In 2004, the late Darwyn Cooke, penned and drew a six-part comic book mini-series called, “DC: The New Frontier.” A different iteration of characters from DC Comics. This time it’s set in an alternate timeline labeled as an “Elseworlds” story. Elseworlds is a term revolving around high profile characters and the world of a specific franchise is set in an alternate timeline/universe. For example, Batman becomes a member of Green Lantern Corps instead of Hal Jordan in a mini-series titled, “Batman: In Darkest Knight.”
DC: The New Frontier is set in The 1950’s back when America was in a state of paranoia during The Cold War fearing that a potential World War III might’ve come into play. Thank god it never happened. Superheroes such as Superman, Wonder Woman & Batman exist in the decade. Hal Jordan served as a war veteran during “The Korean War.” Martian Manhunter/J’onn J’onzz adapts to his surroundings on Earth as his new home. The heroes band together to aid the U.S. Government to combat a hostile alien hivemind called, “The Centre.”
DC: The New Frontier earned warm reception from fans & critics alike. As a result of huge success, Bruce Timm, (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond) optioned the rights to adapt The New Frontier as an animated film to plant more seeds for direct-to-dvd entries after “Superman: Doomsday” catapulted DC’s animation department like oil coming out of the ground. This time it is renamed as “Justice League: The New Frontier” to encourage fans of Bruce Timm’s work to get off their butts and buy the DVD/Blu-Ray copies.
Justice: League: The New Frontier was released in 2008. (exact same year The Dark Knight came out) Like Superman: Doomsday, The New Frontier earned positive reviews from critics and fans alike.
Joaquin Phoenix’s iteration of The Joker is scheduled to come out on October. In response to the upcoming Joker film, I’d like to share my thoughts on what is good or bad about this animated film. Don’t forget to gear up for the upcoming “Watchmen” television series which will air on HBO this September! I almost forgot, DC & Veritgo’s film adaptation of “The Kitchen” starring Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish & Elizabeth Moss is out right now.
The following review does not contain any crucial SPOILERS. If you’ve never read The New Frontier mini-series or watched the animated film, feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Positive & Negative Elements
Positive: The Main Cast including David Boreanaz, Neil Patrick Harris, Jeremy Sisto, Kyle MacLachlan, Brooke Shields, Lucy Lawless & Keith David all did a fantastic job for their respective voiceover performances.
Bruce Timm served as an executive producer of the film.
The late Darwyn Cooke served as a producer. He helped Bruce Timm by giving him some pointers.
The Animation format retains The New Frontier’s unique style heavily based on “The Golden Of Comics” & “The Silver Age Of Comics,” reflecting old school drawings from both eras.
Action Sequences were pretty good to see our favorite heroes in battle.
The Pacing is fast for an animated film. It didn’t feel rushed.
Hal Jordan & J’onn J’onzz both have origin stories.
The film is set during The Cold War. I consider The New Frontier as an Elseworlds story similar to Watchmen set in an alternate timeline/universe.
A novel acts as a plot element.
This isn’t the first time Lucy Lawless portrayed a “warrior princess.” Would you care to explain “Xena: Warrior Princess.?” Perhaps an animated crossover with Hercules (has nothing to do with Disney or The Nutty Professor) about “The Battle For Mount Olympus?”
A character said, “Real men wear pants.” Perhaps an inside joke to superheroes wearing underwear on the outside.
An epic battle reminded me of “Independence Day.” One of my favorite movies of all time.
Superman performs a “sonic clap.” Bruce Banner also used his signature attack from “The Incredible Hulk.” Dont forget the video game “The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction.”
A “power walk” scene pays homage to “Armageddon.”
JFK’s speech about “New Frontier” is used in one montage sequence. His speech is obviously an inspiration for the titular comic book mini-series and movie.
Several characters (both heroes & villains) from the DC Universe have cameo appearances
Bugs Bunny (not making this up) makes a cameo appearance via shapeshifting.
Negative: To be honest with you fellas, I couldn’t spot any flaws in front of my own two eyes. I’m giving The Animators an Extra Point for making an animated film as flawless as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Justice League: The New Frontier is an underrated animated film listed as one of the best (if not the best) animated films based on DC Comics and of course an Elseworlds story. If you’re curious about Justice League: The New Frontier, go ahead and read all six issues or watch the film adaptation.