Event Leviathan #6 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Alex Maleev, Artist
Ray – 6/10
Corrina: Round and Round We Go…
Ray: When is an event not an event? When it’s Event Leviathan, a six-issue miniseries that basically seemed to introduce its concept and then head on its way. When we pick up in Event Leviathan #6, Sam Lane has become the first conclusive victim of the masked villain as he expired from his wounds, and Lois is out for revenge for the father she had a complex relationship with.
It’s worth noting that this is the third time Sam Lane died in DC Comics since the year 2000, so that might blunt the impact a bit. The heroes gather to discuss what they know about the case, and it seems to all be tied back to Kate Spencer – who is not the only Manhunter involved in this story. Characters fight among themselves, Kate briefly turns on the group when she panics, and there’s an extended two-page segment where the characters talk in sign language to avoid detection. It’s gorgeously drawn and accomplishes very little.
That’s because, as is common with this comic, everything once again happens in flashbacks. This includes the actual reveal of the villain’s identity – former Manhunter Mark Shaw, now an old man who revealed his identity to Superman earlier in the series. So Superman has known for a while and just didn’t tell anyone? The timeline of this comic is very wonky, given how much of it is told by the heroes as past events. The scenes between Lois and Superman are the best of the series, but it’s extremely talky and it doesn’t actually resolve much – Leviathan gets away, the people he disappeared are still gone, and we’re told to follow the story into an upcoming Action Comics arc for the next big chapter. That makes it much less of an event than a prequel miniseries that is little more than a showcase for Alex Maleev’s art. The concept of Leviathan isn’t bad, but this miniseries barely scratched the surface and the odd formatting led to an unsatisfying read.
Corrina: Sometimes it’s best to tell a story in linear fashion. Event Leviathan was likely one of those times. Though I suppose if it was told linearly, without all the flashbacks of characters telling each other what happened, all the plot problems might be exposed. The number #1 plot problem? This was a mystery that supplied no proper clues for the reader to guess the identity of Leviathan. Mark Shaw was basically plucked from obscurity and like “well, hey, Manhunter!”
Shaw might have been a more interesting antagonist this issue if he had not been convinced that Superman would somehow overlook murder. Means to an end reasoning simply excuses doing evil for a possible good down the line, instead of choosing good in the first place.
So, while it should resonate that Shaw says that Superman supports the status quo except, well, Superman would never support a random person not deciding who lives or dies, especially when they’ve already killed. Which makes the whole dialogue between Mark and Superman land with a thud, like the whole event.
It all looks incredible, though.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.