I read a lot of comics — a lot
of comics. But somehow, a few years back, I managed to miss Darwyn Cooke’s graphic novel Justice League: The New Frontier
. Shame on me, because the direct-to-DVD animated feature based on that novel, released this past week, is fan-friggin-tastic, and now I’ve gotta go back and read the darn thing. If it’s anywhere near as great as this 75-minute movie, and I’m sure it is, I’ll be in heaven.
New Frontier is about the formation of the Justice League of America, a sort of prequel to the original Silver Age comic book series. Set in the paranoid 1950s, the look of the film is spot-on. Superman looks like he just stepped out of an old Fleisher cartoon. We actually see Batman make his costume switch from the scary 1930s big-eared version to the softer ’50s nubby-eared look (and the reason for the change is even explained for the first time). And Wonder Woman, well, shit, she looks like the Amazon she was back during WWII. Cool.
A lot is shoved into this movie. We see the Martian Manhunter’s origin, and we witness Hal Jordan (yeah, that’s right, Hal Jordon) become Green Lantern for the very first time. The Flash — the Barry Allen Flash — is a major player. And in non-speaking cameos, Green Arrow, Adam Strange, the Blackhawks, and even a couple of Jack Kirby’s original Challengers of the Unknown show up. It’s geek paradise, friends.
The Justice League: The New Frontier DVD comes in a few different versions: single-disc, double-disc, and Blu-ray. I bought the 2-disc set, with two full feature-length commentaries (one by Cooke, one with the movie’s creators), a handful of features, extra cartoons, and a 45-minute documentary about the history of the JLA. All for less than twenty bucks. A bargain.
This thing is highly recommended. I’ve watched it three times since Tuesday. I’ll watch it again before the weekend’s over.
Labels: comics, dvd, movies