Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Leviathan (Back Up) Theory: Hawk & Dove?

I continue my look into my Leviathan Theory and back up theories I have been coming up with as different elements of the Leviathan mystery bubble to the surface.

As always, I contend that Leviathan is Ted Kord, with help from his Charlton friends.

One of the things that strikes me about this particular mystery is that I have been struck by clues that I think are meta-textual. Much of my theory about Blue Beetle is based on visuals and verbiage which remind me of Watchmen. These aren't clues that the characters could be aware of.

 I have also been struck by the use of 'we' in Leviathan's speech.'We are Leviathan.' That could be Leviathan talking about the organization as a whole. But it could be that Leviathan is a two person team. After all, we have seen this person and we have seen the Enforcer.

I also keep thinking about prior DC mysteries as a template for this mystery. Certainly writer Brian Michael Bendis is a huge comic book fan and historian. I can't help but think that he leans into history sometimes.

And one of the biggest DC past mysteries was Armageddon 2001. As many know, initially Monarch was supposed to be revealed as Captain Atom. But, at the last minute, because of leaked information, the book was changed and Monarch was revealed to be Hawk of Hawk and Dove.

Armageddon 2001 is looked at with a bit  of a side eye by fans. The Hawk reveal seems ludicrous. DC is often teased about Armageddon 2001 rather than praised.

So what if Bendis has decided to create a mystery similar to Armageddon 2001 but also to try and redeem that book? What if he wanted the ending of that book make more sense?

What if 'we' literally means two people?

What if the 'we' of Leviathan is actually the pair of Hawk and Dove.

Okay, on to the deep dive of this back-up theory.

Okay, first a quick look back at Armageddon 2001.

The mystery surrounding the series was 'Who is Monarch'? Who is the tyrant who killed off all the heroes and became the ultimate ruler by the year 2030? And could a time traveler go back and change the timeline?

In the first issue, we see what life is like under Monarch.

Yes, it is a stifling fascistic world.

But if you read the words in the first panels, it could sound like some of Leviathan's goals. 'Global unity. Ecological recovery.' These are things that super-heroes want. Crime and corruption are in decline.

Of course, you can push things too far. This is a world without freedom.

The mystery builds and as readers we were treated to some excellent annuals in which possible future timelines are examined to see which hero would don Monarch's armor.

As I said before, in the end Dove gets killed by Monarch who turns out to be Hawk who ultimately kills himself. Hawk then dons the armor swearing this time things will be different.

Okay, sort of a silly turnabout there.

But that Leviathan 'we' keeps cropping up in my mind. I assumed when Superman found this note left by Leviathan saying 'we want the same thing' that Leviathan was talking about himself and Superman. But what if that assumption is wrong?

Maybe the 'we' is Hawk and Dove.

So outside of the metatextual redemption of Armageddon 2001 and a pronoun, are there other clues that fit?

Well, in Action Comics #1010, Mr. Bones is interrogated by a young woman who he guesses is Leviathan. And her knowing smile seems to prove his guess is right.

What if this young woman (here masquerading as Kate Spencer) is actually Dove, who is part of the Leviathan duo?

In fact, let's assume that the hooded figure in Leviathan is actually Dove, whose body is so hidden by the cloak that we don't see that the person is a woman.

Part of Leviathan's whole plan is to not get into a war with heroes but to instead convince them to join the cause. Leviathan doesn't want war and destruction. Leviathan wants order, peacefully obtained.

So let's go back to the Hawk and Dove mini-series from 1989 where we learn the new Dove's origins.

Unlike the original Dove who was based around pacifism, the new Dove was built around ... you guessed it ... Order.

She sees all the potential, all the possibilities. She processes that information. She is in complete control of the situation. She avoids the pitfalls.

Hmmm ... sounds like Leviathan.

And she doesn't beat up her opponents.

She uses opponents' strengths and weaknesses against them. She is a defensive fighter.

What better way to defeat and enemy than to use their convictions to sway them? Why fight them when you can convince them to join?

What could be more Orderly than uniting all the different espionage groups and heroes into one way of thinking?

As for Hawk?

Well we have seen two people leading Leviathan. One is the red masked cloaked leader.

The other is 'The Enforcer', someone garbed in armor which is suggestive of Monarch.

This 'Monarch' feel is what led me to think the Enforcer is Captain Atom. But why not have it be the original Monarch? Why not Hawk?

And maybe this energy the Enforcer wields, this beam that isn't destruction or disintegration, is actually Chaos energy.

After all, Hawk and Dove are avatars of Chaos and Order.

And those 'Night Owl' cuffs that led to my Ted Kord theory? Well, they could look like any other bird's face if you squint enough!

Of course, the powers the Leviathan pair is showing is above what we have seen Hawk and Dove wield before. But I'll remind people that their powers changed in different dimensions. They were revealed to be something quite different under the bird uniforms. And you can always chuck 'it's magic' into the fray.

One last meta-textual riff.

Let's look at Hawk and Dove's Armageddon 2001 Annual and see what their future looked like.

If you consider that Monarch wanted peace and contentment and order, this page where Waverider says that some combination of the two could lead to Monarch is interesting.

In that story, it actually meant Hawk and Dove's child, who turns out to be a mix of Order and Chaos, someone called Unity. Great story if you can find it.

So what if Leviathan is actually a merging of Hawk and Dove. It would explain why one person is using the 'we' pronoun. Perhaps the form of Leviathan (red cloak vs. Monarch armor) is dependent on who is in charge? That would explain why blue energy is seen in both versions.

 Even if they aren't merged. Each of the pair are, in fact, two beings in one. Dawn/Dove. Hank/Hawk. And, perhaps, that duality is why Leviathan is recruiting Rose and Thorn, another being that is 2 in 1.

Okay, so that's a back up theory. Brian Michael Bendis re-imagining the Armageddon 2001 ending with a twist.

I still like my Ted Kord theory. But here is another one to mull over.


Martin Gray said...

I love this nutty theorising, you never know! This time you're possibly kinda sorta not entirely incorrect...

And any excuse to look back at the fabbie Hawk and Dove series is good by me.

Professor Feetlebaum said...

The thing is, both of these theories (the Blue Beetle and Hawk and Dove) make sense. Or it could be that Bendis is tossing a bunch of false clues out there, and the real clues haven't yet been discovered.

Anyway, there was something I found interesting toward the end of Action Comics 1012, where Leviathan confronts Thorn. It COULD be nothing more than a bit of throwaway dialogue, or it could be a clue to Leviathan's gender (at least the Leviathan we see here). Leviathan says: "I am here to make you an offer." to which Thorn replies, "An offer from the Kingpin of Metropolis' Invisible Mafia?" Leviathan then corrects her: "'s a Queenpin by the way."

Okay, Thorn and Leviathan are talking about Red Cloud/Robinson Goode here. But what if Leviathan's dialogue has a double meaning? What if Leviathan is correcting Thorn not only on Red Cloud's gender, but on Leviathan's as well? Is this Leviathan's (and Bendis's) way of telling us that she's a woman?

Or like, maybe Leviathan will turn out to be Snapper Carr!

Anonymous said...

Could be, I think the Queenpin refers to Mama Leone, though if she has made Goode an equal partner it could refer to either. But it should actually be Queepins then.

So Leviathan knows who that is? Leviathan knows more about the Invisible Mafia than Superman does?!

I saw some people interpret this as Leviathan claiming to be the queenpin or claiming to be a woman, but I didn't read it that way.


Professor Feetlebaum said...

I forgot about Leone. I think you're right that the Queenpin reference is to her, not Red Cloud.

Does Leviathan know who the leader of the Invisible Mafia is? Or does Leviathan only know that she's a woman? I see nothing to indicate that Leviathan is claiming to be the queenpin of the Invisible Mafia. But I still believe that Leviathan's correcting Thorn's assumption could have a double meaning. Thorn should not assume that the leader of the Invisible Mafia is a man, and neither should she assume that Leviathan is a man.

Anj said...

Thanks for comments!

I assumed Leviathan meant Leone. He spoke with her in Leviathan Rising, remember.

I don’t think this Hawk and Dove guess is right. But I do think we haven’t seen enough of the red figure to know if they are man or woman.

I have another back up guess in the queue for next week.