Culture Quiz: Superhero Movie History

How well do you know your superhero-movie history? Take this quiz and test your mettle, evildoer!

Photo: Jaimie Trueblood, courtesy of Columbia Pictures

With the record-breaking blockbuster The Avengers already out and the revamped Amazing Spider-Man and presumed megahit The Dark Knight Rises still waiting in the wings, 2012 is turning out to be the Year of the Superhero Movie. But how well do you know your superhero-movie history? Take this quiz and test your mettle, evildoer!

—Michael Y. Park is a writer living in New York City and a regular contributor to

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1.  In Batman's first big-screen adventure, he and the Boy Wonder took on the nefarious machinations of…

A. The Joker

B. The Man-Bat

C. Two-Face

D. Japanese spies

2.  What was the first theatrical-release feature film that could boast a Marvel Comics character when it came out?

A. Captain America

B. The Amazing Spider-Man

C. The Incredible Hulk

D. Howard the Duck

3.  What superhero film (or films) was shot in midtown New York City during the 1977 blackout?

A. Superman and Superman II

B. Darkman

C. The Shadow

D. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

4.  What role did Jon Cryer play in the execrable Superman IV: The Quest for Peace?

A. An unnamed newsboy who spills coffee on Perry White

B. Lenny Luthor, Lex Luthor's inventive teenage nephew

C. An awkward Conner Kent, a.k.a. Superboy

D. Johnny Olsen, Jimmy Olsen's dimwitted cousin

5.  Which of the following actors hasn't played the Punisher in film?

A. Ray Stevenson (Rome)

B. Thomas Jane (Hung)

C. Sylvester Stallone (Rocky, Rambo)

D. Dolph Lundgren (Masters of the Universe)

6.  Why was the original trailer for 2002's Spider-Man scrapped?

A. It showed Spider-Man thwarting a plane hijacking.

B. Fanboys and religious leaders pointed out that the Spider-Man costume had "too much bulge."

C. It portrayed bank robbers in a helicopter stuck in a web between the Twin Towers.

D. The actress who was most prominently featured in the trailer was the director's recent ex-wife.

7.  In Wes Craven's 1982 take on Swamp Thing, the DC Comics character scientist Alec Holland is unwillingly transformed into…

A. A hero with the leathery skin and biting power of an alligator

B. A human snake

C. A half-man, half-plant being

D. A hero with a prehensile "possum tail"

8.  Whose voice did Corey Feldman provide in 1990's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

A. Splinter, the turtles' rat sensei

B. Michelangelo, the laidback surfer-dude turtle

C. Rafael, the angry, rebellious turtle

D. Donatello, the nerdy, smart turtle

9.  Who performed the motion-capture moves for the big green guy for 2003's Hulk?

A. Director Ang Lee

B. Bruce Banner portrayer Eric Bana

C. TV Hulk Lou Ferrigno

D. Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson

10.  Which of the following comic-book characters hasn't actor Chris Evans played in a big-screen movie?

A. Steve Rogers (Marvel Comics)

B. Lucas Lee (Scott Pilgrim)

C. Johnny Storm (Marvel Comics)

D. Bud Waller (Hellboy, Dark Horse Comics)

NOTE: Scroll down for answers and explanations.

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  1. (D) The 1943 serial saw Batman and Robin, who happened to be FBI agents, bringing about the downfall of the evil, mind-controlling Dr. Daka, who threatened the Allied war effort.

  2. (D) Though the 1944 Republic Pictures movie Captain America was about an early incarnation of the red-white-and-blue hero we still know today, he was a Timely Comics character at the time. Timely would later become Marvel. So, sadly, the George Lucas bomb about an anthropomorphic duck come to Earth was modern Marvel's introduction to the silver screen.

  3. (A) According to legend, Gene Hackman intially blamed himself for causing the blackout when he tripped over a power cord during filming.

  4. (B) Cryer even still had his "Ducky" hair.

  5. (C) Three different actors have portrayed the bloodthirsty Marvel character in three different movies.

  6. (C) Coming so soon after the World Trade Center was destroyed, it was probably a good move.

  7. (C) He also woos Adrienne Barbeau.

  8. (D) Feldman didn't reprise his role in the sequel but did return for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III.

  9. (A) The film was widely considered a failure. The actor who portrayed Bruce Banner wouldn't do the motion capture for the Hulk until Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers.

  10. (D) Evans played heroes Steve Rogers (a.k.a. Captain America) and Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four, as well as the villainous second ex-boyfriend in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

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