Deck Log Entry # 183 The Silver-Age Challenge---So, You Think You Know the Batman?

The summer-quiz bug bit me again, gang, although I have to admit, the season almost got by me.  I got the idea for a couple of really good questions early in the year, but it took me several months to fill out my card.  By then, I had to finish my two-parter on Silver-Age mysteries.

 

But, hey, August---even the last week---counts as summer, right?

 

Last year, the subject of my quiz was the granddaddy of super-heroes, Superman.  So this year I thought it would be fitting to tackle DC’s second-biggest cash cow---the Masked Manhunter himself, the Batman.  Now, sure, all you veterans know the rules to how this goes.  But just to make it official---and for the benefit of new visitors . . . you know, folks who meant to click “Fluit Notes” and hit my link by mistake . . . who want to give it a try---here are the rules.

 

The big one is that only Silver-Age knowledge counts.  And you need to know that I define the Silver Age as beginning late in 1956 and ending in 1968.  That means my questions were sourced from DC comics published between the cover-dates of October, 1956 (Showcase # 4) and December, 1968.  Also eligible for plucking was any other literature published by DC---form letters, print ads, and so forth---during that period.  But you can breathe a little easier this time, because I got all my questions for this quiz from the comics alone.

 

Now here’s what trips up most of the quiz-takers:  post-Silver-Age information doesn’t count.  For example, if I ask, “How did Jonathan and Martha Kent die?”, the correct response is “From the Caribbean fever plague.”  Any revisions to the fates of the Kents that have come along since would not be correct as an answer.   I say this mostly as a friendly warning.  You see, I don’t prohibit anyone from researching my questions through a search engine---heck, I expect it---and that’s fine.  One of the characteristics I require for an acceptable quiz-question is that it be highly Google-resistant.

 

So, sure, run my posers through your favourite search engine.  But, beware!  The overwhelming majority of hits you’ll receive will reflect the modern information.  Time and time again, that has fouled up even the old pros.

 

Lastly, sure, I miss stuff, too.  If you submit an answer different from the one I had in mind and it accurately addresses the question and it comes from Silver-Age material, then I will gladly credit you with a correct response.  But you have to be able to cite your reference.  “But I always thought . . . .” answers won’t cut it.

 

Let’s see . . . I believe that covers it.  We’re ready to find out how much you guys know about the Silver-Age Batman.  By the way, I came up with only eight questions this time, but as always, I’ll start off with a lob . . . .

 

 

1.  In 1964, the “New Look” Batman’s chest insignia was changed by enclosing the bat-emblem in a yellow ellipse.  In what story did the Caped Crusader wear the yellow-oval insignia for the first time?

 

2.  Who was the first villain in Batman’s rogues’ gallery to actually appear, “on camera” and not behind the scenes, in an issue of Justice League of America?

 

3.  Who was given a Batgirl costume from the Dynamic Duo, and why?

 

4.  What foe did Batman and Robin help Superman defeat on the Dynamic Duo's first visit to the bottled city of Kandor?

 

5.   Also in 1964, Bruce Wayne finally got tired of trudging up that long winding staircase from the Batcave to Wayne Manor and installed an elevator.  In order to keep Aunt Harriet and any guests in the mansion from discovering it, how was the elevator disguised?

 

6. According to Alfred the butler's fictional accounts of the Second Batman and Robin Team, what was the adult Dick Grayson's occupation?

 

7.  What recurring character in the Batman mythos did not have a last name---until the Batman television show supplied one?  After that, it became the character’s surname in the comics, too.

 

8.  We started with a famous first; let’s finish with a not-so-famous last:  what story marked the last Silver-Age appearance of Ace, the Bat-Hound?

 

 

You’ll have the usual three or four weeks to come up with your answers.  Your time starts . . .

 

Now!

 

Good luck!

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Page 3 of the Blog: "Dozier completed the cast by hiring three veteran character actors. Then-current Batman comic books had recently killed Alfred and replaced him with Bruce Wayne's doting Aunt Harriet, but the show opted to use both characters."

The writer of that piece misspoke when he said Harriet was Bruce Wayne's aunt.  As Luke stated, Harriet's introduction in Detective Comics # 328 made it clear that she was Dick Grayson's aunt.

 Commander Benson said:

Details do count, but details are not mutually exclusive with logic, as you will learn about another question that seems to be confounding all of you.

I believe this is a hint that we drew the wrong conclusion about the Joker's appearance in Justice League of America #34. Doctor Destiny's original materioptikon in #19 created the super-JLA from the Leaguers' dreams. A possible inference is their opponents in #34, including the Joker, were created from their dreams too. It's only at the very end of the issue, when Dr Destiny is KOed, that the objects he's created disappear.

Thus the answer to 2. is some other Batman foe. DC Indexes indicates only a duplicate Killer Moth created by magic is seen on panel in #35. Two thugs from "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate!" are seen on panel in #37, but one can't count them members of his rogues' gallery. (Incidentally, the issue is wrong to describe the scene as "Batman's first appearance as the Masked Manhunter". Commissioner Gordon already knows about Batman when the story opens.) The three The Brave and the Bold stories were reprinted in #39, but I don't think they have any Bat-foes in them either. Which means the first Bat-foe to appear in person in the series is the Penguin, in #40. So the answers are

1."The Olsen-Robin Team Versus "the Superman-Batman Team!"" from World's Finest Comics #141

2.the Penguin

3.Supergirl, for her birthday

4.Luthor

5.the sliding outer door was designed to look like part of the wall

6.roving newspaper reporter

7.Aunt Harriet

8."The Feud Between Batman and Superman!" in World's Finest Comics #143

which last title I twice garbled.

This is my fourth swing, so if its not right I've had my share. My thanks, once again, to Philip and Fraser for all the answers I stole.

Indeed, I see by the Commander's article this is explicit in the story, in Destiny's thoughts p.17, and he knows this.

Yes the Justice Leaguers dreamt the menaces at the beginning of Justice League of America #34 due to the manipulations of Doctor Destiny, including Hawkman's foe Chac and, of course, the Joker. But at the end, the menaces were real, the JLA were awake and Chac and the Clown Prince of Crime were actually there. The Joker even says that he had a dream like this, evidence, perhaps, that he was a pawn of Doctor Destiny as well, which would fit the Nightmare Narcoleptic's MO in JLA #61.

That's a point, but the super-Leaguers had apparently-real brains, as we know from the way the Atom defeated them. It's only at the story's end that the objects disappear, and perhaps this Joker disappeared then as well.

Incidentally, Superman's face in the final panel p.8 seems to me to have a Don Heck look. Might he have assisted Sekowsky? I thought I could see both their hands in the main story from Frogman #8.

I went back and reread JLA #34 and both interpretations could fit. But while I can get that the Joker (and Chac) were dream-beings the whole time, other people saw them, too. After the battle, Batman and Hawkman left them with the police. Unless they vanished too.

If so, I wonder what the real Joker thought when he heard the news that he was running wild in Central America!
 
Luke Blanchard said:

That's a point, but the super-Leaguers had apparently-real brains, as we know from the way the Atom defeated them. It's only at the story's end that the objects disappear, and perhaps this Joker disappeared then as well.

Luke Blanchard said:

The three The Brave and the Bold stories were reprinted in #39, but I don't think they have any Bat-foes in them either.


Double-checking this I find only the first and third were. The third reprint was Justice League of America #5.

 Philip Portelli said:

But while I can get that the Joker (and Chac) were dream-beings the whole time, other people saw them, too.

And if you'll re-read JLA # 19, you'll see that the dream-versions of the evil JLAers after Dr. Destiny gave them physical form were seen by other people too, and not just the Justice Leaguers.

All that is true and I accept that I'm probably wrong (now) but it is also true that Doctor Destiny has a pattern of using, manipulating and controlling other super-villains in his schemes.
 
Commander Benson said:

 Philip Portelli said:

But while I can get that the Joker (and Chac) were dream-beings the whole time, other people saw them, too.

And if you'll re-read JLA # 19, you'll see that the dream-versions of the evil JLAers after Dr. Destiny gave them physical form were seen by other people too, and not just the Justice Leaguers.

 
Philip Portelli said:

All that is true and I accept that I'm probably wrong (now) but it is also true that Doctor Destiny has a pattern of using, manipulating and controlling other super-villains in his schemes.
 

I'm not quite sure how you get that, at least, to support the idea that it was the real Joker in JLA # 34.  Doctor Destiny did not use, manipulate, or control any super-villains in either of his previous appearances (JLA # 5, # 19).  So no such pattern had been set by the time of JLA # 34.

The only time we unequivocally see Destiny use other super-villains (he really doesn't manipulate or control them) occurs in JLA # 61.

Incidentally, I took another look at JLA # 34 myself, and I never saw a dialogue or thought balloon attached to the Joker stating that he had had a dream like what he was experiencing.  I seem to remember such a line from a villain in JLA # 61, though.  (I'm not able to check it at the moment.)

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