Friday, September 13, 2019

Review: Event Leviathan #4

Event Leviathan #4 came out this week and it was another fascinating issue in a wonderful mystery book. We have turned the corner in this book, now in the back half. And between some reveals here and a doozy of a cliffhanger, I am definitely still plugged in.

The deception, secrets, and feints continue to fly here. There are is enough to chew on to make me add yet another suspect to my list of who Leviathan is. And while my main Leviathan Theory remains unchanged, I have to consider the fact that this time I might not be right.

Brian Bendis continues to capture the voices of the detectives trying to solve the mystery. And mostly this is a back room conversation between our sleuths as they try to unravel this tangled yarn ball. I do have to chuckle seeing the group continue to snipe and suspect each other. Perhaps that is what Leviathan wants.

Alex Maleev continues to marvel here. While I think of him as a street level artist, perfect for the dark alleys of a noir mystery, he shines here tonight with the more sci-fi and super-heroic aspect of this issue. Love this cover, especially the diagonal color separation between the blues of Superman and the red of Leviathan. Visually arresting.

One last reminder. This is the review post for Event Leviathan #4. The clue review will post next week.

On to the book.

Last issue ended with Superman defending Amanda Waller and confronting Leviathan.

This issue opens with Superman amid the detectives, slumped in his seat. Turns out he is in the Batcave. And despite knowing everyone in the room, he isn't against scanning everyone with his vision powers. Everyone that is ... except Lois. Hmmm ...

Anyways, it is interesting that Kate Spencer continues to think that Amanda Waller is Leviathan, a guess which seems completely wrong given what we have seen. That alone made me question why she earned her place at the super-sleuth table.

And Damian continues to be the snarky kid he is. He wants to know how Superman got his ass kicked. Brilliant.

We then get back to the action.

In Cuba, Superman confronts Leviathan. He tries to turn the Leviathan troops. And we see Superman scanning Leviathan as well. Whatever this tech is, it is impressive warping and layering to the point that it becomes something of a distorted mess.

Could one of those layers be a shot at the real Leviathan?

Even then, the nature of Superman comes out. He asks for an honest discussion about Leviathan's goals. It is so pure, good old boy, Superman that even Lois calls him out on it.

And then this intriguing page.

Realizing that Leviathan's move is the blue energy temporal shuffle, and knowing that Amanda Waller has been targeted for capture, Superman prepares to face this attack.

But despite being ready, the Leviathan force wave ... or energy matrix as Superman calls it ... pushes back with equal force. Superman can't get through. Just like that Leviathan, Waller, and the troops are gone, leaving Superman alone and flummoxed.

I love this page. The rotating Superman, counterclockwise, with caption boxes going clockwise all give this page a surreal and chaotic feel. The background images of tendrils and circles and globes all evoke a certain feel. This is just great comic book art and words.

It is clear that there is dissension and suspicion amid the gathered detectives in the Batcave.

Even Superman, the most trustworthy, asks that everyone else leave so he can talk to Batman and Lois alone. He obviously doesn't want to divulge everything to everyone there.

And then Batman doubles down. He doesn't trust everyone. Not even Damian.

With so much in-fighting, no wonder there hasn't been much advancement in actually solving the mystery.

As I said earlier, Manhunter still holding on to Waller as a prime suspect seems weird. In fact, I have never felt like Manhunter deserved a spot in the superstar detective club.

Finally, it comes out that she isn't there for her investigating skills. She has been set up, attacked, impersonated. She seems to have been singled out by Leviathan and she is simply on the run.

But she isn't shy. She remains confident. I love how she drops a Tiny Titan when talking to Damian.

Still, she does seem to have been singled out. Is this a real gripe by Leviathan? Or, as Ollie thinks, just another feint? Is it another way Leviathan is causing the group to point fingers internally?

Finally, Robin drops some wisdom.

Spy organizations never win or lose. There is always too much going on. What spy agencies want is for other organizations to be busy. Busy is success and infuriating.

The detectives are being kept busy. But busy work isn't progress.

There is something wonderful about the tween Robin being the one to teach something to this grizzled cadre of heroes.

Outside Wayne Manor, Silencer remains poised in a tree with a sniper rifle. She is talking to someone about the goings on inside the house.

Now this is crazy. All the spy agencies have been destroyed or absorbed. Is she talking to Leviathan? Given her conversation, probably not. So who is she talking to? Who still remains on the board? Another mystery.

But she sees two things of import. One, Lois  sneaks off in one of Bruce's car. I like how immediately the radio voice thinks Lois is hooking up with Bruce. It meshes a bit with the whole 'is she hooking up with Superman' story in the super-books.

And then Superman takes off out of Wayne Manor, giving Silencer another mystery to figure out.

But who is Silencer talking too?

Why did Superman take off.

Well, we go back a little in time inside the Batcave.

Batgirl has been able to get a quick message out to the team. Batman appropriately tells everyone to be quiet so Babs can speak. She lied to Leviathan and told them that she will join. And she has learned that Leviathan has completely absorbed and melded all the spy organizations. All that tech is now in the hands of one entity.

She thinks she is in Seattle prompting Superman (with Plastic Man in tow) to head out at super-speed. (That's what Silencer saw.)

But Babs message gets cut off before she can reveal who Leviathan is. And when Superman arrives in Seattle, a Leviathan bomb goes off.

Is the location of Seattle a clue?

As for Lois, she has gone to her back-up detective group.

It is clear she doesn't trust everyone who just happened to find themselves in the wreckage of Leviathan's first attack. And why should she? Is that coincidence or something more nefarious.

So we see her other working group - The Other Question, Deathstroke, Harvey Bullock, Zatanna, John Constantine, and the Elongated Man.

Squint a little, and you have some analogs for the other group. Two Questions. Two stretchy guys. Batman and Bullock. Damian and Deathstroke.

But super-powered magicians? In a story about spies and technology? An explosive combination.

And I'll admit I pored over the pages looking for clues. New mysteries and suspects were added. And I want to read the next issue now. All signs of a very successful book.

I'm all in here. Expect a clue review mid-week.

Overall grade: A


Martin Gray said...

Oh, Seattle! I missed that clue. Hmmmmm.

This really is such a good book - lots of fun, a visual treat and leaving us lots to discuss.

Rob S. said...

Great review, Doctor! This is my favorite issue of Event Leviathan to date -- so much happened!

And I *do* wonder what's happened to Waller. She knows something we don't, I'm sure.