The New Frontier, Volume 1 and 2


Author: Darwyn Cook

Title: The New Frontier, Volume 1 and 2

Genre: Graphic Novel

Publication Date: 2004, 2005

Number of Pages: 208 pg., 208 pg.

Geographical Setting: The United States, Space, Paradise Island

Time Period: 1950’s

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: Following World War II, the United States is caught up in the suspicions and fear of the Cold War. During this time, Congress conducts hearings to unmask the heroes of the “Golden Age” and, those who do not follow the government’s request are branded as un-American and traitors. Many heroes leave the planet; some go into hiding, while others, like Superman and Wonder Woman, adhere to the U.S. policies and help to fight the Communists in secret missions. However, for most of the world, the superhero is a thing of the past.

The story is a retelling of many DC superheroes origins, drawn with a retro feel. Individual superheroes stories are told, which ultimately lead the new heroes, of the Silver Age, together into one exciting climactic conclusion.

Martian Manhunter is accidentally brought through space by a scientist’s experiment that has gone wrong. Trying to remain hidden, the Martian takes on the form of a detective and stumbles upon an evil cult claiming they follow a mysterious entity called, The Centre. During an investigation into the evil cult’s activities, Batman comes out of hiding and offers to help Martian Manhunter solve the case. The two detectives begin to discover that, The Centre, is causing strange things to happen all over the world including the reemergence of dinosaurs, cult activity, and many cases of insanity.

At the same time, Hal Jordan, back from the Korean War, is hired to test jet planes for an aircraft company. He is the best pilot they have so he is asked to join a secret mission to go to Mars. But, on his way to Mars, Hal soon realizes that the mission isn’t to land on Mars, but to conquer it. The spaceship is filled with atomic bombs and the government’s purpose was to destroy all life of Mars. After a struggle with his copilot in space, the ship is destroyed and Hal and the Earth face certain death as he and the warheads spiral out of control. Coming to the rescue is Superman, who is called in by the government to save the ship and, to once again, save the world.

Hal is left among the wreckage, unconscious and alone in the desert. When he comes to, a ship crashes from outer space carrier the Green Lantern, one of the guardian’s of the universe. Close to dying, the guardian gives his powerful lantern to Hal and commands him to be the next Green Lantern. Hal accepts and only too quickly discovers that the world is being attacked by a monstrous beast called, The Centre. Now Hal, as the Green Lantern, must join the other heroes, including Wonder Woman, Superman, the Flash, Adam Strange, and many others, to save the world. These new superheroes must stand together and unite the country from the evil that is causing all of the strange activity.

Subject Headings: graphic novel, superheroes, space travel, detectives, Martians, fighter pilots, Cold War

Appeal: fast-paced, familiar, multiple points of view, recognizable, inspiring, action-oriented, character-centered, multiple plot lines, mythic, nostalgic, campy, playful, simple, dramatic

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Right Stuff, by Tom Wolfe – Interviews of test flight pilots who were viewed as America’s daring heroes as they ushered in the exciting space race of the 1960’s.

Yeager: An Autobiography, by Chuck Yeager – American hero Chuck Yeagar tells his incredible life story as a World War II fighter pilot and post-war test pilot. His amazing tales include being shot down during World War II and, as a test pilot, being the first man to break the sound barrier.

Calculated Risk: The Extraordinary Life of Jimmy Doolittle – Aviation Pioneer and World War II Hero, by Jonna Doolittle Hoppes – The captivating story of American war hero Jimmy Doolittle who led a remarkable life. This story of his life describes with vivid detail his death-defying raid over Imperial Japan, his pioneering flight from coast to coast across the United States, and his receiving of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

The War That Time Forgot Vol. 1, by Bruce Jones ; Art by Al Barrionuevo and Jimmy Palmiotti. – During the World War II, a group of men from the U.S. military is stranded on an unknown island in the South Pacific. While searching for enemy soldiers, they encounter strange prehistoric monsters and must fight them to get off the island.

Crisis on Infinite Earths, by Marv Wolfman; Art by George Perez – An evil being known as the Anti-Monitor is destroying the Earth’s of several parallel universes. Now many heroes, across time and space, including the modern Superman and the Superman of the Golden Age, must join forces to save their universe and our own.

Millennium, by Steve Englehart; Art by Joe Staton and Ian Gibson – the Green Lantern Guardians of the Universe have left our dimension and now the world and its heroes are at the mercy of the Manhunters, an evil robotic army ready to destroy all in its path. The heroes will need to remain united to destroy this common enemy.

Name: Mike

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