Friday, August 2, 2019

Leviathan (Back Up) Theory - Adam Strange

During the San Diego Comic Con news blitz, it was announced that a new Strange Adventures title, starring Adam Strange, would hit the racks some time in 2020. The creative team was a powerful troika of Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Doc Shaner. Here is a news blurb:

Now King and Gerads hit a home run out of the park with Mister Miracle. And Shaner's art is always stunning. So I am all in.

But I was puzzled a bit by the dual cover images that were sent out with the announcement.One is a 'clean', classic take on the Strange character right out of the Silver Age by Shaner. The other is a grungy darker take complete with skeletal features and graffiti calling Strange a liar and a killer.

You would think that a new series touting the character on the horizon would make him not be a possible suspect to be Leviathan. But those dual covers struck me. What if Strange doesn't know he is Leviathan? Or what if another version of Strange, right out of the multiverse, has  replaced him. It might explain why there are two cover versions. One, the heroic 'true' Strange. The other, the dark reputation of him once it is revealed he is Leviathan.

So settle in for another back-up #LeviathanTheory.

Leviathan is Adam Strange.

Let's look at the evidence.

One thing that keeps getting brought up is how anyone at the attack sites needs to be considered a suspect. Anyone who survives an attack site needs to be considered a suspect.

Remember, Adam just happened to be near the DEO when Leviathan demolished it.

Was that luck?

I'll also add that in the Bendis run on Superman, Strange's father-in-law Sardath is part of the Circle, a group of interstellar beings who try to control the events of the galaxy. While the goal of this group seems noble, some have twisted it to mean total control, right down to genocide as an option.

Perhaps Sardath's ways have impacted Adam's outlook?

Much as Strange was at the DEO, he also has been around more than usual in the Superman title.

Here he is at STAR labs when scientists there accidentally shunted the Earth into the Phantom Zone.

Why was he hanging around there? Was he, perhaps, there to try and grab the Phantom Zone technology that was being experimented with?

One thing we know about Strange is that he is reliant on the Zeta Beam to get him from Earth to Rann. And we know that the beam basically runs off of a schedule. Strange knows when and where the beam will be firing. He knows he needs to be there to head to Rann.

So Batman saying that Leviathan's attacks have high impact and run to a clock sounds like the sort of timing reference we would get with Zeta Beam technology.

And then Superman describes the energy used by Leviathan as a sort of a beam that made things 'not be'. Imagine if the beam was some sort of amalgam between Zeta Beam technology and Phantom Zone projection. It would be a way to not only unmake something but teleport it as well.

Motivations are key.

You can look at Leviathan's take on Earth as being broken in two ways.

One, in some continuities, Rann is a disaster, a barren world with dwindling population. Perhaps he looks at Rann as the broken world he is trying to stop Earth from becoming.

In other continuities, Rann is a futuristic paradise. Perhaps he sees Rann as an ideal. He was born in the broken world of Earth and sees Rann as what Earth should be.

To be honest, I don't know which Rann is current. But either works for this sentiment.

And, given all the adventures he has had, Strange would know Plastic Man. He would know him from the Justice League. He would know the heroes and wouldn't want to hurt them.

He would want the heroes to join him.

One look at the finned helmet of the Leviathan army and you can see how this feels like Adam Strange.

Now I still think Leviathan is Ted Kord.

But you can make a pretty compelling case that Leviathan is Adam Strange as well.


Martin Gray said...

Fun theory, I can see it being possible; I would say the thing that works against it would be Adam's innate goodness, but look what Alan Moore and Richard Bruning did to Rann and Sardath... who's to say DC wouldn't twist Adam too.

Either way, I'm dreading the Tom King Strange Adventures series, it looks like yet another take down of a Silver Age delight - as well as the Bruning/Kuberts mini-series, see Mike Carlin's Metal Men revamp - oh dear.

True Detective said...

While I like and appreciate the theories so far, I feel like everyone is missing a few things:

1. Leviathan is one of the top tier detectives on the planet. We know this because he has every other detective and spy agency on wild goose chases pointing fingers at each other. The only way he could set it up so Amanda Waller, Lois Lane, Steve Trevor and pretty much every top authority figure in the spy game look like prime suspects to each other is if he/she knows how detectives think and is smart enough to manipulate the evidence. Leviathan does this to the point that Batman is fooled. So the real question is: Who is a better detective than Batman?

2. Whoever this is clearly knows Barbara Gordon and everything she has been through, and ultimately respects her.

3. No bodies. This isn't just a "its because Leviathan is a superhero" thing. Leviathan could have easily convinced him (or her) self that this was all for the greater good. You make a great Watchman argument in your Ted Kord theory, but remember that Ozy had no problem killing millions for the greater good. Leviathan is no Ozy, and believes whole heartedly in the "no killing" philosophy. This makes me believe that whoever Leviathan is, he or she is from the Bat Family. And with all the emphasis on Batman, Robin, and Jason, I really feel strongly that this is going to be one of those things that Batman feels responsible for. Call it anchor bias lol, but I really think this is a Bat Family thing.

4. Whoever Leviathan is knew about Talia Al Ghoul's Leviathan and usurped her eventually. So whoever this is had the ability to get close to her and snake her own organization out from under her.

So now let's put all those together and build a profile.
1. GOAT Detective
2. Knows Barbara "The Oracle" Gordon at a personal level
3. Refuses to Kill / Possible Bat Family
4. Knows Talia's organization

Put all this together and you get Tim Drake. And when you start thinking Tim Drake, a lot of this makes too much sense. Remember that Tim was the architect behind Batman Incorporated, which was a global effort to do what he did in Gotham to an international level. In a sense, he was already striving for what Leviathan is doing all the way back when he started Batman Inc.

Then he gets abducted and everyone thinks he's dead. Then he comes back, and outside of Young Justice, he's surprisingly out of the spotlight.

Superman says the blue energy blast seemed familiar. Tim could have learned of this tech from Dr. Oz's lair, who we would later find out is Sups dad. It could be why its alien enough to fool Batman, but still vaguely familiar to Superman. Hell, Dr. Oz's lair where he had Tim contained could be where Tim is keeping everyone.

Tim would also be privy to all of Batman's intel on Talia and Leviathan, and would be smart enough to make Jason look like a prime suspect to throw people off. Remember, Leviathan just needs to wait until morning for his plan to go off. So having them chase Jason, who Tim knows will run away and will be hard to catch even for Batman, is actually pretty smart. And at the same time, while Bruce is putting together an A list of detectives together, how did he leave out the one person who solved his own secret? The best detective out of his list of prodigies? Its just odd that Tim isn't around helping to solve this.

I like the Ted Kord theory, I do. I just don't think Ted or anyone in his circle can outsmart Batman, Waller, Trevor, and every spy agency on earth at the same time. The list of people smart enough to do that is small, but I would put Tim on that list.

And since Bendis let it be known that this is a huge Lois Lane story, I think that the end will come down to if Lois reports that it was Tim Drake or not. Reveal Tim, and possibly Batman's, secret identity to the world, or give up her ideals as a reporter?

So unless Young Justice was off in Gemworld during the whole Event Leviathan night, I think its Tim.

SimB said...

Sorry Dr Anj but I don't think Adam is going to have anything to do with Leviathan. King has apparently stayed that this is going to be about Trump and not PTSD for a change.
I know how anti people over there regarding your President but I can't imagine anyone would like to give Trump the kind of credit that he could outsmart the whole DCU

Anj said...

Thanks for comments.

Tim Drake, some version of him at least, is a brilliant guess. We’ve seen evil Tim from the future. So great guess!

I don’t think it’s Adam. You know my guess. But I could see this being a decent feint by Bendis.