Deck Log Entry # 192 The Silver-Age Challenge---Secret Identities

It’s summer again, and time for the annual tradition here.  No, I don’t team up with my parallel-world counterpart to tackle a crisis.  I mean, it’s time for my annual Silver-Age trivia quiz.


These things are getting tougher to write.  I’ve always had to keep the Internet at bay, but now the information on line is getting more expansive and more detailed.  Case in point:  in my first Silver-Age Challenge, some eight years ago, I asked for the space sector assigned to Tomar Re, the Green Lantern from Xudar.  That is, as the Silver Age had it.  As a precaution, I had run “Tomar Re” through the search engines, and every hit that listed his space sector had it down as “Sector 2813”, which was a Bronze-Age development.  Tomar Re’s first Silver-Age appearance established that his space sector was “9”.  That didn’t appear in any hit I referenced, so I was able to use the question.


But a few months ago, I ran the same search and discovered that every biographical site on Tomar Re included the detail that he originally patrolled space sector 9.  I would have to toss out that question, now.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that I was able to stay ahead of the Internet for this round of posers.


The rules.  It gets old putting them down every year---you veteran Legionnaires know them by heart---but I feel I have to, just in case somebody new wants to play.  But, I’ll list them as briefly as I can:


1.  This is a Silver-Age quiz.  That means that all questions, and all of the answers, come from comics and related materials published with a cover-date of September, 1956 (Showcase # 4) to December, 1968---the time frame I consider to be the Silver Age.


2.  Information introduced post-Silver Age doesn’t count.  Subsequent retcons and revisions have muddied the Silver-Age waters, so be careful.


3.  Can I miss stuff?  Sure.  In fact, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened more often.  So it’s possible that you'll come up with an answer that wasn’t the one I had in mind.  Be sure to cite your source, so I can check it to ensure your information satisfies my question---“But I always thought . . . .” arguments won’t cut it---and if it does, I’ll be glad to credit you with a correct response.


4.  No prizes here.  No no-prizes, either.  You’re playing strictly for bragging rights.


As you’ve probably guessed, the topic of this year’s quiz is secret identities.  Every question will relate in some fashion to costumed characters and their civilian identities.  This year is a little different in the fact that it’s not strictly a DC or Marvel quiz.  I came up with some good questions from both companies (in fact, I think the toughie of the bunch, and there always is one, came from the Marvel side) but not enough from either to devote the whole quiz to one side or the other.  To avoid confusion, each question is prefaced with the company involved.


And, as always, I’ll start off with a lob.  All set?  O.K., here we go!



1.  (DC)  What reward did Pete Ross receive after Ultra Boy discovered how Pete loyally protected Superboy’s secret identity of Clark Kent?


2.  (DC)  Conversely, what reward did Lana Lang receive from Superboy for turning down a perfect opportunity to learn his secret identity?


3.  (DC)  Commissioner Gordon briefly appeared as which costumed hero?


4.  (DC)  After Superman and Batman, and Green Lantern and the Flash, who was the third pair of Justice Leaguers to exchange knowledge of their secret identities?  (For keeps; in other words, JLA # 19 doesn’t count.)

5.  (Marvel)  During his sojourn on Earth as a guest of the Avengers, Hercules briefly used an ordinary mortal alias.  What was it?


6.  (DC/Marvel)  Both DC and Marvel had a masked, costumed character named "Ant-Man".  Who were their civilian identities?

7.  (Marvel)  Name two masked heroes in the Marvel Universe who were practising lawyers in their civilian identities.


8.  (DC)  Colonel Steve Trevor gave Wonder Woman a taste of her own secret-identity medicine when he briefly assumed the rôle of which costumed super-hero?



9.  (DC)  Yeah, yeah, we all know about the awful period in which the Blackhawks adopted super-hero identities.  But one of the famed Black Knights operated as a costumed mystery-man before he became a Blackhawk.  Name the man and his costumed identity.

10.  (Marvel)  After Captain America was revived by the Avengers, what was the first job he had in his civilian identity as Steve Rogers?



Good luck!

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I promised that I would sit your next quiz out. Besides I have to go to work now and can't double-check anything anyway!

But some of these I know but I'm keeping quiet.

For now!

The Hercules teacher one is REALLY bugging me!

I know I know it...but.....

I have no idea about most of these, but I'll take a stab at a few of them:

1) The Legion of Super-Heroes made Pete an honorary member.

2) A kiss?

4) Since they shared a title, the Atom and Hawkman

7) Daredevil and ...?

5) From Avengers #39 Hercules uses the secret identity of "Mr. Powers". However, I'm unable to discern if any first name was used.

6) I know one of the Ant's, but I'm clueless about the other.

Here goes...

1) Honorary membership of the LEGION 

2) Did she get the Insect Queen powers?

3) Don't know.

4) I'm guessing Hawkman and Hawkgirl ...?

5) I'm proud to remember 'Mr Powers' but not sure of the /if he used a first name.

6) No clue.

7) Daredevil of course and...The Two-Gun Kid (Matt Hawk)

8) I guess Colonel Wonder

9) Nope sorry

10) I believe Steve was a Policeman.

How'd I do How'd I do?

Lana received her insect powers in a separate story. I don't remember all of the particulars, but I think Professor Lang brought home a "magic ring" and Lana discovered that wearing it gave her the insect powers. I  think she got involved with the Legion at the end of the story, but I don't think it's the same story as the question at hand.

I should like to think Hawkman and Hawkgirl knew one another's identities well before he joined the JLA (plus, she wasn't a member until late in the Bronze Age), given that they were married to one another. ;-)

Steve was indeed a cop, but that happened well after 1968 IIRC.

Richard Mantle said:

2) Did she get the Insect Queen powers?

5) I'm proud to remember 'Mr Powers' but not sure of the /if he used a first name.

10) I believe Steve was a Policeman.

To clarify, Lana received her Insect Queen ring from an alien who had crash-landed in Smalllville. In gratitude for helping him get on his way, he gave her the ring.

2) To answer the question correctly, from Adventure Comics #355, Lana saw Superboy duck into a broom closet to change secret identities, but chose not to look and see who he was changing into. As a reward, Superboy took her to the 30th century, albeit not to try to join the Legion. However, she had brought the ring and changed into Insect Queen. After saving a crashing rocket ship with Dream Girl aboard (and really, why didn't Dream Girl know that the rocket would crash?) , she decided to try and join the Legion as Insect Queen. She was rejected as her powers were not natural, but she was given Legion Reserve Status.

Randy Jackson said:

Lana received her insect powers in a separate story. I don't remember all of the particulars, but I think Professor Lang brought home a "magic ring" and Lana discovered that wearing it gave her the insect powers. I  think she got involved with the Legion at the end of the story, but I don't think it's the same story as the question at hand.

A number of these are wild guesses.

1) A Legion ring.

2) He took her with him to the 30th century to meet the Legion?

3) Nightman from World's Finest Comics #155?

4) Hawkman and the entire JLA, when he joined in Justice League of America #31. He subconsciously knew all their identities from the absorbascon and I assume that's when they learned he was really Katar Hol from Thanagar.

5) Ercole Ilgrande or Laurie O'Hera.

6) The Ant, and the Ant.

7) Matt Murdoch, Daredevil, and Matt Hawk, Two-Gun Kid. (I really enjoyed the trick to this question.)

8) The Patriot, in Wonder Woman #174. (I resorted to the internet for this one.)

9) Before joining the Blackhawks Chop-Chop fought the Japanese as the White Dragon (Blackhawk #203).

10) I assume when he established his identity to the government he was automatically back in the army as Rogers until discharged.

Since no one answered #3, I'll give in:

It was MYSTERYMAN from Detective Comics #245 (Jl'57), which I read when it was reprinted in Batman Family #2 (D'75).

It amazed me to see Commissioner Gordon as a muscular beat 'em up superhero!

Mysteryman popped up in Kingdom Come, too!

I'll shut up now!


I screwed up.  I mentally associated two characters because I had a brain neuron misfire and incorrectly recalled the name of one of them.  This relates to question number six.  My first thought was to toss out the question, but I realised that it would put no-one to a disadvantage to simply change the question, this time using the accurate name.

So, for those of you scratching your heads over the right answer to the original question number six, it wasn't your brain breaking down, but mine. 

I apologise for the confusion.  The revised question has been edited into the article above.

4. I am not sure, but I think it was Green Arrow (and Speedy) and the Martian Manhunter who teamed up in The Brave and the Bold #50 to subdue a Martian criminal and his gang.This was an aborted attempt to make Green Arrow and J'onn J'onzz a continuing team.

This was a very odd story as far as the Martian Manhunter’s continuity. Dr. Erdel’s machine that brought J'onn to the Earth is working, and he uses the machine to return to Mars to get information about the Martian criminal. J'onn refers to the Earth as his “exile home”, despite the fact that he can now apparently return to Mars at will.

With a revised #6:

Marvel's Ant-Man was, of course, Henry Pym who first appeared in that role in Tales To Astonish #35 (S'62) several months after he was "The Man in the Ant-Hill!"

DC's Ant-Man was mobster Jumbo Carson who was accidently shrunk to a foot high when escaping a rubout by a rival gang. He became the Ant-Man to get his revenge but was captured by the Dynamic Duo in Batman #156 (Ju'63), almost a year AFTER Marvel's Ant-Man debuted! This Ant-Man was apparently stuck in his one-sixth scale form!

Batman #156 is also the famous "Robin Dies At Dawn!" issue!

Thanks to Michael Fleisher's Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes, Volume One, I knew of the existence of this other Ant-Man but never saw him until today!

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