REVIEW: “Justice League: Endless Winter Special,” Issue #1

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Justice League Endless Winter #1 - But Why Tho?

Justice League: Endless Winter Special #1 is a DC comic written by Andy Lanning and Ron Marz, with art by Howard Porter. Colours are by Hi-Fi and letters provided by Andworld Design. Thus is part of the Endless Winter event. There is a flashback segment at the end of the book with a separate art team. The artist is Marco Santucci and the colourist is Arif Prianto and letters by Troy Peteri. The issue starts with the Justice League already in action, battling a ragtag group of villains. At the top of the planet though, a crew of scientists working for Stagg Industries is hard at work. After Superman moved the Fortress of Solitude in his Man of Steel series, a crater lies where it once was. The Stagg Industries workers are digging for any alien remnants that may have been left behind. But what they discover under the ice may have chilling consequences for the Justice League and the entire world.

The plot is exciting and action-packed. It is not long before the first battle takes place, a multiple page brawl between low-level criminals and the world’s most powerful superhero team. It’s a fun cold-open that shows the reader how energetic the event will be. The pacing is fantastic, with Lanning and Marz fitting in a lot of scenes within the 30 pages. Alongside the scenes of the Justice League living their lives and interacting with each other is the situation going on in the Arctic. This ever-present threat keeps the suspense building as you know the Justice League will have to get involved eventually. The climax of Justice League: Endless Winter Special #1 was surprising in what the threat itself was, but the end result was expected. It sets up the danger the JLA will be battling and creates a very interesting dilemma for them to fight. 

The script is well written and all of the Justice League members are brilliant. Flash appears to be the focal point for the event as the reader follows him around the world. He seems troubled throughout the issue, concerned about how the balance between both sides of his persona, as the Flash and as Barry Allen. As well as Flash, it could also be argued that Superman will play a large role within this series. He already has pivotal moments that could have lasting consequences and the big bad of the event appeared underneath what used to be his safe haven.

The other heroes all have chances to shine, each getting to land an awesome hit on each of the supervillains they encounter in the first battle. But the character that really makes an impact within this comic is Jefferson Pierce, known as Black Lightning in costume. Flash visits him at home as he and his family are putting up Christmas decorations. It is a heartfelt sequence of pages that shows Black Lightning as a warm and caring figure. It will be very interesting to see what part he has going forward.

Porter on art is magnificent and suits the scale of this book. This is a comic that will span the entirety of the globe, and Porter is a fitting choice to show the locations in all their glory. Each place the League call their battleground is full of detail and substance. They don’t feel like random, generic cities, they have landmarks and character. 

Speaking of characters, there is a huge cast that the artist has to utilize. Each one looks powerful in their costumes, even if they are only visible in the background. The fights are full of energy and variety. Porter frequently uses motion blur for the speedsters, effectively depicting high velocity. The various powers and abilities are all played with during the clashes between hero and villain. Whether it is Green Lantern’s constructs, Superman’s heat-vision, or Multiplex’s clones, all of them look phenomenal when they are seen. 

The colours from Hi-Fi are beautiful. Every costume and suit that is worn within the comic is vibrant and stunning. Flash, in particular, has a stunning shine to his red outfit. There is a lot of ice, which is to be expected in a comic with winter in the title. But Hi-Fi uses multiple shades that keep the surfaces and landscapes interesting. 

The letters add to the energy that vibrates from Justice League: Endless Winter Special #1. The SFX are used sporadically but are beneficial in expressing the impact being felt by the powerful punches and blasts. As the six protagonists (Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman) are introduced, they are adorned with a unique logo of their name. This instantly attaches us to the heroes.

The art team on the flashback segment should also be mentioned, although we have not seen much from them yet. Santucci’s art style, with cross-hatching used frequently, is a perfect fit at showing an ancient world, while also being brilliant at character design. The characters he uses are recognizable figures but are all given details that tell us they are not of our era. The dark lighting atmosphere that Prianto blesses the scenes with an atmosphere that juxtaposes with the present-day plot, separating the two stories so that the reader can’t get confused. There are very few word balloons, but the affectations Peteri has started to use creates the impression of ancient characters with distinct voices.

Justice League: Endless Winter Special #1 is a brilliant first issue of a comic that is perfect for winter reading. It is a book filled with magnificent superheroes and large-scale battles, but there is a holiday feel to it all the same. Marz and Lanning have written a lively and investing script while Porter and Hi-Fi adorn the pages with energy. For the first part of an epic, the bar has been set high.

Justice League: Endless Winter Special #1 is available where comics are sold.

Justice League: Endless Winter Special #1
4.5

TL;DR

Justice League: Endless Winter Special #1 is a brilliant first issue of a comic that is perfect for winter reading. It is a book filled with magnificent superheroes and large-scale battles, but there is a holiday feel to it all the same. Marz and Lanning have written a lively and investing script while Porter and Hi-Fi adorn the pages with energy. For the first part of an epic, the bar has been set high.