“Event Leviathan” – Part Four
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Letterer: Joshua Reed
Review by Bryant Lucas
Superman meets his match, Lois steals a car, and Batman’s detective team becomes suspect in this week’s Event Leviathan #4.
Previously in Event Leviathan: DC’s espionage organizations have fallen to a new player on the world stage: Leviathan. Once upon a time, the Leviathan terrorist organization was run by Talia al Ghul. However, a new, mysterious figure (appropriately named “Leviathan”) has usurped the daughter of the demon head. Therefore, Leviathan’s identity is the core mystery of this series.
Last month’s issue ended with Leviathan confronting Amanda Waller and Superman in a Cuban dessert, and the latest chapter picks up in the Batcave, as Superman recounts how Leviathan bested him while abducting Amanda Waller. While Batman’s team discuss the recent developments in their case, Lois Lane steals one of Bruce Wayne’s cars in order to rendezvous with an undisclosed lead.
When robin attempts to shut down the car remotely from the Batcomputer, Batgirl interrupts him with a transmission. Apparently, Batgirl has infiltrated the ranks of Leviathan. She reveals that the organization is based out of Seattle and that many members from the various DC spy organizations have defected to Leviathan. Superman flies off with Plastic Man to find Batgirl, and right before her transmission cuts out, she throws suspicion on a member of Batman’s detective team.
Lots and Lots of Talking
Event Leviathan #4 is a slow burn, with the vast majority of Bendis’ script focusing on characters having conversations. Although this issue pushes the plot forward in a few significant ways, Bendis gets so bogged down by the intrigue of this series that Event Leviathan #4 feels noticeably dull, in comparison to the previous three issues. Essentially, it lacks action. Most of the main plot points occur while heroes are standing around, eating cookies… no, I’m not joking. While this issue will undoubtedly read better when the series is compiled into a trade, as an isolated piece of serial fiction, I feel that Event Leviathan #4 is a bit of a snooze.
What this issue lacks in narrative, it makes up for with the art. As per usual Alex Maleev’s work is absolutely gorgeous. He makes great use of double-page spreads, particularly when Superman recounts his encounter with Leviathan’s energy portal. Maleev unleashes a psychedelic panorama that depicts the Man of Steel’s disoriented state of mind. It’s super trippy, but stunning nonetheless. Kudos to the letterer, Joshua Reed, as well. He spirals his caption boxes around the spread, thereby reinforcing the sense of chaos unfolding on the page. This is an obvious moment where all three of the creators on this book have collaborated in a very interesting way, to merge form and content. In short – it’s brilliant.
Overall, despite its strong artistic showing, Event Leviathan #4 feels like a bit of a stumble. This series has been fairly inconsistent in terms of quality, alternating between brilliant and problematic. While Maleev always brings his A-game, Bendis sometimes fails to deliver. With only two issues left, I’m hoping that this title recovers next issue and then sticks the ending.
Final Verdict: read it for the important plot beats, but don’t expect to be blown away.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment