Justice League: The New Frontier appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. No issues emerged across this appealing transfer.
Sharpness excelled. The movie always came across as tight and well-defined, so don’t expect any signs of softness. Jaggies and moiré effects also remained absent, and the image lacked edge haloes or artifacts. In addition, print flaws were a non-factor and didn’t appear at any point.
In terms of colors, Frontier went with a fairly orange and teal palette. The tones looked solid within those parameters. Blacks were deep and tight, while shadows showed nice clarity. Across the board, the image worked well.
I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Frontier opened up the comic book material well. The forward channels brought out the majority of the material, but the entire package added a lot to the movie. Music presented strong stereo imaging, while effects cropped up in logical spots and blended well.
The surrounds also contributed good information. For the most part, these reinforced the forward channels, but they also contributed a fair amount of unique material.
These instances mainly occurred during bigger action scenes, but they spread out in quieter scenes as well and even featured some directional dialogue. The back speakers brought out a nice sense of space and environment.
Audio quality always satisfied. Speech was warm and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music sounded lively and full, while effects displayed good definition. Those elements seemed accurate and dynamic. All of this led to a positive presentation that deserved a “B+”.
This “Commemorative Edition” Blu-ray includes two commentaries, the first of which involves writer Darwyn Cooke. He provides a running, screen-specific look at his source graphic novel and its adaptation as well as other story/character areas.
While Cooke occasionally offers good notes, he often does little more than praise the project. He lets us know how much he likes the film and tells us about how great everyone was. We still get a moderate amount of info, but the track disappoints.
For the second commentary, we hear from director David Bullock, executive producer Bruce Timm, supervising producer Mike Goguen, voice director Andrea Romano, screenwriter Stan Berkowitz and DC Comics SVP Creative Affairs Gregory Noveck. All six sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of the source and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, visual design and animation, music and connected domains.
Though superior to Cooke’s chat, this commentary remains lackluster. Like the prior track, this one focuses too much on praise and doesn’t give us a ton of insights. It’s not a bad piece but it’s another letdown.
Four featurettes follow. Retro Action Cool runs 20 minutes, 38 seconds and offers notes from DC Comics co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, DC Comics editor/art director Darwyn Cooke’s friend Michael Stradford, Mark Chiarello, DC Entertainment Animation Creative Director Mike Carlin,
Since the original release of New Frontier, Darwyn Cooke passed away, so “Cool” acts as a memorial toward him and his career. This leads to a lot of praise but not in a maudlin manner, so “Cool” offers good insights into Cooke’s life and work.
During the 41-minute, seven-second Super Heroes United, we hear from Timm, Cooke, DiDio, Berkowitz, Noveck, Carlin, comic book historians Alan Kistler and Michael Uslan, DC Comics president/publisher Paul Levitz, writers Rich Fogel, Joe Kelly, Michael Friedrich, Jim Krueger and Marv Wolfman, writers/former DC editors Dennis O’Neil, Mark Waid and Len Wein, former DC editor Roy Thomas, Marvel writer/editor Stan Lee, writer/artist Jimmy Palmiotti, and Once and Future Myths author Phil Cousineau.
They discuss the first superhero teams and the origins/evolution of the Justice League as well as the JLA’s depiction in New Frontier. With more than 40 minutes at its disposal, “United” manages a pretty strong view of the Justice League and turns into a winning program.
The Legion of Doom lasts 34 minutes and features Waid, Carlin, Stan Lee, Timm, Wolfman, O’Neil, Cousineau, Thomas, Friedrich, Krueger, DiDio, Kelly, Noveck, Cooke, Bullock, Levitz, Wein, Palmiotti, and Fogel. As expected, this show examines various JLA villains, with a logical emphasis on baddies who acted as part of the Legion. This becomes another informative piece.
Finally, Comic Book Commentary goes for 10 minutes, 16 seconds and brings us comments from Cooke. It shows images from the New Frontier comic as Cooke discusses aspects of it. Some of this seems redundant after his feature commentary, but Cooke still brings us a good overview.
We also get a sneak peek at Batman: Gotham By Gaslight. It goes for eight minutes, 30 seconds and features Timm, Carlin and writer James Krieg.
They tell us about the source comic and aspects of the film’s story and character areas. It’s a promo piece but it’s an effective one.
The disc opens with ads for Wonder Woman (2009) and Batman and Harley Quinn. Trailers adds promos for Injustice 2, Wonder Woman (2017) and Justice League (2017).
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Frontier. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
With an intriguing story and a good cast, Justice League: The New Frontier offers reasonable entertainment. Unfortunately, it doesn’t achieve all its goals because it’s far too short for its ambitions. The Blu-ray brings us excellent picture as well as solid audio and a wide array of supplements. Frontier becomes an enjoyable but incomplete experience.