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 . . .

 

Now!

 

Good luck!

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Thanks, Fraser. I think #2 is the most likely not-yet-correctly-answered question. There must be some earlier Bat-villain appearance, perhaps something like a panel of Batman slugging someone when he gets the JLA signal.

Scratch that. (DC Indexes is very thorough and doesn't list anyone.) I'm going to place a bet that the Commander discounted the World's Finest Comics #100 story because in that one the bottled city is called Krypton City, which arguably places it on some other Earth than Earth One. (Perhaps Earth Two: we didn't otherwise hear Earth Two Superman had a bottled city but that doesn't mean he didn't.) When Superman, Batman and co. shrink down in World's Finest Comics #143 Robin says "To think... Batman and I are going into a city of old Krypton!", which can be taken as implying they haven't been there before. And the drawing illustrating the question is from a Curt Swan story, whereas the the earlier one was pencilled by Dick Sprang.

1."The Olsen-Robin Team Versus "the Superman-Batman Team!"" from World's Finest Comics #141

2.the Joker

3.Supergirl, for her birthday

4.Jhan-Ar, using the Metalloids 

5.by a sliding panel disguised to look like part of the wall

6.roving newspaper reporter

7.Aunt Harriet

8."The Feud Between Superman and Batman!" in World's Finest Comics #143

My tip of the hat again to Philip and Fraser, and a third time to Fraser for his objection to my previous answer.

Of course, I completely forgot about Ace's cameo in World's Finest #143. WF kept using some pre-New Look concepts after Mort Weisinger took over as editor with Ace, Clayface and Batwoman making their last Silver Age appearances there.

Also, Kandor first appeared in Action Comics #242 (Jl'58) while Word's Finest #100 came up in Ma'59. Though it's called Krypton City in WF, it's obviously Kandor. Perhaps they thought about renaming the city after their lost home world but it didn't take.

And whether it was Batman and Robin's first or second time entering the bottle, the awe and excitement was the same.

Huh, when I read "Dictator of Krypton City" I assumed they must have called it that in the first appearance (which I've read so I should have known better).

Thanks Luke. I agree with you (and Philip), there doesn't seem to be any place for another Bat-villain.

I had wondered if #7 referred to a villain's name but after going over the show's rogue's gallery, that doesn't seem to work.

Well, unless anyone can convince me that Superman had TWO Kryptonian cities in bottles at his Fortress.....

Also of the six comic book Bat-Foes that appeared in the TV show, the Joker and Mister Freeze never had their real names revealed but Catwoman (Selina Kyle), the Penguin (Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot)*, the Riddler (Edward Nigma) and the Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch) were all revealed in the Golden Age.

*Penguin's name popped up in the newspaper strip, IIRC.

O.K., fellows, I never jump in this early to reveal a correct answer, but Luke just brought something into play that doesn't belong.  Besides, I didn;t really fool anyone; everyone who answered the question got it right.

The correct answer to question number four is, indeed, Lex Luthor, from "The Dictator of Krypton CIty", World's Finest Comics # 100 (Mar., 1959).

What concerned me is Luke's conjecture that I might not have counted that story because the bottled city was called Krypton City.  Yes, that fact calls for conjecture, one way or the other.

One way, the conjecture would be that Krypton City and Kandor are one and the same.  The story recounts how the city was miniaturised by the villain Brainiac and added to his collexion of shrunken, bottled cities; that the city was rescued by Superman, and placed within his Arctic fortress for safekeeping.  Also shown is the classic Fortress of Solitude, with the vault door that was opened by a giant key disguised as an aeroplane marker.

These are all strictly Earth-One concepts, so we know that the stars of the story---Superman and Batman and Robin---are the Earth-One versions.

In addition, all of the scenes that take place within the bottled city evoke the same images and concepts generally attached to Kandor.  Ergo, the conjecture that Krypton City was Kandor is tight on logic.  It would seem that Krypton City was intended to be Kandor but, for some reason---perhaps editor Jack Schiff or writer Bill Finger forgot to check with Mort Weisinger---it was called Krypton City.

Another conjecture would be that Krypton City is a bottled city discrete from Kandor.  That means it's either a second bottled city from Krypton that Superman keeps in his fortress; or that this adventure takes place on an unnamed parallel Earth (i.e., neither Earth-One or Earth-Two).

It would be extremely odd for the story---even one of that vintage, which didn't pay a great deal of attention to continuity---to instal a second bottled city from Krypton in the Fortress of Solitude and not make reference to Kandor.  So the idea of two bottled cities is difficult to accept; at least, more difficult that the idea that Krypton CIty is actually Kandor.

But the notion that really prompted this reply was Luke's suggestion that, based on a simple deviation, I was placing "The DIctator of Krypton City" on a completely separate parallel world.  Yes, I am tight on details, but trust me, I wouldn't go that far around the bend, guys.  That would be like insisting that the first JLA adventure from The Brave and the Bold  # 28 happened on a different world from Earth-One because Aquaman wore yellow gloves in the story.

I stepped in here because I didn't want you fellows thinking that I got that down in the weeds over a minor discrepancy.  It's clear to anyone who reads "The Dictator of Krypton City" that it was intended to be the city of Kandor.  And, in fact, that would have been my rejoinder to anyone who argued that "The Dictator of Krypton City" doesn't count because it was Krypton City and not Kandor.

It was Kandor.

(Incidentally, to buttress the notion that the city was intended to be Kandor, when the story was reprinted in World's Finest Comics [Giant Annual] # 179 [Nov.-Dec., 1968], it was retitled "The Dictator of Kandor", and all references to Krypton City were relettered to read "Kandor".)

Details do count, but details are not mutually exclusive with logic, as you will learn about another question that seems to be confounding all of you.

As a matter of fact, the early JLA stories DID take on another un-numbered parallel Earth because as we all know, the Earth-One Batman didn't debut until Detective Comics #327 (My'64)!

And THAT Aquaman's sidekick was Peter the Pufferfish!

(pssst......I'm kidding!)

Commander Benson said:

In addition, all of the scenes that take place within the bottled city evoke the same images and concepts generally attached to Kandor. Ergo, the conjecture that Krypton City was Kandor is tight on logic. It would seem that Krypton City was intended to be Kandor but, for some reason---perhaps editor Jack Schiff or writer Bill Finger forgot to check with Mort Weisinger---it was called Krypton City.

I wonder if they were concerned that readers of World's Finest may not be full-fledged Superman readers, not necessarily knowing about Kandor They may have felt the need to make it clear that it was a Kryptonian city. I would have thought that would only apply to the title on the cover but it was apparently used for the entire story.

I would have counted that solution as close to a trick question, which as you have pointed out in the past, Commander, is not your style. Which makes me curious what we're missing, since the discovery is usually entertainment.

Changing subject, in response to thinking about Supergirl: there's a story where Jimmy Olsen winds up amnesiac and gets warehoused in Linda Lee's orphanage until they can find his family. Setting aside that this seems like a dubious legal procedure,  I find it hard to believe that Jimmy's young enough anyone would think "Well, he belongs in an orphanage!" Did Weisinger or anyone give Jimmy a definitive age?

Commander Benson said:

O.K., fellows, I never jump in this early to reveal a correct answer, but Luke just brought something into play that doesn't belong.  Besides, I didn;t really fool anyone; everyone who answered the question got it right.

The correct answer to question number four is, indeed, Lex Luthor, from "The Dictator of Krypton CIty", World's Finest Comics # 100 (Mar., 1959).

What concerned me is Luke's conjecture that I might not have counted that story because the bottled city was called Krypton City.  Yes, that fact calls for conjecture, one way or the other.

One way, the conjecture would be that Krypton City and Kandor are one and the same.  The story recounts how the city was miniaturised by the villain Brainiac and added to his collexion of shrunken, bottled cities; that the city was rescued by Superman, and placed within his Arctic fortress for safekeeping.  Also shown is the classic Fortress of Solitude, with the vault door that was opened by a giant key disguised as an aeroplane marker.

These are all strictly Earth-One concepts, so we know that the stars of the story---Superman and Batman and Robin---are the Earth-One versions.

In addition, all of the scenes that take place within the bottled city evoke the same images and concepts generally attached to Kandor.  Ergo, the conjecture that Krypton City was Kandor is tight on logic.  It would seem that Krypton City was intended to be Kandor but, for some reason---perhaps editor Jack Schiff or writer Bill Finger forgot to check with Mort Weisinger---it was called Krypton City.

Another conjecture would be that Krypton City is a bottled city discrete from Kandor.  That means it's either a second bottled city from Krypton that Superman keeps in his fortress; or that this adventure takes place on an unnamed parallel Earth (i.e., neither Earth-One or Earth-Two).

It would be extremely odd for the story---even one of that vintage, which didn't pay a great deal of attention to continuity---to instal a second bottled city from Krypton in the Fortress of Solitude and not make reference to Kandor.  So the idea of two bottled cities is difficult to accept; at least, more difficult that the idea that Krypton CIty is actually Kandor.

But the notion that really prompted this reply was Luke's suggestion that, based on a simple deviation, I was placing "The DIctator of Krypton City" on a completely separate parallel world.  Yes, I am tight on details, but trust me, I wouldn't go that far around the bend, guys.  That would be like insisting that the first JLA adventure from The Brave and the Bold  # 28 happened on a different world from Earth-One because Aquaman wore yellow gloves in the story.

I stepped in here because I didn't want you fellows thinking that I got that down in the weeds over a minor discrepancy.  It's clear to anyone who reads "The Dictator of Krypton City" that it was intended to be the city of Kandor.  And, in fact, that would have been my rejoinder to anyone who argued that "The Dictator of Krypton City" doesn't count because it was Krypton City and not Kandor.

It was Kandor.

(Incidentally, to buttress the notion that the city was intended to be Kandor, when the story was reprinted in World's Finest Comics [Giant Annual] # 179 [Nov.-Dec., 1968], it was retitled "The Dictator of Kandor", and all references to Krypton City were relettered to read "Kandor".)

Details do count, but details are not mutually exclusive with logic, as you will learn about another question that seems to be confounding all of you.

I was thinking villain because the Commander says "recurring" which to me implies semi-regular appearances—even though I guessed Alfred I wouldn't describe him as a "recurring" character in the series. But as you say, that doesn't wash.

Philip Portelli said:

Well, unless anyone can convince me that Superman had TWO Kryptonian cities in bottles at his Fortress.....

Also of the six comic book Bat-Foes that appeared in the TV show, the Joker and Mister Freeze never had their real names revealed but Catwoman (Selina Kyle), the Penguin (Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot)*, the Riddler (Edward Nigma) and the Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch) were all revealed in the Golden Age.

*Penguin's name popped up in the newspaper strip, IIRC.


Fraser Sherman said:

Did Weisinger or anyone give Jimmy a definitive age?

As a matter of fact, he did.  And you may find the previous discussion on that matter interesting.

You'll find it here:  http://captaincomics.ning.com/forum/topics/jimmy-olsen

Maybe Kandor is some kind of city-state and Krypton City was its capital?  ;)

I believe that Luthor addresses them with "Attention Kryptonites!" although they've been called Kryptonians for a long time. Maybe this writer simply wasn't up on his history.

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