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?























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Comment by Patrick Curley on January 26, 2011 at 8:23pm
BTW, CB, in the Golden Age, there was a different answer to your Superboy/school question.  In Adventure #133, a truant officer demands that Superboy attend class.  In order to get out of having to appear as both Superboy and Clark Kent, he demonstrates to the local principal his ability to pass every subject with honors.
Comment by Commander Benson on January 20, 2011 at 7:18am

Thank you all for your good words about the quiz.


Like I said, to me the most interesting quizzes---and the type I shoot for---are those which don't just toss out trivial information, but it's information which makes the reader think "Hey, that's neat!  I didn't know that!"


I'm in the process of putting together a Silver-Age Marvel quiz along the same lines.  But don't look for it too soon.  Finding those kind of "hey, that's neat" questions and answers, I'm finding, are a bit harder to come by in the Marvel universe.  But I'm getting there.

Comment by Randy Jackson on January 19, 2011 at 8:07pm

I wouldn't think that the likes of Despero, Amazo or Kanjar Ro would even bother with Snapper Carr.  Sure, he was brave and could be pretty cunning sometimes, but his lack of superpowers or any other sort of training would likely put him beneath the notice of those heavyweights, at least back in the Silver Age.


Rick Jones,on the other hand, wasn't quite the pushover.  One, he was always hanging out with some superhero or another, and usually had one within earshot.  Two, even before he became Bucky, he was receiving training in self defense from Captain America himself, so against many threats he could hold his own if the numbers weren't too great.


Now I'm wondering why Snapper never received any sort of training (at least to my recollection).  It certainly could have helped in some respects.


Oh, and I tried the quiz myself, came up with 3 answers (two correct) and then a brick wall.  Heckuva quiz, Commander.

Comment by Patrick Curley on January 19, 2011 at 2:02pm

I wasn't as close as I thought on the answers; I would have gotten 5,6, and 7 wrong, and would have needed to read a bunch of WF to get #3.  I knew 1, 4, 9 and 10 cold and would have checked GL #6 for Tomar Re, and have the complete Star Rovers, so I could have found Karel's real name. 


On the ones I got wrong I would have looked at the picture of Quex-Ul losing his super-powers in Superman #157 and guessed a lot farther than two feet for the effective range of Gold K.  I remembered a different substitute Blackhawk (Jim Turner from #112) but when I looked him up I found he was only an honorary or reserve member.  And for #5 I would have guessed that they used a similar dodge to the census story; that Superboy was already in school in his secret identity.


Great quiz, CB!  Captain Storm was based at least partly on JFK (and partly on Ahab); in the first issue we learn that his first ship was cut in half by a Japanese submarine.  JFK's PT-109 was cut in half by a Japanese destroyer.

Comment by Philip Portelli on January 19, 2011 at 12:59pm
Worse, Jarvis was brainwashed by Ultron into thinking he had betrayed the Avengers. He rushed to their side after they were defeated by Kang in #129, attacked Tyrak to protect the Scarlet Witch in #154 and battled along side them against time-menaces in #200. Get this guy a membership card!
Comment by Philip Portelli on January 19, 2011 at 12:52pm

I'm sure that Jarvis had some sort of panic-button on him since he worked for the Stark family before the Avengers. And Rick left in Avengers #16 but returned to the Hulk so that had to give him some protection.

As for Snapper, I don't have the exact issues handy but after the Key's ambush of him, he wasn't as prominent as he was before in the earlier JLA stories. He was there, of course, but not every issue and certainly wasn't the focal point of the narrative. And while it's true that terrestial, human villains may have not wanted to raise the ire of the World's Greatest Super-Heroes just to get a cheap shot on the Brave Beatnik, it still left him vulnerable to menaces like Despero, Kanjar Ro and Amazo. As I said before, he was unrecognizable in #63, had a last hurrah in #65 then betrayed the League in #77, ironically it had a cover date of December 1969, that last JLA of the 60s!

Comment by Cavaliere (moderator emeritus) on January 19, 2011 at 12:40pm
Right off the bat, I can think of two times where Jarvis was used and abused by enemies of The Avengers. The first was when Ultron, secret leader of an incarnation of the Masters of Evil, used Jarvis as the Crimson Cowl. The second time was a later Masters of Evil tying Jarvis nearly beating him to death. Jarvis has been a loyal servant and friend far above the call of duty, though. When "Inferno" struck New York City, Jarvis defended other citizens from demon-possessed objects and then gave the call to arms that served to form a new line-up of Avengers (since they were disbanded at that time). Whatever they pay Jarvis, it probably isn't enough but I'm sure that Tony Stark has one heckuva retirement package lined up in case Edwin ever agrees to retire.
Comment by Commander Benson on January 19, 2011 at 11:08am

It's always been my opinion that Snapper wasn't totally thrown to the wolves by being the JLA's honorary member.  First, he was circumspect about it.  In "The Last Case of the Justice League", from JLA # 12 (Jun., 1962), he tosses away his certain chance to win a fishing competition to answer the emergency signal and he doesn't bother to explain to the other contestants, the judges, or the spectators why he does so, or where he is going.


And even though Midge was already his girlfriend by the time of "The Cosmic Fun-House", he didn't tell her about his status with the League until they were in dire straits.  If Snapper had been a glory-hog, that would have been the first thing he told Midge back at the first-date stage.

As I said, the matter of Snap's honorary membership is probably something along the lines of it's not a secret, but it's not famous, either.  Kind of like one of the lesser Cabinet posts, like say, the Secretary of the Interior.  It's no secret who he is---if you want to look it up, it doesn't take that much effort (not even in those pre-Internet, pre-Google days)---but, unless you're a political maven, if you bumped into him in an elevator, even if he gave his name, you probably wouldn't know who he was.


The other thing Snapper has going for him is that he is in tight with the freakin' Justice League of America.  Would you try to hurt the kid if it meant that you'd have ten very pissed off super-heroes all wanting to get a chunk of your hide?  That's probably what protected Snapper from the ordinary rank-and-file crooks and even some of the lower-tier JLA baddies, like Pete Ricketts and Joe Parry.  Even the lower level costumed JLA foes, like Felix Faust or the Headmaster probably wouldn't risk the reprisal.


That said, the adventure with the Key shows that some villains have the hubris to be willing to chance it.  I always wondered about the fall-out from that particular adventure.  Not only did it show how vulnerable Snapper was, it clearly showed that he was the weak link of the Justice League.  The Key was able to infect the entire League with his psycho-chemical by getting his hands on Snapper first.


One would have thought that, after that, they would have done something about providing Snapper with more protection---perhaps a Thanagarian device courtesy of Hawkman, or maybe the Green Lantern could have power-ringed some sort of safeguard.  Not only to protect him, but themselves, as well.


As you pointed out, the same circumstance held for Rick Jones.  And for that matter, Jarvis the butler, too.


I guess we the readers were left to assume that certain protocols were in place for those individuals and they just never came up.

Comment by Philip Portelli on January 19, 2011 at 9:33am
Thanks, Commander! I knew that Midge knew but now it seems anyone could have known. Of course, this does raise the question again about the JLA's recklessness when it came to Snapper's safety. He had no secret identity, no super powers, no special weapons (beyond a flying hot-rod!). The League left him out in the open with little protection. But then it was the same with Rick Jones.
Comment by Commander Benson on January 19, 2011 at 7:03am

"I was looking at Ray Palmer at Snapper Carr's high school graduation and it just hit me! Did the public, the government, his school, heck, his parents, know about his connection to the JLA?"


An interesting question, Philip.  It just seemed so logical to presume Snapper's membership was public knowledge that I never stopped to examine the Silver-Age stories to see if that was the case or not.  But examine them, I did, and here's what I found, pertinent to your question and with varying degrees of evidentiary reliability.  We were shown:


. . . Snapper accompanying the rest of the Justice League as they escort villain Doctor Destiny to jail, in "When Gravity Went Wild", from JLA # 5 (Jun.-Jul., 1961).  It's not a public revelation of his status with the group, but it's not like it was being kept a secret, either.


. . . Snapper tells his girl-friend, Midge, of his honorary membership in "The Cosmic Fun-House", from JLA # 7 (Oct.-Nov., 1961).  Granted, this was right after they were teleported to an alien world and Snap had to activate the emergency signal for a rescue.  So he really had no other choice but to tell her.


. . . in "Journey Into the Micro-World", from JLA # 18 (Mar., 1963), Snapper complains to Midge that he hasn't taken an active part in any recent JLA cases.


. . . in "The Key-Master of the World", from JLA # 41 (Dec., 1965), the villainous Key is able to put his plan into motion by striking at the Justice League through Snapper Carr.  The Key is aware that Snapper is the League's honorary member and the dialogue and text doesn't indicate that the villain went through any special effort to find this out.


. . . in "The Lord of Time Attacks the 20th Century", from JLA # 50 (Dec., 1966), the entire Justice League, including Snapper, is present at a ceremony on the White House lawn when President Johnson awards Master Sergeant Eddie Brent with the Medal of Honor.  There are television cameras and lots of reporters on hand.  This is the strongest evidence that Snap's status with the League is public knowledge.  (If it wasn't before this story, it certainly was afterward.)


So, while I can't address the particulars of whether Snapper's parents or teachers knew of his honorary JLA membership, it seems like a strong bet that they were aware of it.  His family, at least.  As far as anyone else, it was probably a matter of how much attention one paid to the Justice League in the first place.  In other words, the information on Snapper's honorary membership was available, if one had the interest to find out about it.


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