Thursday, May 16, 2019

Leviathan Theory


Please settle down as this may be a rambling post.

It will be an attempt for me to put into words my theory on who Leviathan is. Or maybe more like who are in the group Leviathan.

But it will be trying to connect thoughts and feelings and guesses I have been working through as clues and scenes unfold. And in that way, it will be akin to a neural map of my mind, the blogging equivalent of a conspiracy theory connected by yarn and thumb tacks.

At its essence it boils down to this inescapable Watchmen feeling that is draped over everything. And you know when the Watchmen are discussed in comics, you need to remember their origins, the Charlton heroes they were based on.  And when you think about those heroes, you need to think about their histories in DC Comics.

And so I beg you to stay with me here, as I lay out the crumbs of my case, hoping I can sweep them together in your mind and form a cake.

I also freely admit that this very well could represent anchoring bias. Anchoring bias is when you make a conclusion early on and then twist all further incoming information (even ignoring new information) so that it fits your conclusion. I made a leap early. And this is my anchor.

On to the details.

Let's start out with the initial thoughts.

When we first saw Leviathan's attacks on spy rings and secret organizations, we saw how it manifests as bright blue energy which is highly destructive.

You can't have highly destructive bright blue energy in comics without at least thinking of Dr. Manhattan.

Later, we see even more blue explosions, the energy manifesting like jellyfish, a tentacled underwater creature.

Hmmm ... Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan, giant destructive tentacled undersea creatures.

See how I can get there?

Watchmen ends with a highly destructive tentacled underwater creature.

Squint and a jellyfish looks like a squid.

There is just too much there to not feel this connection.

Even the name Leviathan is based on legends and Bible tales of an enormous sea creature.

And this is my anchor.

Once the Watchmen seed was planted in my head, it germinated.

So initially I thought that perhaps Leviathan was made up of Earth-0 versions of the Watchmen characters. Perhaps somewhere in the DCU is a John Osterman and a Dan Dreiberg. And maybe the DCU Adrian Veidt sees the same destruction coming our way and decides the better way to combat it is to eliminate/absorb/consolidate all espionage powers.

But it can't be Veidt. There already is public opinion that DC has gnawed all the meat off the bones of Watchmen as it is. And Veidt and Manhattan are already active in Doomsday Clock.

And Leviathan has been shown to be too far reaching to necessarily be one person. So maybe there is a cabal of sorts. But how could I tie that into Watchmen?

Well, the Leviathan drone or enforcer who is seen at these sites of blue explosions has been shown to be a bruiser in spiky armor.

So if blue energy has a Manhattan feel. And there seems to be someone using blue energy in spiky armor. And if it isn't Manhattan himself maybe it is who Manhattan is based on.

Remember Dr. Manhattan was based on Captain Atom. Captain Atom uses blue energy himself.

Atom himself has had a turn as a 'bad guy' in a suit of armor. While he wasn't officially the first Monarch from Armageddon 2001, he was intended to be. And that link has lasted, moving forward to the point that he actually became Monarch at some point.

So maybe that bruiser is a new take on Monarch, maybe it is Captain Atom.

So a Watchmen to Charlton to DCU link was made, making my anchor heavier.

Leviathan being led by a super-hero, a colleague of Superman's, makes this note left by Leviathan make more sense. Heroes want the same thing.

Captain Atom would want the same thing as Superman. Peace and justice. Heck they were in the Justice League together! But the means to that end might differ!

But the rabbit hole went deeper.

Later we saw a woman from Leviathan casually kill Mr. Bones. During that interrogation, Bones guesses that this person who looks like Kate Spencer is actually Leviathan. And the woman smiles.

If I think Captain Atom is a higher up in Leviathan, and I think Leviathan is too big to not have high ranking lieutenants, and this woman is smiling as if Bones as guessed it, than I need to account for her.

And if I am thinking that Leviathan is somehow linked to Watchmen and therefore linked to the Charlton heroes, then maybe this woman is Nightshade! Silk Spectre is based on Nightshade.

And, after all, Nightshade and Captain Atom have had a very close relationship in DC Comics.

Moreover, Nightshade has extensive history in all sorts of espionage groups in the DCU. She has worked with King Faraday who has been linked to CBI and Checkmate. She has worked with Amanda Waller on Task Force X. She would know the inner workings of these groups, how to attack them, how to find all the leaders, how to infiltrate their gatherings.

We know that there are no bodies in these places of blue energy destruction. She could open a warp using her shadow powers, bringing the people with her for indoctrination.

So maybe Leviathan is Captain Atom and Nightshade?

And if I am all in on Charlton heroes, I should be thinking about the rest, right?

Well, there would be some irony in the Question trying to investigate Leviathan and stop them. The DCU Question is all full of conspiracy theories, even wondering if Superman himself is Leviathan.

Remember Rorschach was based on the Question. Rorscach was also investigating the Mask Killer in Watchmen, not realizing he was trying to uncover his old colleague's plot.

Wouldn't it be fascinating if the Question was investigating Leviathan and trying to uncover the Charlton heroes' plot?

That makes sense too. From a dramatic viewpoint, it completely resonates with Rorschach.

And who else do we have to account for?

Well, there's this guy.

This guy probably is Leviathan, the true leader of the group with 'Captain Atom' and 'Nightshade' as his trusted operatives.

There is something sort of buglike about that mask, don't you think? Like a carapace?

Maybe this is Ted Kord, Blue Beetle.

He is smart enough to run something like this. He has been killed by Maxwell Lord, a high ranking Checkmate officer at the time. Kord knows first hand what these espionage groups can do.

And it would also make sense for him to be frustrated at what he sees happening around him. There is no room for 'bwa ha ha' in this DCU.

But I needed more evidence than just a mask and a gut reaction. So on to Year of the Villain Special #1.

In that book, Leviathan knows Batgirl is Babs.

He says he is not her enemy and that they want the same thing.

He knows the world can end the very next day and someone has to stop that.

 If he's Kord, he has a lot in common with Babs. He was killed. She was paralyzed. They know the dangers and work for justice.

And yes, who knows what is in continuity or not here, but they have even had a romance of sorts.

Kord would know she was Babs. He would approve of what she did as Oracle, what she does as Batgirl.

Of course he would seek her out.

And then as he talks to her, he uses the odd phrase 'broken global disaster'.

Why say it like that?

And if you have anchored and have Watchmen on the brain, you can't hear 'broken global disaster' and not think of broken globes.

Broken globes are everywhere in Watchmen which is based on Charlton Heroes which now act in the DCU.

Maybe this is some veiled hint.


There is a hole.

There is no Ozymandias equivalent.

But I honestly don't think DC owns the rights to Peter Cannon Thunderbolt, the Charlton hero Ozymandias was based on. And since we are using DC heroes as our Watchmen analogues, you can't have him.

So what if Dreiberg ... that is, what if Kord ... was in charge and decided to save the world by wresting control. He wouldn't have 'done it 35 minutes ago', that's not Ted's way. He would have told his friends his plans 35 months before enacting. He would bring them in.

Whew ....

Still with me?

So, in a nutshell, Leviathan is Ted Kord. His lieutenants are Captain Atom and Nightshade. They are going to save the world from itself. And they will use the term for a giant underwater creature to do just that.

It just reeks of Watchmen.

And this time I'm right.


Martin Gray said...

I think you're spot on... it's anchoring bias (ducks).

Great post, I like your thinking around Nightshade, especially. I'm unconvinced, though. I just can't see Ted and co basically trying to take over the planet.

Anonymous said...

Either you are right or you stared into the abyss for so long that the abyss stared back. And winked.

Joking aside, it is a very interesting theory. Definitely food for thought. Thank you for sharing it.

I guess the main trouble is I can't imagine Ted Kord trying to take over the world.

I'd definitely discard Prime-Earth versions of the Watchmen characters. Since the originals are wandering around the mainstream Earth, it would be incredibly confusing to introduce PE versions, and it would detract impact from Doomsday Clock. Not that DC cares much for it...

I agree incredibly the use of powerful blue energy brings Doctor Manhattan to mind since DC: Rebirth. And that scene where they were attacked by a squid-like thing sounds too odd to not be intentional.


Comicbookrehab said...

It's an interesting idea..especially because the Ted Kord we see in "Heroes In Crisis" can't be the same Ted Kord of the New52 and early-DC Rebirth relaunch.

Hix said...

I got almost all of this from your earlier tweet, except the Ted Kord cherry on top.

Love your theory, it’s compelling and likely!

Anj said...

Thanks for comments.

My guess is as more clues get shared, I’ll do an update!