Justice League: The New Frontier Blu-ray Commemorative Edition

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New Frontier Commemorative Edition

There were several comics titles out there that showcased the unique retro style of Darwyn Cooke, but JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER was definitely his crowning achievement. His signature look was tailor-made for the late-50s, early-60s era of comics, and worked perfectly for his graphic novel. The DC Animated Universe has had some misses in its history, but adapting the graphic novel to the animated movie, while absolutely nailing Cooke's style, was a Grade-A bonafide hit!

The setting for JL:TNF is just after the disbanding of the Justice Society due to McCarthy era paranoia over masked men. The government simply did not trust them, and not without good reason. The only ones left operating openly are Superman (KYLE MCLACHLAN) and Wonder Woman (LUCY LAWLESS), while Batman (JEREMY SISTO) is more of an outcast than ever.

But new heroes are coming forward. There's the optimistic young fellow, The Flash (NEIL PATRICK HARRIS) who battles crime in Central City, and J'onn J'onzz (MIGUEL FERRER) who has been brought to Earth by an accident and longs to return to his home on Mars. But the origin story that stretches across this entire story is that of Hal Jordan (DAVID BOREANAZ), a Korean War veteran, pilot and pacifist who takes a job testing aircraft for Carol Ferris (BROOKE SHIELDS), leading up to a planned mission to Mars and his ultimate transformation into Green Lantern.

The heroes -- super and civilian -- are all brought together by a mysterious power calling itself The Center. It's out to eradicate the virus known as humanity. It's been haunting the dreams of those who are psychically vulnerable, sending out it's message. And when it finally attacks, it's as big as an island -- in fact, it's what The Losers discovered and called Dinosaur Island. Only now it flies, and is impervious to everything people have been able to throw at it--including Superman! They're only hope lies in these new heroes -- and a new technology invented by Ray Palmer.

With Cooke, the artwork went beyond the neat lines and future-fifties look. It was the little things -- the way that clothes wrinkled so they looked less like tights, or how Wonder Woman is portrayed as taller than Superman because, hey, she's an Amazon right?

If you passed up on this one when it came out on DVD, then this commemorative Blu-ray edition is something you should seek out aggressively. The bonus features include a documentary on Darwyn Cooke's life before delving into the histories of the Justice League and Super Villains. The Blu-ray also includes audio commentary on the main feature, and a sneak peek at DC's next animated feature, BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0