THE FROST KING HAS RETURNED... AND THE WHOLE WORLD SHALL KNOW HIS WINTRY WRATH!
As the world quickly descends into snowstormy chaos, the Flash runs an increasingly frigid race. Exhausted and defeated, he finds salvation with... Black Adam? But the lord of Kahndaq may have ulterior motives for the rescue...
“Endless Winter” rages on, focusing on the Flash amid the Frost King’s cold-a-palooza. Writers Andy Lanning and Ron Marz use the Scarlet Speedster to focus in on the most immediate dangers of the Frost King’s assault: hypothermia, mass extinction, frozen death, and worse. For the Flash, motion is everything, and cold by its very nature inhibits molecular motion, so choosing him to highlight the chaos is a clever choice. The plot may be a bit light, but the authors make good use of their space to present the existential threat the Frost King poses. More importantly, they write out a flat-out fun comic.
Of course, adding Black Adam to the present-day mix (he’s already a part of the 10th-century “Justice League Viking”) creates a potent x-factor. Adam isn’t exactly known for playing well with others; he’s something of a Namor that skews more toward villainy than heroism. He’s certainly playing is own game, with an ace up his sleeve that has yet to be revealed. A nice touch is that despite being a so-called “super villain,” Black Adam’s immediate concern is for the people he rules over in Kahndaq. That small detail adds a crucial layer to Black Adam’s personality that not only creates complex internal motivation, but also blurs the line between hero in villain in a nuanced way. Black Adam is a cut above the traditional villain for this depth of character, and his presence in “Endless Winter” adds an exciting wrinkle to the narrative.
The real issue so far is that the narrative itself is relatively thin. This is almost certainly by design – we don’t yet know what the Frost King’s deal is, why he’s so angry, what his motives are, and so on – but going for the wham-bang gusto right out of the gate means that while readers are given immediate impact, the trade-off is that the story doesn’t have much depth just yet. Mysteries abound, though, most notably the ersatz Justice League Viking – Hippolyta, Black Adam, an ancestor of Swamp Thing, and the Viking Prince – and what their actions in the past with regard to the Frost King not only were, but how they inform today’s events. Artists Clayton Henry and Marcelo Maiolo do serviceable if unshowy work, able to carry the storytelling load and carrying the pacing well with strong page layouts (check out the double-splash that brings Flash into the story for a great example). “Endless Winter” is a fun little superhero romp so far – not earth-shattering, but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes fun is more than enough.
"Endless Winter" rages on in Flash #767 (@AndyLanning @ronmarz @claytonhenryart Maolo @swands), a fun romp of a comic that doesn't ask much more of its readers than to buckle up and enjoy the ride. And that's more than enough!
Flash #767 (ENDLESS WINTER Pt. 2): Lightning Crashes, Black Adam Cries
Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 6/106/10
Color - 5/105/10
Cover Art - 5.5/105.5/10
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