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Some things make me wish I were editing comic books again.

Take The New Frontier, by Darwyn Cooke. A story of DC Comics superheroes in the real world of the 1950s, it’s one of the best graphic novels since Watchmen.

One of the main characters, test pilot turned superhero Hal Jordan, first appears as a pre-teen kid, visiting Edwards Air Force Base in 1948 to meet his hero, pilot Chuck Yeager. Later, Hal reappears as an Air Force pilot during the Korean War; later still, Hal says that he joined the Air Force during peacetime.

But that’s not possible.

The Korean War started in 1950 and ended in ’53. If Hal were 12 in ’48, he would have been too young to join the Air Force before the war. He couldn’t even have joined by the end of the war, let alone gone through training to become a pilot.

I wish that I could have been there to make this phone call:

“Darwyn, I’ve just read the story outline for New Frontier, and it’s terrific.

“Just one thing, though: If Hal Jordan is just a kid in 1948, he can’t be a full-grown pilot in ’53.

“Can we make Hal older in ’48? Say he’s 18, just about to enlist in the Air Force; and maybe he goes to Edwards to tell Yeager that he — Yeager — inspired him to join up, that he wants to be as great a pilot as Yeager. Does that make sense?”

Ah, comics editing. How I miss you.

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