Words of Questionable Wisdom: Answers To The Spring Term Final Exam
By Paul Sebert
Alright Folks… last time we at WoQW we quized you on current, and obscure comic book trivia. Let’s see how you did.
1. Which alternate Marvel Universe did the Exiles Not visit during the recent World Tour storyline?
A. Earth 2099
B. Days of Future Past
C. Future Imperfect
D. New Universe
Days of Future Past was one of many alternate Earths the Exiles haven’t officially dropped by yet, although they did visit an alternate future very similar to DoFP in Exiles #12.
2. Which Spider-Man title consists solely of well written “Done In One” stories and contains none of the recent elements (mysticism, the new costume, Spidey as an Avenger) many fans claim to hate about today’s Spider-Man Books?
A. Amazing Spider-Man
B. Spectacular Spider-Man
C. Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
D. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man
Just thought I’d point out that Marvel Adventures Spider-Man and Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four are actually two of the most consistently entertaining books on the market these days and well, if you’re really not pleased with the direction of the mainline Spider-Man books, well give MA Spidey a shot. If not quit your whining and let me enjoy New Avengers. :p
3. Name the lowest selling Spider-Man title?
A. Amazing Spider-Man
B. Spectacular Spider-Man
C. Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
D. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man
Thanks to free comic day and digest sales the market is a little healthier for all ages titles than they used to be, but still I think we as fans should support these books.
4. Minority Report True or False: The first Hispanic superheroes introduced by both Marvel and DC were abruptly killed with little or no fanfare.
TRUE! White Tiger, a George Perez creation made his first appearance oddly enough in the pages of “Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #19” an oversized magazine that mixed adventures of Marvel characters like Shang-Chi and Iron fist with stories about real life martial artists like Bruce Lee. Hector Ayala would continue to make regular appearances throughout the series 33 issue run, but following the book’s cancellation he would be relegated to a handful of appearances in Spectacular Spider-Man. Since then the character would later be used by two other unrelated super heroes in the pages of The Crew and Heroes for Hire. Brian Michael Bendis brought back Ayala for the “Trial of the Century” arc of Daredevil, which ended with the hero being shot by police in Daredevil #40. Ayala’s niece, Angela Del Toro would later up the name and mantle of the character in the later issues of Bendis’s Daredevil run.
DC’s first Hispanic hero was Vibe, aka Paco Ramone a break dancing Hispanic street youth made his first appearance in Justice League of America Annual #2 as one of the new characters introduced during the ill-received Detroit-era Justice League created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton. The character was generally perceived by fans as a obnoxious stereotype, and when this incarnation of the team came to a close, Vibe was abruptly killed by Professor Ivo in Justice League of America #261. Vibe holds the dubious honor of being the first JLA member to actually die, and he’s one of the few to stay dead. He has however made a few background appearances in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, and even got a share of the spotlight in issue #15 of the Justice League Unlimited cartoon.
5. Which of these DC Superheroines has never been involved in a immaculate/supernatural pregnancy story at some point?
C. Power Girl
D. Donna Troy
For reasons I can’t quite explain DC has this really weird fixation on supernatural pregnancies. During her transition from Wondergirl to Troia, Donna Troy became pregnant with a child who was supposedly going to turn out to be a demonic entity named Lord Chaos thus prompting a time traveling group called Team Titans to go back to our time to try and kill her before she could give birth. It’s one of those stories that people prefer not to talk about these days as I believe it was effectively retconed by Zero Hour.
A similar story that people don’t talk much about is when Starfire almost married Nightwing, prompting the newly evil Raven to crash the occasion. In a plot point straight preceding the Grey Archive by a few years, Starfire somehow got implanted with a ‘seed’ representing Raven’s good side. The seed somehow compelled Starfire to flee the planet away from Evil Raven and eventually the Raven we know and love was restored but not before the first time Starfire’s home planet of Tammeran got destroyed.
Finally during Zero Hour Powergirl became impregnated due to a spell by Arion the sorcerer and gave birth to a male child in the middle of that affair who instantly turned into a full grown adult named Equinox who defeated a demon named Scarabus and disappeared never to be mentioned again EVER. NEVER EVER!
So please if you bump into Dan Didio at a comics convention tell him to fire anyone who pitches from any stories involving immaculate conceptions.
6. In between 1983’s New Teen Titans and 2003’s Teen Titans how many times did DC unsuccessfully re-launch/re-brand the Titans franchise?
The Wolfman/Perez run of New Teen Titans set the tone for DC comics in the 80s, but along the way we got many mutations of the book including New Titans (slightly older versions of the New Teen Titans cast with a few new members), Team Titans (a time traveling group who got retconned out of existence during Zero Hour), Teen Titans vol. 2 (a collection of new Dan Jurgans characters lead by a teenage version of The Atom), and finally a book named The Titans (featuring a new team lead by Arsenal). During the nothing could seemingly go right for the franchise.
7. Minority Report True or False: Marvel’s most recognizable Asian superhero is actually a white woman whose mind was put in an Asian woman’s body?
That would be Psylocke of X-Men fame, a character that’s really downright offensive when you really think about it. If you didn’t know this one, slap yourself on the forehead.
8. Which superhero did Bane break the back of in Infinite Crisis #7
B. Judo Master
D. No one, Bane re-deemed himself was cured of Venom addiction and gave up crime. Didn’t you read Legends of the Dark Knight?
If you say D. I’ll give you half a point, as Geoff Johns apparently didn’t read Bane’s most recent appearances before his cameo in Infinite Crisis. Judo Master was a World War II martial arts hero who first appeared in Special War Series #4. Try and wrap your head around that concept for a moment.
For the record Oddman is an obscure Steve Ditko creation who most recently had a cameo in the Villains United Special, and Nightblade was one of the new heroes introduced in 1993’s Bloodlines crossover who happened to have the power to regrow amputated limbs. I think that the world is a much poorer place because we never got to see a Nightblade ongoing series. Think about it: he would lose an arm or a leg each issue. How awesome would that be?
9. Which Marvel Comics series was subject of an unaired TV pilot movie in 1991?
A. Power Pack
D. The ‘Nam
Everyone’s favorite team of prepubescent superheroes came within a hair’s length of being made into a television show for NBC, but alas never got picked up. A 22-minute short film was made as the pilot episode for the show, but it was never aired or given an official release. If you hit the bootleg tape dealers at your favorite convention before the MPAA Gestapo throws them all in jail you just might find a copy. The special effects for the show looked a little cheesy from what stills are available on the web, but it really couldn’t have been worse than the Generation X and Nick Fury movies we got the same decade.
10. Minority Report True or False: To avoid being associated with the Black Panthers political association, the name of T’Challa’s superhero identity was briefly changed to “Coal Tiger.”
FALSE! Coal Tiger was an unused name for an early concept version of the character. As a nod to this, T’Challa’s son in the MC2 Universe T’Chaka uses the name Coal Tiger in A-Next.
11. Back in the early 90s what was the first title released by Valiant Comics?
A. Solar: Man of the Atom #1
B. WWF: Battlemania #1
C. Rai #1
D. Super Mario Brothers #1
Prior to doing updates of old Gold Key and Dell characters Valiant comics got off to a somewhat rocky start doing comics based on Nintendo Video games, and WWF wrestlers. The books are quite rare these days I’m told, but not very valuable as they’re of pretty low quality.
12. Storm and Black Panther’s romantic past was first revealed in what series?
A. Uncanny X-Men
B. Marvel Team-Up
C. Marvel Knights: Black Panther
D. The current Black Panther series (Reginald Hudlin made it all up!)
While X-Men fans complain that Ororo and T’Challa’s romance comes across as rushed, the revelation that the two were former lovers came about in a back-up story in Marvel Team-Up #100 written by character co-creator Chris Claremont. The Storm/T’Challa relationship also played an important role in the later issues of Christopher Priest’s Black Panther series.
On a side-note I kind of botched this one, as if you saw this column early on Wednesday the 24th, as I accidentally listed Marvel Comics Presents instead of MTU. MCP was the home of Don McGregor’s 25-part epic “Panther’s Quest” storyline.
13. How many characters named Vigilente have existed in the DC Universe
Last year DC launched a new Vigilante series featuring a new character created by Bruce Jones that I’m not too familiar with. The original Vigilante was a golden age singing cowboy named Gregory Sanders who was a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory. The 80s saw a grim punisher-esc Vigilante whose alter ego was named Adrian Chase, who shockingly committed suicide in the last issue of his series. 1992 saw the debut of a new female Vigilante, a former police detective named Pat Trayce. This version of the character last appeared as a member of the Forgotten Heroes during Our Worlds At War before being, well forgotten.
14. Minority Report True or False: In the 70s DC Comics almost launched a book about a white racist who turned into a Black superhero?
Here’s an excerpt from Tony Isabella’s June 20, 2000 column “Black Panther & Me.” Though the World Famous Comics’s archives don’t go that far back, you can read the full thing at The Hembeck Files.
“I will say that I created Black Lightning after convincing DC not to publish another “black” super-hero on which they had started work. The Black Bomber was a white bigot who, in times of stress, turned into a black super-hero. This was the result of chemical camouflage experiments he’d taken part in as a soldier in Vietnam. The object of these experiments was to allow our [white] troops to blend into the jungle.
In each of the two completed Black Bomber scripts, the white bigot risks his own life to save another person whom he can’t see clearly (in one case, a baby in a stroller) and then reacts in racial slur disgust when he discovers that he risked his life to save a black person. He wasn’t aware that he had two identities, but each identity had a girlfriend and the ladies were aware of the change. To add final insult, the Bomber’s costume was little more than a glorified basketball uniform.
DC had wanted me to take over writing the book with the third issue. I convinced them to eat the two scripts and let me start over. To paraphrase my arguments…
“Do you REALLY want DC’s first black super-hero to be a white bigot?”
Obviously the answer was no.
15. What age was Jim Shooter when he wrote his first published comic book?
Jim Shooter made his comics debut at the wee age of 13, with Adventure Comics #346 which introduced four new Legionnaires: Karate Kid, Princess Projectra, Ferro Lad, and Nemesis Kid. Remarkably one of these new characters turned out to be an evil traitor, to the surprise of anyone who hasn’t looked up the word Nemesis in the dictionary. Still creating three beloved additions to the already large Legion roster is a pretty impressive treat by any stretch of the imagination.
16. Spider-Woman was created by Marvel in response the name almost being used for a character in what cartoon?
B. Tarzan and the Super 7
C. Space Sentinels
D. The Mighty Orbots
Tarzan and the Super 7 was a cartoon that ran from 1978 to 1980 and featured seven different rotating shows. One of them was Webwoman the superhuman alter ego of a woman named Kelly Webster who had a magic ring that shot webs, the ability to communicate with insects (and presumably arachnids as Spiders aren’t insects), and she even had a pet spider named Spinner. Originally the plan was to call the character Spider-Woman but Marvel called fowl claiming they had the copyright of the name. Filmation changed the character’s name, but to hold onto the copyright Marvel actually had to have a character named Spider-Woman in their universe, so Archie Goodwin and Jim Mooney promptly created a brand new super heroine named Spider-Woman.
17. What actress was cast for the title role in an She-Hulk TV movie that was alas never completed
A. Brigitte Nielsen
B. Linda Hamilton
C. Lisa Zane
D. Rebecca Romijn
Red Sonja herself, Brigitte Nielsen was cast for the starring role in television pilot for CBS, but the film never actually saw production. All fans got were a few tantalizing publicity photos for Brigitte in green makeup.
Rebecca Romijn (formerly Romjin-Stamos) appeared as Mystique in the X-Men movies as well as Joan the Mouse in the 2004 motion picture. Lisa Zane meanwhile provided the voice of Shulkie in the 1997 Animated series which aired on the UPN Network.
18. Minority Report True or False: In an early pitch for the title, Dazzler was conceived as a Black character.
TRUE! Dazzler, the dancing disco queen of comics originally came about for a planned cross marketing deal with Casablanca records. Marvel and Casablanca had a hard time coming to terms with producing a book they could agree on, causing the project to be shelved and retooled several times before Marvel and Cassablanca parted ways. The character’s series finally made it’s debut in 1981 just around the time the Disco craze was dyeing, but she still managed to dance her way to a respectable 42 issue run.
Dazzler went through several different designs before the final version, and one incarnation was indeed black and beautiful as shown in this drawing that John Romita Jr. did for Cassablanca records head Neil Bogart.
19. Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood started out as a pitched spin-off of what team?
In 1991 fresh from working on Hawk & Dove, Rob Liefeld pitched a new Teen Titans book to DC, but editor Dick Giordano turned it down in favor of the moneymaking juggernaut that was Team Titans. The roster consisted of Arsenal, Harlequin (Joker’s Daughter), a pair of K’hundian warriors (aliens from the Legion of Superheroes), and a new android built by S.T.A.R. labs.
A few years, when Rob became one of the Image founders, he retooled the pitch into a new concept. Arsenal became Shaft, Harlequin became Vogue, the android design was used for Diehard, and the aliens became Combat & Photon. Next thing you know well Rob’s a millionaire.
20. What kind of accent did Wolverine have in 1989’s “Pryde of the X-Men” TV special.
A. Canadian of course (eh?)
B. An Australian Accent (oye!)
C. An American Southern Accent (Y’all?)
D. A Brooklyn Accent, Like the Thing
For reasons known only to the animation studio, Wolverine carried a distinct (and kind of fake sounding) Aussie accent. Perhaps they thought they could cement Wolverine’s tough guy personality by cashing in on the blockbuster popularity of Crocodile Dundee II?
That’s all for the first annual Spring Term Final Exam. Thanks for playing.