Deck Log Entry # 237 The Silver-Age Challenge---the Cape and Cowl Contest

When I was a lad, there were certain events you could count on happening every year, no matter what.  The annual showing of The Wizard of Oz on television.  The arrival of the Sears Wishbook in the fall.  Checking the new calendar in January to see which holidays that year fell on a workday (yay!) or on a week-end (shucks!) *

 

While not quite as memorable or anticipated as those yearly occasions, my summer trivia quizzes is one regular offering that, no matter what my workload, I just couldn’t brush off.  At least, I’m hoping you folks look forward to it, and it’s not just that my head has grown three sizes over it.  This one wasn’t that much of an imposition on my on-duty time, actually.  In the occasional free moment, a Silver-Age trivia question would pop into my head, and I’d jot it down before I forgot it.  Over the last three months or so, my desk and walls grew so scattered with Post-It notes that it looked like the 3M plant exploded.

 

Finally, these past couple of week-ends, I confirmed the answers to the questions and ran them through various search engines.  After scratching the ones that weren’t reasonably Google-proof, I selected the ten most interesting posers, those that had the highest quotient of the “Hey, I didn’t know that!” factor.

 

My quizzes don’t always have a theme, other than “the Silver Age”, that is.  Sometimes, it’s all I can do just to get ten questions, so I have to settle for potpourri.  (Thank you, Jeopardy!, for teaching me what that word meant, and thank you, Art Fleming, for teaching me how to say it.)  But, this year, I do have a theme.  You may have guessed it from the banner:  costumes!  If clothes make the man, then it’s the costume that makes the mystery-man.  Every question will relate in some way to a super-hero’s costume or its accoutrements.  This year, both DC and Marvel Comics characters are included in the mix, so you fellows will have to thumb through both sets of stacks.

 

As always, here are the rules.  You veterans can skip the next few paragraphs---it’s the usual blather.  They’re for the benefit of anyone who might have stumbled onto this page by accident and wants to try his hand.

 

All of the questions, and answers, are drawn from Silver-Age material.  That is, 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.  If your answer comes from outside that period, then it is invalid.  For example, if I were to ask “What is the space sector patrolled by Tomar Re, the Green Lantern of Xudar?” and you answered “Space sector 2813,” you would be wrong.  During the Silver Age, Tomar Re’s space sector was “9”; “2813” was a Bronze Age revision.

                      

The Silver-Age limitation is a tricky thing to keep in mind.  Even the veteran quiz-takers here slip up sometimes.  Remember the “Per the Legion Constitution, who is the only person that the Legion Leader is answerable to?” fiasco?

 

I’m definitely not infallible, also something to which the long-time players will attest.  I might have missed something, somewhere, in twelve years of Silver Age 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.

 

I’ve got no problem with anybody using a search engine to look for answers.  I try to make my questions as immune to Google 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.

 

Lastly, there are no prizes.  You’re playing for bragging rights.

 

And as usual, just to get everybody warmed up, I’ll start off with a lob . . .

 

 

 

1.  The story “The Monarch of Menace” from Detective Comics # 350 (Apr., 1966) contained what glaring error in the Batman’s costume?

 

 

 

2.  What issue of what comic title introduced the first permanent changes to the X-Men’s uniforms?

 

 

3.  Why is Wally West’s hair red, but Kid Flash’s hair is brown?

 

 

 

4.  In a couple of early Supergirl stories, the skirt of her costume was red, rather than the usual blue.  While this was mostly likely due to a colourist’s error, what in-story reason did editor Mort Weisinger provide to account for the red skirt?

 

 

 

5.  Speaking of Supergirl, where does she conceal her costume on those occasions when she cannot wear it under her civilian clothes, such as at the beach?

 

 

 

6.  What change to Iron Man’s armour resulted from Tony Stark having to go into super-hero action while out on a date?

 

 

 

7.  Most people don’t even know it happened, but after Bizarro № 1 populated Htrae with other Bizarro-Supermen, what change was made to their costumes?

 

 

 

8.  The Black Panther’s infamous face-exposing half-cowl was first seen in what issue of what comic title?

 

 

 

9.  The wings on Hawkman’s helmet represent an award for his exceptional performance in capturing a super-criminal on Thanagar, but what do Hawkgirl’s earrings signify?

 

 

 

10.  Speaking of the Winged Wonder, how does he conceal his costume in case he has to go into action while he’s out and about in his Earth identity of Carter Hall?

 

 

Good luck, all!

______________________________________

 

 That was because, back in the olden days, Federal holidays didn’t mean guaranteed three-day week-ends..  Prior to 1971, Federal holidays were observed on the day which their actual dates fell.  If it fell on a week-day, it meant a day off from work or school; but if it fell on Saturday or Sunday, well, tough luck.  The practise of observing Federal holidays on Mondays, so everyone could have a long week-end, was instituted in 1971, as a result of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968. 

 

Incidentally, despite what everybody thinks, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act did not create, combine, re-name, or, in any way, result in a Federal holiday called “Presidents’ Day”.  There is no Federal holiday called Presidents’ Day.   --- Ye Olde Commander

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LOW-HANGING FRUIT:

2. 

8.

9. Hawkgirl's earrings signify that she is married.*

*(This question was retooled from a previous Silver Age Challenge methinks.)

I can't answer any of the Marvel questions.  I'm sure about one DC question, fairly confident about three others, and have a reasonable guess for two more.  These are all done from memory.

1. The story “The Monarch of Menace” from Detective Comics # 350 (Apr., 1966) contained what glaring error in the Batman’s costume?

The story includes a flashback to an early period of Batman's career, but (as the cover reproduced here shows) he is depicted in his "modern" costume, with the yellow circle around the bat-symbol rather than the original version.  (Fairly confident)

3. Why is Wally West’s hair red, but Kid Flash’s hair is brown?

If they were both redheads, it would be much harder for Wally to preserve his secret identity in a little place like Blue Valley!  To avoid this, the ring into which the costume is compressed when not in use sprays a dye over Wally's hair to change its colour as well as a chemical that grows or shrinks the costume when he's changing identity.  (Sure)

5. Speaking of Supergirl, where does she conceal her costume on those occasions when she cannot wear it under her civilian clothes, such as at the beach?

I seem to remember seeing her super-compressing it and hiding it inside something like a powder compact.  (Reasonable guess)

7. Most people don’t even know it happened, but after Bizarro № 1 populated Htrae with other Bizarro-Supermen, what change was made to their costumes?

Was the chest S-symbol reversed?  (Reasonable guess)

9. The wings on Hawkman’s helmet represent an award for his exceptional performance in capturing a super-criminal on Thanagar, but what do Hawkgirl’s earrings signify?

Her marital status, being the Thanagarian equivalent of a wedding ring.  (Fairly confident)

10. Speaking of the Winged Wonder, how does he conceal his costume in case he has to go into action while he’s out and about in his Earth identity of Carter Hall?

I'm sure I remember a panel with Carter holding the Hawk's head chest emblem from which the helmet, wings and the rest of the costume are emerging and growing.  Did every DC hero have a means of shrinking their costume when not in use?  (Fairly confident)

Gents, I can't say too much about your answers while the game is still in play.  But I will say, collectively, many of your responses are spot-on and two have completely missed the mark.

I haven’t looked at anyone's answers.

2. What issue of what comic title introduced the first permanent changes to the X-Men’s uniforms?

X-Men #27(DEC66) added a red belt to their original uniforms. In X-Men 39(DEC67) they are given individual costumes, which are no longer “uniforms.”

3. Why is Wally West’s hair red, but Kid Flash’s hair is brown?

Because red hair is less common in the United States, once his new yellow costume debuted, exposing his hair, a gas was devised to change his hair color to brown and presumably wear off or reverse itself when he took off his costume. Since this would have narrowed down his secret identity in his small town, it would have been smarter not to expose his hair. OTOH, showing brown hair probably made his secret identity safer.  

6. What change to Iron Man’s armour resulted from Tony Stark having to go into super-hero action while out on a date?

It was able to be folded and concealed in a briefcase. This would also account for his revolving door of girlfriends. He didn’t want them to be comfortable enough to ask why he was bringing a briefcase on a date.

7. Most people don’t even know it happened, but after Bizarro № 1 populated Htrae with other Bizarro-Supermen, what change was made to their costumes?

The S on their costumes changed to a mirror-image of the S. (You gave this away in the image you posted)

8.The Black Panther’s infamous face-exposing half-cowl was first seen in what issue of what comic title?

Avengers #51(APR68), in which he appears when nominated for membership by the departing Captain America. The following issue he becomes a member and is cover-featured with the half-mask. Immediately prior to this he was in Captain America #100, cover-featured with his full mask.

The practise of observing Federal holidays on Mondays, so everyone could have a long week-end, was instituted in 1971, as a result of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968. 

It may be Federal, but here in California when an unmoved holiday (for example Independence Day, Veterans Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day) falls on a Sunday, Monday is treated as a holiday. When it falls on a Saturday, Friday is treated as a holiday except for the Post Office and the Banks. Since they are normally open on Saturdays, they close on Saturday.

"X-Men #27(DEC66) added a red belt to their original uniforms. In X-Men 39(DEC67) they are given individual costumes, which are no longer 'uniforms.'"

Some people use the words "costume" and "uniform" interchangeably. I don't, and I know the Commander doesn't, either, but I swear I read that as "costumes." Still, it could be argued that doing away with uniforms entirely in favor of individual costumes does constitute a "change." No? Well, it's a moot point if it wasn't "first." I should have know it wasn't that easy. (Sometimes "low-hanging fruit" is rotten.) Then again, the one Richard describes wasn't "permanent" either. :) 

"Avengers #51(APR68), in which he appears when nominated for membership by the departing Captain America."

I don't think so. In that panel he wasn't wearing a mask at all. 

One thing that, I believe, requires clarification.  I used the modifier "permanent" with reference to attire changes so folks wouldn't jump on a change that was strictly due to artistic discretion.  For example, if a fill-in artist for one issue changed the style of, say, the Wasp's headgear---it was strictly the new artist's interpretation, and in the next issue or two, the Wasp's headgear was back to it was before---that would not count as an official change in her costume.

However, I can see how my use of the word "permanent" could imply that there were no subsequent changes to the costume after that, which was not my intention, nor is true in most of the above cases.

For purposes of this quiz, "permanent" refers to a change in attire that was intended and not strictly due to an artist's whim.

I probably have #51 in an Epic Collection but didn't want to hunt for it. So I guess my revised answer (if I can do it) would be Avengers #52.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Avengers #51(APR68), in which he appears when nominated for membership by the departing Captain America."

I don't think so. In that panel he wasn't wearing a mask at all. 

Up to this point their uniforms had been very unstable (no Pym particles involved).  Jean’s headgear/mask changed often and Bobby’s boots came and went.  Possibly reflecting artistic differences is the question of their shirts.  Were they long sleeve blue shirts underneath a sleeveless yellow top or a blue shirt with yellow sleeves.  It seemed to change from issue to issue and character to character.

On a personal note, a long (very long) time ago I missed the definition of “uniform” on a vocabulary quiz because I reasoned “the LSH wear uniforms and they are all different, so ‘uniform’ must mean ‘different’”. I never made that mistake again confusing costume and uniform.  Hmmm, when Triplicate Girl splits into three, does her costume become a uniform?  The vocabulary quiz was about “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” and Nemo’s books on a shelf being “uniform” in appearance.


Jeff of Earth-J said:

"X-Men #27(DEC66) added a red belt to their original uniforms. In X-Men 39(DEC67) they are given individual costumes, which are no longer 'uniforms.'"

Some people use the words "costume" and "uniform" interchangeably. I don't, and I know the Commander doesn't, either, but I swear I read that as "costumes." Still, it could be argued that doing away with uniforms entirely in favor of individual costumes does constitute a "change." No? Well, it's a moot point if it wasn't "first." I should have know it wasn't that easy. (Sometimes "low-hanging fruit" is rotten.) Then again, the one Richard describes wasn't "permanent" either. :) 

I think the key thing is that at Marion’s (his date) suggestion Tony painted his armor gold so that it was no longer grey and frightening and “dreadful”. 

Richard Willis said:

I haven’t looked at anyone's answers.

2. What issue of what comic title introduced the first permanent changes to the X-Men’s uniforms?

X-Men #27(DEC66) added a red belt to their original uniforms. In X-Men 39(DEC67) they are given individual costumes, which are no longer “uniforms.”

3. Why is Wally West’s hair red, but Kid Flash’s hair is brown?

Because red hair is less common in the United States, once his new yellow costume debuted, exposing his hair, a gas was devised to change his hair color to brown and presumably wear off or reverse itself when he took off his costume. Since this would have narrowed down his secret identity in his small town, it would have been smarter not to expose his hair. OTOH, showing brown hair probably made his secret identity safer.  

6. What change to Iron Man’s armour resulted from Tony Stark having to go into super-hero action while out on a date?

It was able to be folded and concealed in a briefcase. This would also account for his revolving door of girlfriends. He didn’t want them to be comfortable enough to ask why he was bringing a briefcase on a date.

7. Most people don’t even know it happened, but after Bizarro № 1 populated Htrae with other Bizarro-Supermen, what change was made to their costumes?

The S on their costumes changed to a mirror-image of the S. (You gave this away in the image you posted)

8.The Black Panther’s infamous face-exposing half-cowl was first seen in what issue of what comic title?

Avengers #51(APR68), in which he appears when nominated for membership by the departing Captain America. The following issue he becomes a member and is cover-featured with the half-mask. Immediately prior to this he was in Captain America #100, cover-featured with his full mask.

The practise of observing Federal holidays on Mondays, so everyone could have a long week-end, was instituted in 1971, as a result of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968. 

It may be Federal, but here in California when an unmoved holiday (for example Independence Day, Veterans Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day) falls on a Sunday, Monday is treated as a holiday. When it falls on a Saturday, Friday is treated as a holiday except for the Post Office and the Banks. Since they are normally open on Saturdays, they close on Saturday.

1. Batman’s chest symbol includes the yellow ring around the bat. Batman #183 established the Earth-One Batman didn’t have the yellow ring at the start of his career.
2. I’m going with X-Men #39 even though that seems way too obvious.
3 When Wally brings his costume into or out of his ring, an invisible spray dyes his hair. Flash #138 “Mystery of the Matinee Idol.”
4. I thought this would be a cinch given the amount of Supergirl I have in reprint, but I got nothing.
5. Based on the one story I found where she’s at the beach, I don’t think she did anything special to keep her costume available.
6. Tony changed his armor from steel grey to the red and gold look after his date said a noble hero like Iron Man needed to look more like a knight in shining armor.
7. The Bizarro uniforms didn’t get the reverse S logo on the chest until Action #293, “The Good Deeds of Bizarro Luthor.”
8. It appears to be Avengers 52, though that also seems too obvious.
9. Hawkgirl’s earrings are a sign she’s married, equivalent to an Earth wedding ring.
10. The uniforms expand out of the hawk medallions at the center of his flying harness.
Thanks for taking the time Commander, I really enjoy these.


Having located my copy of Hawkman #5 (December 1964 - January 1965), and this panel from the story "Steal, Shadow - Steal", I can now upgrade the level of confidence in my answer to question 10 from "fairly confident" to "sure"!

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