Absolute DC: The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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 originally went down, The New Frontier links characters from DC's war comics, their supernatural comics, and their super hero comics.
I knew this was going to be something different when the first few pages had The Losers fighting dinosaurs. The story is pretty much a love letter to the DC comics of the late 1950s. In addition to old favorites like the Justice League, some without their powers for most of the book, Darwyn Cooke dug up King Faraday, Slam Bradley, the Challengers of the Unknown, Adam Strange, and many others.
Rick Flag and Task Force X, aka The Suicide Squad, played a prominent part in safeguarding America once the Justice League went into retirement. I loved seeing a pre-Green Lantern Hal Jordan paling around with Rick Flagg and Ace Morgan. The early days of J'Onn J'Onnz, aka the Martian Manhunter, were really cool as well.
I thought it was great that Darwyn Cooke didn't focus on the icons like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, instead giving a lot of time to Hal Jordan and the Challengers of the Unknown. The Flash and Green Arrow could have had more to do but Cooke only had so much room to tell his tale.
While the story was great, I loved the art. Cooke's retro style did a good job of evoking the 1950s period it was depicting. It was Silver Age with a modern touch and quite something to behold. I'll definitely be tracking down more of his work.
I could gush about this book all day. Instead of talking about Kingdom Come with reverence, this is the DC book people should be holding on a pedestal. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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