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

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,120 Ratings  ·  150 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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Community Reviews

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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
Mar 10, 2014 Sesana rated it liked it
Shelves: superhumans, comics
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
Sep 03, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it liked it
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
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
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.
Apr 15, 2012 Hayden rated it really liked it
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
Jul 18, 2011 Nicholas rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 09, 2014 JB rated it really liked it
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
Feb 23, 2009 Adam rated it it was ok
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
Sean Kennedy
Apr 16, 2013 Sean Kennedy rated it really liked it
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
Stewart Tame
Aug 27, 2015 Stewart Tame rated it really liked it
I love the concept behind this: the beginnings of the Silver Age merged with real world events of the time period (late 50's/early 60's). Darwyn Cooke does a stellar job on a story that builds slowly, but promises great things. The art style seems perfect, a clean line retro take on these classic characters. I have to wonder how much of this is canon, and how much was invented for this book, because it all flows together so seamlessly. If you have any love for Silver Age DC--and you should, as t ...more
Aaron King
Apr 22, 2014 Aaron King rated it really liked it
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
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,
Mar 30, 2008 Andrew rated it really liked it
Shelves: yes-i-m-a-geek
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
Aug 12, 2007 Michael rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 28, 2013 Keith Jones rated it really liked it
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
Jul 01, 2012 Joseph rated it it was amazing
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.

Alanna King
Oct 16, 2013 Alanna King rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
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
Nessie McInness
Nov 21, 2013 Nessie McInness rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, dc-comics
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
The other John
Mar 12, 2008 The other John rated it liked it
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
Apr 02, 2013 Brandon rated it really liked it
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
Apr 25, 2014 Caleb rated it it was amazing
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
Danny Allen
Jun 06, 2016 Danny Allen rated it liked it
I'm a big fan of Darwyn Cooke's Parker series, but not too familiar with his super hero stuff. I was sad to hear he died of cancer recently and I decided to check out the rest of his work.

The most important thing for me in a graphic novel is the artwork. The artwork in Final Frontier vol 1 is great. His clean, retro style fits beautifully in this story of Silver Age super heroes. Although Darwyn doesn't seem to know how to draw characters from a top down perspective, and I'm starting to realize
Alex Ham
Jan 26, 2016 Alex Ham rated it really liked it
Shelves: dc
*Note: this is a general review for the entire series, Volumes 1 and 2.

Darwyn Cooke's magnum opus about the history of the DC Universe. Mixing real-life events with the Age of Superheroes, Cooke tells the story of DC's characters transitioning from the Golden Age of comics to the Silver Age. Don't know what any of that means? Doesn't matter. You don't have to be a comic history enthusiast to enjoy this story. It's just a great story about the dawning of a new age of heroes. And the art work alon
Apr 28, 2015 Nick rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
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 ...more
Nov 17, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
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.
Jenny Lynn
Jul 21, 2015 Jenny Lynn rated it liked it
an enjoyable take on DC superheroes during the 40s-50s. I liked the art, how it reminded me of some of the cartoons I used to watch as a kid, and the stories were fairly enjoyable though at times I did have trouble keeping characters straight (but that's probably more on my end since I'm only really familiar with the more well-known DC characters and not some of the others--it took me a minute to figure out John Jones (he was Martian Manhunter, right?) and I didn't really recognize Rick Flagg un ...more
Callie Rose Tyler
Jul 31, 2014 Callie Rose Tyler rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, dc
Love the 3 panels to a page. I'm a huge fan of Marvel Civil Wars and always wanted a DC take, since I always imagined that Batman would side with the Captain America approach and not register (my husband disagreed hahaha I was right!)

I liked that it skipped around to different characters. I loved the historical aspect! Will absolutely read the next one!
May 03, 2015 Elijah rated it really liked it
I can see why this was such a well-loved miniseries for the art style and the social commentary, but this first half felt very disconnected. I'm still interested in reading the second half, but there were so many characters and origins happening that I had trouble remembering which characters I'd seen before and what had happened to them.
Jan 01, 2013 Gavin rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
The whole retro feel of this book appealed to me, as did the way in which nearly the entire DC Universe was tied together, yet in such realistic ways that it seemed totally obvious. I loved the way Cooke got Batman set up, as the outsider and the relationship he's setting up for him and John Jones. Very much looking forward to Volume 2.
Dec 12, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing
Darwin Cooke was a cartoon artist for various DC cartoons(batman beyond, justice league,etc). Who knew he was a gifted writer.
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Darwyn Cooke was 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 worked in Canada as a magazi
More about Darwyn Cooke...

Other Books in the Series

DC: The New Frontier (2 books)
  • DC: The New Frontier, Vol. 2

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