Event Leviathan #4 review

It’s the long night of Leviathan. After the razing of the world’s covert organisations, Superman, Batman and friends believe something bad is coming in the morning. They’ve gathered to pool information in the hope of answering the question: Who is Leviathan?

Leviathan is who made Superman look ineffective as they whisked Task Force X chief Amanda Waller away under his nose.

Leviathan is the master manipulator who has been playing the good guys off against one another.

Leviathan is the paymaster of super-assassin Silencer.

But who is Leviathan?

I dunno. Intriguing ideas aplenty arise from this chapter – superbly written by Brian Michael Bendis, illustrated by Alex Maleev and lettered by Josh Reed – which could have been called Suspicious Minds. Sure, previous issues have told us that everyone suspects everyone else but this one really sells it. The Batcave kitchenette (heh) scene of the detectives chatting away while Lois Lane, Batman and Superman swap intel finally convinces me that, yes, any of them could be part of the Leviathan organisation.

And the Alfred anecdote from Damian shows that he really does have the sharp mind to analyse a case with the likes of the Question and Manhunter.

The final page of this issue does bring in a few more characters who are apparently siding with Leviathan – Zatanna, Harvey Bullock, Deathstroke, the Renee Montoya Question, John Constantine and some guy in Charlie Brown tightly whites whom I don’t recognise. How they might be involved, I have no clue.

So is Leviathan someone connected to Kate Spencer? One of her predecessors as Manhunter, Mark Shaw, appeared in her old mag, he was into spy stuff, and maybe Batgirl is saying his name as interference hits her broadcast here. ‘Mrk’ for ‘Mark’. But she also says something involving ‘Te’ which nods towards Dr Anj’s theory that Leviathan is Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle.

Working against this is that I have no idea how much of Manhunter’s early 2000s continuity survives – after all, around the time Mark Shaw was in the book, she was knee-deep in the aftermath of Ted Kord’s murder by Maxwell Lord.

Then again, Ted is alive in New 52/DC Rebirth continuity and Max Lord never killed him. Or perhaps Max did do the deed, but everyone has forgotten due to the Doomsday Clock shenanigans of Dr Manhattan… it’s ruddy hard to solve a mystery when you don’t know what the state of the DCU and its denizens is.

If I were forced to guess from this issue just who Leviathan is I’d think about which longtime member of the Justice League should rightly have been in the inner circle with Lois, Batman and Superman, but was instead happy to be directing the detectives’ thinking.

Whose voice did Batgirl hear before panicking about just who was in the Batcave with Batman.

Who has sonic weapons that could interfere with a radio signal?

Green Arrow.

Oliver Queen, for decades, was basically Batman in a tunic; he has the the money, connections and industrial base to organise a network for global change. The killing of his ward, Roy Harper, during a stay at Sanctuary – the supposed safehouse for recovering heroes set up by Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman – could have caused him to lose faith in their ways

Sure, he’s been with the detectives while Leviathan has been appearing, but that could be a representative under there, son Connor Hawke, maybe.

And yes, Green Arrow was with Batgirl when Leviathan tried to recruit her… of course the offer wasn’t made to Ollie, he IS Leviathan. Maybe 😉

I shot an arrow in the air. Am I on target?

19 thoughts on “Event Leviathan #4 review

  1. It looks like the guy you couldn’t identify on the last page is Elongated Man! (Bendis says he appears in the issue in an interview today at The Beat.) My suspicion is that the final image got flipped, maybe for better placement of the Next Issue blurb… and the E on Ralph’s chest wasn’t fixed to accommodate it. Looks like a new uniform for Ralph, regardless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you SO much – all those times I’ve moaned about artists continually showing Ralph stretching in crowd scenes when no one else is demonstrating their powers… maybe I needed it after all. or at least a nose twitch. To be fair to myself, he’s pretty off-model here, bulky and grumpy looking!

      Like

  2. That is Elongated Man on the last page. But he’s been wearing that Dale Eaglesham costume (like it or not) since 2016 (Secret Six #12 to be precise). He was last seen wearing this very same costume in Detective Comics #1000.

    Like

  3. Great review! Are we sure that Silencer was talking to Leviathan? I wonder if there isn’t another player on the board.

    This issue did push me further into the Mark Shaw Is Leviathan camp, but the Green Arrow voice trigger was interesting. Maybe it shocked Barbara because Ollie is actually still with her and the one in the Batcave is an imposter?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, now that’s a theory I like. And no, I shouldn’t have assumed Silencer was talking to Leviathan; didn’t she have dealings with Talia in her own book, maybe the old spymistress is back on the board?

      Like

  4. That’s a GREAT catch, that Batgirl clammed up as soon as she heard Green Arrow’s voice. (Well, technically right after Damian spoke, but she would have expected him to be there.)

    The main clue that stuck out to me was that there was a mention of Leviathan using borrowed tech, and then Robin asked Kate is she made all her tech herself — when her entire M.O. was originally cobbling together tech from supervillains that was being held for evidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Incidentally, I think at this point the likeliest suspects for Leviathan have already appeared in this book or Action Comics — although I could see some clues dropping in Superman as well. Mark Shaw…as interesting as that notion might be, just doesn’t have enough grounding in the visible aspects of the drama right now. Same with, I hate to say it, Blue Beetle, Captain Atom & Nightshade.

    Which makes Green Arrow — real or fake — a much more interesting possibility at this stage in the story. We’re at the end of Act Two, so all the players have likely been introduced. He’s been in it since the beginning.

    Sam Lane, too. And seeming taking a culprit off the board early is the oldest trick in the mystery book. (Is a spoiler required for Ten Little Indians at this point?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And then there were two… suspects. You are right about left-field suspects being unlikely, I reckon Bendis would play fair. I’m tired of Sam Lane being a General Eiling, but I’d not want it to be Ollie either, so an Ollie-alike would be good. Roll on next issue!

      Like

      1. The thing about Sam Lane being involved is… Leviathan actually seems more noble and respectable than Lane to me, at least the way he’s been portrayed in recent years. And even in the Triangle-Number era, Lane always seemed shortsighted, not the sort of guy who could orchestrate this. Though if he is involved, I don’t think he’s the mastermind, just someone who bought into Leviathan’s plan (possibly because he was shaken about the news he just got about his son-in-law).

        Like

  6. I have never liked Green Arrow and have actively hated the character at times. I would LOVE for him to go all heel turny! The abrupt cancellation of the snoozefest Green Arrow Failed Volume $#812 would be a good real world clue backing that up. The only trouble is Black Canary would likely be dragged down with him since TPTB think they’re a good match. Dinah aiding Ollie would explain the differing speech patterns of whomever is wearing the armor and she can muck things up with sonics too…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aha, great point about Dinah and sonics. I think she’s just too much of a, no pun intended, straight arrow to be involved, and if Bendis is playing fair we’d have seen her. And she has enough of her own mind to disagree with Ollie if he’s gone a little master-planner.

      Then again, no one saw Hal Jordan having a breakdown and becoming murderous.

      Like

  7. It looks to me like Green Arrow already spoke aloud at least twice before while Batgirl was connected – first he said “Oh, thank God,” and later a whole thing ending with “is it drugging or hypnosis?”.

    Batgirl actually goes silent after Damian speaks for the first time during the connection. Then asks who is there, and Batman asks if she can see them. (I assume she can’t .)

    Damian, Talia’s son.

    He’s interested in Manhunter’s tech – so would Leviathan be.

    I’m not suggesting his is Leviathan, but I am suggesting he’s mixed up in it. A confederate, a co-conspirator.

    Damian and his mother don’t get along, and I could see him working with others to pull Leviathan away from her.

    And we see in City of Bane that Damian likes to take things into his own hands – from what we’ve seen so far in Batman, with horrendous consequences, if we take what was depicted there at face value. Even if what “happened” didn’t really happen, everyone was warned that it would – and only Damian was arrogant enough to ignore that warning.

    If Batgirl knows Damian is working with Leviathan, she’d certainly have stopped dead when she heard him.

    But — if she already knew Damian was involved, why risk contacting the Batcave? And, does the Batcave have its own Skype or FaceTime account? Does Batman not have his own private line? Why call Batman at all, if you’re worried about Damian, who could obviously be nearby? Why not call someone else – literally anyone else?

    So, I am undercutting my theory.

    Of all the suspects considered so far, are any of them particularly close with Damian? (Is anyone?)

    T.N.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant arguments! (Anj, gonna have to adjust those odds again…..)

      The little guy gives himself a big name. Makes sense. And Damian would see himself as their heir to her empire.

      Oh well done!

      Like

  8. Since I came up with that, I discovered there are already some heavy Damian-adjacent theories out there. Ran into them in a discussion thread in CBR forums. Spooky stuff! People coming up with arguments that it’s a — Damian from the future! He decided that things didn’t work out, and wants to fix them. He would know, I think, all the things that Leviathan knows.

    So I’ll pick up on that idea and add that Batgirl might have stopped short because, being unable to see but only hear, she didn’t know “which” Damian was present.

    I’m not ready to buy that it’s him, unless he’s wearing lifts in his shoes or had a growth spurt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I don’t like that idea at all, people from the future is such a cliche, it’s not five minutes since a Tim Drake was doing it… regular Damian would be fine! It would fit with the way he’s been taking the law into his own hands in Teen Titans

      Like

  9. I’d be much happier with regular Damien than future Damien, too. Enough with the evil Batmen from the Future/Alt Dimensions/Local Hardees! Let’s have a villain from the here and now.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.