Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Comics

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Superman: Endless Winter Special #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 8, 2020

Cover date: February 2021

"Endless Winter - Chapter 3"

Writers: Andy Lanning & Ron Marz
Artists: Phil Hester & Ande Parks
Flashback Artist: Marco Santucci
Cover: Francis Manapul
Variant Cover: Rafael Grassetti

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Click to enlarge

In the 10th century Edwald Olafsson protects his village in Greenland. He has the ability to freeze objects and create ice constructs or ice creatures to do his bidding. In years to come he would become a fabled character called the Frost King. At first he was a hero to his village but when his powers grew, crops failed and livestock froze to death, the Greenlanders shunned Olafsson and his family. During one fateful night the villagers attempted to kill Olafsson and his family. His wife, daughter and two young sons were attacked and Edwald was horrified to discover his youngest had been slain. With a mighty fury he unleashed his power to the fullest extent, freezing everything in sight.

Now in the modern day, the Frost King has returned (see "Endless Winter" chapters 1 & 2) and with his enhanced powers has frozen all of the world. Lois and Jimmy are helping survivors through the snow to find shelter, food and warmth. Unfortunately during their trek they come up against an army of ice creatures; cue Superman! The Man of Steel fights off and melts as many of the creatures as he can and offers to take Lois to the Fortress. She refuses and tells Clark she will fight the good fight and help as many survivors as she can while he takes on the larger threat.

Superman travels across the globe, stopping in Gorilla City, Paris and back to the USA fighting off the ice creatures and thawing out what he can. No matter how hard he fought, with the aid of the Kryptonian technology the Frost King has become unstoppable. Admitting a temporary defeat, Clark heads home to Smallville. There he finds even the invisible shield has been breached by the creatures. Luckily Krypto is protecting Ma and Pa while keeping the location safe. Superman makes the same offer to Martha and Jonathan of sanctuary in the Fortress, but they of course refuse. Clark arrives doubting himself but his strong-minded parents offer some comforting and motivational words that renew Superman's resolve. Back into the fight for humanity he soars!

In Gotham City, Stagg and his scientists have been analyzing the ice from the old Fortress location. Stagg discovers it is rife with Kryptonian tech and sunstone - ripe for him to research and patent as Superman had carelessly discarded it. While he smirks at his fortune a scientist makes a shocking discovery. Three people are encased in the ancient ice and they are still alive!

To be continued in Chapter 4 in "Aquaman #66"...

4Story - 4: There is a nice scene in Smallville with Clark and his parents where they give him a much needed pep talk. Aside from that the issue is sparse on story. Frost King is essentially Iceman from Misfits of Science (yeah I'm that old!) and he's brought on a new ice age with his powers energized to cosmic levels due to Superman's discarded tech. There really isn't much more to it than that. Emotionally speaking, it was strong, Superman was protective of his loved ones, experienced self doubt, grew from encouragement and support from family and arguably was better prepared for the battle than before. As a singular issue it didn't progress the overall story much but it was definitely focused on Superman and his core strengths, weaknesses and beliefs.

3Art - 3: The art was a bit hit and miss for me. The flashback sequence was frenetic, detailed and immersive. The bulk of the story was cartoon-like and bold and the two styles just didn't seem to compliment one another. Also, as a side note - Martha your glasses are awful.

3Cover Art - 3: A really powerful image showing the futility of fighting against the ice, while still illustrating Superman as a being of awe. Manapul has a really energetic style that draws you into the book.

5Variant Cover Art - 5: A fantastic depiction of Superman! Where to start? I love the colour palette and texturing. The only thing that could have made this better was to show Superman's eyes rather than the heat vision - but that's a long-time bug bear with Superman art in general. More covers like this please!

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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