4000 years ago in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, Hath-Set was a priest and adviser to Ramesses II. Hath-Set also had romantic affections towards Priestess Chay-Ara. After catching Prince Khufu in the bed chambers of Chay-Ara he killed the two of them and tethered their life forces to his own.
Hunting down Khufu and Chay-Ara
For 4000 years, Vandal Savage hunted down Khufu and Chay-Ara, killing them in all of their reincarnations. During this time, Savage guided Julius Caesar through the Gallic Wars and served as Genghis Khan's most trusted adviser. He also claimed to have taught Robin of Locksley archery while Robin taught him to control pain.  In 1887, he killed 2 million people during floods in order to get to the reincarnations of Khufu and Chay-Ara, eventually succeeding. He also claimed to have taught Harry Houdini how to get out of handcuffs.
In 2015, Savage stowed aboard a ship bound for Central City in his search of Chay-ara's latest reincarnation. When he was captured and about to handed over to the CCPD, Savage slipped his cuffs onto the ship captain before killing him, his crew and the arresting police officer.
Savage found Chay-ara, going by Kendra Saunders, and Cisco Ramon at CC Jitters. However, Cisco summoned the Flash, who quickly knocked Savage down. Savage recovered and threw a knife at Cisco. The Flash distracted himself to catch the knife, enabling Savage to escape.
As the Flash and Ramon 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 Allen attempted to catch them all, he throw an extra knife, managing to knock Barry down. He then caught the arrows shot at him and engaged Oliver in close combat. He knocked him down and threw a knife which Barry caught. Oliver and Thea speed 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 finds the staff before the Flash and Green Arrow arrive to stop him. Utilizing the staff, he 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, although both of his foes managed to escape.
Ra's al Ghul, the current Ra's al Ghul, organised a meeting with Vandal Savage, along with Green Arrow and The Flash, in which he expressed his wish to have Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders, or he would destroy both Star City and Central City. They eventually agreed to hand them over, not knowing that they plan to use the exchange as a means to defeat him.
During the exchange, Green Arrow suddenly turned on him and attacked. Savage incapicated Green Arrow and killed Khufu with his knives. He then killed Chay-Ara who was unable to use her wings, absorbing the life force of her and Khufu and becoming so strong that the arrows shot at him by Green Arrow bounced off. Barry tried to use his staff against him, but Savage used his magic and used the staff to kill Green Arrow and incinerate the city with everyone in it, including Team Arrow and Team Flash. However, Barry escaped and used time travel to go back a day and come up with a better plan.
Having the exchange again, they had learned from the alternate future failure. They handed him Khufu and Chay-Ara. However, before he could kill them, Green Arrow shot their bonds, freeing both Chay-Ara and Khufu. During the fight, Team Arrow managed to stall Vandal long enough for the Flash to take his staff. The Flash and Green Arrow used a glove of Nth metal to channel the power of the Staff of Horus, in turn defeating Vandal Savage and turning him to dust. Malcolm later collected his remains and said that he would owe him one.
Powers and abilities
- Magic: Well-versed in magic, Savage was able to link his life-force to that of Khufu and Chay-Ara. Since he was linked to the reincarnations of Khufu and Chay-Ara, he could sense their presences to find them. He is also able to use displacement spells (or at least sleight-of-hand) to seamlessly slip out of handcuffs and instantly place them on a man several feet in front of him.
- Immortality: Every time he kills Khufu and Chay-Ara, he got more powerful. Savage is at least 4,000 years old and remained physically unchanged in all this time, retaining his physical health, conditioning, and appearance, making him able to live on potentially indefinitely. In order for him to live to maintain this state, he has to repeatedly kill the reincarnations of Khufu and Chay-ara and absorb their life force.
- Teleportation: Vandal could instantly vanish without any trace of where he went, usually when others backs were turned. He vanished after the Flash knocked him the floor while he was attacking Cisco and Kendra, as they looked back and he was gone without a trace. He vanished again when he fell off a balcony, as he did not hit the ground and was no where to be seen. When he met Oliver, Barry and Malcom and walked away to leave the cane he was holding suddenly fell to the floor and he had instantly vanished as Oliver, Barry and Malcom looked on. He could even make handcuffs on him instantly appear on others near him, even if they were several feet away from him.
- Enhanced speed: When a cop shot at Savage at point blank range, he was able to dodge, disarm, and shoot him in seconds.
- Enhanced reflexes: Savage was able to effortlessly dodge and catch multiple arrows. He was even able to dodge bullets shot at him at point blank range.
- Genius-level intellect/Master tactician: Vandal has 4,000 years of experience in tactics and tracking down Khufu and Chay-Ara. During this period he killed them 206 times. It was rumored that he was Genghis Khan's greatest adviser and had helped Julius Caesar during the Gallic Wars even mentoring Harry Houdini in many of his magic tricks.
- Expert escape artist: Vandal has shown that he can effortlessly break free from hand cuffs, as well as use magic to make them appear on others several feet in front of him instead of himself. He says he taught Houdini escapism.
- Multilingual: Vandal is shown able to fluently speak English, Arabic, and ancient Egyptian.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Vandal is a highly skilled close-range and unarmed fighter, drawing from his millenniums of experience, as he was able to easily gain the upper hand in a fight against Green Arrow. He was able to fight Team Arrow simultaneously in close combat and win with ease. His skill in fighting allowed him to wield blades and other melee weapons with ease, as well as to allow him to disarm others and turn their weapons against them, as he did to overpower, disarm, and shoot a police officer in seconds.
- Master knife-thrower: Vandal is highly skilled in throwing knives with deadly accuracy. His knife throwing is so fast that Khufu and Green Arrow were not able to react to it, even the Flash seemed to have a difficult time catching them. He was able to throw 5 knives in one motion and would have hit all his targets if the Flash had not stopped them.
- Master staff fighter: Vandal can wield the Staff of Horus like a melee weapon. While wielding the staff he was able to fight Diggle, Thea and Black Canary simultaneously and come out on top.
- High tolerance for pain: Vandal is able to ignore pain, unfazed by an arrow deeply penetrating his chest. This was taught to him by Robin of Locksley.
- Master archer: In exchange for Robin of Locksley teaching him resistance to pain, Savage claims to have taught Robin archery.
- Occult knowledge: Savage has knowledge of magic and mysticism, and has been shown to utilize magic. When sarcastically questioned if Houdini taught him magic, he claimed he taught Houdini.
- Knives: Savage wears 32 knives on the inside of his coat, and has had thousands of years of experience wielding them. Some knives he has been shown to utilize are daggers and throwing knives.
- Metal fan: Savage wields a metal fighting fan that he used to deflect arrows.
- 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 meaning 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 gloves 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 Flash went back in time, he revealed the failure of the gloves, allowing Cisco to create them better, allowing Flash and Green Arrow to weild it and and fire its energy without problems. This resulted in Savage's death during the revised version of his battle with Flash, Green Arrow, Hawkgirl and Hawkman.
- In an erased timeline, Savage succeeds in killing not only Carter and Kendra, but also almost every current member of Team Arrow and Team Flash, with the exception of Quentin Lance and The Flash, as well as everyone in Central City, making Vandal Savage one of the most powerful and dangerous villains the heroes have ever come across, that they only managed to defeat with only the full support of both teams and Barry's ability to time travel.
- Savage's former name, Hath-Set, is roughly translated as " maker of evil".
Behind the scenes
- Vandal Savage is one of DC Comics oldest super-villains, debuting in Green Lantern #10 in December of 1944. 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 which affects Khufu's soul, Craddock is unable to accomplish this feat and is forced to remain undead. Though Savage was briefly Hawkman's archenemy post-Zero Hour until Hawkman was temporarily written out of the comics.
- Aldus Boardman claimed that Savage was known under the names Machiavelli and Nostradamus. However, historically, these two had overlapping lives, so this claim is likely false