The Super-Backstory Quiz: How well do you know your irradiated orphans from outer space?
by Staff
You may have seen the latest big-screen versions of Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America and their super-brethren, but how much do you know about their backstories?

Let’s start with a classic backstory -- the orphaned superhero. Which superhero orphan was taken in by a nice couple named Jonathan and Martha?

  • Batman
  • Superman
  • Spider-Man

Like Superman, which of these characters hails from another planet?

  • Red Hulk
  • Ghost Rider
  • Mr. Mxyzptlk

Which Amazonian superheroine got an updated birth story in 2011?

  • Wonder Woman
  • Wonder Girl
  • Isis

Name the superhero sidekick who was inspired by a brave outlaw from English folklore.

  • Supergirl
  • Robin
  • Bucky

Which trait is NOT shared by Batman and Superman?

  • being orphans
  • having superpowers
  • having a secret identity

Which comic book publisher uses the most mythology in their origin stories?

  • Marvel Comics
  • DC Comics
  • Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse Comics debuted a hot new character in 1993 at the San Diego Comic-Con. What is this character’s name?

  • Hellboy
  • Usagi Yojimbo
  • Buffy Summers

What's one theory about why orphan backstories are so popular in comics?

  • Orphan stories aren't particularly popular.
  • Many comic book creators are orphans.
  • Orphans are a common theme in classic literature that comics draw inspiration from.

What superhero backstory device is one of the least favorite of some critics?

  • The Lucky Accident
  • The Chosen One
  • My Own Creation

Enough about superheroes, what about supervillains? Which baddie’s biggest natural asset (and downfall) is his intelligence?

  • The Penguin
  • The Joker
  • The Riddler

Heroes aren't the only ones who face childhood adversity. Choose the villain who lost one of his parents.

  • The Penguin
  • Sabertooth
  • Magneto

Which Marvel Comics character started his deadly villainy early in life?

  • Loki
  • Carnage
  • Victor von Doom

Lots of villians' backstories are warnings about the damage that a cruel or careless society can have on a person, but one of these characters was created by science. Which one?

  • Harley Quinn
  • Cassandra Nova
  • Poison Ivy

Which superhero group started with the rushed test flight of an experimental aircraft?

  • The Fantastic Four
  • The X-Men
  • The Teen Titans

Name the character who was NOT born in New York State.

  • Emma Frost
  • Jean Grey
  • Felicia Hardy

Which backstory do Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel, Bob Kane and Bill Finger have in common?

  • They accidentally gained mutant powers.
  • They're Jewish comic book creators.
  • They all lost a parent when they were children.

Which heroine is a nice, normal Jewish girl from Deerfield, Ill.?

  • Gwen Stacy
  • Hope Summers
  • Kitty Pryde

All those orphaned comic book characters need someone to look after them. Who has taken the most orphans under his or her wing?

  • Alfred Pennyworth
  • Granny Goodness
  • Max Eisenhardt

Which teenage gang of heroes does NOT feature Robin?

  • Gen¹³
  • Young Justice
  • Teen Titans

Can radiation really give you superpowers?

  • yes
  • no
  • Only if you're in a comic book.