Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Leviathan (Back Up) Theory - The Atom

We are two months into Event Leviathan and I have my Leviathan Theory in the bank. Leviathan is Ted Kord, aided by the other Charlton heroes.

Like any good mystery, there isn't just one suspect. Anyone can still be Leviathan under that mask. And I have been poring over these clues so much that other theories were bound to bubble to the surface. Hawk and Dove? New 52 Superman? Adam Strange? A case (maybe not particularly strong ones) can be made for any of these characters. I know ... I have done so.

Let me throw another onto the pile.

Leviathan is Ray Palmer. And 'we' means just that. He has a partner.

What do we know about Leviathan right now that are facts. He wants to bring about world order. He doesn't want to fight super-heroes; he wants them to join. He has very advanced tech. He knows the heroes very well, maybe having worked beside them. And he seems to come from a tragic past.

Mix those facts in with some things implied in issues and I have a decent back up theory that the Atom is Leviathan.

In fact, even the names are a hint. The Atom is something small. Leviathan, by definition, means something big. That word play alone might be a hint.

But you aren't here for semantics.

You are here for a breakdown of clues. So let's get to it.

Okay. Let's start off in Event Leviathan #1.

The Leviathan attacks are without ego. This isn't a megalomaniac. This is an unassuming person, not prone to bragging or self-promotion. Maybe someone with a little bit of an inferiority complex.

At times this has been Ray Palmer. He was always the little guy in the room. He sometimes wondered if he deserved to sit at the JLA table. Even though he was a brilliant physicist, he was pretty quiet about his discoveries.

Another big clue that has been mulled over is the nature of Leviathan's blue energy weapon. It isn't pure destruction. It isn't anything Batman has seen before. It seems otherworldly.

Superman has actually felt the beam and has described it as making things 'not be'. In the last issue of Action Comics, Superman describes it as 'shifting' energy.

We know from the first Superman arc that Brian Michael Bendis wrote that STAR Labs was experimenting with the Phantom Zone projector. Who helped tinker with that device and brought Earth back to reality? Ray Palmer.

What if Palmer somehow synched his white dwarf star devices with a Phantom Zone projector, simultaneously shrinking inorganic matter (imploding it) while sending organic matter ... people ... to another dimension? Some sort of Survival Zone?

The Atom has the knowledge to pull something like that off. Thus we get massive destruction of espionage bases all without a body count.

Looking at The Enforcer armor, you see energy cracking in circles around the brute, almost like electron shells or atomic symbols.

Yes, I used this as a clue for Captain Atom for the same reason.

In the Leviathan Rising special, we got a brief look at the costume beneath the cloak. A dash of blue and a red circle? All classic Atom colors.

So attitude, look, and tech all sound like Ray Palmer.

But what about his past? What about motives?

Here he implies that Plastic Man knows him from time together in the Justice League.

That totally makes sense for the Atom.

And he says that both Plastic Man and he were born into a world which almost killed them. They both took a step back and started over. In this speech, it seems like Leviathan has seen all continuities and all histories.

Trust me, know one has had a tougher life than Ray Palmer.

His wife divorced him.
He got stuck in his small size.
He joined a race of tiny beings on Earth, falling in love with their princess John Carter style.
But this life was taken away from him.

He became the Atom again.

But then at one point he got de-aged and led the Teen Titans.

Then he became the Atom again, only to have his ex-wife go on a killing spree to thrust them back together.

And in the New 52/Rebirth, he has been missing, trapped in the Microverse until recently.

He has every reason to be upset at the world.

Despite all he has done, the world has never treated him well. And the tragedies continue around him.

But what about that 'We are Leviathan'?

In the last Action Comics, Robinson Goode wondered how Leviathan could both ask Rose to join his crew and offer her everything while at the same time sending a goon squad to kill her in her apartment.

Maybe there are two people in charge of Leviathan. One is Ray, trying to do things peacefully. He doesn't want to fight.

And Leviathan certainly has had the opportunity to hurt heroes' loved ones. He spared General Lane. He spared Steve Trevor.

It is almost like there is a past incident where heroes' families were hurt intentionally?

See where I am going with this?

The Atom lived through the horror of Identity Crisis. He won't do that again.

Ahhh ...

But we also know that Leviathan has a female accomplice. Someone who seemed to attack Director Bones.

Maybe this person is the other half of Leviathan. She smiles and nods when Bones says so.

Maybe this is the half that would send a hit squad against Rose.

Maybe this is someone who would try to have General Lane killed in the hospital.

Maybe it is someone who doesn't mind killing heroes' loved ones if it means achieving a goal.

Someone who, let's say, walked on Sue Dibny's brain and then lit Sue on fire.

Someone like Jean Loring.

And maybe somehow, after all he has been through, Ray decides that he will fall back in with Jean. Maybe he thinks he has turned her onto the right path. But secretly, she is doing the wetworks.

Okay, this is a little bit of a stretch I know.

But as a back-up theory? This has some legs.


Martin Gray said...

Fabulous post. Some of the clues make sense but I can’t see Ray being operatic enough to want to change the whole world - and I could never, ever see him work with Jean.

Rob S. said...

Great post. Ray's one of the suspects I'm considering, too -- largely (heh) because of his shrink tech, that could take a person out of sight (all the way to the Microverse) without killing them.

I was with you until Jean. I just don't see that happening, and she hasn't been introduced in the story yet. If she were a part of it, I think we'd have seen her by now.

But is there someone else he might work with? This one doesn't strike me as all wrong, by a long shot. But I have a hunch it can't be more than half right.

Steve said...

Just read #3 and it does add a bit to the Charlton connection. Negotiating Leviathan sounds like a serious Ted. Power wielding Leviathan sounds like Nathaniel. #3 has a Leviathan who sounds flipper and bantery than ever before. Eve.

Ted isn't Leviathan.
Nathaniel isn't Leviathan.
Eve isn't Leviathan.

They are all Leviathan. Hence the switches at times between I and we...

Anonymous said...

There was a theory out there that it's Nyssa Al-Ghul. Similar to the sound Damian makes in #3 - "Nyaasaa!" - as he's falling.

It's probably not an accident Bendis wrote that, but I think it's a red herring, so to myself I say "Nyaaaaah!"

Hmmm - the Nyssa character was created by Greg Rucka...