Welcome, everybody, to my read through DC Comic’s next Justice League Event for 2020, Endless Winter. Today I’m taking a look at Justice League: Endless Winter #1, the kick-off issue. I’m going to take a look at each issue, including tie-ins, and assessing the extent of this Nordic nightmare! I’m adding each review to the master Endless Winter Reading Order and assessing which issues are essential and what tie-ins you can leave out if you like. You can also check out the primer we published a couple weeks back to get familiar with the landscape before diving in!
Releasing today to kick off the whole event, Justice League: Endless Winter #1 starts out with a blockbuster tone! I’ve got to say that I’ve always been a Ron Marz fan, so I was going into this with optimism and Endless Winter #1 didn’t disappoint. It was a fun read!
You can still grab a copy over at TFAW as of the time of this writing.
Check out the full solicit and then my review below. Beware, dear reader, spoilers abound ahead!
JUSTICE LEAGUE: ENDLESS WINTER #1
written by ANDY LANNING and RON MARZ
art by HOWARD PORTER
backup story art by MARCO SANTUCCI
cover by MIKEL JANÍN
card stock variant cover by DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON
ON SALE 12/1/20
$4.99 US | 40 PAGES | 1 OF 2 | FC | DC
CARD STOCK COVER $5.99
“Endless Winter” chapter one! The crossover event of the season begins here! The Justice League encounters an extinction-level global storm brewing at the former site of the Fortress of Solitude. Enter the Frost King, a monster mad with power with an army at his command! What devastating mystery lies in his past? And how does he tied to Queen Hippolyta, Swamp Thing, Viking Prince, and their reluctant ally, Black Adam? Two timelines will reveal further clues and secrets throughout each chapter of this blockbuster tale!
One more time: Beware, dear reader, spoilers abound ahead!
We start off with the Justice League taking out some trash C-List villains, Icicle, Catman, Multiplex, and Rampage, on Mathali Island. The League
assembles…ahem…shows up one at a time and each hero gets their splashy logo-heralded entrance. This showdown takes place through the lense of Barry Allen, The Flash’s conversational tone with each of the league members. He’s wondering about work-life balance. How to save the day and have time for his family. This narrative device helps us set the status quo with each of our heroes. Those who are checking into the current DC Universe for the first time in a long time will get up to speed with where our heroes’ lives are currently. It also helps to show that this type of day-saving is just their day job and not on the level of some sort of catastrophic event. That’s to come.
Perhaps most importantly, Barry checks in with Superman as they’re on their way home across the Atlantic. Here we get clued in about Jon being off world. There is some great foreshadowing going on here, like Superman’s “Ice? Really?” comment. There are great single-panel showcases of each Justice members’ powers, like Green Lantern’s bulldozer, Aquaman’s giant squid, etc. The whole episode has a very fun, familiar, classic Justice League street-level vibe.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Stagg (Sebastian Stagg’s first appearance is in Terrifics #28 (2018)) is mining the crater that once was Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. (To check out what happened to Superman’s Fortress, you’ll need to check out Bendis’ Man of Steel (2019)). Once Sebastian has what he wants, he inevitably leaves the mining workers to operate the giant rig in the middle of a storm on an unstable glacier. With an imminent collapse, we have the impetus for Justice League intervention!
Of course, Stagg has awoken something ancient and powerful! It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of what is going on at DC right now. Dark Nights Death Metal is a convoluted meta mess of mash-ups and multiverses that not only lost my interest, but found it again and then beat my interest mercilessly to a pulp until I thought I may never wish to read another comic again. So, it’s refreshing to see the Justice League, together again, conversational and not needing to solve a multiverse-wide catastrophe that threatens not only existence, but existences that don’t even exist yet. This is (so far) a straight forward, planet-level face off with an ice giant, with a rich super-genius thrown into the mix. There are also implications with ancient (we’re talking 10,000 years back) superheroes who once took on this giant before. I’m a sucker for ancient origins and beginnings so this is right up my alley.
Yes, the art is stylistically bright and that may be a turn off for some depending on what their preference is, but after a year where everything in DC seemed to me to be murky, dark, evil, grim, and edgy, this is just a refreshing piece of comic fun. And isn’t that what it’s all about? There’s ample time for this event to fly off the rails, but the first entry is strong and I had a ton of fun reading it!