Inspired by the best-selling graphic novel by Darwyn Cooke and produced by the multiple Emmy® award winning animation legend, Bruce Timm, The New Frontier is the epic tale of the founding of the Justice League. Superman, B... more »atman and Wonder Woman are all here of course, and so are Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Flash - whose incredible origins will be told for the very first time. Strangers at first, these very different heroes must overcome fear and suspicion to forge an alliance against a monster so formidable, even the mighty Superman can not stop it. If they fail, our entire planet will be "cleansed" of humanity.« less
"I admit, I'm a child of the Silver Age of DC Comics! I grew up on Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, the Atom, Adam Strange...and especially the Justice League of America. So I admit, "Justice League - The New Frontier (Two-Disc Special Edition)" brought a lump to my throat...it was like being a kid, again!
Based on Darwyn Cooke's remarkable, nostalgic reworking of the birth of the Silver Age heroes during the transitional 1950s, the animated film homages the characters I grew up, loving (especially test pilot/Green Lantern Hal Jordan, the Martian Manhunter, and police scientist/Flash Barry Allen), in the context of the era, a decade of Communist paranoia, McCarthy witch hunts, the birth of the Space Age, and struggle for racial equality. One element Cooke 'lifted' from Frank Miller's "Dark Knight" epic, that of the government ordering superheroes to 'stand down', fits this saga exceptionally well, with Superman as the only 'approved' hero, Batman refusing to, thus becoming a wanted fugitive, and the 'Golden Age' heroes forced into retirement (I was disappointed not seeing more of the JSA, other than in the opening credits, but there are a LOT of characters that DO appear!)
Of course, a new, unstoppable, super-powered villain (the primeval, immortal 'Centre') picks this time to eradicate the human race, quickly knocking Superman out of the battle, and requiring the new generation of heroes, teamed with Batman and Wonder Woman, to save the world.
There are SO many touches I loved! A reworking of Hal Jordan's origin as Green Lantern; the romances of Supes and Lois Lane, Jordan and Carol Ferris, and Barry Allen and Iris West; heroes I hadn't seen in years (the Challengers of the Unknown and the Blackhawks), fighting along side Adam Strange, Green Arrow, Aquaman, and even a pre-Atom Ray Palmer; the superhero 'Air Force', with Wonder Woman's invisible airplane, and the Bat-plane and Arrow-plane. Admittedly, many characters don't get much screen time, but with a cast this large, it is understandable (it would be a problem of the ever-growing JLA of the comics, as well).
I have to mention the voice talent involved, as the casting was dead-on! David (TV's 'Angel') Boreanaz as Jordan, Neil Patrick Harris ('Doogie Howser') as Allen, Kyle ('Twin Peaks') MacLachlan as Superman; Lucy ('Xena') Lawless, a PERFECT Wonder Woman, Kyra ('The Closer') Sedgwick as Lois, Brooke Shields as Carol, Vicki Lewis as Iris...this is truly an all-star affair! Two voice performers deserve special recognition; Miguel Ferrer is exceptional as the Martian Manhunter, combining an alien aloofness with compassion; and Jeremy Sisto has, arguably, the BEST voice for Batman I've ever heard...he really IS the Dark Knight!
While I admit Darwyn Cooke's original story far outshines the film (original stories nearly always do), as someone who only sporadically looks at comics, these days, "Justice League" is a fabulous 'blast from the past'.
"First of all, I will say this about this production...They cram a lot of DC comic history in less than 80 minutes of cartoon. The question is "Is it worth it?" I dont know
Second, I will say this has a big name cast to fill the boots of these Characters. Kyle Maclachlan bring a different to Superman. Neil Patrick Harris (who did the MTV version of Spiderman) is the Flash. Lucy Lawless (Xena) proves she is a vocal amazon as Wonder Woman. David Borenaz (Buffy's favorite vamp Angel) lifts the chracter of Hal Jordan to new heights. Miguel Ferrer and Kyra Sedgwick are wasted in the roles of the Martian Manhunter and Lois Lane. Law and Order Jeremy Sisco put a new spin on Batman.
They also have vocal stunt casting of great audio talent who have a throw away line or three. People like Joe Mantegna, Phillip Morris and Brooke Shields are part of this large cast, but are wasted with a few throw away lines.
The story is faithful to Darwyn Cooke's two part graphic novel. He also does one of the two audio commentary tracks. It still seems too rushed. Bruce Timm could have taken a bigger risk and done this as a three hour cartoon project, but I will take what I have
The production is a higher standard then most cartoons made for video, but when you push the envelope like Superman Doomsday (aka the Death of Superman), you need is push the time and the story past 80 minutes.
There is a trailer , on this DVD, for the next made for DVD animated feature, Batman Gotham Knight...It looks good! Dont forget to watch this!
On the Whole, it is worth giving this animated feature an airing
Bennet Pomerantz Audioworld"
A more than solid take on Cooke's New Frontier
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 02/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The New Frontier, Darwyn Cooke's loving homage to DC's Silver Age, gets the animated treatment in this highly anticipated DC animated movie, Justice League: The New Frontier. Taking place in the early-mid 1950's, at the height of McCarthy-ism and America's fear of communism, an evil force called The Centre (voiced by Keith David) is coming from the underground to wipe out all of humanity. In the middle of all this is jaded pilot Hal Jordan (voiced by David Boreanaz), who will soon discover his destiny as the Green Lantern; then there is Barry Allen (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris), known as The Flash, who finds himself being hunted by the government; and then there is the Martian Manhunter J'onn J'onzz (voiced by Miguel Ferrer), the last of his kind who feels The Centre approaching. All of whom soon enough stand united with Superman (voiced by Kyle MacLachlan), Batman (voiced by Jeremy Sisto), and Wonder Woman (voiced by Lucy "Xena" Lawless, which seems like a no-brainer) with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. For fans of Cooke's original New Frontier series, you'll be pleased to know that this animated take retains much of Cooke's visual art style and atmosphere. What really hurts Justice League: The New Frontier is that cramming all of Cooke's smart and intelligent take on the Silver Age into one 75 minute feature is really noticable. The feature just feels overly rushed after the first 40 minutes or so, and never really lives up to the potential that gets set early on. Also, other heroes like Adam Strange and Green Arrow pop up out of nowhere, although Aquaman's appearance ends up being surprisingly enjoyable. That being said though, there is still much to admire here for older comic fans and fans of Cooke's work as well, and there is a horde of voice talent including John Heard, Joe Mantegna, Kyra Sedgwick, and Brooke Shields in supporting roles. All in all, while not perfect, Justice League: The New Frontier is a more than solid take on Cooke's work, and the surprisingly good special features on this two-disc edition (two commentaries including one by Cooke, an insightful documentary ranging from the Golden Age to today, a handful of Justice League TV episodes) really make The New Frontier worth picking up."
Justice League at It's Finest
Dakota W. Nicolucci | CA | 02/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is single handedly the best animated short movie in ages. It's gritty, holds no punches, lacks the weak dialogue that normally plagues the classic super heroes and has a clean style.
Keep in mind this is NOT for a younger audience. There is mild language, and a good amount of blood. This is meant for an older audience, and it benefits from it. Instead of wasting time overly explaining things it just jumps in and expects you to follow. It sucks you in and doesn't let you out.
It's so quick at getting you information, and so efficient that by the end you are amazed how much information you received in an hour and seventeen minutes.
The visual style is superb, looking like a modern cartoon with a lot of classic styles to them. Namely Superman who looks straight out of the original comics. This film is a great origins story for multiple characters and won't let any fan down.
Ontop of all of this you have a stellar voice cast all of who match perfectly to their characters. This is worth purchasing and watching for any Justice League fan, or any fan of the animated series, or super hero films in general."
DC Comics' most famous superteam in an exciting, stylish, co
Joseph P. Menta, Jr. | Philadelphia, PA USA | 02/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Generally excellent animated film about the formation of DC comics' premier superhero team, the Justice League of America. Two elements make this movie rather unique: 1) The origin of the League is actually an incidental element in a story that's really about paranoia, prejudice, and a country losing its way, and 2) the story is set in the 1950's. On that second point, the choice of timeframe isn't as strange as it sounds, because the initial Justice League comic book stories were set in that same period.
Here, however, subject matter such as McCarthyism and the other serious elements mentioned above are liberally included when they were nowhere to be found in the original comics. What's interesting is that everything combines fine: the more serious themes aren't at all at odds with the superhero action, which actually becomes more dramatic knowing that dark government mechanisms and motivations are possibly influencing our heroes' obstensibly heroic actions.
My single-disc version of "Justice League: The New Frontier" includes the 75-minute film; two commentary tracks; an excellent 41-minute documentary about the various comic book and television versions of the Justice League that have appeared over the years; and a generous preview of the upcoming direct-to-DVD animated "Batman" film now in the works. I understand that the two-disc version of this film includes an additional documentary about the artistic choices made in adapting the original "DC: The New Frontier" comic book mini-series (yes, the original work had a slightly different title) into the animated film; three episodes of the "Justice League" animated TV show (which is not set in the same 1950's time frame/continuity as the film); and one or two other small things. The one-disc version was generous enough for my tastes.
"Justice League: The New Frontier" is perhaps not blazingly original. Superhero stories have grown up over the years and story elements such as the government wanting to register and control all superheroes, superheroes having to deal with relevant social issues, etc. are things that are now seen fairly often in comics and movies. Still, seeing these elements employed with DC's usually upbeat and optimistic heroes, in a bright, stylish 1950's setting, no less, is very interesting. And the action, music, and voice characterizations are top notch, too.
If you're a fan of comic books or superhero stories, you'll enjoy this DVD. If you're a fan of both of those things, you'll really enjoy it."