and increased their own lifespan.
The meeting was interrupted by the arrival of Leonard, Mick, and Jax, who immediately attacked Savage's followers. Rip and Sara were able to get loose too and took part in the counterattack. Savage, enraged, used the Amon Dagger to channel his powers and blast them with a large beam that also caused a shockwave then applied to the floor. However, he was attacked by Rip who managed to subdue Savage and used the dagger to cut Vandal's throat as vengeance for Miranda and Jonas, his wife and son, but unintentionally revealed their names to him. Before dying of blood loss, Savage told Rip he knew their names now and vowed that one day he would rise to power and that he'd wait until they are alive, and hunt them down and he'd kill them. Savage then temporarily died. By the time he regenerated his wounds, the others had escaped.
When he regained consciousness, Savage realized that the only way that Gareeb was alive was due to time travel. He was then approached by the Time Masters. They revealed to him that in 2175, the Thanagarians, a race of warrior aliens, would decimate the planet and he would be the man who would rally humanity to stop them but offered him a deal. In exchange for a time machine and full immunity from prosecution by the council for his numerous time code violations, he would obey their orders, while benefiting himself. Savage agreed and began traveling between different periods of time to find the most suitable time period to conquer, and began acquiring future technologies and manipulating future events to prime the world for his own eventual conquest. One of his tasks was ensuring the deaths of Miranda and Jonas which Savage happily complied with.
For the next 11 years, Savage began focusing his efforts on creating his own version of Firestorm and defected to the Soviet Union to utilize their resources, but was unable to balance the equation of Firestorm and many test subjects died as a result. After years of failing, Savage eventually employed Russian physicist Dr. Valentina Vostok who came closer to solving the equation but still lacked the skills to achieve the final step, that Firestorm is made of two people merged into one body.
After Valentina had captured Professor Stein, Ray, and Mick, Savage visited the gulag where they were being held and attempted to torture answers out of Stein, but with no result. Savage also shared stories of his old friend Joseph Stalin and the skills of torture Stalin showed him. After torturing Stein yielded no results, Savage took to torturing Ray and Mick instead, electrocuting them and eventually using a hammer on them in front of Stein. After seeing them in pain for so long, Stein finally decided to aid Savage and gave his side of the equation.
Savage later returned to the prison when Rip Hunter and his team attacked it, looking for Stein and ran into Kendra. Rather than killing her, he offered her a place by his side, promising to prolong her life which she angrily declined. Before Savage could harm her, Rip encountered Savage again and demanded his locket back. Savage told Rip he'd memorized Miranda and Jonas' faces, and reminded him he would kill them, however, as Rip left he set off an explosion that temporarily killed Savage yet again.
29 years later in 2015, Savage stowed aboard a ship bound for Central City in his search of Chay-Ara's latest incarnation. When he was captured and about to be handed over to the CCPD, Vandal slipped his cuffs onto the ship's captain before killing him, his crew, and the arresting police officer. Afterwards, Vandal tracked down Chay-Ara, now Kendra Saunders (but an earlier version of the one previously faced in the past whose powers and memories had yet to emerge), and Cisco Ramon at CC Jitters. However, Cisco called the Flash, who quickly knocked Savage down. Savage recovered and threw a knife at Cisco, diverting The Flash to catch it and enabling Savage to escape.
As the Flash and Cisco took Kendra to Star City to seek the aid of Team Arrow, Savage gave pursuit. He stormed Oliver Queen's loft as both teams were celebrating. He threw a flurry of knifes at all, but as Barry attempted to catch them all, he threw an extra knife, managing to knock Barry down. He then caught the arrows shot at him and engaged Oliver Queen in close combat. He knocked him down and threw a knife which Barry caught. Oliver and Thea shot a barrage of arrows at him. He was able to block most with his fan, however, he took three to the chest and fell off of the balcony.
Realizing he was outmatched, Savage returned to Central City to find the Staff of Horus. He located the staff before the Flash and Green Arrow arrived to stop him. Utilizing the staff, Savage was able to keep both heroes at bay. Acknowledging them as worthy opponents, Savage was about to utilize the staff's full power when he sensed Kendra awakening her past lives. Regaining his bearings, he used the staff to destroy the church, though both of his foes managed to escape.
Malcolm Merlyn, the current Ra's al Ghul, organized a meeting with Savage, along with Green Arrow and the Flash, in which Savage expressed his wish to have Carter Hall and Kendra handed over, or he would destroy both Star City and Central City. They seemingly agreed to Savage's demands, with the latter not knowing that the heroes plan to use the exchange as a means to defeat him.
Original timeline: During the exchange, as Savage prepared to kill Hawkgirl, Green Arrow suddenly turned on him and attacked. Savage incapacitated Green Arrow and killed Hawkman with his knives. He then killed Hawkgirl, who was unable to use her wings, absorbing the life force of them both and becoming so strong that the arrows Green Arrow shot at him bounced off. The Flash tried to use the Staff of Horus against him, but Savage used his magic and the staff to kill Green Arrow and incinerate the city with everyone in it, including Team Arrow and Team Flash; the Flash only survived this assault by traveling back in time while trying to outrun the explosive force.
Current timeline: During the exchange, as Savage prepared to kill Hawkgirl, Green Arrow shot off their restraints. As Green Arrow, the Flash, and Hawkman attacked, Savage was distracted by Hawkgirl's sudden attack and was further tested when Black Canary, Speedy, and Spartan appeared to battle him. Together, they all managed to stall Savage long enough for the Flash to steal the staff. The Flash used his gauntlets of Nth metal to channel the power of the Staff of Horus, but had trouble maintaining it. However, Green Arrow helped the Flash stabilize it and together, they blasted Savage and turned him to dust. Malcolm later collected his remains, stating that Savage would owe him one. Due to his end not being at the hands of any of Chay-Ara's incarnations, Vandal eventually regenerated from the ashes left in his wake.
By the year 2147, Savage resided in the Kasnia Conglomerate where he served as an advisor to Tor Degaton, and tutored his son Per Degaton. Savage's true aim however was the use the advanced technology of Kasnia to establish the foothold of his future empire. He also sought to use their secret weapon the "Armageddon virus" to downsize the world's population, and prime it for his own personal conquest with far less threats to contend with. To achieve this, Vandal manipulated and corrupted Per's mind, raising him to be ruthless and cold, and to one day succeed his father by murdering him and would dictate his own desires through Per. However, Vandal always sought to take power from Per when the time was right but Per truly believed Vandal considered him a son. At some point during his stay in Kasnia, Savage had a daughter named Cassandra with an unnamed woman.
Altered timeline: After a meeting with Tor where Savage failed yet again to persuade him to use the virus, Per was abducted by Rip and his team. Savage met with Tor to discuss this and offered his assistance as he'd faced the abductors before. Savage lead a squad of soldiers and A.T.O.M. robots on Tor's orders to disable the Waverider but were soon faced with Atom, Hawkgirl, White Canary, Firestorm and Captain Cold. During the fight, Savage apprehended White Canary and threatened to kill her but offered to trade her in exchange for Rip, but Rip appeared and offered the same deal but in exchange for Per's life. Per begged his father not to give in and to eliminate them now, to which Savage agreed on, but Tor consented to Rip's terms, and after Per was released, so were White Canary and the team, escaping unharmed. Shortly afterwards, Savage was visited by Per whom Savage told a story from Greek mythology of a prince who was exiled by his father in fear of a prophecy foretelling the prince murdering him coming true, only for the son to survive and return years later to fulfill the prophecy. Savage then handed Per a knife and persuaded him that his father will make the same mistake and convinced him to murder his father. As a result of Tor's death Per was elected the new chairman but due to being underage, he elected Savage to be his proxy. For his first action as stand-in leader, Savage ordered the release of the Armageddon virus and killed billions, including Savage's wife. This led the planet ripe for conquest.
Original timeline: In 2152, when Per was 19, he finally succeeded his father as leader of Kasnia and, on Vandal's insistence, unleashed the Armageddon virus which killed billions of people, including Savage's wife, and leaving the world prime for conquest. At some point after this, Savage betrayed Per and murdered him to take his seat of power and become Kasnia's leader himself. Savage would make Kasnia the foothold of his future empire. However, since Rip's actions changed these events and unleashed the Armageddon virus 5 years earlier, most of these events happened in 2147 instead.
Altered timeline: While Per Degaton was at the height of his power Savage killed him to seize it for himself. This also made Savage appear as a hero to those who believed that unleashing the virus was Per Degaton's idea alone, including Cassandra.
By 2166, Savage's plans for world domination had succeeded and left billions dead. He was the dictator of the world and had legions of soldiers under his command. Savage's reign was so significant that dictators such as Julius Caesar, Adolf Hitler and Per Degaton were considered amateurs in comparison. At some point, Savage encountered the next incarnation of Khufu, Scythian Torvil, who had no memories of his past lives, his life as Carter Hall included. Savage manipulated him into serving him and became one of his most trusted soldiers. By this time he had learned much about his enemies the Legends, particularly Sara and learned her sister Laurel Lance/Black Canary had died in early 2016, and managed to deduce that Sara was from a point before this occurred.
Savage was leading a rally of his troops with his daughter, Cassandra, and Scythian. By this point, he was the undisputed leader of the planet, with only a few rebels remaining. He was once again attacked by the Legends and almost captured. This drove him underground and out of reach of the Legends. They instead kidnapped his daughter and tried to ransom her. Savage instead decided to send the Leviathan, a giant peacekeeping robot, to destroy them and hundreds of innocent civilians. This, coupled with the fact that it was Savage who detonated the Armageddon virus, convinced Cassandra that her father was not a good man. She changed allegiances, giving Hunter the access codes to her father's base.
She pretended to have escaped capture and returned to her father, but he realized that she was lying when she wasn't wearing her bracelet, originally belonging to Chay-Ara and one of the devices that could kill him. His base was then attacked by Hunter's cronies and Savage was confronted by his former love. They fought and she came close to killing him with a mace covered with the gold of the bracelet, until she saw that his bodyguard was Scythian. Scythian had been brainwashed into serving the immortal and Savage used this leverage to keep himself alive, since he is the only one who knows how to break the mind control.
He was brought aboard the Waverider and was imprisoned. Savage spoke with Rip and mentioned how he had always wondered how Rip had escaped imprisonment four thousand years ago. Rip told him he would bring him to the Time Masters for illegal use of time travel technology. As Sara checked on him, he told her that Rip would betray her and asked if she knew how her sister Laurel was. He later talked to Ray and told him how Scythian would take Kendra away from him like he did to her in a past life. As Stein came in asking for a way to cure Jefferson, Savage tried to turn him against the others. However, Stein saw through it and left. When Ray showed up, Savage realized Kendra had left him and taunted him, telling him he was weak unlike Scythian and that is why he would not get Kendra. Ray came in and beat up Savage. Savage quickly overpowered Ray and choked him unconscious. He then retrieved his knives and freed Scythian. In the ensuing fight, Savage was able to defeat Ray, Mick, Snart, Kendra, and Rip. As he was about to kill Kendra, Scythian turned on him and attacked him. He was able to defeat Scythian and stab him with his knife but Kendra recovered and knocked him out.
At the Vanishing Point, Rip brought him before the Time Masters, however, the Time Masters told Savage they would return him to 2166 and arrested Rip. Savage confronted Rip in custody and taunted him about the deaths of his family which he was now leaving to fulfill. Given access to a time ship, Savage took Kendra and Scythian with him, wanting them to see his reign come to pass before killing them. When they arrived in London in 2166 during the Second Blitz, Kendra desperately pleaded with Savage to spare Miranda and Jonas. Savage refused to listen and went after them.
After killing his way through numerous rebels, Savage kept true to his promise to Rip almost 200 years ago. He found Miranda Coburn and murdered her, before confronting Jonas. After Vandal remarked how foolish Jonas's father was, he insulted the dictator, and Savage proceeded to shoot and kill the boy in cold blood. Vandal murdering Miranda and Jonas prompted the Rip Hunter of 2166 to hunt down Vandal in the past by gathering his team of heroes from the 21st century, thus repeating the cycle.
Defeats and death
After killing Rip's family, Savage was contacted by a surviving Time Master who reported Zaman Druce's death and the destruction of the Time Master's facility, and informed him they could be of no more use to him. Kendra began to laugh at him believing that without the Time Masters' help, Savage's hold on the world would end, but Savage reminded her that he still had a time ship. Seeking to maintain control, Savage sought to use hers and Scythian's blood and merge it with the three meteorites in three different time periods at times when Earth and Thanagar are aligned, 1958, 1975, and 2021, causing a temporal paradox that would physically revert time back to the point of the first meteorite's impact in 1700 B.C. To achieve this, Savage went back to 1944 to retrieve the original meteor and brought it to 2021. However, he was delayed when Kendra escaped. Though Savage recaptured her, she left a message in the helmet of a soldier that Savage killed which would find its way to Rip years later. After acquiring blood samples from the two he ambushed a Nazi platoon transporting the meteorite but was opposed by White Canary, Heat Wave, Firestorm, and the Atom and though Scythian was able to escape, Kendra was still captured.
After bringing the meteorite to 2021, Vandal, with Kendra as his hostage, traveled back to meet his 1958 counterpart who was on his way to find the second meteorite in Harmony Falls. The future Savage gave his past self a sample of Scythian's blood and told him to combine it with the meteorite he is seeking. Savage then went to 1975 and told his 1975 counterpart at the arms deal to do the same with the meteorite he was seeking to purchase. Savage, along with his 1958 and 1975 counterparts started the ritual. He was unaware that the radiation emitted from the meteorite during this time rendered him mortal and vulnerable to any normal means of death. While White Canary and Firestorm attacked and killed his 1975 counterpart, and Heat Wave and the Atom attacked and killed his 1958 self, the latest variation of Savage was attacked by Rip and Scythian, now donning his Hawkman suit, and Kendra was freed. After dispatching his soldiers, Hawkman held Savage in place while Kendra stabbed Savage in the heart, then Rip grabbed a dying Savage and wedged the knife in further, taunting him about his failure. However, Savage simply reminded Rip that though he might die, he failed to save the lives of his family, but Rip shoves him against the electrical breakers of the building and electrocutes him, finally ending his life before Vandal could finish his sentence.
Original timeline: The Thanagarians, hawk-like aliens, invade the Earth and burn the planet's resources to the ground. Savage is able to rally his troops together and drive back the aliens and is praised as a hero.
Life in Hell
After his death, Savage's soul ended up in Hell. Eventually, he was entrusted with the duty of torturing other souls who ended up there. Throughout his years in Hell, he started to calm down, not seeking revenge or power anymore. It came to the point where he even started to forget his reasons for fighting the Legends.
Reuniting with Ray Palmer
One day, a new soul came to Hell, and Savage was given the duty of torturing it. He soon found out that this soul was none other than Ray Palmer, member of the Legends and a former rival of him. At the beginning Savage was planning on torturing him, but then the two started to talk. Their talk eventually got deep, and the two became friends, thus officially ending his rivalry with the Legends.
After that, the two started playing a game of giant Jenga. At one point, the building they built during the game fell, which made Ray scream. They were about to start another round, when suddenly John Constantine and Nora Darhk entered the room, coming to rescue Ray's soul and save the world from Neron. Ray then introduced them to Savage, who greeted them happily and invited them to join the game.
As Ray reunited with his two friends, Savage prepared for the next round. He heard Constantine "praising" Ray, and added how great of a guy he is. He explained to the two guests how they came to terms with each other, and then asked Ray about the reasons for them fighting years prior. Ray gave a complicated explanation, and Savage said in short that it was simply about a girl. Suddenly Nora's wand began to shine, trying to bring her, Ray and Constantine back to Earth. Before the three teleported away from Hell, Savage said goodbye to his new friends, and asked them to send his regards to the Legends. After the three left, Savage expressed to himself how much he loves the team of heroes, before beginning another game of giant Jenga.
His soul token was taken by Lachesis, who swapped his with that of John Constantine so that Astra Logue would not realize that Lachesis had stolen all of the tokens in Astra's possession. Astra, however, learned of Lachesis' betrayal when she checked her vault, only to find it empty, also discovering Savage's soul token, asking who he was.
- "Caesar, Hitler, Per Degaton. Rank amateurs compared to Savage."
- —Rip Hunter to the Time Masters[src]
Savage could project a facade of civility and even friendliness, but he was cold, ruthless, brutal, and obsessed with being immortal, even if it meant killing Chay-Ara and Khufu for the rest of his life in each of the latter two's different lifetimes, regardless of how many people were caught in the crossfire, as shown when he used the Staff of Horus to vaporize Central City and everyone in it (until Barry changed the timeline so that this never happened). Savage took no restraint in avoiding killing innocent people, was totally amoral and capable of destroying two entire cities simply to drive Chay-Ara and Khufu out of hiding. Once, in an attempt to kill them, Savage even flooded the North China Plain, also ending two million lives. As he had killed Khufu and Chay-Ara 206 times in the past, Savage had become quite arrogant in the present, thinking that they were no longer a challenge for him and believing that he could defeat the combined forces of the Flash and Green Arrow by himself. Though he was almost proven right, as he did kill them all in an alternate timeline, his underestimation of their capabilities is what led to his own downfall, as his body was reduced to a pile of ash by Green Arrow and Flash using the Staff of Horus. Although, since it wasn't used against him by the right person (presumably himself, as it belonged to him in Ancient Egypt), this still didn't kill him, and he eventually returned.
Savage was also very vengeful, as he despised Rip Hunter for trying to murder him in Egypt and waited 4000 years to get revenge by murdering his wife and son. He also had a deep love for Chay-Ara, despite the affection not being returned, and seeing her with Khufu made Vandal so consumed with rage, thus his motive for murdering them in the first place. However, Savage still expressed his love to her in each lifetime and says he always will love her, but viewed them both as tortured souls imprisoned by a circle of death and they could never be together. On certain occasions, he expressed some regret over having to kill her and at one point even offered her prolonged life by his side. When the first reincarnation of Chay-Ara fell in love with him, Savage noted he was joyful and they were happy together only for it to end when Khufu's reincarnation took her from him, much to his rage and bitterness which led to him apparently believing he could never have her, even expressing a bit of sympathy towards Ray for his feelings for Kendra. He was not entirely incapable of love outside with Kendra, having had many wives and children that he did try to not involve in his darker acts and expressed a level of sadness as he commented on how he had held them many times as they died of old age and he was quickly enraged when Cassandra was kidnapped to the point of releasing the Leviathan and overjoyed to see her return safely and appeared to show a level of remorse as she angrily confronted him.
Savage's ultimate goal, one he pursued his whole life, was complete subjugation of the entire planet. To achieve this, Vandal worked with the most nefarious of warlords throughout history, such as guiding Julius Caesar through the Gaelic Wars, becoming Genghis Khan's most trusted adviser, and becoming a close ally of Joseph Stalin. He also manipulated people into starting conflicts for him, such as manipulating Gavrilo Princip into starting World War I and is implied to have played a role in John F. Kennedy's assassination. The ultimate outcome of these manipulations is to further the development of weapons technologies and scientific advancements to prime the world for his own rule. He was also very egotistical, stating that he sees himself as a force of nature and a servant of will enabling destiny, trying to make it a better place at any cost regardless of how many wars it takes.
After his death, Savage displayed a much kinder personality, as he decided to befriend Ray Palmer in Hell instead of torturing him, asked John Constantine, Nora Darhk and Ray to say hi to the Legends for him, and even referred them as "groovy guys", and stated that he actually likes them.
Powers and abilities
- Immortality: Vandal Savage's exposure to the Thanagarian meteorite granted him immortality and as a result, he appeared to be a man in his prime, despite being technically 4000 years old. His immortality also granted him immunity to any earthly illnesses and diseases.
- Regeneration: A side effect of his immortality was that he is able to regenerate and heal from wounds that would be deemed fatal to ordinary humans. He once regenerated after being disintegrated into a pile of ashes. Apparently, the greater Savage's injuries the longer it will take from to recover from the damage, but he can ultimately recover from anything as he can regenerate from but a single cell as stated by Rip Hunter.
- Enhanced physical condition: After centuries of absorbing the life force of the previous reincarnations of Chay-Ara and Khufu, Savage was in his prime physical condition and vitality. Some of his physical attributes were even enhanced to superhuman levels. His reflexes were exceptional to the point that he could catch two arrows shot at him by the Green Arrow after immediately throwing multiple knives and dodge gunfire at point blank range. He was fast enough to take down three men without them being able to react using only a knife. He could withstand being shot by arrows while showing little discomfort and even a nuclear fire blast from Firestorm with no visible injuries. He was also strong enough to overpower Ray while he was in his A.T.O.M. Exosuit.
- Enhanced senses: Savage's exposure to the meteorite made him able to detect the presence of Chay-Ara and Khufu's reincarnations whenever they are nearby he was also able to tell whether or not they have awakened their powers and previous memories. His visual perception was also seemingly enhanced to the point he was able to injure Barry Allen, who was moving at high-speed with a well-timed knife throw.
- Magic: Savage was capable of using magic, allowing him perform different occult rituals and spells. Using the blood of Carter Hall, Vandal was able to bestow his cult of followers with a longer lifespan than normally possible. Vandal also knew an occult ritual that would have destroyed, and recreated the timeline with him as the ruler of the new timeline, presumably unaffected by the ritual.
- "Some say he was the most trusted adviser to Genghis Khan. Others say he guided Julius Caesar through the Gallic Wars."
- —Malcolm Merlyn[src]
- Genius-level intellect/Master tactician/Master investigator/Leader/Great business acumen: With over 4,000 years of experience, Savage was an extraordinarily intelligent individual. Even before his centuries worth of experience, Savage was already an exceptional tactician and leader, being a close advisor to Pharaoh Ramesses II. His long lifespan had greatly increased his tactical and leadership abilities to extraordinary levels, being capable of associating with and offering guidance to various political and military leaders throughout history as well as also orchestrating many of the most devastating conflicts on the planet while tracking down and killing the incarnations of Khufu and Chay Ara for over 206 times, even causing calamities such as flooding the Yellow River of China, rumored to have been the most trusted advisor of Genghis Khan and having also guided Julius Caesar through the Gallic Wars, as well as also instructing a dictator from the Soviet Joseph Stalin in tactical warfare, while building an army over the centuries and leading and expanding it in secret and also engaging in illegal activities such as black market sales and human experimentation without leaving any traces to himself, doing it so well that the Legends found it difficult to locate the era where Savage left enough traces to be tracked by them, until his army became so powerful he was able to conquer the entire world, a feat that no other dictator has ever achieved, with Rip even noting he made the likes of Caesar, Hitler and look like children. The Oculus also predicted Savage was the only leader with enough forces and skill to repel the Thanagarians assault, which in any other outcome would end in Earth's destruction and would have made him a hero. Vandal was also a great businessman, as he was Tor Degaton's most trusted advisor and was entrusted with teaching Tor's son Per Degaton and after Tor's death becoming the regent of Kasnia Conglomerate, effectively leading the company and using it as a foothold for his rise to power. He had extraordinary perception that allowed him to quickly deduce whether or not people are truthful or not.
- Master scientist: Savage was also an extraordinary scientific researcher: In 1958, as a psychiatrist of Harmony Falls Psychiatric Facility, Savage was able to do a good enough job to be entrusted with leadership over the top secret Hallway H and carry out many dangerous experimentation successfully. At this time, Vandal was also successful in extracting Nth Metal from a meteorite to use to experiment on the survivors of it's fall, though he only succeeded in turning his victims into monstrous bird-like creatures and failed to replicate his immortality. Upon witnessing Rip Hunter's team, he quickly realized that time travel was possible and was able to accomplish this feat nearly 200 years later after much research; albeit with the aid of the Time Masters to acquire advanced technology from the future.
- Master engineer: Savage had proven to be considerably adept in engineering in his own right: With a piece of Ray Palmer's futuristic A.T.O.M. Exosuit, Savage quickly analyzed it was from the future and would have been able to reverse-engineer it with help from his engineers to develop a weapon far more destructive than anything in 1975 capable of destroying Central City in 2016. In 1958, he was able to modify the prisons of Harmony Fall Psychiatric Facility's Hallway H to contain the Manhawks caused by his experiments. In 2166, he was even able to use futuristic technology to develop The Leviathan, a robot far more advanced than anything in the era.
- Eidetic memory: Because of his immortality, Savage retained a clear memory, being able to recall events with excellent detail 4,000 years ago.
- Medical knowledge: Savage possessed extraordinary medical knowledge, as he was able to pose as a surgical doctor in 1958 and also claimed that Jack the Ripper taught him a great deal about human anatomy.
- Master of deception/Manipulator: Savage was an incredible manipulator and deceiver, as he was able to subtly manipulate Sara Lance to distrust Rip and Ray Palmer to lose his temper on Kendra Saunders, causing Ray to unintentionally release Savage from his imprisonment. Throughout history, Savage had manipulated various parties into war in order to ultimately shape the world in order to accomplish his lifelong goal of conquering it one day while keeping his part a complete secret to most of the world, a goal he ultimately succeeds by 2166. In addition, Savage was able to manipulate and deceive Per Degaton into becoming ruthless and immoral by feigning parental affection while teaching him darker aspects of life and was even able to easily get him to kill his father and make him the regent of Kasnia Conglomerate. Upon killing Per, Savage was able to deceive those who knew it into believing he actually saved the planet from Per by framing him as the one who unleashed the Armageddon virus on the planet.
- Multilingual: As a native Egyptian, Savage spoke that language fluently, in addition to English, Arabic, and German.
- Occult knowledge: Savage had knowledge of magic and mysticism, allowing him to perform various occult rituals such as prolonging the life of his followers using Carter Hall's blood. Savage also knew the rules of his immortality, allowing him to cheat a final death many times.
- Master torturer: Learned from Joseph Stalin, Savage mastered torture to the point where he called the skills he gained as an "art", knowing how to use carefully aimed strikes to the bridge of the nose, along the shoulder blades, and right underneath the chin to "break a man" and also use a special torture device Stalin gave him. He was also proficient in emotional torture and successfully broke Martin Stein by torturing Mick Rory and Ray Palmer in front of him.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Savage was a phenomenally dangerous combatant with 4,000 years of combat training and experience in various types of fighting style. His skill is such that he is one of the few individuals to have ever been able to defeat Oliver Queen, who had been trained by Ra's Al Ghul, despite him being armed with his bow, doing so with least difficulty than most opponents who have ever defeated Oliver. Savage could take on and overpower several combatants with ease, seen when he swiftly overpowered Spartan, Black Canary, and Speedy as well as the entire Legends. Savage was proven to be highly creative and able to instantly adjust to the situation in combat, an example being when he used Ray's own exosuit against him and made him shoot himself in the face. Even before his 4,000 years of combat experience, Savage was already an accomplished fighter, as he was able to kill both Chay-Ara and Khufu, who were both trained warriors at the time, and hold off Rip when the latter traveled back in Ancient Egypt to kill him long enough for guards to save him. Savage claimed that he was trained in every hold and pressure point known to man that allows him to effortlessly restrain other excellent combatants, such as Mick Rory and Sara Lance. Even while weakened due to the meteorite, neither Sara nor Mick, despite facing his younger and less experienced selves, as well as the combined might of Kendra Saunders and Scythian Torvil were able to defeat him without considerable effort. Savage was one of the most deadliest combatants in the entire multiverse.
- Weapons proficiency: Savage had demonstrated incredible skill when using a variety of weapons, including staffs, war fans, firearms of different eras, and presumably much more.
- Expert archer: Although knives are his preference, Savage is highly trained in the art of archery. He even claimed to have personally taught Robin of Locksley to use a bow and arrow.
- Master knife wielder/Knife thrower: Savage was a highly skilled knife wielder and knife thrower, carrying various types of knives, allowing him to swiftly defeat and kill multiple enemies with incredible efficiency. He was also outstanding while throwing his knives in rapid succession, with his speed being so fast that neither Carter or Oliver could have reacted to it. He was able to throw five knives at once that would have hit all his targets if not for Barry Allen's high-speed interception. Later, Savage managed to throw a knife faster later in order to hit the speedster.
- Master stick-fighter: Savage was a formidable stick-fighter, capable of easily overpowering Spartan, Black Canary, and Speedy with the Staff of Horus while simultaneously deflecting arrows from Oliver.
- Master marksman: Savage was also highly proficient in firearms despite preferring knives. He was able to corner both Mick Rory and Leonard Snart, both masterful marksman's in their own right, in a fierce fire-fight, hit Ray Palmer in his exosuit while he was moving swiftly easily, accurately hit the wall behind Rory and Snart to knock them out when using the gauntlets of Ray's suit and swiftly shot Rip Hunter.
- Weapons proficiency: Savage had demonstrated incredible skill when using a variety of weapons, including staffs, war fans, firearms of different eras, and presumably much more.
- Culinary expertise: During his lifespan, Savage was able to master the art of cooking an assortment of dishes; under the alias of Dr. "Curtis Knox" in 1958, his casserole was widely praised.
- Stealth/Escape artist: Savage was able effortlessly slip out of his handcuffs and quickly place them on a guard without him noticing. He also claimed to have taught Houdini when being compared to him.
- High tolerance for pain: Despite Savage's immortality healing most of his injuries, he originally still felt pain, but his time with Robin of Locksley allowed him to overcome this; Savage didn't react to an arrow shot straight into his chest and pulled it out without the slightest discomfort. He also swiftly pulled out the Amon Dagger from his heart when impaled to kill Carter.
- Chay-Ara and Khufu: According to Rip Hunter, Savage could be killed by the reincarnations of Hawkgirl and Hawkman, due to the three having their life forces tied together because of the Thanagar meteor's exposure. However, this could only be done when they are wielding tools that imbued from the Thanagarian meteor. Additionally, they must wield an object that they themselves personally owned, as Hawkman used Chay-Ara's dagger from her first life, only for it to have no effect on Savage. After Mick Rory and Kendra Saunders coated Carter Hall's mace with the liquified remains of the bracelet Chay-Ara wore the night of her death, Kendra was able to use it to break through Savage's immortality. Savage was completely unprepared for this and almost killed as a result.
- Radiation depletion: As Khufu and Chay-Ara also absorbed the same radiation, both gaining the power of reincarnation, Savage needs to periodically kill the reincarnated couple and absorb their life forces to maintain his immortal status or else his powers will gradually become negated. However, this weakness was only of limited danger to him, as Savage was restored to life after failing to kill them in 2015 - albeit apparently with aid from Malcolm Merlyn - and appeared to live for over a century without needing to 'recharge', as Chay-Ara was never reincarnated from this point on since she joined the Legends, and Savage actually recruited Khufu's latest reincarnation as his soldier in the 22nd century.
- Thanagarian meteorite radiation: Objects exposed to the meteorite radiation the night Savage gained his powers can gravely injury and permanently kill him if wielded by Hawkgirl or Hawkman. The very meteorite radiation that gave Savage his immortality could also leave him vulnerable. When within the general area of the meteor while its radiation is exposed, it would disrupt the energy already inside of him, making him mortal and as vulnerable to death as anyone. Being within the meteorite's vicinity while activated is the only way someone other than Hawkgirl and Hawkman can kill him.
- Knives and daggers: Savage wore 32 knives on the inside of his coat, and had thousands of years of experience wielding them. Savage was an expert with knives and daggers and throughout the ages, developed a large collection of them, such as daggers and throwing knives. According to Savage himself, his favorite knife was the Amon Dagger, which he used to kill Khufu and Chay-Ara in their first lives.
- Staff of Horus: The Staff of Horus is an Nth metal artifact that was used by Savage as a melee weapon in close quarter combat, and as a mid-range weapon by shooting blue energy blasts and waves of mystical nature at his enemies. Contact with these waves meant instant incineration. By knocking the butt of the staff onto the ground, Savage could conjure up a magical energy blast which grows to the size of a metropolis, burning alive every human in its path. The weapon had an energy field that physically kept others from even touching the staff, sending those who tried flying through the air. Specialized gauntlets were made by Cisco Ramon to render this protection useless. While the user could touch the staff and even fire its energy, its energy aura was harmful to them and forced the user to release the staff before it could kill them. The staff would even resist the users ability to fire its energy, causing it to be unable to burn or harm what it was fired at. When the Flash went back in time, he revealed the failure of the gloves, allowing Cisco to create them better, allowing the Flash and Green Arrow to wield it and fire its energy without problems. This resulted in Savage's "death" during the revised version of his battle with the Flash, Green Arrow, Hawkgirl and Carter Hall. The staff was completely destroyed in the process.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
- Vandal's former name, Hath-Set, is roughly translated as "maker of evil".
- Vandal killed Hawkgirl 206 times and Hawkman 207 times over the span of 4,000 years. This means that each time, on average, he killed them when they were in their early 20s.
- Vandal Savage was (at the time) the oldest antagonist in the Arrowverse, being over 3,866 years old at his death, only overshadowed by beings such as Mar Novu, and the Anti-Monitor.
- Vandal Savage conquered the world in 2166, which would make the future Reverse-Flash, Eobard Thawne, if he were not deleted from the timeline, 15 years old at the time of Vandal's success in subjugating the world.
- Vandal is considered to be among the most dangerous villains to have ever appeared in the Arrowverse, for he could defeat both Team Arrow and Team Flash together all on his own. In addition, he was able to conquer the world in 2166, an achievement no other villain in the Multiverse was ever able to accomplish. Vandal's notoriety makes him feared even by the League of Assassins.
- Vandal is also one of the only three individuals, Ra's al Ghul and Dante being the other two, to have defeated Oliver Queen in combat without being bested in return. Savage also faced Oliver the most out of said individuals; Savage bested Oliver in their first two confrontations and was only defeated in their third and final duel while being distracted due to Team Arrow backing Oliver up.
- Vandal Savage is the character with the highest body count in the entire Arrowverse, having killed Hawkgirl 206 times, Hawkman 207 times, and has both personally killed and ordered the deaths of countless others, including 1 million civilians through causing the 1887 Yellow River Flood.
Behind the scenes
- Vandal Savage is one of DC Comics' oldest super-villains, debuting in Green Lantern #10 in December 1943. In his origin story Savage was a fifty thousand year old cave man who gained immortality and genius level intellect after exposing himself to a radioactive meteorite.
- This portrayal of Vandal Savage is an amalgamation of the DC Comics' Savage and of Hath-Set, the long time enemy and nemesis of Hawkman and Hawkgirl.
- The conflict between Savage, Hawkman and Hawkgirl resembles the conflict between Gentleman Ghost and Hawkman in the pre-Flashpoint continuity. Jim Craddock was an English highwayman who was wrongly murdered by the American gunslinger Nighthawk, Prince Khufu's 19th century reincarnation. As a result, Craddock became the revenant Gentleman Ghost and sets out to murder Khufu's latest incarnation in order to put his soul to rest. Unfortunately, due to the endless cycle of reincarnation affecting Khufu's soul, Craddock is unable to accomplish this feat and is forced to remain undead. Savage was briefly Hawkman's archenemy post-Zero Hour until Hawkman was temporarily written out of the comics.
- In the comics, Roy Harper is a descendant of Vandal Savage.
- Though considering Savage's age and prolific sexual history, a large portion of the human population are descended from Vandal Savage.
- In "", Savage assumed the alias Curtis Knox, referencing a character in the TV series Smallville that was originally suppose to be the show's official version of Vandal Savage. Additionally, Curtis Knox shares the same initials as Superman's alter ego (CK) and was portrayed on Smallville by Dean Cain.
- In some of DC comics issues, Savage revealed that he was actually Jack the Ripper, not his student. Sometimes, he was also Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan themselves, instead of their military advisors.
- Savage served as the main antagonist of the crossover event, and Season 1 of .