Deck Log Entry # 118 The Silver-Age Challenge---DC Edition . . . Answers!

O.K., back to comics.


A month ago, I posted a Silver-Age quiz on DC comics.  From the activity on comics-based trivia thread and my own Comic-Book Jeopardy! threads that we had back on the old site, I expected to see more participation. A lot of you fellows are pretty sharp and, as a whole, almost impossible to stump.  But only Luke Blanchard chimed in with a set of answers, and Philip Portelli provided some commentary.


Over on his own "Silver Age Comics" site, Pat Curley made mention of the quiz and ventured his thoughts on which questions he knew the answers to, which ones he would have to look up, and only one, he admitted, baffled him.  Having experienced Pat's knowledge first-hand, from reading his blog, I don't doubt his estimations are spot-on.  (And I know for a fact that he got question 10 right.)


But, as seen here many times, Luke is no slouch when it comes to Silver-Age knowledge, either.  He got at least seven out of the ten correct, which is pretty damn good.  He did not, however, get the one question which I knew would confound everybody.


For Luke and Philip and Pat, and for those of you who took the quiz at home but didn't bother to post, it's time for the answers.  Here we go!







1.  Who gave the commencement address at Snapper Carr's high-school graduation ceremony?


The answer is . . . Ray Palmer!  We saw it in the story "The Machine That Made Miracles", from The Atom # 4 (Dec., 1961-Jan., 1962).  This conveniently allowed the Tiny Titan to secretly lend a hand, after a bizarre occurence led Snapper into doing some crime-fighting on his own.



2.  What space sector was Tomar Re, the Green Lantern of Xudar, responsible for protecting?


The answer is . . . space sector 9!  That's right.  Space sector 9, not 2813.  This was established 'way back in Tomar Re's debut appearance in "The World of Living Phantoms", from Green Lantern # 6 (May-June, 1961).


This is the one I expected would trip everyone up, but I made a careful examination of the Silver-Age stories involving Tomar Re.  Only "The World of Living Phantoms" specifically mentioned Tomar's space sector by number.  The notion that he was the GL of space sector 2813 was a Bronze-Age revision (or more probably, the Bronze-Age writer who stated such had never read "The World of Living Phantoms").



3.  What public attraction lies exactly halfway between Metropolis and Gotham CIty?


The answer is . . . the Superman-Batman trophy exhibit at the state police building!  This exhibit was established in "Exit Batman---Enter Nightman", from World's Finest Comics # 155 (Feb., 1966) and seen again in WFC # 159 (Aug., 1966).


Luke, you answered with "a statue of Superman and Batman."  If this wasn't just a WAG, and you can provide me the issue information in which it appeared, I'll gladly give you credit for a correct response.  A statue would qualify as a public attraction.



4.  One of the regularly seen characters in Batman and Detective Comics earned a doctorate and would properly be addressed as "Doctor _________", but never was.  Who?


The answer is . . . Barbara Gordon!  In the story that introduced her as Batgirl---"The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl", from Detective Comics # 359 (Jan., 1967)---it's established that she had received a PhD. from Gotham State University.



5.  Young Clark Kent went to Smallville High School, but the truant officer never went after Superboy for not being in school.  What was the reason given for not requiring the Boy of Steel to attend school?


The answer is . . . Superboy had been legally declared an adult!  In "Superboy's New Parents", from Adventure Comics # 281 (Feb., 1961), a judge, after witnessing demonstrations of the Boy of Steel's physical and mental abilities, declares Superboy to be legally an adult.



6.  For one story, an individual replaced one of the Blackhawks, and was considered an honest-to-God, full-fledged (i.e., not honorary) member of the team.  Who was this unique individual?


The answer is . . . Gunner Griff!  In "Nobody Replaces a Blackhawk", from Blackhawk # 211 (Aug., 1965), a head injury leaves the Magnificent 7's acrobat, Olaf, with crippling vertigo.  So Blackhawk recruits Gunner Griff to replace him on the team.  Griff is a real firebrand, outclassing the rest of the team---until his own paralysing weakness surfaces.  Olaf gets better and sends Griff back to the bleachers.



7.  What is the effective range of the super-power-sapping radiations of gold kryptonite?


The answer is . . . two feet!  This was established in "The Cape and Cowl Crooks", from World's Finest Comics # 159 (Aug., 1966).



8.  Karel Sorensen---expert markswoman, fashion model, former Miss Solar System, and one of the Star Rovers---was not born Karel Sorensen.  She changed her name to Karel Sorensen for professional reasons.  What was her birth name?


The answer is . . . Mary Smith!  This was revealed---and was an important plot point in---"Where was I Born? Venus? Mars? Jupiter?", from Mystery in Space # 77 (Aug., 1962).



9.  Who was the first Silver-Age DC character to debut in his own magazine, rather than appearing in another title first?


The answer is . . . Captain William Storm!  Rather than giving him a try-out in Showcase or The Brave and the Bold, DC launched him in his own title---Captain Storm # 1 (May-Jun., 1964).



10.  Circumstances forced Superman to entrust his secret identity to President Kennedy.  JFK's predecessor, President Eisenhower, was also privy to a couple of super-heroes' secret ID's.  Whose?


The answer is . . . the Green Arrow and Speedy!  In "A Medal for Roy", from Adventure Comics # 244 (Jan., 1958), Roy Harper is put into a sticky situation, when he is to be decorated for heroism by President Eisenower in a public ceremony at the same time his alter ego, Speedy, is needed at a police line-up to identify a suspect.  The only solution requires telling Ike the truth of his and Oliver Queen's dual identities.




Luke did remarkably well.  He got seven---questions 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10---definitely correct.  He missed questions 2 and 9.  So that's seventy per cent right---and eighty per cent, if he can validate his answer to question 3.  Clearly, he's a true Silver-Age maven!


So, how did you do?























Views: 649

Comment by Luke Blanchard on January 16, 2011 at 5:42pm

With regard to #3, I was thinking of the bit from "The Cape and Cowl Crooks" where Anti-Batman tricks Batman into crashing into a sign or statue. (If there isn't a sequnce along those lines in that story, I must be thinking of one from one of the Composite Superman stories.) I had an idea it was an attraction half-way between Metropolis and Gotham, and I thought it must be a statue.


Thanks for the game, Commander. I found the answers to #1 and #8 online, since the rules indicated that was allowed. I also got my answer for #2 that way: I did check "The World of Living Phantoms", but I thought the detail would be introduced when Tomar-Re was or when Hal met him, so I didn't read the story through.

Comment by Commander Benson on January 16, 2011 at 6:05pm

Very often, knowing where---and how---to look it up is almost as valuable as knowing something outright. 


The sequence you are recalling from "The Cape and Cowl Crooks" occurs as Batman and Robin are driving back to Gotham CIty along the route they use to travel between Gotham and Metropolis.  It's not a secret road, but so well hidden, off the main highways, that it is not used much.  The Anti-Batman, in his Anti-Batmobile intercepts the Dynamic Duo along the way.  During an impromtu drag race, during which the Masked Manhunter tries to leap into their foe's car, the Anti-Batman forces the Batmobile to crash into a statue of Batman placed at the city limits line, welcoming travellers to Gotham City.  So the statue is in Gotham City, not even close to midway between the two cities.


The Batman statue is shattered by the impact of the collision, and the decapitated bust nearly hits Robin in the noggin, which results in the groaner from the Caped Crusader:  "Sorry, Robin.  I kind of . . . er . . . lost my head."

Comment by Martin Gray on January 16, 2011 at 6:10pm
I did appallingly, but I loved this quiz to bits. Thanks for putting a smile on my face!
Comment by Philip Portelli on January 16, 2011 at 10:25pm

I got #2 wrong as well so I got 4 out of 10. The Green Arrow story seems like a prototype of sorts of Action #309 where John F. Kennedy impersonated Clark Kent with the same last line to boot!

Speaking of JFK, was he the direct inspiration to Captain Storm? With a March 1964 cover date, the book had to be prepared around the time of his assassination. When did PT 109 come out? 

Comment by Commander Benson on January 17, 2011 at 4:00am

"The Green Arrow story seems like a prototype of sorts of Action #309 where John F. Kennedy impersonated Clark Kent with the same last line to boot!"


Or possibly a swipe, Philip.  I did some checking.  George Kashdan scripted "A Medal for Roy", while Edmond Hamilton wrote "The Superman Super-Spectacular", from Action Comics # 309 (Feb., 1964).  So it's not a matter of an author retreading one of this old stories.


It gives me a chance, though, to give some thanks to Pat Curley, who owns and operates his own site, called "Silver Age Comics".  I have never read "A Medal for Roy".  From several on-line sources, I was aware of it, along with the general details. 


Then, more than a year ago, I discovered Pat's site---and systematically went through his archives, until I read all of his posts.  That's when I came across his 10 February 2006 post on "A Medal for Roy".  That was the first time I learnt of the similarities between that tale and "The Superman Super-Spectacular"---Pat had noted them clearly in his piece, especially the closing line which is virtually identical to the fade-out in the later tale.


I also owe Pat a thanks for posting the art of the last two panels from "A Medal for Roy"; it saved me the trouble and expense of locating that issue and buying it.



"Speaking of JFK, was he the direct inspiration to Captain Storm? With a March 1964 cover date, the book had to be prepared around the time of his assassination. When did PT 109 come out?" 


That's some keen thinking.  To be honest, I had completely missed the idea that there might have been a connexion between JFK's wartime experiences as a PT-boat skipper and Captain Storm.  When I did my on-line cross-checking of the Captain Storm character, to verify my facts, Don Markstein's entry on Storm at his outstanding "Toonopedia" site was the only one to make an association between Storm and JFK.


Markstein can be relied up to have his ducks in a row.  (His was also the only entry on Captain Storm to correctly note that Storm's actual military rank was a Navy lieutenant, not a captain, as all the others insisted.)  He doesn't assert that Captain Storm was intended to be a direct pastiche of JFK, and I agree.  The timing is just a bit off.  Captain Storm # 1 has a cover date of May-June, 1964.  Even with the lead times necessary for publishing a comic, Kennedy's assassination would have already been a part of history by the time work began on "Killer Hunt", the debut Storm tale.


Markstein does credit Kennedy for inspiring the character, though.  Certainly, JFK's famous wartime feat as the skipper of PT-109, and the subsequent film PT-109 (Warner Brothers, 1963), starring Cliff Robertson, had raised the public's awareness of the service of patrol-torpedo boats.  That awareness probably also led to the military comedy McHale's Navy (1962-6), featuring a PT-boat skipper and his crew.  McHale's Navy, as a comedy, was a revamp of the pilot, Seven Against the Sea, which aired as an episode of the anthology series Alcoa Presents early in '62.  Seven Against the Sea also starred Ernest Borgnine as Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale and the cast included some of the actors and characters who would go on to the series. 


Seven Against the Sea, however, was a dramatic piece, with just some comic moments thrown in, so very likely the basis for the idea came, at least in part, from Kennedy and PT-109.

Comment by Eric L. Sofer on January 17, 2011 at 7:21am

Sorry Commander.  I really wanted to, both to indulge you and to indulge me... but time and circumstances just didn't allow it.  It was great - far better than anything I would have put together! - and your astronomical knowledge, as always, impresses the heck out of me!  Well done!



Comment by Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) on January 17, 2011 at 9:45am
I looked at it, and realized I knew none of the answers...
Comment by David Warren on January 17, 2011 at 9:58am
Same as Travis...
Comment by Cavaliere (moderator emeritus) on January 17, 2011 at 10:47am
Same as Travis and David. I just didn't know any of the answers. It's great to be able to read the answers now, though. Thanks, Commander.
Comment by doc photo on January 17, 2011 at 3:58pm
Not being confident on any of my answers, I took a pass on the quiz. Number 9 in particular had me scratching my head. Captain Storm! Of course! I was totally focused on super heroes and never even thought about the PT boat commanders addition to DC's combat line up.


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