The Life and Times of The Eternal ManVandar Adg was a caveman and leader of the Blood Tribe who was born 50,000 years ago. A mysterious meteor crashed to the ground, bathing him in radiation, and granting him incredible intellect and immortality. An observer from the Bear Tribe would later approach that same meteorite and become Savage's eternal nemesis, the Immortal Man, possessing the power to resurrect as a new persona every time he is killed.
He took the name Vandal Savage. His first mark on history came when he and a select group of people successfully undermined and destroyed the lost city of Atlantis. That group of people became known as the Illuminati, with Savage serving as its leader, then and ever since.
Over the centuries, Savage's name appeared over and over again in Western history, as advisor to kings and pharoahs in Sumer, Egypt, and Europe. He claimed to have ruled hundreds of civilizations under hundreds of names: Khafre, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, and Vlad the Impaler, to name a few. He had also worked as close friends and advisers to the likes of Erik the Red, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ra's al Ghul, Otto von Bismarck and Adolf Hitler. He was the court physician in France, and even used the royal family for syphilis experiments.
Beginning in the 1940s, Savage frequently battled the Justice Society of America. One attempt to capture the members of the Justice Society out of revenge was thwarted by two Flashes, Jay Garrick and Barry Allen.
Ultimately, Savage's enemy the Immortal Man erased himself from existence to save the world during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Mitch Shelley, the Resurrection Man, an amnesiac with similar powers, took over as Savage's nemesis. However, Savage's list of foes is not limited to those two characters. Having lived so long, Savage has butted heads with possibly every single hero featured in the DC Universe, past, present, and future, most notably the Justice Society of America and the Justice League of America. At present, in the DC universe, Savage is about 52,000 years old.
Over time, Savage forgot many of his special powers, and never exhibited them to Barry Allen. However, he later began a quest to recharge them by killing. His first intended victim was Wally West, who by then had taken over the mantle of the Flash. During this time, he operated the Villers Gallery, an antique salon on Fifth Avenue in New York City. A private investigator by the name of Harold Halston from Thermopolis, Wyoming had been investigating one Varney Sack at the request of a local realtor. Sack turned out to be Savage, and the immortal man killed Halston once he figured the the private eye knew too much. In a showdown at the Club Neon, Wally, with the help of Frances Kane, fought Savage. He fell out of a window, but he disappeared before he hit the ground.
Savage surfaced again later, this time selling Velocity 9, a highly addictive super-speed drug of his own creation, which interfered with much of the existing drug trade in New York. He put an ad in the paper that attracted successful yuppies, who he used to do his bidding by giving them Velocity 9 so they could perform high speed crimes. However, these junkies aged at magnificent rates and suffered strokes very easily.
Savage wished to use the heroin distribution network of mob boss Nick Bassaglia to distribute Velocity 9 to lawyers and stockbrokers, hoping to gain financial control of New York. However, Flash, who had gone looking for Bassaglia after he was kidnapped by Savage, was injected with Velocity 9. After giving him a short spurt of incredible speed, it took away his powers. Hoping that a second dose would make him another one of his junkies, Savage told Dr. Conrad Bortz to inject the Flash, who instead injected Savage, who ran away.
He reappeared later, wanting money to leave the country. This money he attempted to acquire by kidnapping Rosie, the daughter of Wally's landlord, Mr. Gilchrist, with a ransom of five million dollars. He set many traps for the Flash, who was looking for Rosie, that led him to Barry Allen's grave, where Rosie was being kept. However, throughout all of this, Savage never showed his face.
Originally Savage was a member of Alexander Luthor's Secret Society of Super-Villains, but he quit and told Lex not to contact him for any reason. This was likely because his daughter Scandal was working against the Society as part of the Secret Six. When the Society lodged a final ambush against the Six, Vandal threatened to kill Luthor if he didn't call off the attack, saying that he couldn't allow anyone to harm his daughter. Whether this was a case of fatherly concern or Vandal has ulterior motives for his daughter remains to be seen. He has, however, been seen as a member of the Society's second incarnation underneath Libra during the Final Crisis. He actually even serves as one of his inner cabinet members.
During the events of Final Crisis: Revelations, it has been revealed that Savage is actually the man the Religion of Crime worships as "Cain", the original murderer and sinner. He has plans to murder the current Spectre, Crispus Allen.