Deck Log Entry # 158 The Silver-Age Challenge---the Legion of Super-Heroes Edition

I try to accommodate my readers.  Sometimes, it’s a snap, especially when the reader himself provides the inspiration, such as when Commando Cody raised the question of why Lightning Lad wasn’t held to task for killing Zaryan the Conqueror.


Other times, the sailing's not so smooth.  Figserello has been waiting for me to do a piece on Animal Man.  The hold-up on that one is lack of source material.  And I’m always rummaging through my brain for ideas I can plumb from Marvel Comics.  I know Marvel fans get the short shrift here.  But as I explained not too long ago, Silver-Age Marvel didn’t have nearly the sub-strata of topics that DC did.  But I’m working on it, so I don’t leave you Marvel mavens out in the cold.


And then Philip Portelli has hit me up a couple of times for a Silver-Age quiz on the Legion of Super-Heroes.  So he must be thrilled to see the title of this Entry. 


Philip’s request for a Silver-Age Legion quiz wasn’t as easy to accommodate as a lot of you might think.  There were a couple of major roadblocks.  First, as always, I try to gin up questions that can’t be answered with a quick Google-search.  This was especially difficult in this case because the Legion of Super-Heroes has always been a heavily fan-supported series.  Off-hand, I can’t think of any other series that has made use of reader input as much as the Legion.  And that meant the Internet is packed deep in Legion-related sites.  They vary, of course, in accuracy and in range---some cover only a specific era of the series; others try to cover them all---but the ultimate effect is a saturation of details.  Just about any question I could ask was likely to have the answer buried somewhere, in some Legion fan’s site, ready to be plucked by a search engine.


The other problem is most of the good stuff, the kind of questions with answers that make the reader spout “Hey, wow, I didn’t know that!”, I’ve already discussed here---either in one of my previous Deck Log Entries or on one of the threads of conversation on the forum.  I didn’t want to be reduced to “What was Cosmic Boy holding in his hand on page five, panel four, of Adventure Comics # 301?” sort of questions, which are too dreary for anyone to really care.


It seemed like an arduous task to tackle.  Fortunately for Philip, the other day I was researching the details of a Legion story for an unrelated purpose, and suddenly, a perfect question for a Legion quiz presented itself.  O.K., that was one.  But the challenge was shoved right in my face.  Could I come up with nine more?


Well, gang, I puzzled and puzzled till my puzzler was sore, but I finally did it.  Ten pretty decent quiz questions.


Before l launch them, there’s one slight change in the usual rules that I need to mention.  For this quiz, the parameters are slightly narrowed from the usual beginning-to-end of the Silver Age envelope.  This time, 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). 


And this is the important part:  any DC title was fair game for me in putting together this quiz, so it’s not limited to the Legion series proper.  But all of questions and the only acceptable answers come from DC comics published within the boundaries of those two issues of Adventure.


Got it?  Then here we go!



1.  What is the only substance which blocks Ultra Boy’s penetra-vision?


2.  Outside of Superman, who is the only other Justice League member mentioned by name in the Legion stories appearing in Adventure Comics?


3.  The leaders of which five worlds comprise the Inner Council of the United Planets?


4.  By the time the Legionnaires reached adulthood, so many members left the Legion that the group merged with the Legion of Substitute Heroes.  Which Subs became members of the Adult Legion?


5.  While there were others, who was the only Legionnaire shown to be on the regular staff of The Legion Bulletin, the club newspaper read by thousands of law-enforcement officers throughout the universe?


6.  Besides Superboy, Supergirl, Pete Ross, Jimmy Olsen, and Lana Lang, name five individuals from the twentieth century who travelled to the future to interact with the Legion in the thirtieth century.


7.  Which Legionnaires’ super-powers did the Composite Superman not use in either of his two Silver-Age appearances (based on the Legion statuettes which gave him his powers)?


8.  Besides Clark (Superboy) Kent, Bob (Mon-El) Cobb, and Linda (Supergirl) Danvers, name five civilian identities used by full-fledged Legionnaires while in the twentieth century. 


9.  Per the Legion Constitution, the Legion leader is answerable to only one person.  Who?



10.  Who is the only Legionnaire, outside of Superman, to appear in an Inferior Five story?

Good luck!

Views: 1943

Comment by Philip Portelli on June 2, 2013 at 10:39am

I'm going to assume that Saturn Girl posing as Supergirl doesn't count either.

But doing some research, I found out that Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl and Shrinking Violet appeared in Lois Lane #50 (Jl'64) posing as members of her fan club. Since I have no access to that issue, I don't know if they used stated aliases.

Comment by Commander Benson on June 2, 2013 at 10:45am

You're assuming correctly.


Thump!  Thump!  Thump!

Comment by Eric L. Sofer on June 3, 2013 at 7:41am

Overshot the mark, did I?

I'll change it, but I don't feel that the Legion of Super Pets DON'T qualify as individuals - and the fact that the ever precise Commander Adam used the word "individuals" and not "persons" or "people" let me to think that that arena was slightly wider open.

Also, those were from memory... so I'll review them and see if I have any changes.

1) Inertron.

2) Batman

3) Earth, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter

4) I think it was only Polar Man (although I recall Night Woman appearing... but not as a Legionnaire.)

5) Duo Damsel

6) Batman, Luthor, Mxyzptlk, Hitler, and Nero.

7) BASED ON THE STATUETTES! Reading really IS fundamental, kids!

Um, I don't want to call this a trick question... but I guess I am. According to World's Finest 168, he used all his powers together to turn Superman and Batman to half anti-matter. (How do shrinking, bouncing, or matter-eating combine for this effect? I don't know... but then, I don't have an effectively 12th level intellect either!) So my answer is "None. He used all of the Legionnaires' powers."

8) Marie Elkins. Betsy Norcross. Gary Crane. The Collector (Mon-El.) And I'm out of memory and time, so I'll have to go with a short list... okay, messed this one.

NOT USED: The three founders first battle the Legion of Super Villains in the 20th century, and in Adventure 351, a team of Legionnaires goes back to summon Superboy - but none of them were ever shown in civilian identity, so I assume you're not counting those.

9) The President of the U.P.

10) Got nothing but a guess. Maybe Invisible Kid?

Great fun - I love these Commander Adam quizzes!




Comment by Commander Benson on June 3, 2013 at 8:17am

I can't elabourate now---it would tip things too much for anyone else who wants to take a stab at the quiz---but, you, Fogey, Philip, and my old buddy Brian have all provided something clever in your answers for which, no matter how the final tally comes out, can pat yourselves on the back for.

Comment by Andrew Horn on June 4, 2013 at 4:36am

Commander said, ", Fogey, Philip, and my old buddy Brian have all provided something clever in your answers for which, no matter how the final tally comes out, can pat yourselves on the back for."

I hope when you give the answers that you also explain what this means.


Comment by Commander Benson on June 4, 2013 at 5:56am

Yeah, Mr. Horn, it was awkwardly phrased, I know.  Each of those three---the only ones to try to answer the quiz so far---demonstrated a bit of exceptional cleverness in one or more of his answers.  But I can't go into it now without revealing the correct responses.


Rest assured, I will when the time comes to do so.


Comment by Philip Portelli on June 4, 2013 at 9:41am
What was Cosmic Boy holding in his hand on page five, panel four of Adventure Comics #301?

Storm Boy's weather control device.

Just to be thorough. ;-)

Comment by Philip Portelli on June 6, 2013 at 1:26am

10) It WAS Invisible Kid in Inferior Five #2! I don't have that one, either but I saw him listed over at Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics' site. Don't know if he was actually seen, though!

That was the first appearance of the Kooky Quartet which included Vanishing Queen, a parody of the Invisible Girl. Maybe Lyle just wanted a see-through cutie of his own! ;-)

Comment by Fraser Sherman on June 6, 2013 at 4:30am

1.  Inetron

2.  Batman

3.   Earth and ...

4. I think Polar Boy was the only one.




6.     Comet. Krypto. Streaky. Beppo.  Kid Psycho

7.    Karate, Kid Ferro Lad, Princess Projectra, Superman

8.  Gary Crane (Ultra Boy) Marie Elkins (Duo Damsel) Shadow Lass (Betsy Norcross)





Invisible Kid

Comment by Fraser Sherman on June 6, 2013 at 4:34am

Well that blows my Super Pets answer, obviously.

Invisible Kid appears (invisibly) kicking a composer out of the Legion Clubhouse in one issue if I5.


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