Event Leviathan #3 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Alex Maleev, Artist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: Not Much of a Mystery
Ray: Halfway through the events of Event Leviathan, it’s clear that this isn’t so much of an event as a discussion of one. While the events surrounding Leviathan’s attack are massive – the destruction of the DC spy apparatus – we see relatively little of it play out, instead hearing about it second-hand from the team of detectives that Batman put together. When we last left off, Batman and the team accused Jason of being Leviathan and ambushed him, leading Jason to make a quick getaway. When we pick up again in Event Leviathan #3, Jason has already gotten away and the team is regrouping and bickering in the Fortress of Solitude. They discuss Jason as one of the deadliest fighters in the DCU, which is something that’s never really been borne out in text before. Jason may have been trained under Batman, but he had far less time with him than the others and has usually been shown to be a rather reckless fighter.
Bendis’ dialogue for the team of Detectives is pretty strong, and he seems to understand who Plastic Man is this issue, at least. The story flashes back and forth between the Fortress and the fight with Jason, but the stronger segments are in the latter. I particularly liked a segment where Lois Lane confronts Jason with the intention of interviewing him. Jason’s dialogue is certainly stronger than the usual, but that just means he has to beat what Scott Lobdell writes for him. We don’t get any closer to finding out Leviathan’s identity, and we don’t really follow up on Amanda Waller’s disappearance until the end of the issue. This series has flashes of excellence once in a while, but Bendis’ pacing issues are at their worst when it comes to event comics. He’s working with a bunch of great characters and he deserves credit for bringing Manhunter back from limbo, but at the halfway point this doesn’t even feel like the story’s really begun.
Corrina: Before I start, I want to note that writing a terrific mystery is difficult. That’s part of the reason that we still revere those authors who did it so well, like Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. That said, if you’re looking for a good, solid mystery with detectives following clues, there’s little of that to be found in Event Leviathan #3.
Instead, Event Leviathan #3 has a flashback to Lois Lane interrogating Jason Todd while he’s in the middle of a fight which, yes, it’s great to see Lois use her skills but it seems like a stretch that Jason would stop and talk to her. And the conversation mainly is to point out that Jason’s running away is quite logical, even if he’s not the mastermind. (Aside: if it turns out that the super-smart Bizarro from the awful Red Hood: Outlaw is the mastermind, gah, then I might do a literal wall banger on this event.)
Mainly, the issue has some amazing Maleev artwork featuring characters that he’s drawn rarely, if at all, also giving us his take on the Fortress of Solitude. There’s also Bendis spotlighting a few other DC characters who sound in-characte–excellent Plastic Man– but it’s still confusing as to why they’re all in this comic. The mystery limps along by suggesting that Waller may have set this all up herself? Which would make some sense, I suppose, though she’s not been written well since before the new 52 reboot and this version of Waller from Suicide Squad hasn’t shown her as capable of something this complex.
In the end, not much of a mystery but some decent moments and, of course, Maleev’s artwork.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.