DC: The New Frontier, Vol. 1
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DC: The New Frontier, Vol. 1 (DC: The New Frontier #1)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  6,976 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Takes readers on an epic journey from the end of the Golden Age to the genesis of a bold new era for the super-hero, recounting the dawning of the DC Universe's Silver Age from the perspective of those brave individuals who made it happen.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by DC Comics (first published 2004)
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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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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,...more
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...more
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...more
Paul
I found myself loving the "naive"-styled drawings in this book. It may be, a first view, a very simplistic styl, it soon becomes apparent that alot of thought was put in the execution. Although I didn't get ALL the references to the silver-aged period of DC, I still found it easily understandable and enjoyed it.
It did become pretty clear who/what the major villain would be pretty early on in the book that didn't remove from my overall enjoyment.
Elijah Kinch Spector
An incredible piece of work. Cooke manages to take the look and feel of a "simpler time" while exploring some serious issues in the background. So we get not only a loving portrait of the world in which our modern mythological heroes came of age, but one that successfully blends things like the Klan and war atrocities with all of the wonder and beauty of silver age heroes.
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...more
Caleb
It is hard to evaluate vol 1 with out thinking about vol 2 as well, so I am not going to even try. It is also amazing to think that this first vol is only three issues and the whole series is only 6 issues. That is a hearty six issues.

OK let's start with the art. It is great, I have heard some people say they wish Darwyn Cooke did all comics. It's hard to argue with that, his art is amazing, it is perfectly stylized.

The story starts slow and it takes a little while to really get going, but the p...more
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...more
Trekscribbler
Picking up where the first volume of "DC: THE NEW FRONTIER" left off -- notably, in 1959 -- Darwyn Cooke continues to spin his epic yarn surrounding the founding of the Justice League against the nostalgic and political backdrop of the late 1950's and early 1960's -- a period in America largely noted for ... well ... an awful lot of stuff that even today still troubles and confuses most people, certainly many Americans. Issues of racial equality, political indifference to broken governments, spa...more
Mza
Apr 30, 2011 Mza rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mza by: Frank Santoro
... indulges Silver Age nostalgia ... packed with visual and verbal shout-outs to comix I have not read but am aware of through cultural immersion. Darwyn Cooke's homages aren't Quentin Tarantinoesque game-playing -- The New Frontier occurs during Eisenhower's second term -- Silver Age iconography and style offer us instant psychic time travel. Kirbyesque squared-off fingers for men and tapered long-nailed ones for women bespeak a simpler and less cynical time for heroes and for American social...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Laura
I have not read a lot of comic books. I don't follow the lives of superheroes. I don't know everything about the DC universe. I like Wonder Woman. She's the only superhero I was ever interested in, but I certainly didn't spend my allowance on Wonder Woman comics every week as a child. As a woman/feminist I have some issues with comic books, mostly the physical portrayal of women. This series, however, is pretty darned cool. I am a big history nerd and this New Frontier is a retelling of the live...more
Jordan
I have no good excuse for waiting this long to read this, but the animated movie coming out finally gave me the motivation.

In general, I'm not much of a DC fan. Sure, I love the classic characters but apart from a few notable exceptions, they never seem to appear in the kind of stories that affect me or use their bigger-than-life statures as a benefit. Usually the stories feel small, the threats too minuscule for the god-like Justice League. Not "The New Frontier."

The way Cooke weaves American h...more
Jonathan Briggs
"I confess that my education regarding prehistoric times was lacking, but even I could see this was a place of great magic," sez John Cloud of The Losers in the first chapter of Darwyn Cooke's reimagining of DC's Silver Age. That pretty well sums up my feelings about the book. I was born at the very tail end of that period in comix development, so many of the characters are strangers to me, but I had a blast nonetheless. Cooke combines the wide-eyed, optimistic wonder of a child discovering comi...more
Inês Silveira
I've watched the New Frontier film before I read this, so I knew what was coming. But I really enjoyed the film, so I had to get the graphic novels.
Which were pretty good!
As I was reading it, Fallout 3 popped into my mind quite a lot: all those 50's styles and designs. Awesome.
The storyline is a bit confusing to start with, especially if you don't know the characters: all the stories are interlinked so it feels a little overwhelming, and the characters look very similar to each other, but it ge...more
Nic
I was never a big fan of the Justice League but I was always a fan of DC's ability to raise up their classic characters into amazing stories. The genius of graphic novels like "Killing Joke", "Red Son" and "Arkham Asylum" I decided to take a leap of faith into Darwyn Cooke's silver age origin of the Justice League.

I was instantly drawn in by Cooke's distinctive art style, (I am forever a fan now). What got me next was how Cooke used the time period as a way to give depth to the characters that t...more
The other John
New Frontier was a six-issue miniseries set in the "Silver Age" of DC Comics, from the mid 1950s through the 1960s. The stories from that era were the first I had ever read, and the superheroes I enjoyed had, for the most part, been defined in that era. New Frontier is not a return to that era of storytelling, but rather an attempt to fuse the Silver Age spirit with modern, more adult storytelling. I have a love-hate relationship with modern comics. There have been some great stories out there,...more
Sarah S
Too many characters, and too many similar looking white dudes. Still, it was definitely enjoyable if you're willing to work for it. Probably better if you don't have to Google characters. I really liked Wonder Woman and J'onn J'onzz (think I messed that up somehow, but ow is that name silly).
Brandon
New Frontier tells the story of the transition from the Golden Age of the DC Universe to the Silver Age while also representing the political upheaval the United States experienced in the aftermath of World War II through the Cold War. Cooke's art is a mix of old Charles Fleischer cartoons and Bruce Timm's DC Animated Universe, which is a nice throwback to the era the story depicts. Meanwhile, the story is nostalgia fueled while also attempting to create a cohesive timeline between the two disti...more
Eliran
I remember watching the animated film for this some years ago and really liking it then. I was pretty excited finding the comic the movie was based off of.
All in all, it's a homage to the 50s-- the art-style definitely takes a nod to Silver-Age comics. The plot overall takes relevant things from the time period(McCarthyism, Cold War/Nuclear War and Civil Rights) in the backdrop of the DC Universe.
The issue with that is that it comes off... Clunky. There are too many characters to keep on follo...more
Francesca
I really want to like this comic, but it was very boring to read, and I assume the second volume is better but I probably won't read it. I am probably going to get crap for saying this, but this was the only time I thought the movie was better than the comic.
Ubalstecha
Imagine a world where superheroes have been outlawed, with the exception of those who are willing to reveal their identities and work for the government? Those that haven't are considered outlaws and need to be captured.

This is the world of New Frontier. We have the classic DC Silver Age heroes, before most of them were heroes, learning to control their powers and to act to help the ones they loved.

Heavily influenced by the Watchmen (but what isn't in modern superhero comics), the beauty of thi...more
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Darwyn Cooke (b. 1962, Toronto, Canada) is an Eisner Award winning comic book writer, artist, cartoonist and animator, best known for his work on the comic books Catwoman, DC: The New Frontier and Will Eisner's The Spirit.

In 1985, Cooke published his first comic book work as a professional artist in a short story in New Talent Showcase #19, but economic pressure made him leave the career and he wo...more
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