Review: ‘Area 51: The Graphic History of America’s Most Secret Military Installation’


What this book does is make a case for what happens at Area 51 is as compelling, even more so, than the lore of what is supposed to have happened at Area 51. You know, the infamous crash landing at Roswell of what many believe to have been a spaceship full of extraterrestrials. Well, that issue gets addressed right from the start since that’s when Area 51 began its uneasy relationship with the general public.


So, what did happen at Area 51? And what is Area 51, anyway? That’s the thing. It’s been so shrouded in secrecy that it became this unknowable unknown, as Donald Rumsfeld might have put it. Okay, so now we have a lot of knowable knowns to work with since the CIA finally declassified Area 51’s existence in 2013 and released thousands of documents related to its history. This graphic novel highlights numerous facts that will intrigue readers.

Dwight Jon Zimmerman assembles facts in a very accessible manner. And Greg Scott provides lean and tidy artwork that evokes a sense of intrigue and urgency. He’s one of my favorite artists. I really enjoyed his work in the sci-fi thriller graphic novel, “Strange Attractors.” You can read my review of that book right here.

In compelling fashion, we get a rundown on the U.S. spy and experimental air craft programs from 1947-2013. We go from the early fits and starts of the program. For example, no one bothered to paint the first U-2 spy plane black. The glare from the sun bouncing off its aluminum fuselage during test flights made it light up the sky and led to a massive spike in UFO sightings.

We make our way into drone technology and the present. Area 51 remains a hive of activity on a need to know basis. At least, now we have far more sophisticated gatekeepers and a far better understanding of why such a place would be such a secret.

“Area 51: The Graphic History of America’s Most Secret Military Installation,” published by Zenith Press, is another highly informative book, with engaging artwork, from this publisher. You can get it through Amazon right here.


Filed under Area 51, Comics, graphic novels, History, Zenith Press

2 responses to “Review: ‘Area 51: The Graphic History of America’s Most Secret Military Installation’

  1. Many countries must have Area 51’s. I am amazed how they’ve been able to keep a lid on it all . One would think there would have to be cracks in the secrecy somewhere.

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