Black Adam: Endless Winter Special #1 – Andy Lanning, Ron Marz, Writers; Brandon Peterson, Artist; Michael Atiyeh, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: This is an important issue for Black Adam, as it’s recently been announced that the ruthless antihero will be joining the Justice League in the most high-profile redemption arc for a villain in years. So this chapter of Endless Winter will set that up, I assume. The prelude, a little longer than usual, shows the aftermath of Viking Prince’s sacrifice and Frost King’s defeat. While Black Adam is ready to celebrate a hard-won win, Hippolyta is anything but. In the present day, Sebastian Stagg is ready to harvest the Kryptonian crystals from the ice—regardless of what happens to the frozen Vikings inside. But he’s not the only one with his eyes on it, as Black Adam and his band of supervillain recruits invade the base. Brandon Peterson’s art is ideal for this issue, casting Black Adam as a larger-than-life figure with intimidation that can be felt dripping off the page.
But if we’re supposed to be looking for signs of a hero here, the evidence is… mixed. While Adam is definitely pragmatic and not doing anything overtly evil, he’s also far more ruthless than your average lead in this event—having no problem sacrificing one of his criminal allies to get an edge on the Frost King. Still, he seems to have some sense of honor—especially contrasted with the utterly loathsome Stagg, who has been sabotaging the heroes at every turn. His oily tech-bro vibe makes him even more despicable than his father. By the end of the issue, Frost King is stronger and more enraged than ever—just in time for the finale in next week’s oversized conclusion. Some chapters have been stronger than others, but overall this event has been amazingly consistent. Before the big shake-ups in DC’s lineup in previous months, this has been a great throwback mini-event.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.