“Endless Winter” rages on in Black Adam: Endless Winter Special #1 which is also the penultimate issue of the 9-part event. By far the most interesting character in this event is Black Adam, in part because we haven’t seen much of this character since Doomsday Clock, but also because he has a unique position as a leader of a nation. He also has deep ties to the events that locked the big-bad Frost King away. In this special issue, everything loops back to Sebastian Stagg, who is the reason why the Frost King has been awakened at all. Black Adam has some words for the son of the supervillain.
You can tell the story is nearing its end as the flashback to open each issue finds a conclusion of its own. Marco Santucci draws yet another good issue with art that is reminiscent of classic Conan the Barbarian tales with clothing befitting of the time. This opening doesn’t offer a whole lot compared to previous installments, but it’s nice to see it round the corner on the Frost King being put away in his ice prison.
The main feature of this issue is drawn by Brandon Peterson with colors by Michael Atiyeh, offering a very detailed and glossy feel. The art is clean and appealing aided by some supervillain action. Essentially the creative team has set Black Adam on Stagg to impart a few words, but also set up the big showdown. The art looks fabulous with great detailing in the supervillain suits and expressions on Black Adam who is always displaying big emotions. The Frost King assumes a new form that’s quite impressive too revealed in a full-page splash you gotta see to believe.
As far as the story, one might have guessed where it goes as the plot wraps things up with a reveal to set up another showdown. Aside from this somewhat unsurprising turn of events, Andy Lanning and Ron Marz continue to show off expert skills in crafting dialogue. Adam Strange can easily come off as a psycho or pure evil, but here he’s measured and you can tell he’s the leader of a people.
Customary of penultimate issues in events, this comic falls prey to the narrative holding back so as to wow us in the climax. Plot progression gets the characters in the right place for their final showdown and it’s nice to see Black Adam as a leader, but it holds back a bit more than one might want from a major chapter in the event. Still, characters fight and die and there’s plenty here to wet your whistle.
For those who have event fatigue, know it’s nice to see a story told in nine parts so quickly, and by that metric, “Endless Winter” succeeds. It tells its tale in a single month and it tells it with big superhero action. This is the comic for fans who want to enjoy their favorite DC Comics heroes apart from big continuity and it’s a nice aside before things take a big swing as DC Future State kicks off in January. For that, this event works and this issue sets the pieces in place for what will assuredly be a rousing experience.
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