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

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  7,413 ratings  ·  118 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

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anne
3.5 stars

description

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
...more
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
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
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.
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
...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Callie Rose Tyler
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!
Gavin
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.
Michael
Darwin Cooke was a cartoon artist for various DC cartoons(batman beyond, justice league,etc). Who knew he was a gifted writer.
Keith Davis
What I liked about DC: The New Frontier, Vol. 1
1. Seeing the characters restored to a 1960's context. DC has rebooted their comic book universe about once a decade in order to keep pushing the characters up the timeline and maintain them in their late twenties, early thirties. It is refreshing to see these characters back in the context in which they were created.
2. Darwyn Cooke's art. Cooke's style combines the best of Alex Toth and Bruce Timm. High praise.
3. The focus on the Challengers of the
...more
Amanda
I like the art..
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
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
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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
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