February 26th marks the day DC Comics and Warner Brothers Animation present JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER on DVD. To better prepare you guys for the movie, we’re taking a weeklong look back at the original six-issue mini-series. In case you missed Part One, click here, or if you missed Part Two, click here. Today, of course, is our double-sized final segment. And don’t forget to stay tuned to GAMERVISION because later tonight we’ll be announcing the details of our next fantastic giveaway.
As always, click on a pic to view it in fabulous Expand-O-Scope.
Moderate Spoilers Ahead.
“My name is Abin Sur…”
When last we saw Hal Jordan, he vanished is a flash of green. Issue five begins with Hal face to face with the alien Abin Sur. It appears Abin is dying, and needs to find someone worthy to continue his duties. What his duties were, Hal doesn’t know. All Hal is given is a green power ring, an explanation how to use it (it will do whatever its bearer can will it to) and a warning the ring is powerless against anything colored yellow. Comforted with the knowledge he has found a suitable successor, Abin Sur dies. After burying the alien, Hal dons the ring and wills it to do the only thing he knows how: fly.
From there, Cooke whisks us away to catch up with Superman. Batman has sent him some files on the Center to look into. It appears even the Caped Crusader is beginning to understand that this evil is much more than one man can deal with. Supes then meets up with Batman, who has, since we’ve last seen him, taken on a sidekick named Robin.
Robin’s single line of dialogue on the page is one of my favorites from the entire series. Here’s this young boy fighting crime alongside a costumed vigilante, a grim and serious job for a kid, yet his excitement upon finally meeting Superman is so genuine and heartwarmingly childish. Cooke knows there aren’t many points in the story to interject such a moment, yet is talented enough to make just one line resonate so strongly.
From the clandestine meeting we are rushed off to witness the Challengers of the Unknown respond to a monstrous disturbance at Cape Canaveral. It seems another giant dinosaur has laid siege to the base. It proves a little too much for the Challengers to handle, so Superman is called in to save the day. As the group is inspecting the fallen beast, Superman notices the sound of Wonder Woman’s invisible plane approaching. Something is amiss, though, as she crashes her plane leading to this dynamic two-page spread.
The silhouette of Wonder Woman’s plane cast in blood is one of the more disturbing images Cooke details. The seriousness of the situation at hand becomes clearer to all involved after Wonder Woman relays how it is she came into such an unfortunate series of events. It seems the island is a living organism bent on destruction. And it’s heading right for Cape Canaveral.
Heroes across America hear the news, and are compelled to make a pilgrimage to the southern coast. Iris Allen delivers a great moment when confronting Barry about his “retirement.” She knows his secret, and she also knows he must go help.
Finally, Hal Jordan also accepts his fate, and prepares to join the fight. Carol Ferris confronts him, and leads Cooke to deliver another dynamic moment.
With more and more heroes arriving, Superman rallies the troops with a stirring speech. He then flies out to try communicating with the island. The final three pages of issue five must been read to be truly appreciated.
Cooke sure knows how to pace a big cliffhanger, don’t you think? Luckily, you won’t have to wait two months to see the outcome.
“Watch my smoke, G-Man…”
With Superman apparently vanquished, the other heroes return to the barracks to try and come up with another plan of attack. Lucky for them, scientist Ray Palmer invented a shrinking ray that doesn’t quite work. It seems whatever it shrinks will explode in less than two minutes. How can they possibly get the ray to cover the island in time, and still be fast enough to get away? Say it with me kids: The Flash. The group devises a two-pronged plan. First an air attack to get the monster’s attention. Then the Flash slips onto the beast, and starts the shrink ray process. Easy, right?
As the air attack embarks, the beast the Challengers and Superman took out last issue bursts open spewing forth a landing party of monsters. It appears the Center had a strategy of its own. The remaining heroes are left to battle on the home front as Cooke kicks the action into high gear.
With the battle raging in full, Hal Jordan and two other pilots attempt to deliver a lethal payload into the heart of the beast. Cooke and team deliver a 2001 moment here, as time and space seem to bend at the core of the island.
It’s obvious where the inspiration came from, but you’d be hard pressed to believe that type of scene could be pulled off in a comic. With the help of Dave Stewart’s astonishing colors, Cooke’s images explode off the page.
With the payload delivered, the Center is distracted, and the Flash begins his end of the mission. The feat proves more difficult than imagined as the island goes to work on Barry’s mind. Just when he feels his weakest, he looks up:
He did it. But wait, the beast is about to explode. How will they contain the blast of an entire island exploding? I guess it’s up to Hal Jordan. You didn’t think I was going to let this whole three-part breakdown go by without a big old three-page spread of the one and only Green Lantern doing his thing, did you?
The day is won. The Center is no more. I guess we’re done. What’s that? What happened to Superman? Well, a vessel appears on the beach during the victory celebration, and opens to reveal:
Thanks Aquaman, you really stepped up to save the day. Go talk to some fish. (And to think, Cooke’s original ending had Supes and Aquaman hanging out shirtless on a beach together. Good idea to scrap that one).
Having stuck with us the whole time, you may be asking, “That can’t be all there was, can it?” No, of course not. Cooke and team had so many other subplots and side-stories going on, I’d have to spend another month on this. I’ve even left out one of my favorite B-stories about John Henry, but I’ve given you the very meat and potatoes of NEW FRONTIER. Hopefully, that’s enough to make you want to grab a copy from your local comic shop, and see everything I left out. (Maybe you could even enter the contest were holding to try and win the comics and the DVD for free. It’s up to you.) Then you can write me with things like, “How could you leave out the part where so and so does this?” or “I can’t believe you didn’t mention the time blankety blank did this in issue 3.” Then I’ll respond with something sarcastic and witty. You’ll see.
Well guys, we’re going to take a small break. It’s been a whirlwhind of a month, so we’ll let everyone catch their breath. Look for POINT of ORIGIN to return on March 9th. THROW IT BACK! THURSDAY will return on March 13th. In the meantime, WHAT to WATCH for WEDNESDAY will continue in the regular Tuesday slot. See you then.