Darwyn Cooke, who first pitched DC: The New Frontier in 1999, never realized that his ambitious comic project would ever become quite so big. He certainly didn't expect it to be transformed into Warner Bros. newest animated feature, Justice League: The New Frontier, due to be released on DVD this month. Talking to Comic Book Resources, Cooke talked about the evolution of the project from a miniseries released by DC Comics, to a Eisner and Harvey award winning trade paperback, and finally into the animated feature.
"I guess every now and then you get something right. So this is the time I got something right," Cooke said of the project. "It's funny, because it has sort of invisibly added up to an incredible amount of time," said Cooke. "But geez, you know, I am just so happy for it. That people have embraced it the way they have is great. But nothing is better than when I go to one of the shows and meet the people, who have actually read it and they are telling me why it meant something to them. That is such a big part of it for me.
"And if I end up being 60 and that's how it is," continued the 45-year-old Cook, "I am sitting at the convention and guys want to talk to me about that book, I think I am going to be happy."
Cooke says that he was involved with the development of Justice League: The New Frontier right from the beginning. "It started out when script development began. I was involved in the process of reviewing the drafts of the script. And from that point, once they had a script that the Warner Bros. studio was happy with, there were still several things that I thought enhanced or brought into it," Cooke says. "I did a polish re-write at the end of the script process which I think just sharpened a lot of the character arcs. In some cases, such as characters like Lois Lane, I completely wrote her into the film because she wasn't in the finished screenplay they had come up with. From that point, I worked pretty closely, mostly with the director, David Bullock, and once the script was ready and they started assembly a crew, I got involved in the design, so geez, I designed all the major characters. Glenn Wong and Jason Bone and a couple of other young guys definitely chipped in but the main characters in the film, I definitely took care of. That was heck of a lot because it's quite a cast."
Cooke says that he was also involved heavily in the storyboarding for the film, along with the color and consulting art direction. "I worked really closely with the director. He and I basically kept in contact on a daily basis throughout that part of the production, to go over the story and adding a lot of thing back into the film that the script couldn't accommodate."
So, how does Cooke feel about the adaptation of his work? "I can't think, well, since maybe Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, this is the best thing I have seen in this category. And it's maybe even better than that, if I may say so? It really came out well."
CLICK HERE to read the entire interview with Darwyn Cooke, where he also talks about comic book continuations of DC: The New Frontier and his work on The Spirit.