Event Leviathan #2 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Alex Maleev, Artist
Ray – 7.5
Corrina: Skips to the Conclusion. Or Does It?
Ray: Event Leviathan is probably the oddest event comic I’ve read in a long time, as so far both issues have taken place entirely within one conversation between a few key characters. Event Leviathan #2 broadens the scope a bit by using the dialogue to cut away to other events that the characters have encountered or heard about. The key characters this issue as Batman and Red Hood, who seem to be on much better terms than they are in Jason’s solo title where Bats beat his son within an inch of his life and then banished him from Gotham. Now Batman is recruiting the best detectives he knows to combat the threat of Leviathan, and Jason is on the list – or so it seems. They share key events from the hunt from Leviathan, including an attack on Sam Lane by an agent of Leviathan that was foiled by Question – who was hiding in Lane’s room and got shot by the ruthless military man for his efforts. The most interesting part of this segment is that the agent seems to be dressed like the Rocketeer.
The other key segment involves Plastic Man, as he investigates the body of the agent and comes face to face with Leviathan himself. Leviathan once again manipulates people about their anxieties to get them to sign on, but I noticed that Bendis seemed to get a few things mixed up between Plastic Man and Elongated Man. Plastic Man was never a member of the Secret Six, for one thing. Editors, where you at? Leviathan makes for a compelling villain, although Roy Harper is name-dropped so often this issue that I’d be shocked if this wasn’t another Hush situation where the identity of the villain is rather obvious. The end of the issue, where it’s revealed Batman and Robin have led Jason into an ambush, is rather predictable. Of course, Batman isn’t going to trust Red Hood that easily. But are we really taking the word of Secret Prison Lad when deciding who to arrest?
Corrina: I like how the point of issue #1 was to put together a squad of detectives. And then in issue #2, we skip right over that detective work and instead get a Batman monologue detailing the conclusions. That’s a bit of whiplash, as I thought we might get into some juicy noir detective work. But, instead, it’s mostly Batman talking to Jason on a rooftop and everyone reading Leviathan Rising #2 can predict how that’s going to end.
Putting aside Jason, It would have been funny if Plas had made a joke about Leviathan mixing him up with Ralph (Elongated Man) but I suppose that would prove the supposedly infallible mastermind wasn’t infallible after all. However, I liked this whole segment and it’s probably my favorite sequence written by Bendis since he came over to DC. Why? Because his quirky dialogue seems well-suited to Plastic Man. (For similar reasons, Bendis’ Question is quite good too.)
DC has been awful to former sidekicks lately. See Wally West, Dick Grayson, Donna Troy. Poor Azrael isn’t doing well on a cosmic scale either although at least he’s not a villain yet. I guessed, at some point, Jason would become a villain, though maybe his being suspected is a red herring. Or maybe he’s working with Roy. Still, Jason remains the guy who supposedly beat and almost killed Damian not so long ago. You’d think Batman would bring that up while talking to Jason, rather than it being waved away. Maybe Damian didn’t tell him. Or maybe Bendis isn’t paying attention to Teen Titans. (To be fair, given how many problems that series has, I can’t blame him there.)
So far, this series is all people talking about what just happened, or talking to each other, and there’s little detective work or even big action set pieces.
Neat Maleev page of Batman and all his allies on the rooftop, however.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.