Event Leviathan by Brian Michael Bendis

details
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.

Format
:
Hardcover.
Release Date: March 31st, 2020.
Pages: 264.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401299590.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.

thoughts

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.


EXHIBITA

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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22 comments

  • At this point it feels like the comic industry as a whole is running downhill with a huge boulder right on their heels. If they stop they get crushed, if they make one mis-step they get crushed and everyone is complaining about the speed with which they are running. I’m not sympathetic though, as they’re the ones who chose to jump over the guard rail in the first place…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s definitely not an easy terrain to play in. Redundancy is almost inevitable and then there’s the mediocre content that simply allows artists to get something on the resume and work their way towards some sort of stardom… At least not all stories are trash and I’ll gladly go through them to find those little gems hahah

      Liked by 1 person

  • I love Maleev’s work – his Daredevil run with Bendis was unparalleled! 😀
    As for this Event Leviathan, weeeell, not only the plot problem discourages me to try it, but also the repetitive idea of events every freaking few months just makes it all ridiculous 😛
    I do enjoy your wonderful reviews, Lashaan! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know why but it always puts a smile on my face when I hear about the comics you’ve read or are reading hahaah You need to share more of what you’re secretly up to, Ola! 😛

      It’s not a bad event though. I just think it’s not hard to spot a couple flaws that will hinder the overall experience. I’m still following his stuff though and look forward to seeing what else Bendis dares to share in the DC universe hahah

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m This close to creating a Goodreads account, so be careful what you wish for, Lashaan! 🤣
        I’m currently starting Monstress, so a bit of detour from the regular superhero fare.

        I find that I’m lately less of an event person (and for your information, it started before the pandemic 😜) – I started to appreciate single small events or short runs. White Knight was so-so, for many reasons, but curiously enough I really liked Icarus, or even My Own Worst Enemy (which technically was a part of an event, but was nice on its own as well).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Wow, this made me feel like we have MUCH MORE in common than what your reviews make me think hahahaha 😛 I need to get my hands on a copy of Monstress myself. I’ve been stalling way too long with that one. Hope you’re enjoying it so far. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • We do have a lot in common, especially if sarcasm is a good indicator 😜

            Monstress looks great. It’s lavish and weird and I’m intrigued – mind you, just got my hands on it today!

            Liked by 1 person

  • Oh dear, I honestly thought you might have been more engaged with Event Leviathan Lashaan – but at least you did enjoy it overall despite the shortcomings you found in the story. I personally loved it, for a change it wasn’t an ‘event’ in the usual sense requiring you to follow multiple titles and one-shots. Bendis produced a neat, intriguing and pulpy detective mystery and Maleev’s art was the perfect accompaniment (much the same a his work with Bendis on their Daredevil run) and, yes, consistency!!!

    Great review my friend, I do have a feeling you may continue to be underwhelmed with Bendis’ Superman going forward (you may or may not be interested in the upcoming Event Leviathan sequel, again from Bendis and Maleev) but I look forward to your thoughts regardless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m definitely grateful that it didn’t go down that crossover event road; those are quite scary, especially when they usually tend to fail too… I’m definitely trying to enjoy his stuff more but I often find myself running into these hiccups that stop me in my tracks. At least these aren’t bad at all!

      I’ll be wary for what’s to come. I have an idea, following your review, but I’ll keep an open mind and see if I feel like his approach and execution feels right in the end! Thanks for reading, my friend! Hope you’ve been staying safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Chris Evans shared my biggest problem with many of the events back when i was actively collecting and reading, that of involving far too many titles. This one does sound a bit more reasonable, though it sounds a little underwhelming for you. I recently reshuffled some of my comic boxes and discovered some older graphic novels and trade paperbacks (including some DC superhero titles) I’m not sure I ever read. After reading so many of your reviews of similar titles, I pulled them out thinking perhaps I’ll give them a try one of these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, I’m not a huge fan of crossover events too. Nowadays, they all make additional off-series issues to make more money out of those events. This event, however, is decent in its own way and fans of Bendis will probably enjoy this a lot!

      Oh man, I am incredibly happy to hear that, Todd. I could only hope that your time revisiting/rekindling your love for comics will be the most positive yet! Happy reading, good sir. I look forward to hearing about your own journey down memory lane! 😀

      Like

  • Knowing nothing about these super heroes I have to ask… Plastic Man? 😂

    It’s a shame this one fell a bit flat for you. There is definitely such a thing as too many red herrings

    Liked by 1 person

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