As the second in a new line of animated features based on DC Comics characters, “Justice League: The New Frontier” is impressive, proving that just because it’s not live-action doesn’t mean it’s not exciting and doesn’t mean it’s just for kids.
The PG-13 film adapts Darwyn Cooke’s acclaimed graphic novel of the same name, itself a cinematic affair in which a Cold War-era America already jittery over the prospect of a nuclear winter finds itself quite cold toward all these superheroes flying around. But an alien menace that brings together a slew of do-gooders “ including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern “ to protect and serve eventually changes the nation’s mind-set.
Since it can’t quite capture the book’s epic scope in 75 minutes, the smartest thing “New Frontier” could do would be to capture Cooke’s character design “ one that leans toward angular, retro-style features. The film does so, with bright, bold colors reflective of the original pages, and with a pop-art opening-credits sequence culling from the series’ original covers.
The animation is smooth, and the extras are plentiful, with a documentary of the Justice League’s history, three bonus “Justice League” episodes, a look at the upcoming “Batman: Gotham Knight” anime and much more.