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!
ANSWERS TO THE SILVER-AGE CHALLENGE---DC EDITION:
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?