I haven't done one of my trivia quizzes in a long time, and never here in my Deck Log column. For one thing, the development and expanse of search engines has made it difficult to find truly challenging questions. Oh, one can format a question to make it virtually Google-proof, something like "What do 'X' and 'Y' and 'Z' have in common?" But to me, a really good quiz should pose questions in which the answers are informative and engaging, that make the reader think, "Hey, I didn't know that. Neat!"
So, with that goal in mind, I went through my standing list of Silver-Age-comic tidbits, and after tossing out the ones that could be too easily found by a Google search, came up with ten decent trivia questions. Decent? Hah! They're tough. As one associate of mine would call them, they are Benson-level tough.
The rules are simple. All of the questions, and the answers, germinate from the Silver Age of Comics, as I define it. So the only material that counts comes from comics cover-dated September, 1956 to December, 1968. Any answers that contradict mine and are based on information introduced before or after that period will be considered wrong. (And you will find that this is an important distinction in at least one of the ten questions, and probably more.)
This particular quiz is limited to the DC universe. The next one will be a Marvel Comics universe challenge.
Each question has a ten-point value, with no points removed for an incorrect answer. After all, you don't win anything here. The points are for parceling out bragging rights.
By design, these questions should defy search engines, but, truth to tell, some of them are not completely impregnable to Google. But they're tricky enough that you have to plug in just the right keywords. And since some of you are pretty sharp yourselves when it comes to the Silver Age, I won’t be surprised if some alternate responses pop up. As long as they are substantiated by information from a Silver-Age comic, you’ll get credit for a correct answer.
Ready? Just so you don’t get discouraged at the outset, I started off with a lob . . . .
1. Who gave the commencement address at Snapper Carr’s high-school graduation ceremony?
2. What space sector was Tomar Re, the Green Lantern of Xudar, responsible for protecting?
3. What public attraction lies exactly halfway between Metropolis and Gotham City?
4. One of the regularly seen characters in Batman and Detective Comics earned a doctorate and would be properly addressed as "Doctor __________", but never was. Who?
5. Young Clark Kent went to Smallville High School, but the truant officer never went after Superboy for not being in school. What was the reason given for not requiring the Boy of Steel to attend school?
6. For one story, an individual replaced one of the Blackhawks, and was considered an honest-to-God, full-fledged (i.e., not honorary) member of the team. Who was this unique individual?
7. What is the effective range of the super-power-sapping radiations of gold kryptonite?
8. Karel Sorensen---expert markswoman, fashion model, former Miss Solar System, and one of the Star Rovers---was not born Karel Sorensen. She changed her name to Karel Sorensen for professional reasons. What was her birth name?
9. Who was the first Silver-Age DC character to debut in his own magazine, rather than appearing in another title first?
10. Circumstances forced Superman to entrust his secret identity to President Kennedy. JFK's predecessor, President Eisenhower, was also privy to a couple of super-heroes' secret ID's. Whose?
I’ll provide the answers after New Year’s Eve. That should give all of you plenty of time to hit the back issues. Good luck!