Deck Log Entry # 226 The Silver-Age Challenge---the Legion of Super-Heroes Edition II

At the conclusion of last year's Silver-Age challenge, I told you guys that I already had the questions for this year's quiz prepared.  Well, I did, as in past tense.  Last week, when I gave them a final scrubbing, I discovered that I had forgotten that I had already asked one of them in my first Legion quiz seven years ago.  Another one was so similar to a question from that 2013 LSH quiz that it would have been too easy to find the answer. 

 

And when I checked a third poser to see how Google-proof it was, one of the hits took me back to a comment I posted three years ago on one of the General Comics Discussions threads, a comment which gave away the answer.

 

So I had to generate three new questions to throw at you.  Fortunately, one of them turned out to be better than any of those I tossed out.  By "better", I mean that it's strong in that "Hey, I didn't know that!" quality which makes the answers fun for folks to learn.  The other two, alas, are clearly from "the Legion of Substitute Questions", but they'll serve in a pinch.

You old vets of my Silver-Age challenges are already flexing your typing fingers.  But, as always, for any test-takers who're here because they landed on this page while looking for something else and decided, "What the hey, I 'll give it a go!", here are the rules---with one special change that even the veterans should note:

 

1.  All of the questions, and answers, are drawn from Silver-Age material.  Ordinarily, that means 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.  However, just as with the last Legion quiz, I draw a special demarcation for this one; the parameters are slightly narrowed from the usual beginning-to-end of the Silver Age envelope.  Here, all the questions and all the answers will fall between the time frame marked from the Legion’s first appearance, in Adventure Comics # 247 (Apr., 1958), to the last Silver-Age Legion story penciled by Curt Swan, in Adventure Comics # 372 (Sep., 1968).

 

Note, though, that the questions and answers can come from any publication; it's just that the time frame is bound by those two issues of Adventure Comics

 

2.  I’m definitely not infallible.  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 immune to Googling 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.

Any time I post a Deck Log entry involving the Legion of Super-Heroes, I get a considerable amount of activity.  And, sometimes, controversy, too---but the sort that is well-mannered and respectful when men of good will disagree, and that sort is always welcome.  So, we'll probably see the same thing this time.  At least, I hope so, if I done my job as quizmaster well enough.

 

O.K., then, here we go!  As usual, I'll start off with a lob . . .

 

1.  Who was the first non-charter member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes?

 

2.  Who is the leader of the Legion Espionage Squad and which Legionnaires are permanently assigned to the squad?

 

3.  On what 20th-century television programme did the Legion make a guest appearance?

 

4.  On what world is Element Lad's super-power viewed as criminal and results in planetary banishment?

 

5.  Besides their super-son, which Legionnaires have Ma and Pa Kent knowingly met?

 

6.  Excluding the Adult Legion stories, name all of the Legionnaires who, at some point after joining the Legion, permanently replaced their super-hero names with new ones.

 

7.  Thanks to the machinations of Dream Girl, Lightning Lass was expelled from the Super-Hero Club for violating what provision of the Legion Constitution?

 

8.  Other than Luthor, what recurring 20th-century super-villain from Earth was mentioned by name in a Legion story appearing in Adventure Comics?

 

9.  According to the Legion Constitution, what is the maximum number of successive space missions a Legionnaire may undertake without a rest period?

 

10.  We all know that Cosmic Boy was the Legion's first leader, right?  But how do we know this?  Where---comic and issue number---was that first definitively established?

 

 

Good luck, gang!

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I'll post my attempt at the quiz before reading anyone else's answers.

1. First non-charter member of the Substitutes: Dream Girl (Adventure #342), immediately followed by Star Boy, and Color Kid shortly after.

2. Espionage Squad.  The "Know Your Legionnaires" feature in Adventure #329 lists Chameleon Boy as leader, and Invisible Kid as a member.  The lettercol in Adventure #347 repeats this information, and adds Shrinking Violet, Saturn Girl and Phantom Girl as members.

3. No idea about the 20th-century TV program.

4. In Superman #147 (and elsewhere), Cosmic King of the LoSV says that his power of transmutation was considered evil on Venus, leading to his banishment.  Presumably the same applies to Element Lad.

5. Ma and Pa Kent have certainly met Mon El (Superboy #89), Duo Damsel and Shadow Lass (Adventure #369).  I can't immediately identify any others.

6. Legionnaires who changed their names permanently.
Lightning Lad was called Lightning Boy on his first appearance.
Element Lad was called Mystery Lad on his first appearance.
Lightning Lass became Light Lass when her powers changed.
Triplicate Girl became Duo Damsel when one of her bodies died.
Mon-el briefly called himself Marvel Lad when he joined the Legion in disguise in Adventure #305 after Brainiac 5 cured his lead poisoning, but I doubt this counts.
Lone Wolf changing his name to Timber Wolf shouldn't count, I think, as he did so before joining the Legion.

7. Was Lightning Lass expelled for (apparently) losing her powers?

8. I have a vague feeling that The Joker may have been mentioned somewhere, but if so, I've no idea where.

9. Legionnaires must take a rest-period after five successive space-missions (amendment to the constitution after Sun Boy went mad in Adventure #318.

10. The "Origin of Cosmic Boy" feature in Adventure #352 says that he was the Legion's first leader.  I suspect that this wasn't the first time that was stated.

A few footnotes after reading other answers.

1. Dream Girl is shown to have joined the Subs in Adventure #342.  Although Color Kid also appears in that issue (his first appearance), and is recommended to the Subs, I don't think there's time for him to have joined them before Dream Girl.

2. I don't think Duo Damsel was a permanent member of the Espionage Squad, any more than was Karate Kid, who also worked with the Squad in Adventure #360.

8. Argh!  I thought I recalled a scene in the Batcave from somewhere, but didn't remember it was in Adventure #341.  I kept thinking of Adventure #360, but that features Luthor's Lair, not the Batcave.

With regards to question # 8, and without comment on the answers to that question that have already been provided, there's another candidate I had in mind, if anyone would care to figure out who.

Thinking about #6 some more I would add:

Miss Terious/Dream Girl

Sir Prize/Star Boy

In their second stints as Legionnaires, they were sworn in under those names, expected that they would be asked to leave when they unmasked and changed back to their other aliases when they were allowed to stay.

Okay, here is what I figured.



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1. Who was the first non-charter member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes?

I will go with Star Boy. Dream Girl got him and herself to join the Substitute Heroes after his trial, but I don't think that was ever made official. And since Star Boy was the reason for her being there as well, I will count him as joining first.

2. Who is the leader of the Legion Espionage Squad and which Legionnaires are permanently assigned to the squad?

Chameleon Boy is the leader, and apparently has been for all of the Adventure Comics period and quite a while later, despite Lyle Norg being just as instrumental in the creation of this subgroup.

All in all, the team made very few appearances. I believe that they had exactly two missions before 1969.


The _original_ members, from #360, were Chameleon Boy himself, Karate Kid, Duo Damsel and Shrinking Violet.

In #391 Reep chose a different roster - Brainiac 5, Timber Wolf, Saturn Girl, Karate Kid and Element Lad.


The question is however about the _permanent_ members and does not encompass events after 1969. Most of the Espionage Squad's lore comes from much later.

I know that Tynia (Phantom Girl) has been described as a permanent member at least once, despite apparently having had only minimal participation if even that. It stands to reason that Chameleon Boy should be considered "permanently assigned" to the subgroup that he himself leads, as well.

During the late 1980s Reep makes a statement that Violet signed as a "charter member". Given how seriously he takes that descriptor, I will assume that to be either equivalent to or even more specific than permanent membership. However, I know of no indication that this assignment dates back to the Adventure Comics era, so I will not count her.

So my answer is: Chameleon Boy is the leader (the only leader for many years, going well past Crisis even); and the only permanent members during that period are Phantom Girl (who may never have actually gone on missions) and Chameleon Boy himself.

3. On what 20th-century television programme did the Legion make a guest appearance?

Pass.

4. On what world is Element Lad's super-power viewed as criminal and results in planetary banishment?

Pass.

5. Besides their super-son, which Legionnaires have Ma and Pa Kent knowingly met?

Ultra Lad, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Shadow Lass, Duo Damsel, Insect Queen. They also know Pete Ross, but neither them nor Superboy himself know that he is a honorary Legionnaire.


6. Excluding the Adult Legion stories, name all of the Legionnaires who, at some point after joining the Legion, permanently replaced their super-hero names with new ones.

Element Lad (originally "Mystery Lad"); Timber Wolf ("Lone Wolf"); Wildfire ("ERG-1"); Duo Damsel ("Triplicate Girl"); Light Lass ("Lightning Lass"). Given the time period, I will not include Valor/Mon-El, nor "Furball". Nor Reflecto, and that will spare me a headache.

7. Thanks to the machinations of Dream Girl, Lightning Lass was expelled from the Super-Hero Club for violating what provision of the Legion Constitution?

Clause 2-B: "No one without a superpower can be a member".


It was one of those incredibly contrived tales where a single Legionnaire becomes a prick for many others for a honorable reason.  IIRC Saturn Girl had one of those very early on.

8. Other than Luthor, what recurring 20th-century super-villain from Earth was mentioned by name in a Legion story appearing in Adventure Comics?

Mr. Myxzptlk, in Adventure #310.

9. According to the Legion Constitution, what is the maximum number of successive space missions a Legionnaire may undertake without a rest period?

Pass.

10. We all know that Cosmic Boy was the Legion's first leader, right? But how do we know this? Where---comic and issue number---was that first definitively established?

In a text feature that others mentioned.  Surprisingly late, too.

In the three stories that Ultra Boy was in the 20th century, Superboy #98, Superboy #100 and Adventure #301, he didn't interact with the Kents, at least not on panel. He was near them but did not directly engage them. It was Pete Ross that he met.

Luis: "It was one of those incredibly contrived tales where a single Legionnaire becomes a prick for many others for a honorable reason. IIRC Saturn Girl had one of those very early on."

In the Legion they invariably focused around infractions of the club rules. I've sometimes wondered if this reflects some cultural thing about clubs in those days that I'm not picking up on.

For #8, in the Adult Legion story in Adventure Comics #354, they namedrop Doctor Light as Superman and Cosmic Man use the same trick as Superman and Batman did in Justice League of America #12.

Thinking about it, how weird for the events of a Julius Schwartz edited book should get referenced in a Mort Weisinger edited book!

Congratulations on remembering that Doctor Light reference, Philip!  I'll bet that's the answer to the Commander's question, as it specifically asks for the name of a "recurring 20th-century super-villain".  The Joker and the Penguin certainly recurred, but neither of them are super-powered.

Regarding question 5, I agree with you that although Ultra Boy visited 20th-century Smallville, he didn't apparently meet the Kents.  Two other Legionnaires that I thought might have been meant are Star Boy in Adventure #282, and Sun Boy in Adventure #290.  However, again, I don't think either of them met Ma and Pa.  Moreover, the "Sun Boy" in that story is doubly disqualified, as he was an impostor, not the real deal!

Doctor Light doesn't possess any super-powers either. It's all in his technology. After all if characters like Captain Cold and Sonar are considered "super-villains" because they have weapons, why wouldn't tricked-out gags and umbrellas count?

Peter, I went over the Sun Boy and Superboy visits in the Omnibus and no, they didn't meet the folks. Philip, I agree—unless a question specifically says "superpowered villains" I'd count Penguin and Joker, just as Batman qualifies as a superhero.

You make a very fair point, Philip!  Somehow, Joker & Penguin "feel" different from Light (and other villains like those you name), but I can't really justify that feeling.  After all, none of them would be eligible to join the Legion, even if they reformed and de-aged appropriately.

We'll just have to wait for the judgement of the good Commander.

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