Welcome back, everybody, to my read through DC Comic’s next Justice League Event for 2020, Endless Winter. Today I’m taking a look at Aquaman #66, Part 4 of Endless Winter. I’m going to be taking a look at each issue of this event, 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, 12/15/2020, Aquaman #66 is fast-paced and awe-inspiring. If you are looking for calm and collected character work here, look elsewhere. If you’re looking to continue one hell of a fun ride from the rest of Endless Winter, you’ve come to the right place.
Check out the full solicit and then my review below. Beware, dear reader, spoilers abound ahead!
written by ANDY LANNING and RON MARZ
art by MIGUEL MENDONÇA
backup story art by MARCO SANTUCCI
cover by MIKE McKONE
variant cover by DIMA IVANOV
ON SALE 12/15/20
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
“Endless Winter” chapter four! The icy tendrils of Frost King’s global grip extend all the way to the bottom of the Seven Seas! Can Arthur and Mera convince a ferocious collective of Fire Trolls to emerge from the Earth’s very core to save Atlantis from its frozen imprisonment? And in our look to the past, the unlikely team of heroes gets more than they bargained for when they face off against the Frost King for the very first time!
We start out in the 10th century again. I feel like I’m finally getting a taste for the pacing in each part of Endless Winter. In each book we get a glimpse of the ancient Justice League’s battle with the Frost King and a new chapter in the current struggle.
Like me and any house plant, Frost King slaughters the 10th Century’s Swamp Thing and we’re left with a cliffhanger. We know the Justice League of old defeated the Frost King, but we don’t yet know how. During the present times, however, we are getting closer and closer to a solution.
We open on Arthur and Mera’s abandoned honeymoon retreat. Aquaman and the former Queen of Atlantis are headed back udnerwater to save their home from underwater ice serpents and pursue a wild plan to hopefully bring an end to this seemingly Endless Winter. You see, Atlantis was built on lava vents, the domain of the fire trolls. These ancient beings will be a powerful ally in the fight against the Frost King. Long story short, Arthur and Mera convince the Fire Trolls to join the fight. This is a relatively straightforward issue, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable. As I keep saying, this series is just straight forward and fun. The action is there for those who want it. If you want to see Hippolyta or Mera punch an ice avatar, yeah Marz wrote that in for you, but what’s more interesting to me are the pandemic parallels throughout this issue like the Superman Special that preceded it.
First, there’s the nationalism that the Atlantis City Council expresses. Doesn’t this remind you of the early days when the virus was just a Chinese problem or a European problem? Well, it quickly became a world problem.
Then there’s Arthur and Mera bringing Andy along for their mission to Atlantis. Arthur telling Andy to sit still is just a classic bit of instant nostalgia from recent months on video conference calls while also playing daycare teacher. I know I was there recently.
We all deal with stress and trauma in our own ways. Maybe Marz’s was to turn the source of that stress into a giant Frost Giant that puts the whole world into a deep winter. Maybe my way of dealing with it has been to read about that Frost Giant. Either way, this event is offering much needed catharsis in a quarantine-weary world. I’m not a huge Aquaman fan, but this issue alone piqued my interest. Again, it mined ancient history in the form of the lava vents and fire trolls to flesh out the current conflict and I am a sucker for these types of archaeological digs in stories.
The art is as bright, detailed and lively as the preceding three parts of this event. I have to applaud all the artists on this event for putting forward a somewhat united front on the style of the series.
In the end we get to finally check back in with Frost King. He’s rage meditating in an ice storm. This ominous tone has me reaching for Justice League 58 and Teen Titans Endless Winter Special to see what he’ll do next!