Deck Log Entry # 209 The Silver-Age Challenge---DC Edition III

After several summers of “theme” trivia quizzes, this year, I’m right back where I started, with a potpourri of questions from Silver-Age DC Comics.  I’ve commented before on the increasing difficulty I experience every year in putting one of these challenges together.  Yes, with each one, I use up more material, but the greater problem is the expanding knowledge base accessible to search engines.  Bits of information which were too obscure for the Internet ten years ago now pop up in multiple places with a simple Google search.  And if the answer is too easy to find that way, I toss the question out.

 

Fortunately, I’ve had some trivia questions in my back pocket for years.  I had planned to use them for this year’s quiz.  Unfortunately, a Google check of each of them last month revealed that the answers to four of them were too readily uncovered on line.  So I had to reject those and come up with four new ones.  Then, at the last minute, I discovered the answer to one of the new four got several hits when I ran them through the search engine.  Fortunately, I was bailed out by our old pal, Eric Sofer, the Silver Age Fogey, who provided me with some material.  One of the questions this year was provided by him.

 

I know that most of you know the rules to my Silver-Age challenges, but just in case someone stumbles onto this page by mistake and decides to give it a shot, here are the rules of engagement:

 

1.  All of the questions, and answers, are drawn from Silver-Age material. That is, anything produced by DC from the publication of Showcase # 4 (Sep.-Oct., 1956) to December, 1968, which I demark as the end of the Silver Age.  If your answer comes from outside that period, then it is invalid.  For example, if I were to ask “What is the space sector patrolled by Tomar Re, the Green Lantern of Xudar?” and you answered “Space sector 2813,” you would be wrong.  During the Silver Age, Tomar Re’s space sector was “9”; “2813” was a Bronze Age revision.

                      

The Silver-Age limitation is a tricky thing to keep in mind.  Even the veteran quiz-takers here slip up sometimes.  (Remember the “Per the Legion Constitution, who is the only person that the Legion Leader is answerable to?” fiasco?)

 

2.  I’m definitely not infallible, also something to which the veteran quiz-takers will attest. I might have missed something, somewhere, in twelve years of DC publication.  If you come up with an answer that meets the criteria of the question and can cite the Silver-Age reference, then I will gladly award you credit.  “But I always thought . . . “ explanations won’t cut it, though.

 

3.  I’ve got no problem with anybody using a search engine to look for answers. I try to make my questions as Google-proof as possible.  The right answers are difficult to find with a search engine, though I cannot say impossible.  At least once, I tripped myself up when an article I had written for another site contained the answer to a question from that year’s quiz, and one of the players found it.

 

4.  There are no prizes. You’re playing for bragging rights.

 

Everybody got it?  O.K., then, here we go!  As always, I’ll start off with a lob . . . .

 

1.  For most of the run of the Manhunter from Mars series, members of the Middletown police department comprised the supporting cast. But who was the never-seen-but-occasionally-referred-to police commissioner of the Middletown police department?  His last name will be sufficient.

2.  Name the biggest/tallest building in Central City.

 

3.  What was---or I guess, technically, what will be---the civilian identity of Superman’s great-great-great-great-grandson, Superman VII?

 

4.  When Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are lounging around Wayne Manor, what signal alerts them to an intruder in the Batcave?

 5.  The Blackhawks didn’t spend the entire Silver Age going after cheesy costumed crooks like the Hoopster and Mister Safari. For a brief time, they tackled serious missions handed to them by their contact at the United Nations.  Who was he?

 

6.  This alters a super-powered Kryptonian’s physical form into specifically whatever he’s thinking of at the time. What am I talking about?

7.  Who was the first DC character of the Silver Age to be introduced in his own title, rather than be given a try-out in Showcase, The Brave and the Bold, or another magazine first?

8.  What was the name of the boyhood club to which Ray (the Atom) Palmer belonged?

 

9.  An examination of the stories about Superman’s boyhood on Earth show that Martha Kent knitted baby Clark two playsuits from the blankets swaddling him in his rocket from Krypton. One of the playsuits was eventually repurposed into his Superboy costume.  What happened to the other playsuit?

 

10.  What feature is provided in the council room of the Secret Sanctuary to keep Aquaman alive when Justice League meetings run longer than an hour?

 

 

I’ll provide the answers next month.  In the meantime, I look forward to your responses and the commentary that always results from them. 

 

Good luck!

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Blast. I've checked multiple stories with someone blasting Flash from the top of a skyscraper (including Brave and Bold #30) and none of them involve the tallest building in Central City.

2.My guess is Memorial Tower, which the Flash noticed was missing when he accidentally travelled to the vicinity of Keystone City on Earth-Two in "Flash of Two Worlds!", The Flash #123.

With regards to question two, this evening, while collecting the art for next month's answer column, I reviewed the source for this question, and discovered something which, in the interest of fairness, requires me to insert a modification to the question.

The context of the story from which this question is taken makes it clear that it is the tallest building in Central City, and that is the way most readers of the story would interpret it.  However, the actual description reads the "biggest building" in Central City.

Aware that some folks would see a distinction between tallest building and biggest building, I have rephrased the question.  It's fair to do so because the description as "biggest building" might enable someone to find the correct answer.  Once the answer is found, though, it will be obvious that the description referred to the building's height.

If I had to look for the answer to #2, the first place I'd look is the issue where Captain Boomerang tried to launch Flash into space on a giant boomerang. He'd do that from the tallest building, wouldn't he?

But I have vowed not to look up these answers, and I won't!

I checked that one out, Captain, and it just said he was launching him off a rooftop. Unless they mentioned it elsewhere in the story.

Or, I suppose, it's one of the other giant boomerang stories--the only one I had time to check out was "Space Boomerang Trap!"

Great minds, Fraser, great minds.

Commander, as always, being a lover and (elderly) child of the Silver Age, I thoroughly enjoyed your quiz. It shall not go without saying that I devour your Deck Log Entries as soon as I see them. My only disappointment in your work is that we see it too infrequently.

My only regret about the quiz is that I could not force myself to dive into my collection to uncover more of the answers, instead relying on a few of the reprint collections I have at hand and the incomparable Mike’s Amazing World of Comics. (All hail to Mike!) The curse of having to work for a living!

I look forward to your column revealing the answers, even though I may be booting myself in the backside when I read a couple of them as I curse my inability to uncover the lost mysteries of the glorious Silver Age.

Bravo di nuovo, Commander!

I’ve highlighted my answers in boldface and my guesses in italics.

1. The never-seen-but-occasionally-referred-to police commissioner of the Middletown police department was Diane Meade’s father, Commissioner Meade.

2. I could not find either the biggest or tallest building in Central City, so I will go with the obvious, but probably wrong answer: the Flash Museum.

3. The civilian identity of Superman’s great-great-great-great-grandson, Superman VII, will be Kanton K-73 (Action 338).

4. When Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are lounging around Wayne Manor, they are alerted to the presence of an intruder in the Batcave, as was Aunt Harriet, by buzzing phones and blinking lamps.

5. The Blackhawks tackled serious missions handed to them by their contact at the United Nations, whose name was Mr. Cipher.

6. I have no idea what you are talking about that alters a super-powered Kryptonian’s physical form into specifically whatever he’s thinking of at the time.  Wild guess: some kind of Kryptonian plant from the cosmic poppy family.

7. The first DC character of the Silver Age to be introduced in his own title, rather than be given a try-out in Showcase, The Brave and the Bold, or another magazine first was Captain Storm.

8. The name of the boyhood club to which Ray (the Atom) Palmer belonged has been on the tip of my tongue, and I will probably kick myself when I hear it. My semi-educated guess is the Scienceers.

9. One of baby Clark’s playsuits was eventually repurposed into his Superboy costume. I’m not completely certain this is correct, but I think the other playsuit went to Beppo, the Super-Monkey, after his arrival on Earth.

10. I couldn’t find definitive evidence of the feature provided in the council room of the Secret Sanctuary to keep Aquaman alive when Justice League meetings run longer than an hour, so I will go with the supposition that it is the tunnel entrance provided him to enter the Sanctuary from the sea.

Number 2 - I had a sneaking suspicion that this would be found in Justice League.

In JLA #15, the Flash sees an attack on Central City's biggest building, the Wilmoth Skyscraper!

Number 6 - The red kryptonite pearl from Superboy 142?

Number 10 - A shower stall that lowers over him, as seen in Justice League #1.

I seemed to remember some sort of shower thing once an hour, but I wasn't sure if I saw it, read it mentioned, or imagined it.

Randomnole said:

Number 6 - The red kryptonite pearl from Superboy 142?

Number 10 - A shower stall that lowers over him, as seen in Justice League #1.

Not your imagination. His seat was personalized for water, the way the Atom's was personalized for height (ah, I loved that little flying chair).

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