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DC: The New Frontier - VOL 01 Paperback – December 1, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

New Frontier reenvisions the superheroes DC Comics launched in the late 1950s by placing them firmly in the Cold War milieu that seldom surfaced in the original stories. The results could be ponderous but aren't, thanks to author-artist Cooke, who freshly reimagines the earliest exploits of such hoary heroes as the Flash and Green Lantern, and offers compellingly unorthodox versions of some venerable superstars: he portrays Superman, for instance, as a smug government lapdog. Cooke's intelligently retro art style is perfectly suited to the task at hand. Its cartoonish simplicity, though unfashionable among today's detail-obsessed comics fans, possesses nearly matchless elegance and dynamism. Especially effective is his reliance on rectilinear panels that convey the sweep of 1950s widescreen movies. Despite its decades-old setting, New Frontier is the most exciting recent superhero comic, and testimony to the enduring power of DC's iconic heroes. It's complex enough to captivate current comics fans yet compelling for nostalgic boomers who grew up with these characters. This book's story will be concluded in volume 2. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: DC: The New Frontier (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (December 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401203507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401203504
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #571,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Very well done story. Particularly John Jones adapting to his new world and Hal Jordan's post war dealings.

There were a few reasons this didn't get a 5 star rating and none of them relate to story.

This could all have been collected in ONE book! You heard me DC. ONE BOOK! Crisis, The Return of Superman, Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory were all as long or longer stories and they were collected under ONE COVER. $20.00 for each volume?!

I notice DC has been doing this lately with Batman: Hush and Superman: For Tomorrow. Only it's worse with those volumes! First they come out in 2 hardcovers then 2 tpbs! ONE VOLUME DC! ONE!!!!!!!!!!

If you wanted to milk us on this series you should have released all the parts in ONE hardcover then ONE trade paperback. ONE! Get it DC?! It was that worthy of a story. Not worthy of being broken up cheaply. ONE!!!!!!
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Format: Paperback
This book is another high quality effort from Darwyn Cooke. It reminds me of the intelligent and mature tone of his previous effort, "Catwoman: Selina's Big Score" (which is also highly recommended by me).

"The New Frontier" is not as intense as "Selina's Big Score," but Frontier has a much larger all-encompassing story scope to cover.

Like "Selina's Big Score," Frontier is heavy on engrossing storyline, but light on costumed heroics, (Big Score had zero costumes, but cool street clothes). Frontier can go dozens and dozens of pages inbetween having conventional superhero scenes, in costumes. When the costume scenes do happen, (most notably in a great piece with the Flash!), then it is very entertaining.

Batman does some interesting sleuthing detective work, and though Wonder Woman and Superman are low on action, they are high on good character chemistry and tension. I especially enjoy the Darwyn Cooke version of an AMAZON-sized Wonder Woman who is taller than Superman.

What this book lacks in costumed action, it more than makes up for with heartfelt and sincere character development and motivation. There IS action in this book, but mostly involving characters in real world clothing and uniforms, not costumes.

This book is great for adult fans of the DC universe, who will enjoy all of the insider references, but young comic book readers may not comprehend the more subtle aspects of Darwyn Cooke's comic book writing for grownups, which occupies most of this book.

Me being more of a Marvel fan since childhood, I learned a few things about a few characters that I had not known about before, though, I think that is the whole point of this overall storyline, to fill in unknown gaps of what these superheroes were up to during the 1950's, before the Silver Age of comics began in the early 1960's.
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Format: Paperback
Cooke's wonderful distillation of the Silver Age heroes, with a nod to the Golden Age and timely references about empty-headed patriotism deserves either the big screen treatment, or even better, a mini-series on one of the better cable stations.

The heroes here -- Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc. -- have a darkness that owes a lot to Frank Miller's seminal Dark Knight Returns series, but also to the tortured navel-gazing of Marvel's mutant heroes. Cooke's Dick Tracy-esque art style is warm and inviting, like a Norman Rockwell painting that captures a long forgotten America that probably didn't exist but we seem to miss anyway.

That said, his attempt to juggle so many characters means we lose out on a lot of well-needed character development, which stunts some of the story arcs. The proto-feminist Wonder Woman who encourages Vietnamese women to take revenge on their male captors is sent to the sidelines early on in the story; we are introduced to Aquaman with a great spread, but then he does nothing until the last few pages.

Ultimately, this is the story of three characters, Hal Jordan, The Flash and the Martian Manhunter, but in attempting to tell a giant story that encompasses the whole DC Universe, they too get short shrift.

By all means purchase both volumes, read them, put them in your library and, if possible, buy them repeatedly as gifts for the children of friends and relatives who read comics.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Darwyn Cooke's bold plan with his 2003/04 "New Frontier" miniseries was to provide a uniting storyline for all the major DC characters from the late 1950s, including not only such classic "Silver Age" characters as the Barry Allen Flash and the Hal Jordan Green Lantern but also such B-list adventure stars as the Challengers of the Unknown and the Suicide Squad, in their proper Cold War context. Superman and Wonder Woman thus become spearheads for the Eisenhower foreign policy in Indochina; Lois Lane is portrayed -- somewhat jarringly -- as a hawkish redbaiter, while Hal Jordan's employer Ferris Aircraft becomes positioned at the very heart of the 1950s American military/industrial complex.

In narrative terms, Cooke has some trouble keeping his pace going. There are too many repeated tense encounters between government agents and the series' central heroes, and in his attempts to bring in every DC-National comic character from the period Cooke allows too many boring langours (especially in the opening sequence involving the Losers and a later episode involving the Viking Prince). And the basic plot structure of the miniseries (collected in paperback in a two-part series), like so many recent comics miniseries of the last twenty years, owes perhaps too much to Lovecraft's "Call of Cthulhu." But when he really gets going, as in the prize fight in Las Vegas sequence (spotlighting a battle between Flash and Captain Cold) in the first of the two-part collected miniseries, Cooke can really cook with gas. Best of all, he's an absolutely marvelous visual artist, and his compositional sense is superb on almost every page and panel.
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