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DC: The New Frontier - VOL 01 Paperback – December 1, 2004
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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
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Equal elements of fantasy and pulp science fiction. I loved Cooke's take on the heroes the most--Superman is a solemn guardian who realizes he can only do so much, Wonder Woman is a TRUE Amazon here--even towering over Supes! Batman is brooding and dark.
But the three heroes who get the most "screen time" are Green Lantern, the Flash, and Martian Manhunter. The story is firmly rooted in the Silver Age (50s/60s) and they reflect the most imagitive and fresh aspects of the era. GL is at the bleeding edge of the space age, pining to become an astronaut. Flash is charming do-gooder who pops in on the Vegas scene. Manhunter finds himself stranded and alone and taking up the guise of a hard-nosed private detective.
Drop in some wild army grunts vs. dinosaur action and some cosmic-scale Cthulu horror and you've got the makings of a fantastic Justice League tale.
One where the heroes have to find the best in one another and embrace optimism to face a seemingly indestructible evil. It's not easy to craft a story--let alone a bad guy--that truly calls for a JLA level response. Cooke has done it, and superbly!
*My review covers both volumes 1 and 2
I like how many characters there are in this graphic novel and the author does a great job of really building them all up and making them like able. It also gives a good backstory to some DC mainstays. Overall I would definitely recommend this series to graphic novel fans.
New Fronteir should not be missed, and as an avid reader ot original graphic novels and more mainstream books, this is by far one of the best of any I've read so far. The art and writing mesh so perfectly it could only be compared to the perfect union of Invicible, anything by Doug Tennapel, and Box Office Poisen.
The only downfall of New Frontier is the fact you HAVE to read the second book to enjoy the amazing story it possesses. Whether that's a good or bad thing is up to you and your wallet to decide. Either way you'll get a real bang for your buck.
If you grew up on comic books or have had any exposure to the Golden Age version of heroes, this will be a great trip down memory lane. It's a modern flavor using classic style and it works. Fun story, nothing too serious or "gritty" like so many titles feel the need to be now... good, old-fashioned fun. Very recommended!