Snow in my neck of the woods (North Texas) is rare enough as it is, but in March!? I spent 3-hrs. on the road in what is normally a 30-minute drive trying to get home Thursday evening and was prepared to drudge through the ice all over again on the way back to work Friday morning when I was greeted with the welcome news that work would be closed for the day. Snow day! So, with a free day and no concrete plans I spent a lot of time goofing off and among other things I watched DC’s animated feature based on Darwyn Cooke’s Justice League comic book mini-series, The New Frontier. Having enjoyed the comic series immensely I’ve been anticipating seeing the animated adaption for months now and it was well worth the wait.
The animation was slick and reminiscent of Cooke’s own distinct art style, the voice work was true to DC’s impressive track record in the “Animated” universe and the story was tight and true to the series. If you’re unaware of what the tale is about, then what follows is DC’s description of the release:
How would Superman and his Justice League friends have dealt with the era of the Space Race and the Red Scare? Comic-book creator Darwyn Cooke took up this question in DC: The New Frontier, an award-winning series of comics set in the mid-20th century. On Tuesday, Mr. Cooke’s creation comes to the small screen when Warner Premiere releases “Justice League: The New Frontier,” a 75-minute animated DVD feature that tracks the founding of the Justice League of superheroes and their fight against a monster from the center of the earth.
The movie is the second in the DC Universe line of PG-13 animated movies — the first, “Superman: Doomsday,” was released last September — that are taken from popular graphic superhero novels and aimed at older fans. “Justice League: The New Frontier” features the voices of Kyle MacLachlan (Superman), Kyra Sedgwick (Lois Lane), Lucy Lawless (Wonder Woman), Jeremy Sisto (Batman), Brooke Shields (Carol Ferris), and Neil Patrick Harris (The Flash). Warner Home Video general manager Jeff Brown says “Superman: Doomsday” sold more than 500,000 DVDs and he expects sales of the “Justice League: The New Frontier” to surpass that.
Now, honestly speaking, I can’t say there aren’t a couple of moments that make me cringe just a little (as it was with the original comic series) given that there is some heavy politic in the feature, but for the most part I found it to be a very enjoyable piece set during the backdrop of the 1950’s DCU following the North Korean war. The Flash still plays my favorite part in the story and it was fun to cheer Hal Jordan on as he takes the lead in the feature, as Cooke intended. So many great characters appeared on screen and played vital roles that I wish I could comment on them all, but if you’re a DC fan just rest assured that you’ll get your money’s worth out of this one. There is a ton of bonus content in the 2-disk set, including an interesting history of the JLA, and though I haven’t been able to view the author’s track with Darwyn Cooke yet, I look forward to doing that to see what insights he provides as well as some of the details I’m sure I missed the first time through.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Please see the Official New Frontier DVD site for more info. and other nifty stuff!