Live the intense tale of the founding of the greatest band of superheroes ever – Justice League: New Frontier. In this origin epic, a virtual who’s who of superheroes featuring not only Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, but also Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Flash, these very different heroes must overcome their fear and suspicion of one another to forge an alliance against a creature so formidable that it will take all of their powers combined to prevail! Inspired by the best-selling graphic novel and produced by the multiple Emmy®-winning animation legend Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series). [DC Comics]
The Justice League has been adapted many times in animation. But the first full-length animated film starring the team was 2008’s Justice League: The New Frontier, the second installment of DC’s line of original movies. An adaptation of the DC: The New Frontier comic, the film reimagines the origin of the League in the 1950s/1960, bringing together its Golden Age and Silver Age heroes. The Earth is being threatened by an entity known as the Centre, which seeks to wipe out mankind from the planet. Fortunately, our heroes are here to save the day.
What makes The New Frontier stand out from other animated Justice League titles is its time period. Its throwback to the Golden and Silver Ages is a lot of old-fashioned fun, and the story takes the time to celebrate the presence of superheroes in our world. It’s a little cheesy at times, but overall, it works very well. This is also enhanced by its animation style, which is very similar to the original comic’s artwork.
The New Frontier is also elevated by its voice cast and interesting characters. Jeremy Sisto is perfect as Batman, perfectly setting the darker tone to the character. (On a sidenote, his first appearance is one of my favorite Batman fight scenes in any medium.) David Boreanaz is great as Hal Jordan, who undergoes his origin as Green Lantern in one of the film’s most layered character arcs. Then we have Miguel Ferrer as John Jones/Martian Manhunter, who might just be the best character in the film. Everyone else – Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman, Neil Patrick Harris as Flash, and so forth – is great as well.
New Frontier succeeds in many other areas, such as the score, plot twists, and tone. It envisions a hopeful view of the DC Universe and embraces its roots. The 75 minute runtime does limit the story a little bit, as it would’ve been nice to see more screentime development for some characters (such as Wonder Woman). But, the film does the best it can with the time it does have.
Overall, The New Frontier is a solid addition to DC’s animated gallery and a worthy adaptation of the Justice League. It serves as a nice throwback to the universe’s history, while still pushing the story forward and embracing the future. The characters are great, the political backdrops are intriguing, and it’s just a lot of fun. Definitely recommended to DC fans in general.
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