Title: Event Leviathan.
Writer(s): Brian Michael Bendis, Greg Rucka, Matt Fraction & Marc Andreyko.
Artist(s): Alex Maleev, Yanick Paquette, Mike Perkins, Steve Lieber, Eduardo Pansica & Jùlio Ferreira.
Colourist(s): Nathan Fairbairn, Paul Mounts & FCO Plascencia.
Letterer(s): Joshua Reed, Dave Sharpe, Simon Bowland, Clayton Cowles, Tom Napolitano & ALW’s Troy Peteri.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: March 31st, 2020.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
Secrets are part of humankind. It is in all of us to withhold certain information from certain people as we naively believe that it is in the best interest of everyone that said information isn’t divulged. Some make it their business to create secrets and others play with the idea to create conspiracies. But what would a world be like if there were no more secrets? In his grand DC project, creator Brian Michael Bendis continues his journey to creating Leviathan, the one mystery that dwells in the darkness of the DC universe. Mostly set up within both his Superman and Action Comics comic book series, he now offers us the latest DC event that finally exposes the very secret that is Leviathan.
What is Event Leviathan about? Following up on the events in Superman: Action Comics (Vol. 2): Leviathan Rising, a mysterious new entity is out hunting down every single secret organization in the world, taking them down one after another. Unable to identify the individual behind this chaos, heroes are left with nothing more than a name to go with: Leviathan. To stop this mastermind from taking more lives, the world’s greatest detectives have joined forces: Batman, Robin, Green Arrow, Plastic Man, The Question, Manhunter, and Lois Lane. Meanwhile, Clark Kent is kidnapped and missing, but it isn’t before long that Superman’s assistance will be required in solving this mystery before something horrible happens to the world. Collecting Superman: Leviathan Rising #1 and Event Leviathan #1-6, this DC universe event ultimately looks to establish a brand-new super-threat driven by a utopic vision.
“Your truth is you want this. You’re fighting to keep things the way they are. Well ##!@ you, Superman.”
— Brian Michael Bendis
It’s already a bit redundant to have to reread an issue (Superman: Leviathan Rising #1) that was already included in a previous volume, but, at this point, it’s safe to say that it doesn’t hurt anyone to reread a small chapter that quickly sets up a couple of loose sub-plots. Once the Event Leviathan story-arc begins, there’s a lot going on but little that actually advances the plot anywhere, and this is very common in a whodunnit that relies heavily on red herrings, false leads, and lack of information. This structure thus comes with a couple of hitches and tends to stalemate the story. It is only upon Leviathan’s reveal that the plot finds a certain momentum and begins a stark transformation of the chessboard in question as everyone is now aware of the threat’s identity, motives, and resources.
As per usual, writer Brian Michael Bendis also continues to brilliantly incorporate DC lore into his over-arching narratives in a very effortless manner. His ability to sculpt a meticulously-detailed universe where every hero’s and villain’s worlds overlap without any plot holes makes for a truly immersive experience. On top of that, it is rare to see a writer perfectly capture the core personalities of countless heroes and insert them in some truly authentic banter with one another. Unfortunately, it is only the plot’s lack of pizzazz that made this event seem underwhelming in the end, but still remains another excellent chapter that sets the table up for more to come.
It should be noted that having artist Alex Maleev tasked to draw the event from start to finish was also a wise decision that worked satisfyingly with the tone of this story. It is a bit square, rigid, and rough at times, making it difficult to follow certain action sequences without looking back twice to be sure of how things evolved, but it does give the story arc a certain personality that captures the gloomy and eerie atmosphere. Complemented by his water-colour, the story also had an artistic edge to it that made for an enjoyable visual treat. Without sticking to rudimentary basic colours, he explores tinted contrasts that immediately draws the eye’s attention towards the various points of interest. Who could say no to artistic consistency, anyway?
Event Leviathan is an original yet unspectacular whodunit DC event introducing a brand-new villain looking to create a new world order.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!