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DC: The New Frontier, Volume 2 [Library Binding]

Darwyn Cooke


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Book Description

May 2005 1417688297 978-1417688296
Written by Darwyn Cooke Art and cover by Cooke Darwyn Cooke's epic chronicle of DC's Silver Age concludes in this volume collecting issues #4-6 of the miniseries! It's a mystery in space as Superman, the Suicide Squad, and the Challengers of the Unknown encounter a frightening extraterrestrial lifeform! This volume also features sketchbook material by Cooke!
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Library Binding
  • Publisher: San Val (May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1417688297
  • ISBN-13: 978-1417688296
  • Product Dimensions: 25.7 x 16.8 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The versions of the classic DC Comics heroes that baby boomers grew up reading were developed during comics' "Silver Age," from 1956 through the 1960s; after that time, superhero comics aimed at older, more jaded readers turned "grim and gritty." Writer/artist Cooke attempts to recapture the Silver Age's heroic and optimistic ideals within the more sophisticated vision of contemporary comics. His strategy is to portray DC's 1950s heroes in the context of postwar American culture. Hence, Cooke links the virtual disappearance of superheroes early in that decade to McCarthy-era witch-hunts and connects the Klan's murder of an African-American superhero to detective John Jones's fears of being exposed as an illegal alien—from Mars. Later, he successfully parallels the formation of the Justice League with President Kennedy's "New Frontier," both embodying a new idealism to cope with a dangerous world. The simple, handsome, expressive figures recall not only the work of animator Bruce Timm, but also art by such comics masters as Jack Kirby and Alex Toth. Implying in his afterword that "New Frontier" is an allegory of post-9/11 America, Cooke has stirringly laid out a promising new path for the superhero genre. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–A '50s-style comic with modern-day sensibilities. A group of astronauts, most of whom know each other from World War II or Korea, make tentative steps into outer space. In a secondary story line, a black man takes revenge on the KKK, which killed his family, but then is himself murdered. As the scientists explore, a huge alien army waits in orbit to invade Earth. One alien falls to Earth and watches TV reports, trying to grasp American culture. Soon enough, humans and aliens collide, and the Justice League is there to save everything. The social-commentary subplots, of late-'50s civil rights and of Cold War paranoia, are the most powerful elements here. However, too often the most interesting story line is left undeveloped: Green Lantern, lost in the desert for four years, the black man avenging his family, war veterans visiting the graves of their comrades–all these threads are overshadowed by yammering astronauts and their love triangles. Buy this one only if the first volume is popular.–John Leighton, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silver Age Heroes Written Intelligently Feb. 16 2006
By Scott William Foley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Note: This review refers to DC: The New Frontier Volumes I and II.

If you are a DC fan-I mean a hard core, DC or bust fan-you will love, and I mean LOVE DC: The New Frontier Volumes I and II.

I remember seeing the first issue of this series when it came out in single-issue format and thinking that it seemed a bit remedial. Overly simplistic. I made this deduction based off of looking at the art alone, not by reading any of it. However, I later discovered this book had been receiving critical acclaim from many established publications such as the New York Times, so I had to give the trade paperbacks a shot. I'm glad I did.

You see, the art is supposed to look a bit unpretentious because the story is set during the Silver Age of comics. For you non-comic book people, that means it takes place basically in the late fifties, early sixties. The Silver Age was when old characters from the thirties and forties received major revamps, such as the Flash, the Atom, and Green Lantern. It also introduced new characters such Adam Strange. DC: The New Frontier takes this Silver Age era and delivers a story with modern day sensibilities. For instance, Superman and Wonder Woman are trying to clean up Korea while maintaining some sort of autonomy from the US Government for whom they work. The space program is in full swing with Hal Jordan desperately wanting to be a part of it so he can reach the stars. A horrifying Batman realizes he may need to lighten up a bit after a disheartening experience with a child. J'onn J'onzz is unexpectedly transported to Earth and must acclimate or perish. We get traditional appearances from Hour Man, Aquaman, and Green Arrow. We see the Challengers of the Unknown, the Sea Devils, the Suicide Squad, and other favorites from the sixties, as well as re-imagined characters like Steel.

You see, in the comics, originally, all these things were spread out over decades, but now, the author and illustrator, Darwyn Cooke, has blended them all together into one cohesive plot line that culminates with all the heroes joining forces in a very non-traditional manner against a foe that could destroy the world.

This collection honestly feels like if heroes were real, this is how they would act with each other and how our government would react to them. DC: The New Frontier is a captivating read and I urge you to give it a try immediately. It will quickly become one of your favorites.

~Scott William Foley, author of Souls Triumphant
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia of the Golden and Silver Ages set to real life events Aug. 5 2006
By H. Bala - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the second volume of the DC: The New Frontier TPB and contains issues #4 - 6. It continues Darwyn Cooke's ambitious project to bring back a sense of wonder to DC superheroes and bridge together the DC Golden Age of Comics with the Silver Age and beyond into one comprehensive and cohesive continuity. The first volume covered the years 1945 to 1958, beginning with the final mission of the Losers, detailing the break-up of the JSA and Superman and Wonder Woman's secret roles in the Cold War, and culminating with the advent of the Silver Age heroes.

Volume 2 continues the superheroes' interactions with real life events and covers the gaps between 1958 and the formation of the Justice League in the '60s. Set in the background of an America rife with escalating racial tensions, post-McCarthy era paranoia, the Space Race with the Russians, and JFK's optimistic Camelot, the Flash, the Martian Manhunter, King Faraday, the Challengers of the Unknown and test pilot Hal Jordan (who, in this volume, finally becomes Green Lantern), among others, strive to find meaning and true purpose in their calling. In time, an overwhelmingly menacing force called the Centre threatens to wipe out humanity and forces these fractured individual heroes to come together to save the world.

I have to hand it to Darwyn Cooke. This really is a daunting task but he manages to do yeoman's work in 6 limited-series issues. He seamlessly integrates real life issues such as racial inequality, bigotry, and national distrust. A telling point is Cooke's portrayal of newcomer (to Earth) J'onn J'onnz, who rightfully harbors a fear of man's hostile reaction should his true nature surface. There are numerous protagonists involved and yet each hero gets fair representation in his own vignette. By the end, the reader gets a real good sense of each protagonist's personality, internal sensibility and personal story arc. Hal Jordan, in particular, seems to embody the bold, can-do spirit of America as was characterized in the immediate post-WW2 era. Yes, because of the large cast, the story at times feels scattershot as Cooke jumps from one hero to another. However, no worries, it all ties together nicely.

Darwyn Cooke uses his past experience as a storyboard artist for Batman Beyond to maximum effect in New Frontier. He deliberately channels the classic, deceptively simple, "more innocent" styles of Dick Sprang and Steve Ditko - with just a touch of Keith Giffen and animator Bruce Timm. His artwork here purposely invokes memories of a simpler, less ambiguous time for superheroes. Back in the '30s, '40s and '50s, Mystery Men (and Women) were clearly on the side of good and villains were clear cut ne'er-do-wells. No lines were blurred or crossed. Darwyn's old school renderings drives that point nostalgically home. Cooke artistically conveys the little moments, the seminal scenes, and the grandiose sequences, all rendered with easy, stylish conviction. Those big splash pages are truly BEAUTIFUL to behold. It must be mentioned that Dave Stewart's colors ideally complements Darwyn's illustrations.

Nowadays, a lot of people choose to look back at the '50s as America's true Golden Age, a time when we as a nation truly were righteous, and flourishing, and on top of the world. Cooke reminds us that there's a bit of revisionist history being played out here, that not every American actually took part and enjoyed the benefits of an era that was supposedly one of our best. Darwyn Cooke elevates the New Frontier to a somewhat "important" work.

For those who enjoyed DC: The New Frontier, Volumes 1 and 2, I recommend the Golden Age mini-series by James Robinson and Paul Smith, which also covers the timeline between the Golden and Silver Ages, though focusing more on the JSA. And always worth looking into is Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross's Marvels, a depiction of 35 years of Marvel superheroes as seen thru the eyes and camera lenses of a newspaper photographer. Ross's lush paintings alone are worth the price of the book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Super Hero Action Than Vol. 1, Entertaining But Not Darwyn's Best Work Jan. 29 2007
By Bryan E. Leed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
DC: THE NEW FRONTIER, VOL. 2 has more action and adventure than VOL. 1. If you liked VOL. 1, then this will be slightly better.

VOL. 1 seemed to be all about moody foreshadowing, (the superheroes might return...the world before/without superheroes), but it was so moody and low on action that I thought that was the whole point of THE NEW FRONTIER, just to maintain the anticipation of The Silver Age of comics heroes, but not really to show it.

So I was surprised that VOL. 2 shows the precursor of The Silver Age of comics heroes. The first half of this VOL. 2 keeps up the moody anticipation, just like VOL. 1, but the second half (finally) turns into a typical, save-the-world, superhero free-for-all.

I like Darwyn Cooke, and I realize that this collection of THE NEW FRONTIER was his largest, most epic, most ambitious and far-reaching project yet. Yet, I think he does better with smaller stories and situations. I thought the moody atmosphere and non-superheroics would be sustained throughout THE NEW FRONTIER, so I was suprised with the last half of VOL. 2, when it got so large in scale, jumping almost too suddenly! Also, I think some of the artwork is not as refined and detailed as some of Darwyn's previous works. Maybe this is due to taking on such a huge project, and not having the time to fine tune the pencils as much, due to time and schedule constraints?

I think SELINA'S BIG SCORE is Darwyn Cooke's best trade paperback, and his redo of the Catwoman series, especially in CATWOMAN, VOL. 1, shows his most indelible mark on comics, in her coolest outfit ever! Darwyn Cooke's cute drawing style works a whole lot better when the situation is more localized, as in Catwoman, than when it tries to encompass too much, like an entire world conflict, as in THE NEW FRONTIER.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb artwork & drawing Aug. 1 2006
By Antonius Gunadi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
These are my first encounter with Mr Cooke's work. I found the artwork and the drawing style are very unique. I do not find this style of drawing in any other comic books I've read. I like the style, it is superb and it is a feast for my eyes to see this high quality drawing. The colorist also did a great work with the color selection and application on the drawing.

Reading this comic just like wathcing a movie as the drawing is so dynamic.

However I found the story telling sytle is not as enjoyable as the drawing. Mr Cooke's tells the story in fast pace and jumping here and there very quickly. I found it is hard to understand the whole story. This is the main flaw in my opinion.

I will still recommend these series for collection on the ground of the great and superb artwork. You won't find this kind of artwork easily.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, great, great April 13 2006
By G. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The second part of Darwyn Cooke's look at the DC universe in the 1960's. Not to be missed.

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