• Featurette – “Retro Action Cool: The Story of Darwyn Cooke” – A revealing look into the life and times of one of comics’ most brilliant figures, the late Darwyn Cooke.
• Featurette – “Super Heroes United! The Complete Justice League History” – A comprehensive look at nearly a half-century of Justice League chronology from the inception in the comics to vivid animated renditions in the late 2000s. The story is told with a myriad of interviews tracing the early days of DC Super Hero team ups during the Golden Age to the Silver Age rendition where the established heroes emerged and beyond. Interviews include such notables as Dan DiDio, Michael Uslan, Paul Levitz, Mark Waid, Denny O'Neil, Stan Lee and Marv Wolfman.
• Featurette – “The Legion of Doom: The Pathology of the DC Super Villain” – This 10-minute piece examines the early mythological archetypes of nemesis characters from a historical perspective and reveals how the tenants of this rich history were adapted and woven into the Justice League stories.
• Featurette – “Comic Book Commentary: Homage to the New Frontier” – This mini-documentary is a nod to the fans of the New Frontier comics, further expanding the themes contained in the source material and how these elements were truncated or evolved for inclusion in the film. It features vivid imagery culled from the pages of DC: The New Frontier, mixed with the commentary of Darwyn Cooke. This featurette is a treat for both fans and scholars of the medium.
• Sneak Peak: Gotham by Gaslight – A behind-the-scenes look at the next DC Universe Original Movie, inspired by the 1989 Elseworlds tale of Batman – at the turn of the 20th century – as first created as a graphic novel by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola, with inks by P. Craig Russell.
• Audio Commentary I/The Filmmakers – Featuring Justice League: The New Frontier filmmakers Bruce Timm, Michael Goguen, David Bullock, Stan Berkowitz, Andrea Romano and Gregory Noveck.
• Audio Commentary II/Darwyn Cooke – Featuring award-winning writer/artist Darwyn Cooke
Synopsis: Inspired by the best-selling graphic novel by Darwyn
Cooke and produced by the multiple Emmy® award winning animation legend,
Bruce Timm, The New Frontier is the epic tale of the founding of the
Justice League. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are all here of
course, and so are Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Flash - whose
incredible origins will be told for the very first time. Strangers at
first, these very different heroes must overcome fear and suspicion to
forge an alliance against a monster so formidable, even the mighty
Superman can not stop it. If they fail, our entire planet will be
“cleansed” of humanity.
Review by James Harvey:
As with the Wonder Woman - Commemorative Edition Blu-ray release earlier this year to tie into the debut of the big-screen Wonder Woman blockbuster movie, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is doing it again for the big-budget Justice League theatrical release with the new Justice League: The New Frontier - Commemorative Edition home video title. A fantastic animated movie that pays homage to the amazing world of DC Comics as envisioned by Darwyn Cooke, Justice League: The New Frontier is one of the best titles from the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line. But ... is this new Commemorative Edition a worthwhile double-dip?
It's worth noting Justice League: The New Frontier - Commemorative Edition is available in both regular Blu-ray packaging with a cardboard slipcase and a great looking Steelbook edition. The Steelbook edition will run customers a few more dollars than the regularly-priced edition.
Reviews for the original home video release of Justice League: The New Frontier, along with the feature itself, can be found by clicking here and here. Also, all the content from the original Justice League: The New Frontier home video release was not ported over, so click the review link to see the difference between that release and this one. Essentially, a couple of Justice League Unlimited episodes and a preview for Batman: Gotham Knight were not ported to the new Commemorative Edition.
Breaking down the presentation first, the audio and video look solid across the board, with no major issues. The video is crisp and clear, colors were deep and full, with no softness or any noticeable colorbanding or artifacting to be found. In terms of audio, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack is solid. The track is center focused, but the other speakers do get used, particularly to create atmosphere in certain moments, and to really sell the epic battle at the film's conclusion. Quiet scenes were also nicely balanced opposite the more intense action beats, meaning that viewers shouldn't need to adjust their volume for the film's duration to either hear the lower moments or turn down the bombastic ones.
Turning to the bonus content featured, there's a single new extra included and a fair amount of content from the original Justice League: The New Frontier release ported over. The new featurette "Retro Action Cool: The Story of Darwyn Cooke," which runs just over 20 minutes, gives us a look at Cooke's life and his major his impact was in comics and animation. Noted creators from DC Comics and DC Entertainment, along with some friends, speak about Cooke's ability and nature, offering insight into his world. For fans of the cartoonist, it's an enjoyable celebration of his work.
The remaining new content on this release include a selection of trailers, including trailers for the Wonder Woman and Justice League theatrical features, among a few others, and a preview of the forthcoming Batman: Gotham by Gaslight.
The content ported over from the original Justice League: The New Frontier includes the "Super Heroes United! The Complete Justice League History, featurette, a "The Legion of Doom: The Pathology of the DC Super Villain" featurette, the "Comic Book Commentary: Homage to the New Frontier" mini-documentary, an audio commentary with filmmakers Bruce Timm, Michael Goguen, David Bullock, Stan Berkowitz, Andrea Romano and Gregory Noveck and an audio commentary with Darwyn Cooke.
The forty minutes-long “Super Heroes United: The Complete Justice League History” documentary, where a host of creators give their thoughts on the history of the Justice League. The documentary mixes clips from Justice League: The New Frontier, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and Super Friends with comic book shots, artwork, and talking heads interviews. The doc starts with the birth of Superman and works its way to (almost) present day and everything in-between. Barely any stone is left unturned as just about every era of the League is covered, and I mean everything. The other documentary on this release is the “The Legion of Doom: The Pathology of the Super Villain” documentary, which runs roughly a half-hour in length and takes a look, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, at the. It’s not as in-depth as documentary on the previous disc, but fans, particularly those of Justice League Unlimited will enjoy the additional background information on the bad guys. Lastly, there's a short ten minute featurette, called “Homage To The New Frontier,” where Darwyn Cooke provides some more commentary on both DC: The New Frontier and the Justice League: The New Frontier film. It's a nice companion piece to his commentary.
This release also includes a DVD and Digital HD copy of the film and bonus content.
Overall, Justice League: The New Frontier is a great animated feature, even with some of its shortcomings, and is well worth owning on home video. However, for those who already own this movie, is it worth the double-dip? Personally, the new steelbook, which features some gorgeous Darwyn Cooke artwork, and new featurette is worth it for the right price. It's a great looking collectible and the extra Darwyn Cooke-focused content is welcome. However, for those who already own Justice League: The New Frontier, this is likely something they can easily skip. Although, if you're looking to upgrade, this is a fine way to do it. Justice League: The New Frontier - Commemorative Edition comes Recommended, though with reservations. Customers may want to compare this release to the original to see if the upgrade it worthwhile.