The 2016 Silver Age Trivia Challenge lived up to its motto of “When Titans Clash!” (patent pending) as Mark Waid took on a team of fans in the annual battle for the Silver Age Trivia crown.

Owing to the tragic loss only a few weeks earlier of long-time panelist Doug Tonks , the Fans recruited former panelist Todd Allen, who returned to the con this year. Then when panelist Mike Sangiacomo had a last-minute conflict and couldn’t make the show, the Fans welcomed newcomer Tom Brevoort (Executive Editor at Marvel). So they ended up in pretty good shape.

Shown at left are all the participants (front row, l-r): Tom Brevoort, Craig (Mr. Silver Age) Shutt, Mark Waid, and (back, l-r): Francesca Peppiatt (scorekeeper and wife of Doug), Jason Fliegel, Mike Chary and Todd Allen.

The Fans definitely held their own through the hard-fought battle! Granted, they never took the lead, but they kept it close for much of time, even running a few categories—which Mark also did, of course.

As usual, he answered one question with only a few words of the question (the 20-point question in the very first category). But then Tom did likewise on what I figured might have been a stumper (the 30-point question in Unseen Marvel). They’re all easy if you know them.

Mark faltered early on, nearly forgetting the real name of Supergirl’s horse (he just blanked; it happens), but he came up with it just in time. He ran his share of categories, including Rip Hunter, Flash, Fill in the Number, and Licensed Characters.

In fact, in that final category, he not only named ONE Hot Wheels team member as requested, he named ALL of them (missing one slightly). And he wasn’t embarrassed to do it!  Sadly, he forgot who Supergirl and Wonder Woman battled in their B&B team-up and the name of Multi-Man’s helper. There may be a trend there.

The Fans likewise ran some categories, including X-Men, Dr. Strange, Team-Ups and Unseen Marvel. That requires speed, to secure the category, and depth, to answer all the questions.

It’s clearly not the same competition to read it on the Interwebs rather than look out at a crowd of several hundred people (and it was a big crowd this year) with a bicycle horn in your hand (we’re decidedly low-tech) and prepare to wrack your brain for the answer to some obscure (but somewhat “easy”) trivia question.

Waid took an early lead, which the Fans closed on, and they battled within 50 to 100 points the rest of the way. At the end of the regulation, Waid led 680 to 580. In the lightning round, questions started at 50 points apiece, then ratcheted up to 100 points to give the Fans a chance to snatch victory from defeat. It’s a time-honored tradition, but it never works, as Waid is too fast and honks in first—and knows the answer. He snagged six to the Fans’ four.

So how would you have done? Take the quiz and find out! Questions marked T (for Toss-up) are the speed questions, followed by a 10-point question (at #1), where the Fans could confer. #2 is worth 20 points and #3 is worth 30 points. Separate the Lightning Round questions as a total of 10, always remembering that if you didn’t get them fast, you probably didn’t get them.

And then throw away your score. As always, the Trivia Challenge isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey through the wild, wacky, wonderful world of a period of comics we will never see again. I hope you enjoy this year’s journey, and that we’re here to let you visit again next year!

Trivia Challenge 2016

 1. Is This Superman Vs Batman Tale from World’s Finest in the #180s (1968) Real? Or is it a Hoax, a Dream or an Imaginary Story?

T.  Superman accuses Batman of witchcraft and burns him at the stake when they travel back to New England in Colonial times to learn if Batman is related to Mad Anthony Wayne in WF #186.

1. Superman and Batman duel to the death to save their friends from galactic gamblers in WF #185.

2. Superman throws Batman off a skyscraper to commit “Superman’s Perfect Crime!” after being hypnotized by Mr. Socrates in WF #180.

3. Batman goes berserk and Superman must hunt him down and chain him up in “The Mad Manhunter!" in WF #182.

 

2. Captain America

T. Who was the first member invited to join the new Avengers after all but Captain America quit in Avengers #16?

1. Who created the Sleepers?

2. Who dressed up as Captain America to fool The Torch in Strange Tales #114?

3. What was the name of the sergeant who bedeviled Pvt. Rogers?

 

3. Rip Hunter

T. Rip Hunter made his first appearance in what title?

1. What famous woman of history appeared on two covers, only one issue apart?

2. What famous woman appeared in Rip’s second appearance in Showcase?

3. Who penciled Rip Hunter’s last cover?

 

4. X-Men

T. Who impersonated the X-Men to rob a bank in X-Men #20?

1. In “The End of the X-Men!” in X-Men #46, who’s tearing apart the stone X with the X-men’s pictures on it?

2. Who was the first X-Men Magneto captured, in X-Men #5?

3. What is the name of the FBI Agent who served as the liaison with Professor X early in his career and then against the Vanisher in #2?

 

5. The Flash

T. Who was on the receiving end of “The Mightiest Punch of All Time?” in Flash #153?

1. What was Kid Flash doing the first time he was cover-featured (in Flash #135) after his introduction?

2. Who did the two Flashes battle in their third team-up, in Flash 137?

3. On the cover of Flash #147, Flash and the Reverse Flash re-enact the iconic cover to Flash #123. Who are they chasing on either side of the fence?

 

6.  Doctor Strange

T. What relation is Clea to Dormammu?

1. Who was Dr. Strange battling when he finally made it onto the cover in ST #121?

2. By what name did Doc Strange call The Ancient One in his first two issues?

3. Whose battle with The Human Torch in Strange Tales #110 was deemed too titanic that it wasn’t even worth mentioning on the cover that a guy named Doctor Strange also was being introduced in the issue?

 

7. Supergirl

T. What’s the real name of Supergirl’s horse?

1. What evil Kandorian replaced Supergirl just before her existence was revealed to the world?

2. Who did Supergirl battle when she teamed up with Wonder Woman in Brave & Bold #63?

3. Who wrote and drew Supergirl’s first appearance in Action #252?

 

8. SHIELD

T.  Who is the liaison between SHIELD and Stark Industries?

1. What does SHIELD stand for?

2. Who was the first person to script SHIELD after Stan Lee?

3. What was the name of the SHIELD training school?

 

9. Green Arrow

T. The one time Green Arrow made the cover of a comic in which his strip was a backup, who was he with?

1. Who kicked Green Arrow out of Adventure Comics?

2. Who taught Roy Harper how to shoot a bow?

3. Before Kirby changed his profession, what did Oliver Queen do for a living?

 

10. Daredevil

T. Besides the Fantastic Four, what superhero appears on the cover of Daredevil #1?

1. What super-hero hired Nelson & Murdock in Daredevil #2?

2. What villain “killed” Mike Murdock?

3. Most of the first issue of Daredevil, including the first scene, takes place at The Fixer’s gym. What’s the name of his gym? (It’s mentioned in the first line of the first caption and shown in the first panel.)

 

11. Gotham City Villains

T.  Who was the first villain Batgirl faced in Detective #359?

1. What villain stepped out of the pages of The Flash on the cover of Detective #353 to battle the Dynamic Duo?

2. Who was the first super-villain Batman battled with his New Look in Batman (#169)?

3. What Batman villain also fought J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter?

12. Is This Jimmy Olsen Tale Real? Or is it a Hoax, a Dream or an Imaginary Story?

T. Jimmy marries Lucy Lane in “The Weirdo Wedding of Jimmy Olsen!” in SPJO #100.

1.  Returning from vacation, Jimmy finds that no one at the Daily Planet remembers him and that all the stories he ever wrote for the paper are credited to another reporter in “The Day There Was No Jimmy Olsen!” in SPJO #25.

2. Jimmy becomes the king of a private island and demands Superman not trespass on his sovereign land in “King Olsen’s Private Island!” in SPJO #85

3. Jimmy KOs Superman in a prize fight in “Jimmy Olsen’s Secret Power!” in SPJO #55.

 

13. Villainous Origins

T. What villain was banished to the anti-matter world of Qward?

1.  What villain did J. Jonah Jameson pay to create in ASM #20?

2. What gave Cain Marko, the Juggernaut, his powers?

3. Joe Meach had all the powers of the Legion statues in the Superman Museum, and in his two appearances, he used powers from all of the statues we saw—except for two. Which two Legionnaires’ powers that he was shown inheriting from the statues did he decide couldn’t help him defeat Superman and batman in WF #142 and #168?

14. Cover Scenes

T: Who was the first super-hero to appear on the cover of Silver Surfer?

1. Name any two of the characters who Superman is waving to on the cover as he dies in his isolation booth in “The Last Days of Superman” in Superman #156?

2. Who is the first super-villain to be featured on the cover of Captain America?

3. Who is Spider-Man slugging on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man King-Size Special #3, when he faced The Avengers?

 

15. Team-Ups

T. Who was the first super-hero to guest-star in Daredevil?

1. Who teamed up in the first team-up in Showcase?

2. Who did Starman and Black Canary battle in their first team-up in B&B #61?

3. The two Green Lanterns are trying to free the two Flashes on the cover of JLA #22, “Crisis on Earth-Two.” Name one of the other pairs of heroes caged.

 

16. Backups

T. What was the regular backup in Journey Into Mystery?

1. What was the regular back-up feature in mid-1960s issues of World’s Finest?

2. What feature appeared as the backup in Silver Surfer?

3. Who was evicted from both Action Comics and Adventure Comics when those titles turned to members of the Superman family for backups?

Thanks to Lee Houston Junior for his suggestions for this category!

 

17. Unseen Marvel

T. Who first worked for Marvel using the name Adam Austin?

1. When the FF received costumes in #3, what was eliminated in the inking stage?

2. What image had to be altered slightly to pass the Comics Code in the one-page seduction scene between Nick Fury and Val in Agents of SHIELD #2?

3. What character was advertised as appearing in Marvel Super-Heroes #21 but never appeared, as the title went to reprints and the cover and story were shelved?

 

18. The Challengers

T. Which of the Challengers received an inheritance that made him rich enough to fund the Challengers’ adventures?

1. What was the name of Multi-Man’s robotic helper?

2.  What was the name of the modular aircraft the Challengers used to fly to their adventures?

3.. What were the four men destined to become the Challengers on the way to do when their plane crashed, giving them “borrowed time?”

 

19. Licensed Characters

T: Which member of the cast later got his own title from among the characters in Sgt. Bilko?

1. What was the name of Rudolph the Reindeer’s best friend?

2. Who was the first villain faced by Captain Action?

3. Give me the first name of any single member of the six-member Hot Wheels team.

 

20. Marvel Women

T. What hid Mary Jane’s face the first time we saw her in Amazing Spider-Man #25?

1. What is the name of Captain Mar-Vell’s Kree girlfriend?

2. What is the name of Janet Van Dyne’s flying ant?

3. Name either of the two other doctors that Jane Foster worked for?

 

21. Fill in the Number

Give me the number of the issue described.

T: The first issue of The Flash.

1. The first issue of Amazing Spider-Man drawn by John Romita.

2. The issue of Fantastic Four in which Doctor Doom first appeared.

3. Aquaman’s wedding.

 

22. Superman’s Cover Calamities

T.  With whom did Lois Lane sing the song, “Song of Superman?”

1. Why was Superman dying in “The Last Days of Superman!” in Superman #156?

2. What was Superman’s new power, caused by touching an alien spaceship, that was shown on the cover of Superman #125 shooting rainbow colors from his fingertips?

3. In Superman #130, why did The Town That Hated Superman hate Superman?

 

Lightning Round!

1. What was Mr. Freeze’s first super-villain name?

2. Who was Captain Marvel’s Kree superior officer?

3. What was Kathy Kane’s profession?

4. Who is the only villain Ant-Man faced twice in Tales to Astonish?

5. Who really was the Girl with Green Hair who proposed to Jimmy Olsen?

6. What title introduced Ka-Zar?

7. Who helped Spider-Man defeat the Beetle in ASM #21?

8. In what title did the Doom Patrol first appear?

9. In what title did the Inhumans appear as a backup?

10. Who made the Flash real gone, man?

Answers are below. Don't peek! 

 

 

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The Answers!

1. Superman Vs. Batman

T. Hoax (Batman was possessed by an evil spirit that Superman hoped to scare out of him).

1. Hoax (They were working together to beat the gamblers)

2. Imaginary

3. Hoax (Superman was hypnotized and Batman acted crazy to keep him nearby)

 

2. Captain America

T. Hawkeye

1. Red Skull

2. The Acrobat

3. Sgt. Mike Duffy

 

3. Rip Hunter

T. Showcase (#20)

1. Cleopatra (#19 and 21)

2. Circe

3. Gil Kane

 

4. The X-Men

T. Unus and the Blob

1. Juggernaut

2. The Angel

3. Fred Duncan (#2, 38-39)

 

5. The Flash

T. Professor Zoom

1. Getting his new costume

2. Vandal Savage

3. Mr. Element / Dr. Alchemy

 

6. Doctor Strange

T. Niece

1. Baron Mordo

2. The Master

3. Wizard and Paste-Pot Pete

 

7. Supergirl

T. Biron (the centaur)

1. Lesla-Lar

2. Multi-Face

3. Otto Binder and Al Plastino

 

8. SHIELD

T. .Jasper Sitwell

1. Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division

2. Jack Kirby (#148)

3. UNIT (Underground Network Intelligence Training academy) (ST #159)

 

9. Green Arrow

T. Superboy (Adventure #258)

1. Congorilla

2. Chief Thunderhead (later Brave Bow)

3. Museum curator/archeologist

 

10. Daredevil

T. Spider-Man

1. The Thing

2. Executioner

3. Fogwell’s Gym

 

11. Gotham City Villains

T. Killer Moth

1. The Weather Wizard

2, The Penguin

3. Arnold Hugo

 

12. Is This Jimmy Olsen Tale Real? Or is it a Hoax, a Dream or an Imaginary Story?

T. Real

1. Hoax

2. Hoax

3. Real

 

13. Villainous Origins

T. Sinestro

1. The Scorpion

2. The Crimson Gem of Cyttorak

3. Matter-Eater Lad and Light Lass

 

14. Cover Scenes

T. Thor

1. Supergirl, Krypto and Kandorians

2. The Red Skull

3. The Hulk

 

15. Team-Ups

T. Spider-Man

1. Doctor Fate and Hourman

2. The Mist

3. Wonder Woman & Black Canary / J’onn J’onzz & Hawkman / The Atom & Green Arrow

 

16. Backups

T. Tales of Asgard

1. Editor’s Roundtable

2. Tales of the Watcher

3. Congorilla

 

17. Unseen Marvel

T. Gene Colan

1. Domino masks

2. A phone was put back on the hook

3. Starhawk

 

18. The Challengers

T. Prof (from his Uncle Cyrus)

1. Multi-Woman

2. The Gallopin’ Gizmo

3. Appear on the radio show “Heroes.”

 

19. Licensed Characters

T. Sgt Bilko’s Private Doberman

1. Grover

2. Krellik

3. Jackie (Wheeler), Janet (Martin), Mickey (Barnes), Tank (Mallory), Ardeth (Pratt) and Kip (Clark)

 

20. Marvel Women

T. A flower

1. Una

2. Boopsie

3. Dr. Bruce Andrews or Dr. Keith Kincaid

 

21. Fill in the Number

T. #105

1. #39

2. #5

3. #18

 

22. Superman’s Cover Calamities

T. Pat Boone

1. Jimmy Olsen had a piece of kryptonite lodged in his camera.

2. He could materialize a tiny version of himself with super-powers.

3. The mayor blamed Superman for him not being adopted as a child.

 

Lightning Round!

1. Mr. Zero

2 Yon-Rogg

3. Circus performer

4. Egghead

5. Supergirl

6. X-Men

7. Human Torch

8. My Greatest Adventure

9. Mighty Thor

10. Abra Kadabra

Was Clea revealed to be Dormammu's niece (and Umar's daughter) in the Silver Age?

I'm going to say yes, but tracking that stuff down is always tough. Lots of places have hero histories, but they never annotate them, so it's hard to separate one reboot from the next, much less when each fact became known. And something like that isn't often noted in issue notes. I try to avoid those questions if it's iffy. That's become well enough known that I didn't consider that, and I got the answer immediately. 

It came up when I asked for Superman's birthday. I'm pretty sure I knew that back then, but I can't find an initial citation. It may be in a letters column.  

This stuff is never as easy as it looks!

-- MSA

Not to be a pain but was Green Arrow ever shown in the 50s and 60s NOT being a millionaire playboy?


Mr. Silver Age said:

It came up when I asked for Superman's birthday. I'm pretty sure I knew that back then, but I can't find an initial citation. It may be in a letters column.  

You're hunch is on the beam, Mr. S.A.---it was, indeed, a letter column which established Superman's birthday. And Clark Kent's, too.

In the letter column of World’s Finest Comics # 164 (Feb., 1967), Mort Weisinger responded to a letter from Miss Cathy Burnett, of Goshen, New York, requesting the birth dates of Superman, Batman, and Robin:

 

You’ll have to get Batman and Robin’s birth dates from editor Julius Schwartz, official custodian of the Caped Crusaders’ calendar.  As for Superman, the Man of Might was born, by a strange stroke of fate, on a date in the Kryptonian year which corresponds with our Feb. 29---Leap Year Day!

 

Weisinger took advantage of the next year, 1968, being a leap year, to remind the fans of the Man of Steel’s once-every-four-years birthday in the letter columns of Action Comics # 364 (Jun., 1968) and Superman # 210 (Oct., 1968). 

Most sources credit Julius Schwartz with establishing Clark Kent's birthday, but Weisinger actually did that, too.

Mort established Clark Kent's birthday also in 1967, in response to a letter from Pat Freeman, of Whitehall, Ohio, which appeared in Superboy # 143 (Dec., 1967).  Pat wrote:  “When is Superboy’s birthday?  And when is Clark Kent’s birthday?  Certainly they must be celebrated on different days to protect the secret of his double identity.”  And Mort replied:

 

Superboy’s birthday corresponds to that rarest of Earth dates, Feb. 29.  Clark celebrates his birthday on the anniversary of the day the Kents adopted him, June 18.

 

Subsequent mentions of Clark’s birthday revised 18 June to be the day his rocket landed on Earth, rather than the day he was adopted by the Kents.  (Nb., “Unhappy Birthday to You”,Superman # 263 [Apr., 1973], et al.)   This change occurred under Julius Schwartz' watch, which is probably why he gets credit for establishing the date, as well.

Hope this helps next time it comes up!

Well, um, yes, before Jack Kirby changed it, Oliver Queen was a museum curator and an archeologist. It didn't come up much. As Mark said, that was a "deep dive" into GA's history, but finding interesting/knowable questions based on all those 5 1/2 page stories isn't easy.

Green Arrow - More Fun Comics #89

As I noted at the panel, this was our 20th anniversary, which means we've done about 2000 questions. Finding stuff I haven't already asked in some form gets tougher. I'm thinking I may retire that category even if he is on TV (which all those early categories relate to). As it is, I only included Rip from among the Legends characters. By now, I've pretty well used up every interesting GA fact anyone knows.

-- MSA

Yeah, my recollection is that Steve Englehart was the one who revealed Clea's parentage and thus relation to Dormammu, circa 1976. 

Mr. Silver Age said:

I'm going to say yes, but tracking that stuff down is always tough. Lots of places have hero histories, but they never annotate them, so it's hard to separate one reboot from the next, much less when each fact became known. And something like that isn't often noted in issue notes. I try to avoid those questions if it's iffy. That's become well enough known that I didn't consider that, and I got the answer immediately. 

It came up when I asked for Superman's birthday. I'm pretty sure I knew that back then, but I can't find an initial citation. It may be in a letters column.  

This stuff is never as easy as it looks!

-- MSA

You're hunch is on the beam, Mr. S.A.---it was, indeed, a letter column which established Superman's birthday. And Clark Kent's, too.

Thanks for the details, Commander, I was pretty sure that was the case, but didn't remember and I couldn't annotate it. I had a feeling you'd know. I've got those letters columns, but digging through them to find those little nuggets of information is a lot of work!

-- MSA

I know about Oliver's Golden Age profession but did it come up in those 50s Pre-Kirby stories?
 

Mr. Silver Age said:

Well, um, yes, before Jack Kirby changed it, Oliver Queen was a museum curator and an archeologist. It didn't come up much. As Mark said, that was a "deep dive" into GA's history, but finding interesting/knowable questions based on all those 5 1/2 page stories isn't easy.

Green Arrow - More Fun Comics #89

As I noted at the panel, this was our 20th anniversary, which means we've done about 2000 questions. Finding stuff I haven't already asked in some form gets tougher. I'm thinking I may retire that category even if he is on TV (which all those early categories relate to). As it is, I only included Rip from among the Legends characters. By now, I've pretty well used up every interesting GA fact anyone knows.

-- MSA




Mr. Silver Age said:

I've got those letters columns, but digging through them to find those little nuggets of information is a lot of work!

Tell me about it! The strange thing is, even with incredibly obscure details, like lettercol responses, sometimes I can remember the precise issue, title and number, where it is, and other times, I know I saw the information somewhere, but cannot recall exactly where.

The birthdates I cited are a good example of this.  I knew exactly which issue of World's Finest Comics to go to, in order to provide the citation for Superman's birthday.  But as to Clark Kent's birthday, all I knew was that Mort addressed it in a lettercol answer and it was probably in an issue of Superboy.  It didn't take me all morning to find it because I vaguely remembered the Clark Kent-birthday answer came out around the same time as the Superman-birthday answer.  It narrowed down my search enough to find it much quicker than I expected.

Funny how some of that Silver-Age Goodness gets tattooed on your brain, while some of it gets dumped into the same place as "Where the %$#$@! did I leave my cell phone?"

Commander, I always imagine as the sort of person to whom I could say something like "Dad's pulsations are steady", and you'd know where it came from.


The Baron said:

Commander, I always imagine as the sort of person to whom I could say something like "Dad's pulsations are steady", and you'd know  where it came from.

Thank you, sir. Unfortunately, I'm not as adept at spotting my own "your/you're" typos as I am at retaining arcane information.

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