The DC: The New Frontier movie is honestly pretty bad. Weak voice acting (Neil Patrick Harris is good; everyone else is mostly not), generic-looking animation that looks more like warmed-over third degree Dini/Timm models than the gorgeous Darwyn Cooke pencils from the comic, and a superhero-heavy storyline (which removes a lot of the charm of the book) all contribute to make what is easily one of the best comics of the last decade into Just Another Crappy Superhero Cartoon.
EDIT TO ADD: I remembered that a few days ago one of the comic news stories making the rounds was that DC was considering scrapping their animated DVD movie of the famous Teen Titans story, “The Judas Contract.” And how Teen Titans fans were trying to mobilize to get it made, and…
Seriously. If you’ve already read “The Judas Contract,” it’s not going to get any better as a cartoon; comics stories in particular are noteworthy for losing a lot of their storytelling power in cartoon form. Think for a second about how many episodes of the various DC cartoons are explicitly based on existing comic book stories. (For BTAS, as an example, I can think of one or two Joker episodes, and that’s about it.) Using themes and broad story arcs from the comics (“the Legion and the Fatal Five team up to destroy the Sun-Eater” or “Terra joins up with, then betrays the Teen Titans”) is fine, but pure adaptation?
It’s impossible to duplicate the effect “The Judas Contract” had on its readers at the time, because the cartoon can’t duplicate the months of reading New Teen Titans, watching Terra work within the team, and then one month when you weren’t even slightly expecting it OH SNAP SHE IS FUCKING DEATHSTROKE THE TERMINATOR, Y’ALL. The box copy on the back of the DVD will say something like “can the Teen Titans ever be prepared for betrayal… from within?” and the shock value of the story – which is in large part the reason it worked so well – just won’t exist, unless you seriously think new viewers are going to think “hey, maybe Robin or Kid Flash is the traitor.” (Hint: they will not.)
Here’s an idea: make direct-to-DVD movies with actual new stories. Wacky, I know, but I’ve watched Batman: Mask of the Phantasm multiple times, because it is actually a good movie, rather than cheap regurgitation of existing product transformed into fanboy porn designed to milk ever yet more money out of an existing fanbase.