Graphic Novel/Comics Review

DC: The New Frontier vol.2

(2005) Darwyn Cooke, Titan Books, 12.99, trdpbk, 200pp, ISBN 1-84576-064-6

This is the concluding volume, collecting issues 4-6 of the original mini-series, of Cooke's take on what happened between the 'Golden Age' (40's/50's) and the 'Silver Age' (60's) of superheroes, featuring Dave Stewart's lovely colouring. The retro/space-age/art deco artwork continues to work its magic as Cooke takes us from 1958 Central City (the Flash's stomping ground) to, more-or-less, the formation of the Justice League of America. The period covers the advent of the Silver Age heroes, including the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and the arrival of Adam Strange (briefly institionalised as a madman). The majority of the book is given over to a fight against an alien lifeform, known as The Centre, which takes the combined talents of all the heroes, including the Suicide Squad, the Challengers of the Unknown and the Blackhawks, as well as the 'heavy hitters' Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Spotting all the guest-stars from various other vintage tales is part of the fun, of course, though a lot will pass the younger readers by. Where the book succeeds, more than in any other area, is in the successful evocation of what must have been the sheer excitement of the beginning of the Silver Age, and it has been described as "a love letter to the Justice League". Together the two volumes of The New Frontier are a welcome addition to any bookshelf. Highly recommended

Tony Chester

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