Comic of the Week: Event Leviathan #1, a gateway to an intriguing superhero espionage story

Event Leviathan #1 is out now.

By d. emerson eddy — The “Leviathan” crossover has been building at DC Comics for a while now, starting with the “Leviathan Rising” storyline in Action Comics and then coming to a head two weeks ago in the Superman: Leviathan Rising Special. We've seen the intelligence community in the DC Universe shaken to its core, with entire organizations obliterated, seemingly, by Leviathan. Even that organization itself has seen a kind of upheaval, as Talia al Ghul no longer seems to be its head, and a new unknown character calling himself (or herself, who knows?) “Leviathan” has taken over the reins. To what end no one knows yet.

The mystery of Leviathan's actions, goals, and existence continues here in Event Leviathan #1 from Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, and Joshua Reed as Batman and Lois Lane investigate the destruction of an ARGUS installation. Dubbed The Odyssey, this installation still wasn't officially known yet or in full operation. Which raises more questions as to how anyone would know. And that uncertainty among the survivors and detectives attempting to suss out the mystery is leading to a lot of in-fighting and second-guessing as they point fingers at one another, ramping up the tension of the story. Likely also playing right into Leviathan's plans, bickering amongst themselves while the organization carries out its plans unhindered.

The shadowy, mysterious nature of the story perfectly fits Maleev's style. If there's any character out there that seems suited to be drawn by Maleev more than Daredevil, it's Batman. And his Batman doesn't disappoint. The atmosphere that he creates in this story is palpable. You can feel the uncertainty and distrust between the investigators and a surprise survivor. You can feel the sizzle and spark of the explosion of the ARGUS facility. And, there's potentially clues as to the technology being used by Leviathan.

There is an argument to be made that Event Leviathan falls into traditional Bendis-penned story traps of being decompressed far too much, covering the same ground that we've seen previously in “Leviathan Rising”, and of being too “slow” in its pacing. I can see where that argument would come from, but I think the start to this series overcomes that for a number of reasons. For one, it allows it to be read by the broader audience who may not have been following along with Action Comics, making it a perfect jumping on point (ideal for a story with event in its very name). Second, although on the surface it may seem to be the same ground, the attack on ARGUS is different, as is the investigation, which brings in Batman, Lois Lane, and a number of other people, giving it a varied perspective. And then there's the survivor, who gives everything a new spin that looks like it will be carried throughout at least the beginning of the mystery.

Overall, this is an intriguing start to what is one of my personal most anticipated events of the summer, with one of my favorite characters ever appearing in its pages (sorry, you're just going to have to ask yourself a question about who it is right now, no spoilers). Bendis, Maleev, and Reed provide a wonderful entry point to a compelling mystery simmering through the DCU.

Event Leviathan #1
Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Letterer: Joshua Reed
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

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d. emerson eddy is a student and writer of things. He fell in love with comics during Moore, Bissette, & Totleben's run on Swamp Thing and it has been a torrid affair ever since. His madness typically manifests itself on Twitter @93418.