This series takes a new look at the dawn of the Space Age and the Silver Age of comics. The timeline combines aspects of the classic Earth-1 and Earth-2 worlds, as well as the timeline that emerged from Crisis on Infinite Earths. For example: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were all part of the first wave of super-heroes in the late 1930s and 1940s (as on Earth-2). The JSA was forced into retirement by HUAC during the red scare era (as in the post-Crisis timeline). And finally, the second wave of super-heroes began appearing in the mid-1950s, as in the “real-world” history of Earth-1.
Cold-War politics, a secret space program, and a doomsday cult tied to the return of a prehistoric menace drive the story. America has rejected its last generation of mystery men, and public adventurers like the Challengers of the Unknown and the government-sponsored Task Force X are taking their place. Anyone with a secret is suspect—even the new masked heroes beginning to appear.
The series focuses primarily on Green Lantern Hal Jordan and the Martian Manhunter (in his disguise as police detective John Jones). John Jones attempts to blend in with human society, and finds himself investigating a doomsday cult. Ultimately, the nation’s heroes must learn to work with each other in order to save the world from a threat older than the human race, forging the Justice League of America.
Jay Garrick is retired, and Barry Allen has recently begun protecting Central City from threats like Captain Cold and Gorilla Grodd. But in an era of paranoid conformity, the masked hero is considered by some to be no better than the criminals he fights. An attempt by government agents to capture him leads him to question what he fights for, and he retires...until a threat emerges that requires every hero the nation has.
As on Earth-1, Central City is located in Illinois. Oddly, through most of the series, Barry’s eyes are colored brown instead of blue.
The series has been adapted as a direct-to-video animated feature, retitled Justice League: The New Frontier. Barry Allen is voiced by Neil Patrick Harris, and Iris West by Vicki Lewis. It premiered at WonderCon, with the DVD/Blu-Ray release on February 26, 2008.
- DC: The New Frontier (2004), Darwyn Cooke
- Cover: DC: The New Frontier #2 (2004), Darwyn Cooke
- Flash: DC: The New Frontier #6 (2004), Darwyn Cooke
- Captain Cold: DC: The New Frontier #2 (2004), Darwyn Cooke
- Animated: Promotional stills from Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
- DC: The New Frontier #1–6 (2004), Darwyn Cooke
- Justice League: The New Frontier Special (2008), Darwyn Cooke
- Justice League: The New Frontier DVD (2008)
According to the “DC Nation” column and Countdown: Arena (2007), Earth-21 of the 52 Multiverse is similar to the world of DC: The New Frontier. Interestingly, Justice League: The New Frontier Special opens with time traveler Rip Hunter explaining that not only are the more than 52 universes, but it doesn’t matter which universe the stories take place in, as long as they’re fun.