Deck Log Entry # 126 The Silver-Age Challenge---Marvel Comics Edition

As promised, at the end of last year, this Silver-Age Challenge covers Marvel Comics.  Frankly, coming up with ten interesting, suitably difficult, Google-resistant questions proved to be a lot tougher than I expected.  I had set my target time for posting a Marvel quiz for June of this year, roughly six months following my DC quiz, and I felt, certainly, that ten decent posers would occur to me just naturally, in my scheme of thought.


Instead, by the time May rolled around, I had only four worthwhile questions, and for the last couple of weeks, the part of my brain devoted to comics trivia has been working on overdrive.  Finally, yesterday, I came up with the last one.


As I explained in the prologue to my DC Silver-Age Challenge, to me, it’s not enough to simply gin up questions about comics trivia.  Ideally, they should be questions that, when the reader discovers the answers, they should make him think “Wow, that’s interesting!  I didn’t know that!”  Then, there is the matter of technology; a good question should be one that isn’t readily solvable by plugging it into a search engine.  I must have tossed out a dozen or so because of that consideration.


I’m not really sure why it was more difficult for me to come up with ten Marvel-related trivia questions.  I suspect, though, that it has to do with the internecine nature of the Marvel universe.  Where DC’s Silver-Age comics were segregated into fiefdoms, under different editors, over at Marvel, Stan Lee ran the whole show.  And he did the bulk of the writing for the first several years.  Because of that, he was forced to constantly revisit old ideas and spruce them up for new stories.  Few items of information were left unplumbed, and lack of reminder is the very nature of trivia.  That required me to really get down in the weeds to come up with forgotten items that met my criteria.


For those of you who came in late, or passed on the last one, here are the guidelines for tackling the quiz.  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.

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.


And, of course, all of these questions have to do with Marvel Comics.


 All set?  O.K., here we go!  As usual, I’ll start off with a lob . . . .




1.  Which two super-heroes attended Metro College at the same time, though they never met on campus?



2.  Not counting Captain “Happy Sam” Sawyer (or, for the nitpicky, his temporary relief, Captain Flint, either), which regular member of the Howling Commandos was actually a commissioned officer during World War II?



3.  On her twenty-third birthday, Janet (the Wasp) Van Dyne received her complete inheritance.  How much money did her father leave her?



4.  What Fantastic Four supporting character was based on the star of a syndicated comic strip?



5.  Speaking of the Fantastic Four, in what branch of the military did Ben (the Thing) Grimm serve during the war?



6.  During his ten-century space flight to Alpha Centauri, Major Vance Astro survived by spending the entire time in suspended animation.  When he arrived on the closest planet, he discovered that Earthmen had beaten him there because, two hundred years after he left Earth, man had learnt how to go faster than light.  Who was the physicist who perfected faster-than-light travel and rendered Major Astro’s flight pointless?



7.  The original line-up of Avengers lasted for only the first two issues of The Avengers.  In only one story outside of its own title was this group of five depicted (not counting flashbacks).  What tale was that?



8.  The international terrorist organisation Hydra named its various departments after animals.  What was the animal name by which its supply division was known?



9.  Speaking of suspended animation, when Merlin the Magician awoke after a centuries-long slumber, he decided to offer his services to the President of the United States, as he had to King Arthur.  However, after entering the White House and seeing the Chief Executive, Merlin did not believe the man was the President.  Why?



10.  Of what material was Henry Pym’s blue-and-gold Goliath costume made?





Being the sporting fellow that I am, there is no bar to researching the answers.  In fact, it will be at least two weeks before I run the answers.  That should allow plenty of time for anyone to dig out his old Marvel comics and take a shot at it. 


Good luck!

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Comment by Jeff of Earth-J on June 12, 2011 at 10:17am

3. Jan inherited three million dollars according to Avengers #43.


8. Hydra's supply division was represented by a camel.


All of the other questions have either already been answered or I don't know the answer.

Comment by Figserello on June 11, 2011 at 7:37am

Ben piloted that spaceship in FF no.1, so airforce is the obvious answer.  Likewise Reed's patented (or probably unpatented?) unstable molecules are the obvious answer to any question about clothing that can deal with the stretching/shrinking/burning etc  demands of superheroic action in the Marvel Universe.


But just because they are obvious doesn't make them right.  I don't know the correct answers myself, but I'd say a lot of people are thinking this.  I don't expect any commentary on this thought until after the answers are posted.  Just saying that those two look like traps for the unwary...

Comment by Commander Benson on June 11, 2011 at 6:36am
Well, Hal, it's not a perfect group of answers, but it's not Maggie's drawers, either.  That's the most I will say right now.
Comment by Prince Hal on June 10, 2011 at 10:13pm

Did Peter Parker and Johnny Storm go to Metro?

Is the Avengers' appearance in that one-shot, Avengers 1 1/2? (Probably not.)

I think Ben Grimm was a Marine pilot.

Pym's duds were made of unstable molecules, right?


Otherwise, I got nuttin'.

Comment by Figserello on June 10, 2011 at 5:02am
Comment by Commander Benson on June 10, 2011 at 3:49am

"I might make 5/100 with those answers."


Actually, you did a little better than that.

Comment by Figserello on June 10, 2011 at 3:24am

Just for a laugh:


1) The Angel/Human Torch

2) The French one - if there is a French one...

3) One Million Dollars

4) Willy Lumpkin

5) Airforce

6) Prof Richards

7) JiM 112 (Thor Vs Hulk issue )

8) The Magpies?  :-)

9) He was dressed like everyone else. 

10) The polyester of the 70's - but in the 60s! 


(I might make 5/100 with those answers.)

Comment by Commander Benson on June 9, 2011 at 11:38pm

"Too bad we can't answer in secret so more people could play without seeing what the others thought."


It's a key bit of unwieldiness in presenting a quiz in this fashion.  And the reason why I never employed quizzes in my Deck Log before; and now that I've done one for both DC and Marvel, probably won't do another, at least for quite awhile.


Whenever a poster displays his answers, there's going to be some sort of tip-off to later players, even if it's just jogging someone else's memory.  I attempt to do a couple of things to mitigate that.


One, I remain as vague as I can in replying how well a responder did, and never reveal what answers he got correct or wrong.  I might drop a tantalising hint here and there, to spice up interest.  But otherwise, I play it close to the vest.


Two, I try to make at least one question a true knot to unravel.  Those are the kinds that inspire folks to keep at it, even if they see that someone else has beaten them to the other correct answers.  Being the fellow who came up with the right answer to the real brain-buster is more impressive than being the guy who got the other nine right.


I prefer to see folks post their answers.  I like seeing how well I put the thing together.  And I'll be honest:   I lay a few traps, too.  Not trick questions; I don't misdirect.  Every question asks for exactly what it appears to.  But I do rely on fans' common misconceptions or presumptions.  As I mentioned, one of the ones you missed, Philip, was precisely one of the ones on which I expected most folks to jump to an assumption.


My quizzes aren't meant to be something that one can solve by Googling for the answers, or running through some on-line index of titles.  When a poster gets the right answer, it should be something he can take a modicum of pride in solving, either by his own knowledge or in conducting the necessary research, as you did.

Comment by Philip Portelli on June 9, 2011 at 11:08pm

Thanks, Travis, that one I wasn't sure of the most!

Too bad we can't answer in secret so more people could play without seeing what the others thought.

Comment by Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) on June 9, 2011 at 10:11am
Well the only one I know is number 6, and Philip is right as I just read that comic last week.


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