The Flash & Arrow: Who is Vandal Savage?

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In the last few weeks, much has been said about Vandal Savage, the villain of tonight's episode of The Flash, tomorrow's episode of Arrow and the forthcoming first season of DC's Legends of Tomorrow.

In the comics, Vandal Savage is 50,000 years old. There, Vandar Adg was given powers by radiation from a meteor storm when he was living as a caveman.

Savage was reportedly the inspiration for the biblical figure Cain, having committed the first recorded murder, making him an important figure in the Religion of Crime. Centuries ago, he and a group of fellow villains successfully undermined and destroyed the lost city of Atlantis. That group of people became known as the Illuminati, with Savage serving as its leader.

In the TV show, he's only 4,000 years old and has his origin in Ancient Egypt, where he served in the court of Prince Khufu, who would later be reincarnated asHawkman. He references ties to historical figures both evil and good.

As far as we know, there are no comic books that deal directly with any relationship that Vandal Savage might have with either Houdini, whom he mentions early in the crossover, or Robin of Loxley, mentioned later. Those are inventions for the TV show, or at least unimportant enough moments from the comics that they aren't well-documented online.

The idea that Savage has been quietly pulling the strings of the world's worst men is nothing new to TV, although in the comics he has a slightly longer list since he's been around longer, and since more stories have been told with him. He does have a kind of uneasy kinship with Ra's al Ghul, his fellow immortal. It will, however, be his primary means of eventually ascending to the ruler of the world in Legends of Tomorrow.

In the comics, Vandal has a daughter -- Scandal Savage -- who is a member of the Secret Six. No word on whether we will see her on TV, but it seems likely.