Hey folks, Valkor here. I have to say there are days I truly love being part of all things that is TOV, especially when you make friends who’ve got the ins on some really juicy tidbits. Next month Warner/ DC is gonna drop on us a new Justice League film. Not the live action, but a new animated film based on Darwyn Cooke’s graphic series entitled “Justice League: The New Frontier”. So you can take a guess what slipped under the Val-cave's door. I’ve never read the comic, but after today I’ll be sure to pick it up. And you’ll be sure to get this flick.
New Frontier is a story about a creature known as “The Center”. This being of immense proportions hates all humans. And with good reason too, we’re just finishing up the Korean War, racism is in full force, and hell humans are so bad, we even hate the heroes who are trying to protect us. Thus the Center wants us all wiped out. Enter the Justice League. Ok they aren't the JLA yet, but the pieces are starting to form. Martian Manhunter arrives on earth and is learning our ways, Hal Jordan has yet to get his ring and is a test pilot for a secret government organization, who’s goal is to get to Mars, Batman is still stalking the night and also is on the trail of what “The Center” is all about, Superman is doing his thing, the Flash is playing the hero but then the government wants him for testing, so he quits, and Wonder Woman is off partying with Chinese women, who’ve killed off some rebels.
But they all come together for one goal, the preservation of human life. No matter how bad we are, things can change and if we work together we can make it happen. Thus our heroes form up to rid the earth of the Center and work towards a new beginning; a beginning where Humans and Heroes can coexist for a greater good. And speaking of “good”.
This is golden age JLA and they have the look that matches the comic to a T (Which in turn matches that of the golden age era). You gotta love classic Supes, Bats, and Wonder Woman, especially Batman, from his costume to his Batmobile, he’s got the golden age look locked! As far as the story goes, it works! You can’t have a JLA story unless it’s a big story. And while I don’t wholeheartedly agree with the enemy chosen, it still works to bring them all together. And within the big story you get a bunch of smaller tales. I love the Hal Jordan/ Green Lantern origin story and any bits involving Martian Manhunter, especially when he’s spending his days watching TV; he starts taking on the form of the characters on screen (even the form of a certain wascally wabbit) until he finds one that works. And you get some great cameos too such as Robin, Aquaman, and Green Arrow. The animation is just above what we’ve seen from the TV show and that works too. Everything looks like a classic comic come to life, from the lighter shades of colors and even the backdrop. The music is forgettable, but definitely helps to move the story along. The pacing was better than I had expected as I’d have thought things would be rushed, but JLA: NF moved at an even pace; not too fast, yet not too slow; Spot on, just right. Finally the voice work, while it takes some getting used to, works perfectly! I mean if you’re going with a classic look, get some peeps that can complete the package. And what a line up; Lucy Lawless, David Boreanz, and Neil Patrick Harris just to name a few, all play their characters flawlessly.
It’s not a perfect film, I mean the whole thing with this “Center” creature, well I’m just not feeling it as a threat and in the end it came across as a reminder of ID4 (You’ll know what I mean when you catch the final battle scene). Another baddy is that Supes doesn’t do much in helping with the final battle. What the hell? Again I never read the comic, so I don’t know if this scene actually happened, but Supes gets taken out before the big fight begins, only to reappear at the end with Aquaman in tow. I guess if Supes did fight, that would have made the final battle too easy? Finally, this isn’t too much of a complaint, but the JLA never officially come together at the end. Nothing was ever really agreed upon, but it does show that eventually the JLA would form, with the JLA flag flying at the end.
Nothing ugly here.
I have to give HUGE props to DC for allowing the New Frontier comic to be adapted into a film. And I hope it does well enough that more adaptations will follow. JLA: The New Frontier is packed with a tons of action, rounded out with a great story, and filled with enough heroes that the geek in you will burst with glee. The film will be released on Feb 26th, 2008 and I highly suggest grabbing a copy on DVD or Blu Ray when it hits the shelves, especially if you’re a fan of the comic. Overall I’m giving Justice League: The New Frontier 4 stars and it’s been Valkor tested, TOV approved.