Update: DC has unveiled not just the first look at the new villain of its upcoming 'Endless Winter' crossover the Frost King, seen here in character design art from artist Howard Porter on the upper left corner of the page at right, but has added an informal name to the collective of ancient heroes who once fought the mystical menace - Justice League Viking.
Comprised of the previously revealed line-up of Hippolyta, Swamp Thing, Black Adam, and the semi-obscure DC character of decades past the Viking Prince, 'Justice League Viking' is the behind-the-scenes moniker given to the team by writers Ron Marz and Andy Lanning, who spearhead the nine-part event.
"We felt like heroes would band together in every era, and we wanted to show off what we eventually came to call the Justice League Viking," explains Marz in DC's latest DC Connect preview catalog, where the new info was revealed.
"We had to sort out which characters would logically be around in the 10th century, and then figure out how those relationships work," he continues. "The short version is, not everybody gets along."
Marvel Comics revealed a similar ancient super-team comprised of early versions of concepts that permeate throughout Marvel history such as Odin of Asgard, the Phoenix Force, and the Starbrand, referred to as the One Million BC Avengers.
'Endless Winter' kicks off in December with the Justice League: Endless Winter #1 one-shot.
Original story follows
Details on DC's December event Endless Winter have come to light in the publisher's just-released December 2020 solicitations, and while it doesn't focus on the villains we had speculated, it does contain more than a few surprises.
The five-week event pits the Justice League against a new cold-based villain called the Frost King who has taken over the former site of Superman's Fortress of Solitude. And while the Justice League line-up has the regular main characters, it'll feature a proto Justice League from 1000 years prior whose first battle with the Frost King led to his modern-day rise to plague the current team.
"1000 years ago, a disparate group of heroes – Hippolyta, Black Adam, Swamp Thing, and the Viking Prince – banded together to prevent the world from freezing at the hands of the Frost King, an exiled Norse god with the ability to control entire ecosystems," reads DC's description of the event in a press release. "The heroes triumphed, but victory came at a terrible price, one that has been kept secret until now."
The event will run across nine issues, including the ongoing Justice League, The Flash, Aquaman, and Justice League Dark titles. All the issues will be written by Andy Lanning and Ron Marz.
"Getting to play with such a great cast of cool superheroes is like catnip for me," Lanning says. "From the Justice League to Teen Titans, Aquaman to Black Adam and, probably my personal favorite, Justice League Dark, there are so many moments to showcase that there’s something for everyone."
Here's the schedule:
Chapter 1 - Justice League: Endless Winter #1 (December 1)
Howard Porter will draw this kick-off issue, with covers by Mikel Janin and Daniel Warren Johnson.
"The crossover event of the season begins here! The Justice League encounters an extinction-level global storm brewing at the former site of the Fortress of Solitude," reads DC's description. "Enter the Frost King, a monster mad with power with an army at his command! What devastating mystery lies in his past? And how does he tied to Queen Hippolyta, Swamp Thing, Viking Prince, and their reluctant ally, Black Adam? Two timelines will reveal further clues and secrets throughout each chapter of this blockbuster tale!"
Chapter 2 - The Flash #767 (December 8)
Frequent Flash artist Clayton Henry will be drawing this issue, as well as the cover. Hicham Habchi has drawn a variant for the issue.
"As the world's heroes rush to stop the freezing conditions running rampant across the globe, the Fastest Man Alive speeds directly into Black Adam," the solicitation reads. "With the planet losing hope, the Flash and Kahndaq's ruler must find a way to work together, while a story from Black Adam's past reveals his connection to the threat that now returns to end the world with freezing ice and fearsome frost."
Chapter 3 - Superman: Endless Winter Special #1 (December 8)
Phil Hester and Ande Parks draw this one-shot, with covers by Francis Manapul and Rafael Grassetti.
"Superman finds himself at the center of an epic battle as the Frost King's hordes of ice monsters come to life," DC's description reads. "Is this frozen onslaught too much for the Man of Steel, or can he stop it before it rampages across the chilling wasteland the world is becoming and reaches civilization? The answer to this question comes from an unlikely source close to Clark Kent's earthly roots!"
Chapter 4 Aquaman #66 (December 15)
Miguel Mendonça draws this Endless Winter takeover of the Aqauman title. Mike McKone and Dima Ivanov are drawing the covers.
"The icy tendrils of Frost King's global grip extend all the way to the bottom of the Seven Seas! Can Arthur and Mera convince a ferocious collective of Fire Trolls to emerge from the Earth's very core to save Atlantis from its frozen imprisonment?" Aquaman #66's solicit text reads. "And in our look to the past, the unlikely team of heroes gets more than they bargained for when they face off against the Frost King for the very first time!"
Chapter 5 - Justice League #58 (December 15)
The de facto regular Justice League artist Xermanico draws the 'Endless Winter' tie-in issue here, with covers by Manapul and Jen Bartel.
"In this turning point issue, the Justice League is scattered across the snow-covered globe, trying to stave off the frozen doom, leaving Green Lantern John Stewart to stand alone," reads this issue's description. "At the Hall of Justice, he begins to piece together clues that could help turn the icy tide that threatens to overwhelm them all. But then an unexpected visitor arrives on cue: the Frost King himself! In the past, however, Queen Hippolyta, Swamp Thing, and Viking Prince witness a terrible decision made by Black Adam—one that will haunt them forever."
Chapter 6 - Teen Titans: Endless Winter Special #1 (December 15)
This issue will be drawn by Jesus Merino, with covers by Bernard Chang and Simone Di Meo.
"Crush, Roundhouse, Kid Flash, and Red Arrow embark on a bonding exercise with new partners from the original New Teen Titans: Donna Troy and Beast Boy?" reads DC's description. "Everyone's limits will be tested as they brave the challenges of holiday shopping in Manhattan! And then, the city is buried in snow! When they discover a teen whose powers are triggered by the extreme cold, the team must decide if this new arrival is a future hero or villain. And in the past, Black Adam battles the Frost King with devastating consequences."
Chapter 7 - Justice League Dark #29 (December 22)
Amancay Nahuelpan will draw this 'Endless Winter' tie-in of this ongoing title, with covers by Kyle Hotz and Gleb Melnikov.
"The past holds the key to surviving the Endless Winter, as the Justice League Dark seeks to resurrect both Swamp Thing and the spirit of Viking Prince," reads DC's solicit for the issue. "Queen Hippolyta reveals a shocking secret to Wonder Woman as the past and present collide. Buried secrets are unearthed as the Justice League and Justice League Dark must come together with the fate of the world hanging in the balance."
Chapter 8 - Black Adam: Endless Winter Special #1 (December 22)
Recent Shazam! artist Brandon Peterson will step in to draw this Black Adam special, with cover by fellow Shazam! alum Dale Eaglesham along with Bosslogic - who drew concept art for the upcoming Black Adam movie.
"Seeking to bolster his nation's place in the world, Black Adam arrives in Gotham City demanding action to end the threat causing an endless winter across the globe," reads DC's description. "But Black Adam isn't telling the world’s leaders everything—especially not that he's faced the mysterious Frost King before and won. Find out what Adam's hiding in the penultimate chapter of 'Endless Winter.'"
Chapter 9 - Justice League: Endless Winter #2 (December 29)
And for the finale, Howard Porter returns - with Carmine Di Giandoenico - to draw this issue. Mikel Janin and Daniel Warren Johnson are drawing the covers.
"With the Frost King's origin revealed, the Justice League must battle the mistakes of the past as well as the global freeze that now threatens the entire population," reads DC's description. "This issue is snow-packed with characters and action as Superman battles Black Adam while Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Queen Hippolyta, and Swamp Thing face the Frost King and his monstrous army! All of the world is watching, and the Justice League must make a choice."
In addition, all of the issues except Superman: Endless Winter Special will have a back-up story by Lanning, Marz, and artist Marco Santucci.
Look for more on 'Endless Winter' here at Newsarama.
It's too soon to say what to expect with this DC even, but it has big shoes to fill - here's our list of the DC events which made the biggest impact on the DCU.