web stats

CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 302

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

We continue our few days look at cool moments from Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier!

Hal Jordan is fighting in the Korean War as a pilot with an odd affectation – he refuses to use lethal force against enemy combatants. He instead does maneuvers where he draws the enemy into traps where his fellow American pilots then destroy the enemy planes, but he refuses to shoot them himself.

In any event, Jordan and his squad commander, Ace Morgan, went up for one last patrol a few hours after the Armistice had been signed.

Well, it appears that not all of the Koreans on the fron tline KNEW about the Armistice, because someone shoots Hal’s plane.

He parachutes to the ground, but ends up in a foxhole with another fellow who doesn’t seem to know that the war is over (Lois Lane, meanwhile, is there as a front line war correspondent)…

Pretty brutal ending for the first issue, eh?

What’s amazing to me is how many awesomely cool moments from this first issue that I did not get a chance to share with you! There are a bunch of great bits from Dinosaur Island plus a very cool bit where Ace Morgan ejects from his plane to save Hal (whose parachute did not automatically deploy).

New Frontier is packed to the brim with cool moments!


I love how the last line is the one used in DC war comics!

One knock against that scence.

The Korean in the scence was complete BS. I had to practically dicipher that line because the spelling and grammer were so inaccurate. (I am a Korean)

I know it is a minor criticism that not a lot of people will notice. But for me, Hal’s Korean dialogue reduced the impact of the last scence.

John Lewis, Jr.

October 30, 2009 at 6:14 am

I saw the DC animated movie and loved it. I’ve never read it, though. I need to pick up the trade. (From what I hear of the book in general, I need to pick up the Absolute edition, but that’s out of my price range.)

@ Hyung Suk Kim:

Consider that the poor Korean could have been a deliberate choice. How good do you expect Hal Jordan’s Korean to be?

i have to go with the moment where hal is finaly remembering koraan and lois gives him the what look.got to agree the book is full of so many moments it would take a month to show them all


Fair enough. But the first sentence that Hal utters is just jibberish with every words spelled wrong. As you pointed out Hal should be poor in Korean but what he says is not really Korean. (well the first sentence.)

Lets say that there is a chracter who is supposed to be poor at English (Overman in Final Crisis).

While the chracter’s dialouge should reflect the chracter’s poor language skill it shouldn’t be written as this right?:

“I afg Ofernan.”

Yeah, that scene is what helped revitalize Hal Jordan for me. He’d been a favourite character of mine since childhood, but sometimes I had trouble remembering why, but in New Frontier he was awesome.

And that scene is a perfect example of why the comic is superior to the animated movie. In the cartoon, we get a very graphic, violent shot of Hal shooting the Korean soldier, while more is left up to the imagination in the comic, leaving us with a greater emotional layout in terms of creating suspense. This scene is also awesome in the way that it showcases the paradoxes of war. War has rules and boundaries that are sublimated here, especially since you’ve got the helicopter basically laughing at the Koreans who continue to fight, while still blowing them up. They justify their own violent actions by saying they need to save Hal, but are really acting no differently than the soldier trying to kill him.

I agree about the final line. The only thing Cooke didn’t do was to put those words in the bottom right-hand corner.

Under the heading of “things this scene reminds me of” it’s “The Bridges at Toko-Ri” and to some extent Harvey Kurtzman’s “Corpse on the Imjin!” (another moment?).

I had a total four moments from this series. I hadn’t counted this one. I’m not sure about the two that occurs after the battle planning session. We’ll see.

I love how Cooke used the transformation of the dominant comic genres (war, horror) of the fifties to the dominant comic genre of the sixties (SUPERHEROES!) as a metaphor for the cultural changes that were happening at the same time. This scene is pretty well the most pivotal of the book for that reason.

I really have got to read this series soon. Even the title alludes to everything in life reflected in the Silver Age of comics. Outstanding work by Cooke all around.

@Hyung Suk Kim

I agree with you in principle.

I think what Cooke should have done was had Hal speaking Korean phrases phonetically, spelling them with the roman alphabet. It makes more sense that Hal and other soldiers would have learned simple Korean phrases phonetically by rote — without the context and sentence structure, the same way travelers learn a few phrases to ‘get by’. The readers should have been wondering what Hal was trying to say (thinking it was something in English) at the same time as Lois, and we should learn what it was at the same time she was told.

I found it awkward that Hal refused to used lethal force as an airforce pilot. I know they wanted to avoid him be labelled as a killer, but it struck me as poor characterisation.

It made out Hal was being a moral coward. That is, Hal didn’t want to kill, but by playing the “bait” for traps so his fellow pilots can shoot down (and kill) enemy pilots was simply knowingly letting others to kill for him.

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives