DC Comics
DC: The New Frontier #2
By Leroy Douresseaux
April 6, 2004 - 10:10

DC Comics
Writer(s): Darwyn Cooke
Colourist(s): Dave Stewart
64 pages, color, $6.95

Darwyn Cooke's DC: THE NEW FRONTIER apparently takes place in the DC Universe's timeline at the dawn of the Silver Age heroes. Although favorites like Batman and The Flash appear, this doesn't feel like the standard DC comic. Part noir and part ensemble drama, it owes as much to Robert Altman as it does Gardner Fox or Julius Schwartz.

Darwyn's script is a breezy and light affair of sharp dialogue and nicely composed scenes, including one of a "confrontation" between Wonder Woman and Superman that is worth the price of admission. Cooke slightly tweaks familiar characters or brings forth some conceptual part of them that is no longer in use. Rather than compare it to something else, I'll describe New Frontier like this. If a smart screenwriter who could draw like Milton Caniff worked for DC in the late 50's, this is the comic he might have done.

Cooke's art is "cartoony," but that is the style that really works for comic strips and comic books, allowing for a more concise expressiveness in character faces, bodies, and movement. In style and execution this is like a David Mazzuchelli or Jaime Hernandez comic. That alone makes it stand out.


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