The Question and Case Closed: The Case of Two Investigators

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As river bends and flows into smaller creeks and lakes from its source of the ocean likewise a tale may appear similar to another but the two tales will be different. Why should two ideas from the source of imagination grow into separate ideas? The answer comes with understanding elements of storytelling, cultural background, and traits of the portraitists in a story. Let us peer at the idea of an investigator getting into a situation way over his head. I present to you Vic Sage, from Denny O’Neil’s run on The Question, and Jimmy, from Case Closed by Gosho Aoyama. At first you may think that Vic and Jimmy are sharp observers, undo wrong doers, and have dual identities. Both characters stand vastly apart from each other by the creation of their dual identities and the protagonists’ traits.

Open in the slums of the corrupt Hub City, home of The Question a.k.a Vic Sage, investigative journalist, punching bad guys and searching for clues on the recent corruption the church and political officials. Through witty dialogue between Vic and his close friend, the reader learns Vic’s identity of the Question has been established for a long time. So long in fact Vic goes with the clique line of he is “getting too old for this.” Here we see Vic occupies a dual identity. The Question is Vic’s tool to go beyond the normal limitations of a journalist and to activity fight against crime. But why would someone endanger himself for such an effort? Why not let the city crumble? The high ideals of Vic burn from a passionate hatred of corrupt political figures and criminal scum and the need to protect Hub City. So heated and devoted is Vic in efforts, he puts his life on the line against Sister Shiva and Reverend Hatch, the antagonists of the story, in a trap for Vic in the guise of a meeting with an informant. Vic bravely goes with the understanding the meeting is truly. Throughout the whole comic the narrator counts down to death of Vic. Thus upon Vic’s arrival the villains beat him up, shoot him in the head, and leave him for dead. This supposed death of the Question gives the character space for a rebirth and a chance to gain new knowledge and skills.

Let us cutaway from Vic and return to Jimmy. As high school investigator, Jimmy, shows his observation skills by solving a murder caseCase_Closed_Volume_36

at an amusement park. After careful consideration, Jimmy determines the murderer and the crime of the amusement park is solved. Here comes the turning point in Jimmy’s life. Shortly after decides to instigate shady man among the crowd. Jimmy departs his longtime friend and love interest, Racheal, and goes after the stranger. The young investigator uncovers an illegal arms deal with the shady man and others. So it is sealed that Jimmy gets knocked out, drugged, and left for dead. The rebirth of Jimmy comes from his body becoming shrunken to that of a child by the drug the stranger gave him. In his new body, Jimmy must adopt a new identity to keep his loved ones safe, he becomes Conan. Unlike the Question’s choice of dual identity, Jimmy’s dual identity is forced onto him. On the surface Vic and Jimmy appear to have similar stories, yet both the characters contrast in origin.

As we can see the development of a tale shaped by it is being told. The paths of the investigators depend on how the author writes up the story. The several of stories can be traced back to the imagination, which can be inspired by older tales or inspire new tales. Now my question to you is what type of story of would you tell?

Julia Rico




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