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?
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