Both the speech by John F. Kennedy and Justice League: The New Frontier was indicated by a movement of bringing people together. The plot of Justice League: The New Frontier and President Kennedy shared similar visions such as; Making technological advancements in space technology, bringing people and cultures together, how superheroes came together and advocated for Kennedy’s “New Frontier”. Kennedy did not survive to see most of his “New Frontier” take place due to his assassination. Others carried on his message, superheroes in the real world; through Congress, civil rights and discourse helping guarantee voting rights for minority populations. The need to take those advancements and explore the unknown was key.
In his speech to the DNC, candidate Kennedy conveyed the need for exploration of, “uncharted areas of science and space” (Kennedy, 1960). The 1950s and 60s were an unknown frontier, as we had been involved in a Cold War that was peaking with newer technological advancements. In the movie, Hal Jordan, later to be transformed into the Green Lantern by aliens, is tasked with traveling to Mars by the U.S. Government but finds out there are nukes aboard the spacecraft (Bullock, 2008). During the end of the 1950s, the United States was entering a confusing time of technological advancements and a Cold War with the Soviets. In retrospect, during Kennedy’s time, The United States was trying to get the moon and plant an American flag down. Civil rights was an issue that was a hard issue for the United States to take up at the time, with culture wars catching on fire.
Kennedy would press for civil rights describing the “unconquered problems of ignorance and prejudice” in the DNC speech (Kennedy,1960). In the film, the superhero was being forced to step away from their vigilante justice, that had been encouraged in the old west. John Wilson made a brief appearance in the movie, as he was killed by white supremacists (Bullock, 2008) as he was trying to solve those unconquered problems Kennedy mentioned. In real life, the civil rights battle was over voting rights for the minority, in the film it was the acceptance of superheroes and their right to save the world from doom. Superheroes, in the real and fictional worlds, can come together when needed.
Candidate Kennedy would describe the “New Frontier” as one, ”of unknown opportunities and perils” (Kennedy, 1960). There unknown opportunities such as the moon race and civil right, but perils such as the Vietnam War and Cold War. The end of Justice League: The New Frontier matches that of Kennedy’s vision, playing his speech to the DNC with a montage of superheroes going to a new frontier, a new organization (Bullock, 2008). This alternative reality has the superheroes unite to take on causes, Kennedy’s vision for America was that of unification. Superman convinced the superheroes and governmental officials to work together as there was a “threat big enough to wipe us off the earth” (Bullock,2008). It seems like both Superman and Kennedy were looking into a “New Frontier” when recruiting superheroes to battle different enemies.
Bullock, D. (Director). (2008). Justice League: the new frontier [Motion picture on DVD]. USA: Warner Bros.
Kennedy, J. F. (1960, July 15). The New Frontier. Speech presented at Democratic National Convention in California, Los Angeles.
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