Darwyn Cooke’s magnum opus over at DC, titled The New Frontier, was an ode to the comics of the '30s and '40s, and also detailed the birth of the Silver Age of comics in the '60s. Revolving around a group of heroes that would eventually comprise the Justice League, Cooke pitted the DC icons against a living island that sought to destroy the Earth.

The island was really just a plot device; the story was actually about how heroes like the Green Lantern, Flash, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman joined forces and how they overcame their personality clashes to put peace and justice ahead of personal beef. New Frontier relies heavily on nostalgia, but Cooke also makes it easy for rookie comic book readers to pick up and enjoy. Along the way, there are super powered brawls galore and a whole lot of brightly colored action, but New Frontier never lets the eye-candy undermine the intricate plot or fleshed out characterizations of the DC Universe.

New Frontier is a lot more fun than your average comic, but it also provides a level of sophistication in both the writing and art that few books can honestly live up to. It’s unfortunate that most writers and artists believe that grim and gritty stories are they way to go, because what Cooke did with the light tone of New Frontier is head and shoulders above almost anything that the industry has to offer.