Deck Log Entry # 226 The Silver-Age Challenge---the Legion of Super-Heroes Edition II

At the conclusion of last year's Silver-Age challenge, I told you guys that I already had the questions for this year's quiz prepared.  Well, I did, as in past tense.  Last week, when I gave them a final scrubbing, I discovered that I had forgotten that I had already asked one of them in my first Legion quiz seven years ago.  Another one was so similar to a question from that 2013 LSH quiz that it would have been too easy to find the answer. 


And when I checked a third poser to see how Google-proof it was, one of the hits took me back to a comment I posted three years ago on one of the General Comics Discussions threads, a comment which gave away the answer.


So I had to generate three new questions to throw at you.  Fortunately, one of them turned out to be better than any of those I tossed out.  By "better", I mean that it's strong in that "Hey, I didn't know that!" quality which makes the answers fun for folks to learn.  The other two, alas, are clearly from "the Legion of Substitute Questions", but they'll serve in a pinch.

You old vets of my Silver-Age challenges are already flexing your typing fingers.  But, as always, for any test-takers who're here because they landed on this page while looking for something else and decided, "What the hey, I 'll give it a go!", here are the rules---with one special change that even the veterans should note:


1.  All of the questions, and answers, are drawn from Silver-Age material.  Ordinarily, that means anything produced by DC from the publication of Showcase # 4 (Sep.-Oct., 1956) to December, 1968, which I demark as the end of the Silver Age.  However, just as with the last Legion quiz, I draw a special demarcation for this one; the parameters are slightly narrowed from the usual beginning-to-end of the Silver Age envelope.  Here, all the questions and all the answers will fall between the time frame marked from the Legion’s first appearance, in Adventure Comics # 247 (Apr., 1958), to the last Silver-Age Legion story penciled by Curt Swan, in Adventure Comics # 372 (Sep., 1968).


Note, though, that the questions and answers can come from any publication; it's just that the time frame is bound by those two issues of Adventure Comics


2.  I’m definitely not infallible.  I might have missed something, somewhere, in twelve years of DC publication.  If you come up with an answer that meets the criteria of the question and can cite the Silver-Age reference, then I will gladly award you credit.  “But I always thought . . . “ explanations won’t cut it, though.


3.  I’ve got no problem with anybody using a search engine to look for answers.  I try to make my questions as immune to Googling as possible.  The right answers are difficult to find with a search engine, though I cannot say impossible.  At least once, I tripped myself up when an article I had written for another site contained the answer to a question from that year’s quiz, and one of the players found it.


4.  There are no prizes.  You’re playing for bragging rights.

Any time I post a Deck Log entry involving the Legion of Super-Heroes, I get a considerable amount of activity.  And, sometimes, controversy, too---but the sort that is well-mannered and respectful when men of good will disagree, and that sort is always welcome.  So, we'll probably see the same thing this time.  At least, I hope so, if I done my job as quizmaster well enough.


O.K., then, here we go!  As usual, I'll start off with a lob . . .


1.  Who was the first non-charter member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes?


2.  Who is the leader of the Legion Espionage Squad and which Legionnaires are permanently assigned to the squad?


3.  On what 20th-century television programme did the Legion make a guest appearance?


4.  On what world is Element Lad's super-power viewed as criminal and results in planetary banishment?


5.  Besides their super-son, which Legionnaires have Ma and Pa Kent knowingly met?


6.  Excluding the Adult Legion stories, name all of the Legionnaires who, at some point after joining the Legion, permanently replaced their super-hero names with new ones.


7.  Thanks to the machinations of Dream Girl, Lightning Lass was expelled from the Super-Hero Club for violating what provision of the Legion Constitution?


8.  Other than Luthor, what recurring 20th-century super-villain from Earth was mentioned by name in a Legion story appearing in Adventure Comics?


9.  According to the Legion Constitution, what is the maximum number of successive space missions a Legionnaire may undertake without a rest period?


10.  We all know that Cosmic Boy was the Legion's first leader, right?  But how do we know this?  Where---comic and issue number---was that first definitively established?



Good luck, gang!

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This is probably why Dick Giordano coined the term "action heroes" while at Charlton to encompass the heroes with and without superpowers.

Fraser Sherman said:

Peter, I went over the Sun Boy and Superboy visits in the Omnibus and no, they didn't meet the folks. Philip, I agree—unless a question specifically says "superpowered villains" I'd count Penguin and Joker, just as Batman qualifies as a superhero.

. . . unless a question specifically says "superpowered villains" I'd count Penguin and Joker, just as Batman qualifies as a superhero.

There you go!

Honest to gosh, guys, I don't get that punctilious in my terms.  I meant super-villain to mean exactly what nearly all comics fans think of when one says "super-villain".  To wit, an evil-doer with the powers, weaponry, and/or intelligence to viably challenge a super-hero; who is usually costumed, but not necessarily (such as in the case of the Silver-Age Luthor); and who is a protagonist whom the story sets up as a super-villain.  That's one of those distinctions one knows when one sees it.

For example, in the Green Lantern mythos, you have Black Hand, who is considered a super-villain, even though he has no super-powers, for he's still capable of giving the Green Lantern a challenge.  And he's held up as a super-villain.

On the other hand, you have Bill Baggett, an ordinary crook who, on two occasions, was able to wrest control of G.L.'s power ring briefly; in essence, a super-power, yet he's not held up as a super-villain.

Lastly, you have historical villains, fellows like Hitler or Jesse James or Caligula.  Historical villains, even their Earth-One versions, are generally not considered super-villains.

If I ever have to limit my use of the word super-villain to more than the above, I'll so specify in my question.

I just didn't want you guys getting too far afield.

I thought about Hitler appearing in that one Legion story but ruled it out for precisely the reasons you state, Commander. Of course he became one at Marvel when he donned the Hatemonger costume, but I still wouldn't count WW II Hitler (and of course, that costume is irrelevant to the LSH).

Thank you for clarifying, Commander.  By which, I don't mean to suggest that the original question was at all unclear.  I was quite sure that you would count the Joker and the Penguin as super-villains, and so they would be acceptable answers for question 8.  I was just trying to explain (badly!) why I thought that Dr Light might be the other candidate that you had in mind.

On reflection, I suspect that Philip has nailed it.  As he says:

Thinking about it, how weird for the events of a Julius Schwartz edited book should get referenced in a Mort Weisinger edited book!

The rarity of such events would seem to qualify Light as a "better" (in the sense of "hey, neat!") answer to the question.

I had also thought of Hitler and Dillinger from Adventure #314, but immediately dismissed them as not being super-villains.  I would guess that Dillinger is also not a recurring villain.  Hitler, on the other hand, counting all his appearances across all publishers, may well be the most recurring comics villain of all!

Even taking into account the Hatemonger who could be classified as a clone with his memories, Hitler along with Billy the Kid, Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln, Ben Franklin, FDR, Winston Churchill and other historical figures have appeared so often in comics that they should have gotten pages in Who's Who and Marvel Handbook.

Hitler's history is certainly more colorful in the MU than in real life.

In the DCU as well! He fought the Justice Society and the Legion! He even met Jimmy Olsen!

Fraser Sherman said:

Hitler's history is certainly more colorful in the MU than in real life.

And of course he wielded the Spear of Destiny!

Given that the book that propounded the "Spear of Destiny" concept was apparently a stinker even by the standards of occult claptrap (according to a friend of mine whose judgment of such things I trust) I've often wondered if the only reason it keeps showing up in pop culture now and again (the TV show "Roar" for instance) is because DC Comics kept using it in stories

Stephen King touted James Herbert as a great horror writer (and he is). One of his books is The Spear, delving into the occult obsession of some Nazis, and another 4th Reich attempt.

The most striking image in the story is The Spear in the hands of a seated, (slowly) rotting Heinrich Himmler, the leader of the SS, who slowly stands up.

Thank you Commander, for another entertaining quiz.  As usual, before I could even begin researching these questions, there are a ton of responses.  I suspect all the correct answers have already been found, but I have dutifully tried to ignore the responses, so forgive me if some of these answers have already been disproved.

1.  The first non-charter member was Triplicate Girl

2.  Espionage Squad Leader = Chameleon Boy.  I can't remember a list of specific permanent members, so I'll guess that this is a trick question, and the members are chosen for each mission, as on Mission: Impossible.

3.  Pass

4.  Pass

5.  The Kents have met at least:  Mon-El, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, Duo Damsel, and Shadow Lass.

6.  Lightning Boy - Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass - Light Lass, Triplicate Girl - Duo Damsel, Mystery Lad - Element Lad.  Lone Wolf doesn't count because he changed his name to Timber Wolf before joining the Legion.

7.  Adventure 317 - Clause 2-B, "No one without a super power can be a member."

8.  Adventure 341 - The Legion finds the Batcave and mentions the Joker and the Penguin.  That's two characters not one, so I suspect it is not the answer you wanted.  Perhaps they are not considered SUPER-villains.  But, Batman is considered a superhero, so I'm hoping...

9.  Adventure 318 - Amendment 5:  "No legionnaire shall go on more than five successive space missions
without a rest period to prevent space fatigue"

10.  Pass

There have been several responses that Lightning Boy/Lightning Lad is an answer to #6 and I can see why as he was indeed "Lightning Boy" in Adventure Comics #247. It's written right on his chest!

But is it canon? I mean did Garth Ranzz called himself Lightning Boy, not Lad when he joined the Legion or helped found the Legion? There is evidence for both!

First we must remember that the Legion's origin came quite some time after its debut. Indeed who we consider the founders, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl and Lightning Boy/Lad, could have just been the first Legionnaires we saw. In the flashback of Adventure #308, the introduction of his twin sister Ayla/Lightning Lass, Garth Ranzz was already in costume when he received his powers and mentioned joining the already-in-existence Legion. This was reflected in the revised flashback that included Ayla.

Of course, this scenario is considered apocryphal as Garth's status as a founder and his brother Mekt/Lightning Lord's absence was rectified in the Legion's origin story in Superboy #147.

Here, Garth is never called "Lightning Boy" at first but Lightning Lad and in his classic uniform, so if he did call himself "Lightning Boy", it was after he was dubbed Lightning Lad and soon went back to his preferred name!

I just wrote "Lightning Boy" off as a glitch, like Cosmic Boy getting magnetic eyes from special serums or Supergirl meeting the children of the original Legionnaires. It took them a while to get things right.

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