09 March 2010

The Justice League In Darwyn Cooke's NEW FRONTIER (6/)6)

We finish up abbracadabbling's first DC Comics Art Series and our spotlight on Canadian illustrator Darwyn Cooke tonight with a two-fold look at his Justice League of America

Set in the years from 1945 - 1960, Cooke's concept is one of a kinder, gentler, and younger Justice League team- and of an America  - both now coming into their own yet far from thinking of themselves as either 'super' or as 'heroes.' Yet they'll have to: even as the Korean War comes to an abrupt end, unusual and seemingly unrelated events throughout the country begin suggesting a different kind of evil is rising. So begins Cooke's DC: The New Frontier, an original six-issue comic book series he wrote and illustrated and DC published in 2oo3.  New Frontier was such a fresh, unique perspective on DC's most prominent characters - Superman, Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, Flash, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, and Batman - that Warner Bros adapted it for a full-length animated feature, Justice League: The New Frontier in 2008.

Above, Cooke's rendering of the Justice League in pencils and inks only; below, the colored finished piece.  It's interesting to note how Cooke portrayed DC's heroes in his work: Green Lantern, New Frontier's focal character, is front and center, with Wonder Woman - larger in size than she's normally portrayed (to reflect her Amazonian roots) - standing at his side. Optimistic and youthful, the Flash looks to the future with an infectious spirit as Superman does the same, hovering protectively over the crowd. Even Batman, separated from the group as would be expected, looks ahead with contentment. In contrast, Cooke suggests his Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter, a character as alien and nearly as powerful  as Superman yet far more estranged, are the true outsiders of the newly-formed League.

Cooke's Justice League is a wonderfully hopeful starry night, and we'd love to have the original - hell, even a really sweet litho -  hanging over our bed right now. It's just that tranquil and safe.  | To see more of Darwyn Cooke's art and a look at his past, current, and future projects, fly over to our fellow blog site, Almost Darwyn Cooke, HERE.

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