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Absolute DC: The New Frontier

(DC: The New Frontier #1-2)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  5,205 ratings  ·  271 reviews
Writer/illustrator Darwyn Cooke's critically acclaimed masterpiece DC: The New Frontier is celebrated in this oversized Absolute edition featuring new story pages, detailed annotations, alternate sequences and an extensive gallery of sketches, pinups, action figure art and much more!
In the 1950s, Cold War paranoia outlawed the Mystery Men of the Golden Age. Stalwarts s
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published October 4th 2006 by DC Comics
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Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,205 ratings  ·  271 reviews

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Sean Gibson
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Look, I’m a nigh-40-year-old man who reads superhero comics. (How nigh, you ask? T-minus 7 months and counting, so please get your grim reaper cakes and hilarious “over the hill” cards (with a picture of a hill) ready now.) I also have a shirt that says “Dungeon Master” that I proudly wear (even if my wife refuses to be seen in public with me when I do). So, I get that I’m particularly awesome, and that my opinion on a book like this has to be taken with a fanboy grain of salt.

But, I’ve been rea
Dan Schwent
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, 2016-comics
An alien menace threatens the earth in the late 1950's and it'll take every hero humanity has to stop it.

Confession time: While I'd heard of The New Frontier, I didn't pick it up until after Darwyn Cooke's death. Now that I've read it, I wish I'd picked it up sooner.

The New Frontier is the story of the transition of the DC universe from the Justice Society era through the 1950s to the formation of the Justice League. Pretty much every DC character from pre-1960 is in it. Unlike how things origin
Matthew Quann
DC: The New Frontier was a comic that has long been on my to-read list, but for some reason always slipped out of my stack when I came around to the counter at the comic shop. The lads at the counter were surprised I hadn't read it, and with good reason. The late Darwin Cooke's miniseries is lauded as a modern retelling of the Gold to Silver Age transition that is filled to the brim with nostalgic punch. For a comic junkie like myself, it finally seemed like it was time to take the series down w ...more
Jim Ef
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I expected something a bit different. Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t care much about what I was reading. At least 60% of this is about Hal Jordan and some other characters ( like Colonel Flag ) that I don’t know and after this I don’t care to know. The biggest problem was that after I got to the middle, I forced myself to go through the entire thing. I simply got tired and didn’t care whatsoever about what is going to happen.

Not everything is bad though, there are some nice moments and the art
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“If we’re talking about mainstream comics, I think there have been a lot of real tactical errors made in this century. I can’t really read superhero comics anymore because they’re not about superheroes. They’ve become so dark and violent and sexualized. I think it’s a real wrong turn. I don’t know how a company like Warner Bros. or Disney is able to rationalize characters raping and murdering and taking drugs and swearing and carrying on the way they do, and those same characters are on sheet se ...more
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this a few years ago, but it was digitally on my iPad. I was happy to see a new printing of the series in the deluxe format. It reads so much better in print. When I read it on my iPad, parts of it seemed to drag a little, but in print it flows much better. I think it's cause at times it can be a little dense with everything that's going on. But it is a good book that has a great take on the 50s/60s era. There's also some cool back matter, but this might have appeared in earlier editions ...more
For some reason, I have *never* heard anyone talk about this epic graphic novel-style DC story by Darwyn Cooke (who died two years ago this week). Not on any lists, referenced as inspiration, nothing. I randomly found the adapted feature length animated version of it in my library's catalog while searching for DC Lego DVDs. I checked it out on a whim and was blown away by the quality. I would put it up there with Batman: Under the Hood in my Top DCAU movies list. Finding the book itself proved t ...more
Lukas Sumper
Oct 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Only 3 stars u might ask? I love it for the beautiful artstyle and the intention which bordered on being nationalistic, but impressed me with huge ambition and effort.

Where it falls apart is the writing style. It got it right with the pacing / layout but it just grinded to a near halt with all the exposition in description boxes or unnecessary recaps that not only took away my enjoyment from the art and also had me scratching my head multiple times. It all came down to one rule that was ignored
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dc-comics
The New Frontier presents a refreshing and modern take on the superhero origin story. Darwyn Cooke foregoes the obvious route of updating the old stories by having them take place in the contemporary. The superheroes live in the World War Two and Cold War era, around the same time of the Golden Age of comics and when superheroes started appearing in comics. When thinking of modern interpretations, it has the connotations of somehow becoming darker, grittier (the lasting influence of Alan Moore). ...more
Shane Perry
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had originally read this a few years ago as well as watching the animated film, but this new hardcover collection was too good to pass up. Darwyn Cooke does an excellent job of pulling everything from the various nooks and crannies of DC's Silver Age into an origin story that perfectly captures both the period and the superheroes involved. But the real star of this collection is Cooke's art. This just may be my favorite art for any comic I have ever read. The supplemental material in this delu ...more
Rocco Versaci
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Cooke is one of my favorite comic book artists; he's got a gorgeous retro style that perfectly captures the time period depicted in this book--the 1940s & 1950s. The story covers the "changing of the guard" as heroes of the JSA made way for those of the JLA. In this sweeping adventure, however, we see them all pull together to stop a force that threatens to destroy the world (well, what else would they join forces for?). Cooke's writing is every bit as sharp as his line. ...more
Jon Nakapalau
By grounding the DC heroes in a particular time and place (1945-1960) we are able to look at the problems such heroes would have to deal with had they influenced America during this critical 15 year period.
Jared Gillins
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, sci-fi, fantasy
The next time DC tries to decide what new direction to head in, they should remember how awesome New Frontier was and ask Darwyn Cooke for some advice.
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

Some stories need to be told despite being outside the canonical events set forth within a fictional universe. These stories have the liberty to explore ideas and themes outside those restricted by the ongoing story arcs. At DC Comics, it is a beloved, if not sometimes dreaded, practice to have writers and artists work on what-if stories for fans to quietly indulge away from any judgemental glare from comic book purists. While there’s no denying
Bruno Carriço
Perhaps i don't know enough about Golden and Silver Age characters to really care about this... most of the time i felt lost trying to understand who was who. Really like Cooke's drawings but some characters (to me) looked almost the same.
Non related but related, was this the book that inspired Batman Vs Superman? Seems that some of the plot lines are similar, and it looks like Justice League new movie will also borrow from this.
Nicolas Bateman
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Cooke's masterpiece is, simply put, one of the best comics I have ever read... A transcendent study of 1950's America and the relevance of its heroes. ...more
Matt Smith
The first time I read DC: The New Frontier, Vol. 1 and DC: The New Frontier, Vol. 2 I was in college and it was because everyone I was listening to at the time said that it was world-changing, one of the best comics ever written, certainly the best contemporary DC story. And I read it. I thought it was really pretty, but it didn't do what I wanted or expected it to do. I thought it was overhyped. I shelved it for basically ever, never recommended it to anyone (I would always point them to Identi ...more
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is an amazing book! It is a nice chunky hardcover filled with some of the best comic art I've ever seen. The basic idea of the story is that World War II has ended, and with the exception of Superman and Wonder Woman, who work with the government, and Batman, who works undercover, the golden age heroes are forced to retire. Unfortunately, new forces of evil are gathering which will require a new age of heroes to begin. This is the story of the rise of the silver age. This book does a good j ...more
Mar 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
3.5 stars

This was a reread and I actually read the two TPBs together.

This was better the second time for me, the first read being a few years after this originally came out. I can see now the ambition of it: merging multiple characters that have never crossed before, fitting all of them into the early sixties fraught with the red scare. The story marks the time when superheroes existed but there was a backlash until a threat bigger than everyone appears, leading everyone to work together to comb
Doctor Alpha
May 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
You've read Watchmen, you've read this. Never I suspected that Golden and Silver Age had anything to do with Watchmen at all, but Whatever. I'm tired to death of Wanna-be Watchmen copies written all over again and again and again and again and again from people who clearly have no original ideas other than boringly retelling the same, exact book (one which, if you see my review of it, I LOATHE with passion as much as his master-of-hacks writer) with just a bit of cosmetic differences to get the ...more
Wes Benchoff
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bit slow at first, picks up steam in the second half, some truly beautiful illustrations
Wing Kee
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A tour de force is world building.

I'm too young to remember the Golden Age and Silver Age of comics. When I started reading DC it was already in the Modern Age and I was already bogged down by the weight of 60+ years of canon. I know the history, I know how DC wanted to reinvent their Golden Age heroes for another generation, a reboot as it were, a freeing of their heroes from the constraints of canon. Well here is the accepted retcon of how the Silver Age came to be!

World: Darwyn Cooke's art is
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Comic book stories of this size that run for as long as this one did (I believe it was a full year) have a tendency to either be juggling too many balls to be completely coherent or they just loose steam about halfway through. Neither is the case here, and the careful weaving of many disparate elements into one glorious final product is simply astounding.

Set primarily in the 1960s, this tells the story of golden age heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman dealing with the turmoil and paranoia of t
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I could have read this book faster. I read the last 100 pages in a sitting. But I chose not to. I would read 10-20 pages at a time, let it sit a few days, before returning again. The art was so stunning that I wanted to linger on every panel, get lost in every cover.

I love the scope of this book, covering years and years, popping in on various characters for a few pages, we see the Martian Manhunter as a cop in Gotham City, we see Green Lantern returning from Korea with his pacifism barely in ta
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the definitive story of the DC universe. It’s a simple enough story, centered around a threat that brings all the heroes together (with a heavier focus on the origins of Green Lantern and the Martian Manhunter). Cooke masterfully balances a giant cast around that central premise. Despite pulling in nearly every major player of DC’s 40s, 50s, and 60s, nothing ever feels forced. The brilliance really lies in how fresh and original he makes it all feel.

Cooke’s clean lines and retro style a
Richard Guion
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I re-read the original issues which I bought when they were first published. This mini-series was an awesome tribute to the late 50s era of Dc Comics heroes. Cooke's artwork & storytelling is fantastic, but what takes this to another level is tying together the dawn of the Silver Age heroes with the US emerging from the shadows of McCarthyism. He also kept the timeline of the heroes intact - Batman, Superman, & Wonder Woman were around since WW2 - while the Flash / Green Lantern were redesigned ...more
Oct 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
DC created the Absolute line, slipcased, oversized hardback editions chock full of extras for their more recent "classics". Of the comics published over the last couple of years, perhaps no work is more worthy of this treatment than Darwyn Cooke's DC: The New Frontier. Not only does the collection reprint the entire fabulous mini-series in full color, it includes annotations from the author, original designs, storyboards, and much more. DC originally collected the series in two separate trade pa ...more
David J.
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Forget that Ryan Reynolds nonsense, this is Hal Jordan! Writer/artist Darwyn Cooke has made an epic retro tale that consists of many classic DC comics characters (Superman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman) as well as some great lesser-knowns, putting Jordan right at the heart! Well-paced and beautifully rendered, this Absolute edition is THE only way to experience this story.
Candace Perry
Absolutely cannot say enough good about it. Even more wonderful than the animated movie. It was an interesting and wonderful take on the characters while still maintaining their integrity of character.
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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

Other books in the series

DC: The New Frontier (2 books)
  • DC: The New Frontier, Volume 1
  • DC: The New Frontier, Volume 2

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