Deck Log Entry # 183 The Silver-Age Challenge---So, You Think You Know the Batman?

The summer-quiz bug bit me again, gang, although I have to admit, the season almost got by me.  I got the idea for a couple of really good questions early in the year, but it took me several months to fill out my card.  By then, I had to finish my two-parter on Silver-Age mysteries.


But, hey, August---even the last week---counts as summer, right?


Last year, the subject of my quiz was the granddaddy of super-heroes, Superman.  So this year I thought it would be fitting to tackle DC’s second-biggest cash cow---the Masked Manhunter himself, the Batman.  Now, sure, all you veterans know the rules to how this goes.  But just to make it official---and for the benefit of new visitors . . . you know, folks who meant to click “Fluit Notes” and hit my link by mistake . . . who want to give it a try---here are the rules.


The big one is that only Silver-Age knowledge counts.  And you need to know that I define the Silver Age as beginning late in 1956 and ending in 1968.  That means my questions were sourced from DC comics published between the cover-dates of October, 1956 (Showcase # 4) and December, 1968.  Also eligible for plucking was any other literature published by DC---form letters, print ads, and so forth---during that period.  But you can breathe a little easier this time, because I got all my questions for this quiz from the comics alone.


Now here’s what trips up most of the quiz-takers:  post-Silver-Age information doesn’t count.  For example, if I ask, “How did Jonathan and Martha Kent die?”, the correct response is “From the Caribbean fever plague.”  Any revisions to the fates of the Kents that have come along since would not be correct as an answer.   I say this mostly as a friendly warning.  You see, I don’t prohibit anyone from researching my questions through a search engine---heck, I expect it---and that’s fine.  One of the characteristics I require for an acceptable quiz-question is that it be highly Google-resistant.


So, sure, run my posers through your favourite search engine.  But, beware!  The overwhelming majority of hits you’ll receive will reflect the modern information.  Time and time again, that has fouled up even the old pros.


Lastly, sure, I miss stuff, too.  If you submit an answer different from the one I had in mind and it accurately addresses the question and it comes from Silver-Age material, then I will gladly credit you with a correct response.  But you have to be able to cite your reference.  “But I always thought . . . .” answers won’t cut it.


Let’s see . . . I believe that covers it.  We’re ready to find out how much you guys know about the Silver-Age Batman.  By the way, I came up with only eight questions this time, but as always, I’ll start off with a lob . . . .



1.  In 1964, the “New Look” Batman’s chest insignia was changed by enclosing the bat-emblem in a yellow ellipse.  In what story did the Caped Crusader wear the yellow-oval insignia for the first time?


2.  Who was the first villain in Batman’s rogues’ gallery to actually appear, “on camera” and not behind the scenes, in an issue of Justice League of America?


3.  Who was given a Batgirl costume from the Dynamic Duo, and why?


4.  What foe did Batman and Robin help Superman defeat on the Dynamic Duo's first visit to the bottled city of Kandor?


5.   Also in 1964, Bruce Wayne finally got tired of trudging up that long winding staircase from the Batcave to Wayne Manor and installed an elevator.  In order to keep Aunt Harriet and any guests in the mansion from discovering it, how was the elevator disguised?


6. According to Alfred the butler's fictional accounts of the Second Batman and Robin Team, what was the adult Dick Grayson's occupation?


7.  What recurring character in the Batman mythos did not have a last name---until the Batman television show supplied one?  After that, it became the character’s surname in the comics, too.


8.  We started with a famous first; let’s finish with a not-so-famous last:  what story marked the last Silver-Age appearance of Ace, the Bat-Hound?



You’ll have the usual three or four weeks to come up with your answers.  Your time starts . . .




Good luck!

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Don't have much time now but

2) It was THE JOKER in JLA #34 (Ma'65) but he was also behind the scenes in JLA #14 (S'62) so he's both the answer and the exception! HA! HA! HA!

3) They gave SUPERGIRL a Bat-girl outfit for her birthday!

4) It was actually LUTHOR as "The Dictator of Krypton City!" in World's Finest Comics #100 (Ma'59).

7) I'm going with AUNT HARRIET who last name "Cooper" was in the show than later used in the comics.

Hopefully I'll add to this.

I knew you'd jump in fast, Philip.  I'll give you your correct-answer total as soon as you can get the rest of them in.

This just in (as my brain got jump started!)

1) World's Finest Comics #141 (My'64). It seemed liked they added the oval to Curt Swan's artwork yet forgot to alter the cover!

Hmm ... I know a couple of answers off the top of my head. Will have to come back to this when I can hopefully answer more. Unfortunately, I traded away my nearly complete collection of Batman and Detective Comics circa 1964 -66 many moons ago so reference is not at my fingertips.

5) In Detective Comics #351 (My'66), after Aunt Harriet accidently discovered the sliding panel that opens the elevator to the Bat-Cave, Bruce and Dick crafted a dummy closet to make her think that she imagined the whole thing! They also installed a remote control device so that only they could access the elevator.

I won't go into how condescending they were towards her, hoping that she would doubt her sanity. Nor will I add how difficult it is to install an elevator in a house and how much machinery, time and physical labor it would take!

Philip Portelli said:

I won't go into how condescending they were towards her, hoping that she would doubt her sanity.

You mean how condescending Bruce and Dick were---after she snooped into their personal affairs and went into private areas where she had no business to go.

She wasn't scooping when she found the elevator. She was keeping Wayne Manor clean. And with no help!
Commander Benson said:

Philip Portelli said:

I won't go into how condescending they were towards her, hoping that she would doubt her sanity.

You mean how condescending Bruce and Dick were---after she snooped into their personal affairs and went into private areas where she had no business to go.

6) In Batman #131, Alfred had the adult Dick Grayson become a "roving newspaper reporter"!

You learn new things every day!

8) This might be cheating and I have no way of verifying it but according to the Grand Comics Database, there as an ad in Showcase #51 (Au'64) that featured the whole Batman Family and Ace was included and that was his last Silver Age appearance until they reprinted some of his stories in the 70s.

If this doesn't count, I completely understand.

It doesn't count, Philip, because the question asked for the story which included Ace's last Silver-Age appearance.  An advertisement, even if it's one for a story, is not, itself, a story.  Keep looking, my friend.

Philip Portelli said:

She wasn't snooping when she found the elevator. 

Aunt Harriet wasn't snooping when she accidently discovered the elevator, yes.

But she sure as blazes was snooping when she got inside it and went down to see where it led.

This wasn't like opening a door to see to what room it connected.  An elevator in a house, even a mansion, is a item of special design, clearly not meant to be used casually.  And, especially, if Wayne or Dick had not told her about it.  

No, old Hattie was being nosey, prying into the private affairs of someone who trusted her.  It's no different than if, while she was dusting Bruce's bedroom, she accidently came across a book labelled "Diary" and decided to read it.

Okay, then it would be "The Batman Creature!" from Batman #162 (Ma'64), two months before the New Look debut.

Also, Ace was heavily featured in Batman Annual #7 (Summer '64) which was sort of a last hurrah for the "Old Look" Bat-Family!

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