The Endless Winter Enters Its Second Week

This is leaving me cold.

A double-shot of crossover goodness(?) as the latest big event from DC Comics enters its second week. But not a whole lot happens other than establishing the big bad’s back story.

The Flash 767
Written by Andy Lanning and Ron Marz
Pencils and Inks by Clayton Henry and Marco Santucci
Colors by Marcello Maiolo and Arif Prianto

Superman: Endless Winter Special 1
Written by Andy Lanning and Ron Marz
Pencils by Phil Hester and Marco Santucci
Inks by Ande Park and Marco Santucci
Colors by Hi-Fi and Arif Prianto

Nothing makes you feel like you’re wasting your money and your time buying into a crossover story like wasted issues where almost nothing happens. When you build a story around nine issues over the course of a month and they’re all supposed to be essential chapters, each issue really needs to make an impact and move the story forward.

Unfortunately, after the somewhat underwhelming FIRST ISSUE last week, the story’s subsequent two chapters didn’t really ramp up the excitement for me. Yes, we got a little bit of backstory on the Frost King, the powerful entity who is covering the world in cold and snow, but outside of a few pages here and there, nothing really managed to advance the narrative.

In chapter two, which took place in the latest issue of The Flash, Barry Allen spends some time trying to find some way to help the other heroes, all engaged in battles with the Frost King’s mindless ice monsters. Barry runs around the world, fighting to keep his molecules from freezing before Green Lantern John Stewart – the current leader of the Justice League – gives him a mission. Stewart sends Barry to Khandaq to make sure its ruler, the sometimes evil Black Adam, isn’t planning on doing anything rash.

What the heroes don’t know – and Adam doesn’t bother to tell Flash – is that he encountered the Frost King once before, which readers learn in the story’s flashbacks.

In the end, Barry strikes an accord with Black Adam and runs off to Central City to tell Iris West that he loves her, which I suppose pays off the runner from the first issue where Barry keeps asking the other heroes about work-life balance.

Over in the Superman special, Clark is worried about how he can keep those closest to him safe. He offers to take the Daily Planet crew to the Fortress of Solitude, now located in the Bermuda Triangle. They all refuse. So he flies home to Smallville and offers to bring Ma and Pa Kent – now alive again thanks to DOOMSDAY CLOCK – up to the Fortress. They also refuse. After all, they have Krypto the Superdog to protect them.

Clark leaves Smallville and goes back into the fight against the endless winter, and we’re all left waiting another week to find out more about the Frost King and how his past battles tie into the present. But, at the every least, we got some great art from one of my favorite teams in Phil Hester and Ande Park.

Next week, we get THREE Endless Winter chapters – lucky us! – as Aquaman, the Justice League and the Teen Titans enter the fray.