Title: Superman: Action Comics.
Story-Arc: Leviathan Rising.
Writer(s): Brian Michael Bendis.
Artist(s): Steve Epting & Yanick Paquette.
Colourist(s): Brad Anderson & Nathan Fairbairn.
Letterer(s): Josh Reed, Rob Leigh, Dave Sharpe & ALW’s Troy Peteri.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: November 12th 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
Previously in the Action Comics series:
Superman: Action Comics (Vol. 1): Invisible Mafia by Brian Michael Bendis.
Ever since the acquisition of creator Brian Michael Bendis at DC Comics, he has been covering more grounds than anyone else has in the past with his myriad of ideas that see the day today, whether it is under his mantle or handled by other exciting creative teams. Besides his Wonder Comics line-up, one of his most important ongoing projects lies within his dominion of the Man of Steel titles: Superman and Action Comics. Developing original new lore for the character, he now teases his biggest project yet in the form of a conspiracy that will have repercussions across the DC Universe. Leave it to the world’s greatest journalists to uncover the truth before it’s too late.
What is Superman: Action Comics: Leviathan Rising about? Following the threat of the Invisible Cloud and the Invisible Mafia, Metropolis now plunges into a new crisis where underground agencies, from the Department of Extraordinary Operations (D.E.O.) to the Task Force X, are eliminated one after the other by an unknown threat. A conspiracy theory might be the answer sought by everyone but it is only known under one name and nothing more: Leviathan. Collecting Action Comics #1007-1011 and stories from Superman: Leviathan Rising Special #1, writer Brian Michael Bendis presents an enigmatic enemy who appears from the blue and only Superman to stand in its way.
“It’s not a whodunit, it’s a whydunit.
Find the who, you find the why.
Find the why, you find the who.”
— Brian Michael Bendis
Suspenseful, captivating, creative. Writer Brian Michael Bendis delivers a very carefully-paced story arc focused on teasing a powerful threat that has never shown his face before and utilizes the closely-intimate bond between Lois Lane, Clark Kent, and Jimmy Olsen to investigate the matter further. Carefully arranging the narrative to introduce old and new characters into Superman’s universe (e.g. Bones, Kate Spencer, or Amanda Waller), he brilliantly unravels little by little the objective of Leviathan without giving anything away too easily. Although the story doesn’t look to spill the beans here, it establishes the foundation necessary for Event Leviathan and allows the reader the indulge in the excellent chemistry between various characters as the crisis grows exponentially.
There’s very little that can be reproached as to what artists Steve Epting and Yanick Paquette accomplish in this volume. It is coherent in style and informative through details. The character designs are excellent and brilliantly captures each of the character’s persona through their behaviours and facial expressions. The colouring by Brad Anderson and Nathan Fairbairn is also adequate and speaks volumes on the atmosphere conveyed through the narrative. With darker shades, immense use of shadows, meticulous application of vibrant colours, it is possible to identify the deliberate wish to convey a darker, tenser, and much more sinister period with the development of this crisis that only has a name and no face.
The inclusion of the special issue at the end was a bit detrimental to the overall story arc’s suspense due to its minor spoilers regarding Event Leviathan but also because of its revelation of Leviathan as a villain without the surprise that should come with his introduction. While he still remains mysterious in his goals, this additional story could’ve benefited from a bit more discretion or could’ve simply been excluded from this volume. However, the story remains beneficial to the reader in terms of understanding what exactly he might be after and what might be coming to the DC Universe soon.
Superman: Action Comics: Leviathan Rising is a thrilling prelude unveiling a conspiracy theory that needs to be stopped before the world is taken over by an invisible threat.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!