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Acclaimed writer/artist Darwyn Cooke (Catwoman: Selina's Big Score) turns his attention to the dawn of the Silver Age in DC: The New Frontier — which takes readers on a journey from the end of the Golden Age to the genesis of a bold new heroic era in the late 1950s! World War II is over. The Cold War has begun. The Age of the Superhero is in decline. But where are the heroe Acclaimed writer/artist Darwyn Cooke (Catwoman: Selina's Big Score) turns his attention to the dawn of the Silver Age in DC: The New Frontier — which takes readers on a journey from the end of the Golden Age to the genesis of a bold new heroic era in the late 1950s! World War II is over. The Cold War has begun. The Age of the Superhero is in decline. But where are the heroes of tomorrow? DC: The New Frontier recounts the dawning of the DCU's Silver Age from the perspective of those brave individuals who made it happen. Encounter "keepers of the flame" including Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, who survived the anti-hero sentiment of the Cold War, as well as eager newcomers like test pilot Hal Jordan and scientist Barry Allen, poised to become the next generation of crimefighters. Cooke, a master storyteller, writes and illustrates this landmark tale, a must-have for fans of the DCU and all lovers of powerful tales of heroism! Collecting: DC: The New Frontier 1-3 & the three extra pages originally seen only in Wizard Magazine


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Acclaimed writer/artist Darwyn Cooke (Catwoman: Selina's Big Score) turns his attention to the dawn of the Silver Age in DC: The New Frontier — which takes readers on a journey from the end of the Golden Age to the genesis of a bold new heroic era in the late 1950s! World War II is over. The Cold War has begun. The Age of the Superhero is in decline. But where are the heroe Acclaimed writer/artist Darwyn Cooke (Catwoman: Selina's Big Score) turns his attention to the dawn of the Silver Age in DC: The New Frontier — which takes readers on a journey from the end of the Golden Age to the genesis of a bold new heroic era in the late 1950s! World War II is over. The Cold War has begun. The Age of the Superhero is in decline. But where are the heroes of tomorrow? DC: The New Frontier recounts the dawning of the DCU's Silver Age from the perspective of those brave individuals who made it happen. Encounter "keepers of the flame" including Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, who survived the anti-hero sentiment of the Cold War, as well as eager newcomers like test pilot Hal Jordan and scientist Barry Allen, poised to become the next generation of crimefighters. Cooke, a master storyteller, writes and illustrates this landmark tale, a must-have for fans of the DCU and all lovers of powerful tales of heroism! Collecting: DC: The New Frontier 1-3 & the three extra pages originally seen only in Wizard Magazine

30 review for DC: The New Frontier, Volume 1

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    3.5 stars So I read this again a few days ago, and I'm thinking I'm going to have to lower my original (5 star) rating from 4 years ago. I still really love the art and the concept, but... This story is actually kind of long-winded and slightly boring. There's waaaay too much text, and not nearly enough action, in my opinion. Most of the characters are ones that I've never heard of before, and the fact that they've faded from memory? Well, that in itself says something. Martian Manhunter and Flash wer 3.5 stars So I read this again a few days ago, and I'm thinking I'm going to have to lower my original (5 star) rating from 4 years ago. I still really love the art and the concept, but... This story is actually kind of long-winded and slightly boring. There's waaaay too much text, and not nearly enough action, in my opinion. Most of the characters are ones that I've never heard of before, and the fact that they've faded from memory? Well, that in itself says something. Martian Manhunter and Flash were (to me) the most interesting stories, even though Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Hal Jordan (not yet a Green Lantern) all have a part in this, as well. John Henry, The Losers, Suicide Squad, and the Challengers of the Unknown (I think that's their name) have intersecting plotlines in this volume, but since I wasn't familiar with any of them I can't say I was very invested in what happened. And again, part of the problem was that this was sort of preachy and meandering. There were several cameo appearances by other DC characters, but they weren't in costume, so if you're not looking for them you might miss out. I did enjoy the re-read, but not as much as I thought I would. So. Here's hoping I like the next volume a bit better.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Darwyn Cooke imagines the DC heroes back in the Silver Age, the late 1950s and early 1960s, in the first of two volumes called DC: New Frontier. Cooke works in real life events into the superhero story such as the Korean war, Eisenhower, fears over the bomb and McCarthyism. And while the book generally works quite well on the whole, it feels like a lot of heroes are underused - maybe that's the intention - and as a result the book becomes less interesting as it goes on. The characters who get the Darwyn Cooke imagines the DC heroes back in the Silver Age, the late 1950s and early 1960s, in the first of two volumes called DC: New Frontier. Cooke works in real life events into the superhero story such as the Korean war, Eisenhower, fears over the bomb and McCarthyism. And while the book generally works quite well on the whole, it feels like a lot of heroes are underused - maybe that's the intention - and as a result the book becomes less interesting as it goes on. The characters who get the most focus are the old Suicide Squad (not the New 52 idiots currently cast in that awful title), a group of tough soldiers sent on suicide missions. The book opens strangely with some soldiers shipwrecked upon an island that contains dinosaurs, kind of like DC's version of the Savage Land, as they struggle to survive. It's never clear what the dinosaurs have to do with the rest of the book but it's still a great opening sequence that's exciting, fun and pretty darn tense too. Other, more familiar characters appear - Bruce Wayne shows up at some fancy dinners playing the part of louche millionaire while his alter-ego Batman investigates a series of cult murders with John Jones, a human detective who is really the alien J'onn J'onzz the Martian Manhunter (one of MM's powers is shape-shifting). It's delightful seeing J'onn become John as he learns by watching pulpy crime serials on TV how to act human but comes off as a cheesy fictional character. Batman meanwhile is in the early days of his career and people aren't sure what to make of him - is he a criminal or a hero? But he does terrify people, unfortunately both criminals and the public, making kids cry after he saves them! We're also introduced to a young and idealistic Hal Jordan whose plane gets shot down in Korea and has to survive with a handgun, all the time with an eye towards space. Wonder Woman and Superman are both tools of the government, used to help the US in their international wars. And that's basically the whole gang. All of which is great - the setting, the way Cooke writes and draws the characters, it's all done really, really well and I was loving the heck out of it. But the final third of the book underlines something I hadn't noticed (or cared about) before - the book has no plot. Things just happen because that's the era. The space race is on, various wars in the East are going on, the 50s are turning to the 60s and a new, youthful president is on his way into the Oval Office... throw in a few superheroes reacting to those events and that's fine. But by the end, I was scratching my head wondering what exactly the book was driving at. Is it really just a book that's all about the conceit rather than the story? It seems like it, though I have Volume 2 and haven't read it yet, maybe it'll explain more in that? And while it's great seeing the superheroes in this context, they're really underused. Batman and Martian Manhunter are in maybe 10 pages tops. Same for Wonder Woman and even less for Superman. More time is devoted to guys out of costume and connected to the military in some way, and if I can't name them it's because they just weren't memorable enough. That and the way Cooke draws the men out of costume makes them all look the same. I'm not sure why Cooke chose this route but I'm not convinced the gamble worked. In the end, the lack of story, the exclusion of interesting, colourful characters in favour of blander characters, made New Frontier a bit of a bust. Putting aside the same-y character designs, I love everything about Cooke's art. It's clean, it's crisp, it's wonderfully expressive, and Dave Stewart's colours really bring the pages to life. I like that Cooke chose to present the story in four wide panels per page, giving the story a cinematic quality and showing a lot of detail in the background besides the focus on the characters. It showcases Cooke's clearly extensive research as well as draws the reader more closely into this era. New Frontier Volume 1 starts well but the lack of direction and final third of the book - which seems to be nothing but lengthy exposition - makes me wary to call it a masterpiece though I'll read the second book and see where it goes. Cooke would go on to write more successful books set in this time with his adaptations of Richard Stark's Parker books, and New Frontier is certainly no failure, but it's also not that great.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    Maybe I came into this from the wrong perspective. I'm not exactly well versed in DC's Silver Age work, and I imagine that those who do will find the nostalgia that much more interesting. Really, I just showed up for the art. That's one place where I was far from disappointed. I love the style, like Paul Dini and Bruce Timm working from Silver Age character designs. It works, and Cooke is really good at doing action scenes. That said, the out-of-costume characters tend to blend together. In many Maybe I came into this from the wrong perspective. I'm not exactly well versed in DC's Silver Age work, and I imagine that those who do will find the nostalgia that much more interesting. Really, I just showed up for the art. That's one place where I was far from disappointed. I love the style, like Paul Dini and Bruce Timm working from Silver Age character designs. It works, and Cooke is really good at doing action scenes. That said, the out-of-costume characters tend to blend together. In many superhero comics, this wouldn't be that big of a deal, but there's a lot of costume-free scenes. I'm a little frustrated with how the story is going right now. Actually, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. I've heard that it comes together, that after reading the second volume it will all pull together beautifully. But right now, it looks a lot more like a bunch of random stories thrown together. And I'm not entirely convinced by some aspects of the story. How does Hal Jordan refusing to use his machine guns in a dogfight actually work? We're told that he's still a great fighter pilot, but since he gets shot down in the only firefight we see him get into... Well, it isn't exactly convincing. But hey, it looks really, really good. And things did seem to be picking up a little bit at the end. Who knows, maybe the second volume will knock it out of the park.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julio Bonilla

    HISTORY IS MY FAVORITE SUBJECT! A new vision on classic characters!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Masterful. Darwyn Cooke is amazing. Set in the heyday of the Silver Age, Cooke begins a story that is at once nostalgically heroic and reminiscent of a simpler time, and profoundly complex, dealing with political and sociological issues ignored by writers of the period. In this story is the seed of the idea that would become Marvel's Civil War, and it's done much, much better than Millar could ever have hoped for. New Frontier is a story of origins and of transition. The JSA is on the way out an Masterful. Darwyn Cooke is amazing. Set in the heyday of the Silver Age, Cooke begins a story that is at once nostalgically heroic and reminiscent of a simpler time, and profoundly complex, dealing with political and sociological issues ignored by writers of the period. In this story is the seed of the idea that would become Marvel's Civil War, and it's done much, much better than Millar could ever have hoped for. New Frontier is a story of origins and of transition. The JSA is on the way out and in their place, the rise of the ordinary mortal. With new confidence in themselves after ridding the world of fascist tyranny, Americans begin to take back control of their lives and in the fashion typical of the McCarthy era, hunt down and force from work the masked vigilantes they had relied so heavily upon in the past. Amid the creation of nuclear and space technology old heroes question their purpose and new ones come of age and in the background, a planet-wide menace that will redefine the role of superheroes in the world. After just finishing Johns's New Krypton, New Frontier reads like a classical work of art. Cooke's prose is crisp, unpretentious and unaffected and his artwork manages to capture the subtleties of feeling and complexity of emotions in really poignant scenes as well known heroes adjust to mankind's change for the worse around mid-century. How would Superman react to the war in Vietnam? Would his patriotism require him to support the war? What would his role be? How would Batman react to government pressure to organize and license vigilantism in America? What separates good comic writing from poor comic writing isn't the scale of the epic, it's the seriousness of the philosophical questions posed and the depth of emotional turmoil and discovery that's drawn out. Good comic writing brings thought-provoking questions that we as ordinary people don't have to think about, but are forced to confront as we identify with and desire to be like our heroes. I'm not saying that New Frontier is incredibly profound in the same way a book like Secret Identity is or Superman for all Seasons, but it definitely has a depth that's lacking in so many continuity, soap-opera stories that plague the comic world today in its over-abundance of titles and stupid obsession with one-upmanship. New Frontier is a blast from the past and a reminder of why we first fell in love with comics. The best thing I can say to sum up how it makes you feel is to make a comparison. Have you ever gone back and watched a movie or tv show that you thought was the absolute greatest thing ever when you were a kid only to find it cheesy and sorely disappointing? That the memory of it and how it made you feel was far better than the quality of it? We all have. New Frontier is going back to that old movie that you loved so much as a kid and finding that it really was and still is the greatest thing ever. It feels like confirmation of the values, the past, the memories and the dreams you hold dear. Highly recommend!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Donovan

    I just have to admit I don't like Darwyn Cooke. This begins with what appears to me a pointless introductory story, rambling into lovingly imperialistic historical revisionism where America's superheroes win WWII and then Korea, then conquer nostalgia back at home. This story doesn't feel like it's saying anything new. From the get go there are rather obvious Watchmen themes of historical revisionism and anti-heroes, McCarthyism, patriotism and metafiction. But the characters, the iconic super h I just have to admit I don't like Darwyn Cooke. This begins with what appears to me a pointless introductory story, rambling into lovingly imperialistic historical revisionism where America's superheroes win WWII and then Korea, then conquer nostalgia back at home. This story doesn't feel like it's saying anything new. From the get go there are rather obvious Watchmen themes of historical revisionism and anti-heroes, McCarthyism, patriotism and metafiction. But the characters, the iconic super heroes like The Trinity, seem only skin deep and some are downright unlikable. The dialog is just bad sometimes, full of abrupt and unnatural pauses. I'm also not a huge fan of the artwork. It's okay sometimes, highly stylized, but it can get chunky and panels have rough transitions. I also think his characters are nearly identical, like you can swap any male or female from one scene to the next and you can't even tell. Cooke clearly worked hard on this, and I respect that he wrote and illustrated by himself, but it just didn't work for me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    This is a hard comic book to like. For me mostly because it tries to read like Alan Moore's watchmen, even the formats almost similar: WW2 and the fall from grace of superheroes and masked vigilante. The first chapter for me was the crowning moment, that was novel. And I loved the artwork and the Losers. After that it was hard to get really involved. Not because the book was particularly bad, the voice was actually nice, it's everything else that didn't do it for me. For someone to really enjoy This is a hard comic book to like. For me mostly because it tries to read like Alan Moore's watchmen, even the formats almost similar: WW2 and the fall from grace of superheroes and masked vigilante. The first chapter for me was the crowning moment, that was novel. And I loved the artwork and the Losers. After that it was hard to get really involved. Not because the book was particularly bad, the voice was actually nice, it's everything else that didn't do it for me. For someone to really enjoy this they shouldn't have read Watchmen before.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hayden

    The New Frontier works as an odd piece of historical fiction, re-telling the origins of all the Silver Age superheroes of the early 60's, from the Justice League to B-listers like Jack Kirby's Challengers Of The Unknown, and stringing them together in a very unique story, as if those heroes actually came to prominence in real life during that time. This volume, I'm assuming, is sort of building up to the events of the second half, because not a whole lot actually happens. We see Superman and Wond The New Frontier works as an odd piece of historical fiction, re-telling the origins of all the Silver Age superheroes of the early 60's, from the Justice League to B-listers like Jack Kirby's Challengers Of The Unknown, and stringing them together in a very unique story, as if those heroes actually came to prominence in real life during that time. This volume, I'm assuming, is sort of building up to the events of the second half, because not a whole lot actually happens. We see Superman and Wonder Woman keeping the peace in French Indo-China, Batman ruling over Gotham City's underworld, and Hal Jordan as a bright, young, and fearless fighter pilot, haunted by an encounter he had behind enemy lines in the aftermath of the Korean War. Darwyn seems to be an expert both on Silver Age comics and the subculture of the 50's/60's themselves, because he writes the era perfectly. His dialogue in particular is spot on, lots of "Sufferin' Suzie!"s and "Blast it!"s. I think the word "Darling" is said in character conversation about 500 times, but I love it. Darwyn paints a beautifully nostalgic portrait of that turbulent and unique era of American history, my favorite part in particular being an early encounter with Flash and his nemesis Captain Cold, in a glitzy Las Vegas restaurant, with Frank Sinatra singing 'Fly Me To The Moon' in the background. Which brings me to his artwork. Darwyn Cooke is, hands down, my favorite comic book artist of all time. His beautiful use of lines and bright colors, atmospheric backgrounds and shading, and simplistic rendering of human faces had me in awe of every single page. He just makes it look so easy. I particularly loved his versions of Flash, Batman, and Wonder Woman, who has that classic pin-up girl look. If you're like me, and love both dark & complicated graphic novels, as well as the overly simplistic & childish comic books of yesteryear, you'll fall in love with this story. I'm excited to pick up volume two and see where it all leads. 4/5

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I get the cultural significance of the story, especially in relation to the effect McCarthy-ism had on the comics industry. I also liked how unique the art style was compared to a lot of what you see nowadays. That said, I found it kinda boring and I was unfamiliar with most of the characters that weren't obvious (i.e. Wonder Woman, Batman, etc). I am gonna read the second one to see how it ends though. I get the cultural significance of the story, especially in relation to the effect McCarthy-ism had on the comics industry. I also liked how unique the art style was compared to a lot of what you see nowadays. That said, I found it kinda boring and I was unfamiliar with most of the characters that weren't obvious (i.e. Wonder Woman, Batman, etc). I am gonna read the second one to see how it ends though.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cheese

    Holy shit Darwyn could draw. That man was a genius.

  11. 5 out of 5

    JB

    Dc: The New Frontier. A retelling of the transition of Dc's Golden Age into it's Silver Age. It chronicles events in WWII, the war in Korea, the Cold War, the Space Race and of course you have Dc's most famous heroes in the middle of it all. In Volume 1 you're introduced to Hal Jordan before he becomes a Green Lantern and you get to see how the Martian Manhunter J'onn J'onzz arrives on Earth and how he studies mankind and tries to become one of us. Superman and Wonder Woman are used by the US go Dc: The New Frontier. A retelling of the transition of Dc's Golden Age into it's Silver Age. It chronicles events in WWII, the war in Korea, the Cold War, the Space Race and of course you have Dc's most famous heroes in the middle of it all. In Volume 1 you're introduced to Hal Jordan before he becomes a Green Lantern and you get to see how the Martian Manhunter J'onn J'onzz arrives on Earth and how he studies mankind and tries to become one of us. Superman and Wonder Woman are used by the US government in problem areas around the world. We meet the Flash, Batman is his usual great self (especially in a scène where he threatens J'onn). There are a lot of great scenes in this book: Wonder Woman and Superman getting into a heated discussion, J'onn learning how to behave human by watching television, J'onn walking into a human sacrifice being stopped by Batman, Wildcat in a Heavyweight Champion of the World fight, the Flash rescuing his girlfriend by running from Central City to Vegas. But my favorite scène features Hal Jordan in Korea, the war is over, but not everyone knows it yet. Hal gets shot down and lands in an enemy trench, where he has to fight with a Korean soldier. Hal tries to find the words in Korean to explain the war is over. But he fails to and he is forced to kill, something he has deliberately avoided his entire tour in Korea. And then comes the great part, he gets rescued by a US chopper with Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane on board. When Lois asks (for her readers) how Hal feels cheating certain death. Hal begins to speak Korean, the chopper's pilot translates: "It's over, it's over, make no war no more". It really felt like a scène out of a great war movie. It really grabbed me. I'm now going to start reading Volume 2. I recommend Volume 1 to Dc fans who are into reading a story about their favorite heroes in another timesetting. It's a good story and in my opinion worth a read. (I have the animated movie and reading this makes me want to watch it again.)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    The good: Darwyn Cooke does some really great stuff here with traditional DC characters, and the story builds to an unusual and genuinely thrilling climax. And Cooke’s Kirby-esque art style is, overall, just danged cool and a great match for the Silver Age storyline. The bad: Cooke’s storytelling, especially early on, is a bit choppy and fragmented. Combine this with the fact that his moonfaced characters often look alike, and things can get confusing. (Really, it can be as difficult to tell his The good: Darwyn Cooke does some really great stuff here with traditional DC characters, and the story builds to an unusual and genuinely thrilling climax. And Cooke’s Kirby-esque art style is, overall, just danged cool and a great match for the Silver Age storyline. The bad: Cooke’s storytelling, especially early on, is a bit choppy and fragmented. Combine this with the fact that his moonfaced characters often look alike, and things can get confusing. (Really, it can be as difficult to tell his “plain clothes” characters apart as it is with John Byrne’s characters.) But there’s something much more seriously disappointing here. Throughout the arts (yes, even the pop arts) in recent years, partisan political sentiment has been creeping into places where it shouldn’t be--where it does not lead to an adequate treatment of the issues raised, where it is mainly grandstanding (whether for jingoistic or anti-jingoistic purposes), and where, frankly, it’s just not wanted. And here Cooke is pushing a Silver Age revision with obvious political bias. Sure, in the end, he reaches a “let’s all come and work together, putting aside the superficial differences” moment, but this is built on a scenario created by “right-wing hysteria” and a red scare that has extended to the Earth’s superhero population. Please. How insulting to your readers, and how irresponsible a reading of history. Ironically, Cooke spends much of his time painting the Korean War and Eisenhower in a bad light, but he ends, on his “unification” note, quoting extensively from a speech by Kennedy. That’s right, Kennedy--the man who pulled some of the biggest Cold War boners, not the least of which was getting us mired in Vietnam.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    I am sooooo glad I chanced upon The New Frontier on the graphic novel shelf at a neighboring town's library. The 50's-inspired cover art - with our heroes grinning ear to ear . . . except for Batman, of course - immediately got my attention, as well as the title being a veiled reference to JFK's time in office. It felt like instant nostalgia, and I wasn't even alive at the time. It's like a love letter to superhero fans from sixty years ago with the design and art style, but the substance has a m I am sooooo glad I chanced upon The New Frontier on the graphic novel shelf at a neighboring town's library. The 50's-inspired cover art - with our heroes grinning ear to ear . . . except for Batman, of course - immediately got my attention, as well as the title being a veiled reference to JFK's time in office. It felt like instant nostalgia, and I wasn't even alive at the time. It's like a love letter to superhero fans from sixty years ago with the design and art style, but the substance has a more modern sensibility. Or, conversely, it seems designed to appeal to fans of both comic books and American history. (We do exist!) And then there's all the little touches - John Jones (police detective alter ego of Martian Manhunter) rides shotgun with a narrating P.I. who resembles Robert Mitchum; boxer Ted "Wildcat" Grant fights an opponent only identified as 'Clay' for the heavyweight championship; Wonder Woman gets bum-rushed from the White House stage by VP Nixon when she begins to voice concerns about U.S. involvement in Vietnam. That's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. While there may not be an overload of superhero action - there is a lot of dialogue, and a large cast of characters - I'm very curious to see what happens in Vol. 2.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sean Kennedy

    This is one seriously gorgeous comic. The visuals are astounding, and evoke a nostalgic sense of the '50s even though the story itself doesn't view the past with rose-coloured glasses - from a Superman and Wonder Woman fighting each other over the conflict of Korea, to Wonder Woman being dismissed due to sexism and her unpopular (to the Americans) views on Vietnam. This is a reinterpretation of the founding of the Justice League, coming out of the repressive McCarthy era where superheroes are se This is one seriously gorgeous comic. The visuals are astounding, and evoke a nostalgic sense of the '50s even though the story itself doesn't view the past with rose-coloured glasses - from a Superman and Wonder Woman fighting each other over the conflict of Korea, to Wonder Woman being dismissed due to sexism and her unpopular (to the Americans) views on Vietnam. This is a reinterpretation of the founding of the Justice League, coming out of the repressive McCarthy era where superheroes are seen just as suspiciously as Communists. It can be likened to Watchmen, but with a more optimistic bent. The only problem is that some of the male heroes are a bit 'samey' - with similar square jaws and box haircuts that makes them hard to distinguish (especially those who play a smaller role in the storyline). It is the only fault I can find with the truly exquisite art.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bryen

    I didn't care for this at all and never really got a sense of the plot. It seriously took me forever to just finish it. I didn't care for this at all and never really got a sense of the plot. It seriously took me forever to just finish it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    I don't get the low ratings on this. I read those reviews and I see certain key words that make me understand those reviews though. I also see the years they were written and what was going on in those years and I understand a little more. Such a great story. Also a sad story, because so much of it is relevant today. The John Henry story? It wasn't as relevant on publication as it was in 2020 and that's not a good thing. But the hope in the book? That's also part of 2020. The back half for sure I don't get the low ratings on this. I read those reviews and I see certain key words that make me understand those reviews though. I also see the years they were written and what was going on in those years and I understand a little more. Such a great story. Also a sad story, because so much of it is relevant today. The John Henry story? It wasn't as relevant on publication as it was in 2020 and that's not a good thing. But the hope in the book? That's also part of 2020. The back half for sure but it's there. If you only read Volume 1 - which a lot of the reviews here seem to have done, considering their general tone of "the story went nowhere" - then you should definitely keep in mind there's a reason it's called Volume 1 and not "the complete story". Keep going and read Volume 2.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Henry Blackwood

    I love the idea of this. It feels very ‘watchman-esque’ with the way the world is structured. I like the time period used in this and how the world works and the heroes interact with each other. I’m just not sure if I love what’s happening in the story so far. I like how Hal and J’onn are the two main characters though it seems to be headed somewhere interesting it just hasn’t quite made it yet. That’s not to say that the set up and the world building wasn’t interesting, it’s just not much narrati I love the idea of this. It feels very ‘watchman-esque’ with the way the world is structured. I like the time period used in this and how the world works and the heroes interact with each other. I’m just not sure if I love what’s happening in the story so far. I like how Hal and J’onn are the two main characters though it seems to be headed somewhere interesting it just hasn’t quite made it yet. That’s not to say that the set up and the world building wasn’t interesting, it’s just not much narrative wise has happened yet.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Drown Hollum

    Finally getting around to this, wonderful cartooning. I know it's usually collected in one volume now, but I guess I have an older publication. This half is a little dry, without a clear nod to exactly where the plot is headed, but it's full of great character moments which define the Silver Age interpretations of out favorite DC heroes. I'm reading the second volume right away, but this was pretty great. Lot's of powerful situations, it's an excellent period piece. Finally getting around to this, wonderful cartooning. I know it's usually collected in one volume now, but I guess I have an older publication. This half is a little dry, without a clear nod to exactly where the plot is headed, but it's full of great character moments which define the Silver Age interpretations of out favorite DC heroes. I'm reading the second volume right away, but this was pretty great. Lot's of powerful situations, it's an excellent period piece.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Sorrentino

    No discernible plot. Not enough of any particular hero to draw my interest. The art is appropriate for the history of this tale, and layouts are inspired.

  20. 5 out of 5

    saidah

    3.5 stars

  21. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Ok. I'll admit it. I am not a fan of DC, especially not The Justice League and Superman and The Martian Manhunter and Green Latern and The Flash, etc., you get the idea. I do, however, love Batman and ambitious projects. So I decided to put aside my disdain of DC for 200 pages and give The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke a shot. It says on the back that it will "take readers on a epic journey from the end of the golden age of heroes to the beginnings of the legendary Justice League of America." Ok, Ok. I'll admit it. I am not a fan of DC, especially not The Justice League and Superman and The Martian Manhunter and Green Latern and The Flash, etc., you get the idea. I do, however, love Batman and ambitious projects. So I decided to put aside my disdain of DC for 200 pages and give The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke a shot. It says on the back that it will "take readers on a epic journey from the end of the golden age of heroes to the beginnings of the legendary Justice League of America." Ok, not being a DC fan, I don't know what half of that means, except that I know I don't like the Justice League, or anything I have read involving them. So I am skeptical. But from the get-go, I don't care of the story is the worst story ever, which it isn't (more on that in a minute), the artwork is enough to keep me flipping the pages. It's drawn in a throwback retro-style reminiscent of Johnny Quest and/or The Venture Brothers, only so much cooler than either. As an artist Cooke has got me hooked, I'll have to see if he's done anything for Marvel. But what I think is really, really, really outstanding about Cooke and The New Frontier, is that it is a story set in the DC world, with the Justice League, that I don't hate. I actually care about these characters and want to know more about them. I even want Superman to succeed, even though he is indestructible so I know he will. What Cooke has done is make enough suspense, away from The Man of Steel, to keep the stakes high, and then give us whole characters that we actually want to relate to. Sharp kid. It's flawed sure, too many story lines to balance, a flaw of every Justice League story I think. Also it seems a little like a more innocent DC-version of Watchmen. What with the looming cold war, heroes helping out in Korea, the slightly darker, but not that dark tone, and the retelling of the origin stories. It's not exactly fair, because it is more a case of creative borrowing than outright copyright infringement. And this is far campier, less serious, and a little bit cooler than Watchmen. Note that I didn't say better, Watchmen is the gold standard. I don't blame Cooke for borrowing a few of the ideas and giving DC some much needed edge. Which is funny, because it seems to be striving for the opposite of edgy. Conundrum?

  22. 4 out of 5

    James

    I love Darwyn Cooke’s art; I think he does an excellent job capturing action and using streamlined details to evoke memorable characters. But I’m not as big a fan of his writing, and the weaknesses of his approach can be seen throughout both volumes of DC: New Frontier, which is generally regarded as a contemporary comics classic. Part of the issue is that he’s playing with a massive cast of characters—basically anyone published by D.C. Comics during their golden era, from Superman at the top to I love Darwyn Cooke’s art; I think he does an excellent job capturing action and using streamlined details to evoke memorable characters. But I’m not as big a fan of his writing, and the weaknesses of his approach can be seen throughout both volumes of DC: New Frontier, which is generally regarded as a contemporary comics classic. Part of the issue is that he’s playing with a massive cast of characters—basically anyone published by D.C. Comics during their golden era, from Superman at the top to King Faraday at the more obscure. It certainly is fun to see Cooke visually redesign this sprawling cast. But because of the volume of characters, they generally come of more as names than people. You have to use what you know about them elsewhere to know them here. Oh, sure, Lois Lane loves Superman—that’s what happened in all the other comics. But the impressions we get in this series are fleeting. Motivations are unclear, especially when a “Red Scare” set-up is used to add flavor and then abandoned when the story dictates it. The characterization we do see is meant to be noble but comes off as a little hokey instead, particularly Hal Jordan flying combat missions in Korea despite a refusal to use his machine guns. Rick Flagg is compelling as a patriot damaged by a career in secret ops while Martian J’onn J’onzz adds some humor, and Wonder Woman has an interesting, if undeveloped, path from believer to subversive. The storytelling mostly seems to kill time until the next big moment. People blow themselves up for the greater good at least four times in the story, and while their choices make a certain kind of sense, they seem most motivated by Cooke’s impulse that he’s due for another spread. Things do cohere with a big threat near the end, but that’s only after another plot thread is dropped entirely. The book’s strengths—merging early DC comics into one coherent universe—are also its weaknesses. I imagine your affinity for classic DC characters will determine your enthusiasm for the story Cooke is telling. In both instances, I come down square in the middle.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    1 Star This is a story about the big-name DC superheroes. However, they’re in a bit of a transition phase. The world is changing and they’re trying to change with it. Will they be able to work together, or will they stay divided? I can’t say that I was particularly impressed with this comic. In fact, I found it hard to finish. This is mostly because I found the plot to be excruciatingly boring. This plot was so uneventful I honestly had a hard time even coming up with the small synopsis I wrote. I 1 Star This is a story about the big-name DC superheroes. However, they’re in a bit of a transition phase. The world is changing and they’re trying to change with it. Will they be able to work together, or will they stay divided? I can’t say that I was particularly impressed with this comic. In fact, I found it hard to finish. This is mostly because I found the plot to be excruciatingly boring. This plot was so uneventful I honestly had a hard time even coming up with the small synopsis I wrote. I honestly cannot remember much of what happened in this collection. There was no rising action and nothing near a climax or a story arc. I’m very confused as to what the author and artist were actually going for. The art, however, was the only thing about this story that I did like. It was retro and that was very cool. So, that part of this comic was wonderful. I loved the original ‘50s feel and the sort of honor it served to the original superheroes we love. Wow, this review is harder to write than I thought it would be. This storyline really did not stick with me. The only character’s story I can specifically remember is Wonder Woman’s and that’s only because I take specific interest in her character, as she’s a favorite. Still, her story was filled with far too much talking and far too little action. There was way too much text in this comic. Some of the bubbles took up half the allotted panel! That’s just far too much. Having too much text in a comic book is never good. It slows the story, causes way too much telling instead of an equal balance the medium requires of telling and showing, and makes the reader turn into Little Nemo and head off to Slumberland. All in all, this was a total snoozefest for me, and I’m not willing to recommend it. It’s not worth the time you’ll waste feeling bad that it’s taking you so long to read a small comic book. (Trust me, I know. I nearly DNFed this multiple times while reading.) Review originally published on my Wordpress blog Dreaming Through Literature.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    The New Frontier is heralded as a cornerstone of the modern DCU, but after reading through volume 1, I'm not sold that is deserves that distinction. Darwyn Cooke is a talented creator, and I've enjoyed much of his work over the years, but I've never loved any of it. It's never left me with the need to go back for more. The first volume of the story takes place directly after WWII up and through into Korea and the 1950s. Sprinkled through these years are countless DC mainstays, including Superman The New Frontier is heralded as a cornerstone of the modern DCU, but after reading through volume 1, I'm not sold that is deserves that distinction. Darwyn Cooke is a talented creator, and I've enjoyed much of his work over the years, but I've never loved any of it. It's never left me with the need to go back for more. The first volume of the story takes place directly after WWII up and through into Korea and the 1950s. Sprinkled through these years are countless DC mainstays, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, etc. My main problem with this first part of the story is that the key word in my previous phrase is "countless". There isn't much of a plot present, as the characters are asked to move from situation to situation, often with a year-wide time jump between chapters, without much rhyme or reason. The reader is then asked to become very familiar with additional characters that are more obscure, mainly The Losers, a group of military men sent on a hopeless mission, and The Challengers of the Unknown, makeshift explorers thrown together for the sake of telling a story (yes, I know these characters exist in the DC mythos, but they don't come off that way in The New Frontier). Cooke is asking a lot of his audience, as we move through these paces. I am more aware of the greater DCU than most, and still found myself a bit lost in sections, with the feeling that perhaps a little too much was left on the cutting room floor, and that a more compact focus on a handful of characters would have been the better approach. Volume 1 does lead into volume 2 nicely, but all of it feels a bit short-changed in terms of execution. Cooke has never been married to a project, and something tells me the number of issues called for within this story was changed once negotiations began. I love period pieces, and I love the DCU, so maybe the concluding book will turn this one around for me. But so far, we're not off to a very good start.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This book taught me to love superheroes again. Not just like, or want to read about, but love them, and long for a world in which they were real. And not just the angst ridden Marvel boys, but the Big bright ones - Wonderwoman teaching Superman the meaning of justice ("there's the door spaceman!"), the Flash kissing his wife at super-speed, Batman' motivations taking on an apprentice, Lois Lane's boundless resourcefulness, and the Martian Manhunter reading minds in a crowded movie theater. Darwy This book taught me to love superheroes again. Not just like, or want to read about, but love them, and long for a world in which they were real. And not just the angst ridden Marvel boys, but the Big bright ones - Wonderwoman teaching Superman the meaning of justice ("there's the door spaceman!"), the Flash kissing his wife at super-speed, Batman' motivations taking on an apprentice, Lois Lane's boundless resourcefulness, and the Martian Manhunter reading minds in a crowded movie theater. Darwyn Cooke does both the story and art - very unusual for a superhero story of this scale - and he is a master, his thick clean lines, his widescreen panels, his bold blocks of color and space fill this work with the look of comic truth. (Indeed, my wife and I were such fans of this book we spent a few hundred bucks to buy an original page with three panels of Wonderwoman). Placing the silver age heroes (the post-war / comic's code era period known for its apolitical absurdity and silliness) back into the context of the Cold War is a brilliant move as we see Wonderwoman and Superman falling out over their participation in Vietnam, and refocus our mythology onto Hal Jordan, the test pilot turned Green Lantern are among fruitful discoveries in the New Frontier.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aaron King

    Darwyn Cooke is a true master of the comics medium, and "DC: The New Frontier" is another impressive example of those skills. The story returns many of DC's characters (both iconic and minor) to their Silver Age, and while longtime comic readers will appreciate the references, what Cooke really does here is distill the histories of these characters into a single, clear and cohesive (albeit ambitious) narrative, keeping the characters recognizable and cementing their iconic status for even a casu Darwyn Cooke is a true master of the comics medium, and "DC: The New Frontier" is another impressive example of those skills. The story returns many of DC's characters (both iconic and minor) to their Silver Age, and while longtime comic readers will appreciate the references, what Cooke really does here is distill the histories of these characters into a single, clear and cohesive (albeit ambitious) narrative, keeping the characters recognizable and cementing their iconic status for even a casual or new comics reader. It's hard to discuss the story after reading only the first volume - Cooke sets a lot of plates spinning here, and it's impossible to say at this point whether this balancing act is successful. Regardless, there are a lot of great moments in this book, such as the chapter in which Hal Jordan's plane is shot down behind enemy lines, which is a particularly powerful bit of character development. Cooke's art is spectacular as ever, and perfectly evokes the era. This is an excellent graphic novel, epic and expansive, without either sacrificing the characters or the sense of wonder they inspire.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Great homage to Silver Age comics. Admittedly I am more familiar with Marvel's Silver Age, and just Marvel in general. I had somehow missed out on hearing about this book until the movie was coming out. Then saw some of the art and heard some great things about the book, so I decided to check it out. In Darwyn Cooke's art style you can see a bit of Jack Kirby. Which is of course perfect for depicting the Silver Age. It probably most closely parallels Bruce Timm, however. As for the story. Its re Great homage to Silver Age comics. Admittedly I am more familiar with Marvel's Silver Age, and just Marvel in general. I had somehow missed out on hearing about this book until the movie was coming out. Then saw some of the art and heard some great things about the book, so I decided to check it out. In Darwyn Cooke's art style you can see a bit of Jack Kirby. Which is of course perfect for depicting the Silver Age. It probably most closely parallels Bruce Timm, however. As for the story. Its relentless. I jumps all over the place, between faces and names. But it keeps its focus throughout. And does so with perfect timing. Darwyn Cooke is like a happy Alan Moore. Or at least a hopeful one. A little more mainstream. But it makes for a very enjoyable, epic experience. I'll admit the conflict felt a bit like a cheap epic... but it was much more about the heroes than the enemy. And again, see Silver Age. Also, watched the movie after reading the book. As usual, the book is much better.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    I'd forgotten how good this actually is, which is partially the fault of the art. Frankly, the book looks so good, from cover to cover, that it's almost too easy to skip over the story. It's also a book that benefits heavily from a little background knowledge of the DC universe, which is funny, in a way, since it steals so heavily from that background. In addition to the many origin stories, large sections of the plot seemed ripped right out of Watchmen, albeit in a heavily sanitized form. Aside I'd forgotten how good this actually is, which is partially the fault of the art. Frankly, the book looks so good, from cover to cover, that it's almost too easy to skip over the story. It's also a book that benefits heavily from a little background knowledge of the DC universe, which is funny, in a way, since it steals so heavily from that background. In addition to the many origin stories, large sections of the plot seemed ripped right out of Watchmen, albeit in a heavily sanitized form. Aside from the art (which, again, is incredible), Cooke gets a lot right. His use of more obscure characters as protagonists paradoxically makes the book feel fresh and new, but he also manages to make the classic characters seem revitalized. His Wonder Woman, especially, is magnificent, with her scene in Vietnam providing the book's most dramatic moment. Martian Manhunter, too, and even the usually dull Hal Jordan, make me long for Cooke to take over all of DC's properties.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Keith Jones

    It's really good and learned the correct lesson from Watchmen about what constitutes "more realistic" in comic books. It's not about whether people can fly or fancy machines or teleportation or whatnot. It's about how people might react to costumed vigilantes, people flying and advanced technologies. Costumed vigilantes are hunted and arrested. Superman and Wonder Woman are forced to work for the government. Oh, and there were a surprising number of non-costumed people running around. I'm guessi It's really good and learned the correct lesson from Watchmen about what constitutes "more realistic" in comic books. It's not about whether people can fly or fancy machines or teleportation or whatnot. It's about how people might react to costumed vigilantes, people flying and advanced technologies. Costumed vigilantes are hunted and arrested. Superman and Wonder Woman are forced to work for the government. Oh, and there were a surprising number of non-costumed people running around. I'm guessing with government sponsorship. I would describe The New Frontier as a really cold, hard slap in the face to anyone who romanticizes America of the 1950s. The one thing that drags at the story a little bit is the fact it is painted on such a large canvas that it felt like a cliff notes version of the story. We barely checked in with people before moving on to the next thing. Book is fascinating and definitely worth reading. Oh, and if you romanticize the 50s, you're going to hate it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alanna King

    I selfishly chose to read DC: The New Frontier because I'm doing an assignment on DC and I wanted more meat. I'm a self-acclaimed noob when it comes to graphic novels and The New Frontier was my first foray into any superhero comics.....any....ever. This was my first. So I was completely blown away by how emotionally involved I became with the characters as they rushed to find a solution to stop the world from ending. I also found the artwork absolutely absorbing. There were 2 page spreads of on I selfishly chose to read DC: The New Frontier because I'm doing an assignment on DC and I wanted more meat. I'm a self-acclaimed noob when it comes to graphic novels and The New Frontier was my first foray into any superhero comics.....any....ever. This was my first. So I was completely blown away by how emotionally involved I became with the characters as they rushed to find a solution to stop the world from ending. I also found the artwork absolutely absorbing. There were 2 page spreads of one single frame, 2 page spreads split into thirds, and many many more combinations that I had never seen before. I think I may have developed a crush on Wonder Woman. I'm also struck by how accessible this giant book is especially in comparison to the other DC comic I'm attempting: The Watchmen. The New Frontier is told from many many characters' points of view but they all have a singular focus that brings them together.

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