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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...Cmdr. , Luke Philip ~ Don't we all know deep down that no one , in the  S

ilver (or any other , certainly pre-'75 or so) Age , was thinking about these thigns when they wrote these stories? Generally , they were thinking of some internal logic within the story , at most , MAYBE a recent title or two from the same editorial stable (This especially specific to DC , given their corporate " Every editor his own* sub-company " set-up which is , in many ways , the Secret Origin of continuity squabbles anyway .) . Not Julie Schwartz , not Bob Haney (Did Haney display the " Earth-H " tendencies when writing for different editors ?) , not , really , nobody care about consistency/" continuity  " to the extent that we old men sitting by our monitors do .

  In other news , the Pope is Catholic ! And bears , after  they eat...........:-)

It wasn't just comics. If you want to be technical, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons didn't make sense. Scarlet was killed in the first episode. The hero of the series was a Martian construct made to look like him.


 Emerkeith Davyjack said:

...Cmdr. , Luke Philip ~ Don't we all know deep down that no one , in the  S

ilver (or any other , certainly pre-'75 or so) Age , was thinking about these thigns when they wrote these stories? Generally , they were thinking of some internal logic within the story , at most , MAYBE a recent title or two from the same editorial stable (This especially specific to DC , given their corporate " Every editor his own* sub-company " set-up which is , in many ways , the Secret Origin of continuity squabbles anyway .) . Not Julie Schwartz , not Bob Haney (Did Haney display the " Earth-H " tendencies when writing for different editors ?) , not , really , nobody care about consistency/" continuity  " to the extent that we old men sitting by our monitors do .

When it came to Gardner Fox, I disagree with your statement most heartily. In all of the titles for which he wrote, but especially for Justice League of America, Fox paid attention to both internal consistency and consistency with what had gone on before and in other titles. 

One of my favourite examples of this was any scene in JLA which showed the Flash standing in a power-ring bubble created by Green Lantern, Fox's direction to writer Mike Sekowsky had the Scarlet Speedster with his boots removed, holding them, while he was standing in the bubble. No footnote ever explained to the readers why the Flash did this, but Fox knew it was a detail that the fans would not miss.

So, no, we all don't know deep down . . . .

...Okay , though I think that might be Fox's own personal thing , and , might could fit in with ~ Anyway , I said " generally " !!!!!!!!!!!

  I do recall a JLA flashback to " The Case Of The Chemical Syndicate " referring to it as Batman's first adventure (" case " , whatever internal language) - If that was meant as " the first time Batman had an adventure " , that was wrong , as TCOTCS starts with Bruce and Gordon discussing the already well-known escapades of the " Bat-Man " !!!!!!!!!!!

  Hey , I feel a " prequel " miniseries coming on - :-) " Before The Chemicals " ! :-)

Once again, I'm wrong about the dreaming villain quote. It was, indeed, from JLA #61.

The major difference between the "dream" Joker and the Super-JLA was that the Super-JLA knew that they were creations of Doctor Destiny. The Joker made no indication of the same realization.

So if it looks like the Joker, acts like the Joker and thinks he's the Joker....

And the second Batman story mentions Bruce Wayne dresses like a bat and fights crime because he's a bored millionaire with nothing to do with his time.

Luke Blanchard said:

...Superman had already appeared as Nightwing, and had a circle around his chest symbol in that role. Perhaps that's where the idea for the chest oval came from.

Come to think of it, Blackhawk also had an oval chest symbol with yellow background, starting with Military Comics #2. So does the Italian hero Zagor, who Wikipedia says debuted in 1961.

DC Indexes tells me Blackhawk #197, in which the Blackhawks got their new uniforms, came out the same month Batman's New Look debuted. Murray Boltinoff had take over as its editor the previous issue.

This post displaced the thread Comics Guide for September 9, 2015 from the homepage.

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