Superman: Endless Winter Special #1 – Andy Lanning, Ron Marz, Writers; Phil Hester/Ande Parks, Marco Santucci, Artists; Hi-Fi, Arif Prianto, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Endless Winter has been a pleasant surprise from the start, but this one-shot with art by Phil Hester may be the issue it went from good to great. After a compelling prequel that reveals Frost King’s origin as a Viking man with ice powers who tried to use them to his family’s benefit, only for them to spiral out of control and cause the end of everything he loved, it’s back to the present. There, Superman—much like Flash in the last chapter—is running against the tide, trying to keep Metropolis and the world safe. Lois Lane, meanwhile, is treating this like just another story at the end of the world, determined to share the truth of the event with the world even as she finds herself in danger. Her banter with Superman as he tries to convince her to seek refuge in the Fortress is great—as always, she’s the lead in her own story, and is perfectly comfortable going up against whatever being married to Superman throws at her.
Dan Jurgens isn’t involved in this event, but the tone actually reminds me a lot of his work on his extended Superman run and the classic DC mini-event The Final Night (which also dealt with an Earth under deep freeze). Superman’s supporting players are used very well here, especially the Kents. You can tell how frustrated Superman is by facing an enemy he has no clue how to neutralize, even as the world suffers. The grounding element of Smallville and the people who live there are a great change of pace, as the hardy Kents seem relatively unbothered by another harsh winter. Also, Krypto is the best boy as usual. Despite the high stakes, this is an almost leisurely issue, with the human side of the crisis emphasized. That changes in a big way in the end, though, as Sebastian Stagg gets closer to the secret of the crystals he uncovered—and a potential shocking secret. Can’t wait for next week.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.