What I liked about DC: The New Frontier, Vol. 1
1. Seeing the characters restored to a 1960's context. DC has rebooted their comic book universe about once a decade in order to keep pushing the characters up the timeline and maintain them in their late twenties, early thirties. It is refreshing to see these characters back in the context in which they were created.
2. Darwyn Cooke's art. Cooke's style combines the best of Alex Toth and Bruce Timm. High praise.
3. The focus on the Challengers of the Unknown. I've always liked the idea of this team but DC has not been able to put out a sustainable series with them. I would love to see someone like Warren Ellis take a crack at the Challengers.
4. Wonder Woman is a physical powerhouse. Wonder Woman is usually drawn with the slender build of a fashion model. Cooke draws her with a build to match her strength.
5. Superman is a jerk. I love that Cooke draws Superman a little bit on the short side and writes him as an unquestioning operative of the U.S. government.
What I didn't like.
1. Lois Lane is a jerk. Lois has been lots of things over the years, from a heroic journalist to a manipulative husband hunter, but showing her as a McCarthyite accusing the old JSA heroes of being pinkos is oddly out of character.
2. Racial revisionism. America is the mid-twentieth century was a racist place. The fact that all the "silver age" comics characters were white is a reflection of casual racism. Cooke has several characters make racist comments that accurately reflect attitudes of the time. He also attempts to insert a black hero into the milieu in the form of a character based on the John Henry folktale, who fights Klansmen and lynch mobs in the South. This is a commendable idea, but at least in volume one the John Henry sections have no connection to the larger story and seem tacked on for the sake of diversity.
3. That is not Captain Cold. There is a scene in which Flash fights Captain Cold in Las Vegas. The character is clearly Mr. Freeze but because he is fighting Flash he is called Captain Cold. It would not have been that hard to make the character more consistent with Captain Cold.