As promised, time for the answers to my DC Silver-Age quiz of two weeks ago. Not as many hardy souls posted in response this time around. Luke Blanchard and Prince Hal took excellent stabs at it, and Randomnole came through with one solid answer.
I was impressed with the high number of correct answers these gents provided. Many of the questions I deliberately chose to play on common misconceptions, with the expectation that many would follow the path of those mistaken notions. However, neither Luke nor Hal were taken in by most of the tricky ones. And the single poser that Randomnole addressed was nailed spot-on before anyone else provided the correct answer. So good on all of them!
That takes care of the commentary; now, on to the answers!
ANSWERS TO THE SILVER-AGE CHALLENGE---DC EDITION II:
1. Of the five services of the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard), which one did Wonder Woman join as Diana Prince?
Diana (Wonder Woman) Prince was a lieutenant in the United States Army.
Both Luke Blanchard and Prince Hal got this one correct---but Luke arrived at the right answer through a means that I hadn’t considered.
In 1966, Wonder Woman editor Robert Kanigher undertook an interesting experiment with the series. Beginning with issue # 159 (Jan., 1966), the adventures of the Amazing Amazon were given a retrofit, evoking the early roots of the character. Wonder Woman’s origin was retold, as well as her first encounter with Steve Trevor.
Regular artists Ross Andru and Mike Esposito mimicked the style of Harry G. Peter, the super-heroine’s Golden-Age artist, and depicted the characters in their 1940’s fashion. Trevor was again a captain and wore a World War II-vintage Army aviator’s uniform. The hair of Diana's queen-mother changed from blonde to black, as it had been back in the ‘40’s, and her name returned to its original spelling of Hippolyte—with an “e”.
Kanigher’s “blast from the past” experiment ended with issue # 165 (Oct., 1966). The following issue resumed telling Wonder Woman tales in the modern style. (But with typical Kanigher confusion, some elements of the retro period were retained, such as there being a real Diana Prince, who appeared in issue # 167 [Jan., 1967].)
I had forgotten about this period in the Silver-Age Wonder Woman’s history when I ginned up the question about Diana’s military service. Luke didn’t, though, and from it derived the correct answer. And it counts. It meets all the criteria I set down for correct responses.
The source of the correct answer I had in mind stemmed from the first Silver-Age rebooting of the Amazing Amazon’s origin, which was seen in Wonder Woman # 98 (May, 1958). In the next issue, # 99, the story “Top Secret” tells how W.W. assumed the identity of Diana Prince, and it concludes with her being awarded a commission as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
How do we know she is in the Army? Because she is assigned to Military Intelligence, an Army command.
2. What was the name of the asteroid where the ancestral home of Bron Wayn E7705---the Batman of 2967---was located?
(Chuckle!) I’ll bet this one had a lot of you going back through my recent Deck Log archive entry on the Superman of 2965, to see if I had named it in the section that discussed World’s Finest Comics # 166 (May, 1967). Well, I didn’t.
This was one of the more straight-forward questions. The only way to learn the answer was to go through that story, which provided the origin of the Batman of the thirtieth century, and find the one panel in which the name of the asteroid is mentioned. Something which Prince Hal obviously did, because he got it right.
3. Who starred as Green Lantern in the Earth-One series about the Emerald Crusader?
Another straight-forward one which both Luke and Hal got right. It was Charles “Good Time Charlie” Vicker, whom we met in the two-part epic told in Green Lantern 55-6 (Sep. and Oct., 1967). Charlie ended up trading in his TV-star status for a power ring, when he became a Green Lantern himself.
4. Speaking of television shows, what was the name of the television programme regularly hosted by Lana Lang for WMET-TV?
Among her other on-camera duties for WMET-TV, Lana Lang hosted the television series I Remember Superboy, as seen or mentioned in a few issues of Lois Lane, such as # 55 and # 60 (Feb. and Oct., 1965).
Luke answered this one correctly, and Hal agreed.
5. In what story/issue did Superman first meet Adam Strange?
This is where I started to get sneaky. I figured most would jump on “The Planet That Came to a Standstill”, from Mystery in Space # 75 (May, 1962). This is the story in which Adam Strange first met the Justice League of America. But Superman missed out on that adventure, appearing only in flashback. So while Adam got to hobnob with the seven other JLA members, he missed out on getting the Man of Steel’s autograph.
The two didn’t meet until the sequel to MiS # 75---“Decoy Missions of the Justice League”, from JLA # 25 (Dec., 1963). Before someone cries foul, yes, I know that Superman didn’t enter the story until the last few pages, and most of his interaction was with Adam Strange’s “aural image”. But the last panel clearly shows the Man of Steel together with the actual Champion of Rann enjoying their defeat of Kanjar Ro.
Prince Hal nailed this one.
6. What story/issue marked J’onn J’onzz’s last Silver-Age appearance with the Justice League of America?
Hal did what I figured most folks would do---go to the last issue of JLA produced by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky and count back until hitting the last Fox/Sekowsky tale to include the Martian Manhunter. That was, indeed, JLA # 61 (Mar., 1968).
But I couldn’t fool Luke. He accurately recalled that there was one later appearance of J’onn J’onzz with the Justice League that took place in Action Comics # 366 (Aug., 1968).
The story “Substitute Superman” winds up a multi-issue arc in which the Man of Steel is believed to have died from the lethal “Virus X”. As it turns out, on the rocket transporting his dying body to our sun, Superman gets better. Upon returning to Earth, he discovers that the world already believes Superman to be cured and “he” has been performing his usual super-feats all over the globe.
The mystery is cleared up when it’s revealed that the heroes of the Justice League have been posing as the Man of Steel, until a replacement Superman from the bottled city of Kandor could be chosen.
7. Speaking of the JLA, per the by-laws of the Justice League, what was the schedule for its regular meetings?
This is the one that neither Luke nor Hal got right. I’ll let Wonder Woman herself explain the by-law scheduling regular meetings of the Justice League . . . .
I cannot accept Luke’s answer of “monthly” because it is entirely possible that more than one month, perhaps several, go by before a regular JLA meeting convenes. If an emergency meeting brings the members of the League together, then twenty-eight days later, there is another emergency meeting, and then yet another emergency meeting two weeks after that, obviously more than one month would go by without a regular meeting.
I am kind of curious as to where Hal got his “last Saturday of each month” notion.
8. In what story/issue did Bizarro № 1 with his classic reversed “S-shield” insignia first appear?
This is where Luke showed his real Silver-Age expertise. He not only sidestepped the pitfall but gave the correct information, citing the exact story.
Frankly, I was relying on one of the many continuity errors that cropped up in DC stories in the 1970’s to trip folks up. You see, in every Bronze-Age retelling of Bizarro № 1’s origin, it is depicted like this, from Superman # 306 (Dec., 1976) . . . .
You see how the scenes show Bizarro № 1’s “S-shield” emblem reversed at the moment of his creation? That’s a significant error. For, as Luke knew, when the first Superman Bizarro was created, in Action Comics # 254 (Jul., 1959), his chest insignia was exactly like the real Man of Steel’s.
(And before anyone asks, the first Bizarro---the one of Superboy, back in Superboy # 68 [Oct., 1958]---also wore the proper “S-shield” emblem.)
The “S” insignia of Bizarro № 1 and all the other Superman Bizarros did not become reversed until several Bizarro-related stories later, in Adventure Comics # 293 (Feb., 1962). And it wasn’t because of a sudden inspiration by artist John Forte.
In “The Good Deeds of Bizarro-Luthor”, Bizarro № 1 and his family are exiled from Htrae by the rest of Bizarro society for the very fact that the S-insignia on their costumes is perfect. And as we all know, “is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World.” The solution, which takes the Big Doofus № 1 twelve pages to figure out, is to outfit himself and all the other Superman Bizarros with new costumes bearing the backwards-S emblem.
As Luke also knew.
9. Speaking of Bizarros, what did the Bizarro-Flash have as a chest insignia?
This was the only question Randomnole chimed in on, but he was the first to get it right. The Bizarro-Flash’s chest insignia was the silhouette of a gavel inside a white circle. Randomnole also did the rest of my job for me; he named the story source---specifically, Lois Lane # 74 (May, 1967)---and the reason.
Now, there’s something interesting to add. On the previous question, I beat up the folks behind the Bronze-Age DC stories, as I so often do, for their sloppiness in making continuity mistakes. But I have to point out a rare case when somebody actually did his homework.
The Bizarro-Flash did not appear again in a DC comics for another sixteen years. Then he popped up for a bit part in Superman # 379 (Jan., 1983). Incredibly, given the latter–age DC’s usual inattention to detail, the Bizarro-Flash was given the proper costume, down to the gavel insignia.
And they got it right again for Bizarro-Flash’s next and last appearance, in DC Presents # 71 (Jul., 1984).
10. What was the last story/issue to show Hector Hammond as a normal man, before he enlarged his own brain?
This was probably the sneakiest question of the bunch, and it’s the only one that Luke fell for, I’m afraid. But it didn’t give Prince Hal any problems. He knew right off that it was JLA # 14 (Sep., 1962).
In his first appearance---“The Power Ring That Vanished”, from Green Lantern # 5 (Mar.-Apr., 1961)---Hector Hammond was a rather dashing, but completely normal-looking villain.
Hammond showed up next in JLA # 14 as one of the five criminals enlisted by villain Mister Memory as part of his plot to destroy the Justice League.
True, as Luke accurately noted, this was the issue in which Hammond used his evolution meteor on himself, to become a big-domed but immortal “man of the future”. As Luke also pointed out, when Hammond appeared next, in Green Lantern # 22 (Jul., 1963), they took the change a step further by showing that a side-effect of turning himself immortal had eventually rendered Hammond immobile.
Unfortunately, Luke missed one earlier panel in JLA # 14. The one depicting Mr. Memory briefing his five villainous cohorts on his dememorising scheme. Here, we see a normal Hector Hammond for the last time.
In other words, Hammond did not turn himself into a future man between Green Lantern # 5 and JLA # 14. He actually did it between the pages of JLA # 14 itself. Just as Hal answered.
In the final tally, Luke got five out of ten correct, or 50%. An excellent score, given the fact that he was the first to provide answers.
Prince Hal got seven of ten right, or 70%, also remarkable.
Randomnole only answered the one, but he was the first one to get it right and it was one of the toughies, so he deserves praise, as well.
I hope all of you found some of these answers enjoyable. That’s the whole point. Not to show how much you may not know about the Silver-Age adventures of our heroes, but to inspire that “Hey, wow! I didn’t know that!” feeling when you see the answers posted here.
That’s the part that’s fun for me, when I put these quizzes together, and I hope they’re fun for you, when you read them.