Justice League: The New Frontier
Composed by: Kevin Manthei
Distributed by: La-La Land Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on the DC Comics graphic novel by Darwyn Cook, Justice League: The New Frontier is an animated film that tells the tale of the founding of the Justice League. The movie features Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and The Flash, all strangers in the late 1950s/early 1960s who fight to overcome fear and suspicion in an effort to fight a formidable enemy threatening to destroy all humankind.
American composer Kevin Manthei was tapped to create the soundtrack of Justice League: The New Frontier. Manthei has been composing music for the film, television and gaming world for over 15 years; a career that spans over 130 half-hour animated television episodes, 50 game soundtracks, numerous animated features, independent films, well-known feature films and more. Game writing credits include works composed for Twisted Metal: Black, The Sims 2, Ultimate Spiderman and more. Compositions created for animated television episodes and movie features include Invader Zim, Xiaolin Showdown, Johnny Test, and Batman: Gotham Knight. Manthei has been no slouch in the feature film industry, composing music for the soundtracks of Resident Evil, Deep Impact, The Faculty, Scream 2 and 3, Dracula 2000 and more. Experience and credibility have earned Manthei the right to compose the soundtrack for this straight-to-DVD animated feature film.
The late ‘50s/early ‘60s timeline fairly dictated that the music composed for the film would be of a style devoid of electronica. Thus, a 100 piece orchestra was arranged, consisting of horns, piano, woodwinds, strings and percussion. Manthei elected to create specific themes for certain characters, such as Flash, J’onn J’onzz (Martian Manhunter) and Green Lantern while allowing other superheroes featured in the film to be supported by musical score specifically designed for the scene in which they appear. For example, before revealing himself to the world as a visiting Martian, J’onn Jonzz masquerades as a human detective. Thus, tracks for scenes featuring J’onn Jonzz have a bluesy feel accentuated by the saxophone, reflecting the detective themes found in many a film.
Listening to the soundtrack of Justice League: The New Frontier, one would not believe that this music was created for an animated film. Instead, the listener gets the feel that this soundtrack was composed for an incredible epic adventure. For one thing, the musical score is somewhat darker than one would expect from an animated film. For another, the incredible orchestral pieces are not something that one would expect to find in an animated film. Manthei’s composition for this film would be at home in any feature film, the music painting a picture of excitement, action and adventure. I often found myself playing fake conductor to the beautifully constructed musical pieces on this album.
The Justice League: The New Frontier Soundtrack is perfect as a movie accompaniment or a stand-alone album! So break out your imaginary conductor’s wand and pop this CD into your player! You’re guaranteed to love every minute of this soundtrack.