Event Leviathan #5 review

Well, that was exciting. Turning the pages of Event Leviathan #5, I’m trying not to speed through, because while I want to get to the big reveal, I equally want to enjoy the sights the ride offers, see if I can work things out before all is apparent.

We begin with Lois and her secret team of detectives, who have a handy list of everyone they’ve cleared. They’re convinced that now they know who Leviathan is – despite him being in a hospital bed after an attack by the mystery person/organisation, Zatanna, Elongated Man and friends are sure it’s… General Sam Lane, Lois’s father. 

Lois isn’t convinced. And as it turns out, he’s allied to the group, but not the series’ main antagonist. 

So who is Leviathan? 

Leviathan the person tries to convince Superman – whose powers aren’t working due to superspy-tech invented to contain son Jon – to stand aside as they impose world peace. Batman and his team of detectives, meanwhile, are still trying to work out who Leviathan is. Damian Wayne has a slow creep Eureka moment. 

So… Kate Spencer’s predecessor as Manhunter, Mark Shaw? He’s certainly a suspect on a few internet lists, even I suggested him in my review last time, but he’d be a tad out of nowhere in terms of this series’ suspects. 

We don’t get a definitive last-page reveal, so I’m not going with that Manhunters business, I reckon it’s a red herring… it’s not like Damian has any reason to connect Kate’s staff – formerly Mark Shaw’s, or at least a man going by that name – to Leviathan tech, unless I’ve forgotten/missed something. Mark Shaw would be a disappointment because he’s never been in the frame, and I can’t see writer Brian Michael Bendis not playing fair with us.

Leviathan’s talk about the world needing to evolve, and the last page appearance of Talia al-Ghul, suggests her father, Ra’s al-Ghul. Yes, he’s on the ‘cleared’ list, and his ego doesn’t suggest he’d ever wear a mask, but he may have his reasons.

Whatever the case, this isn’t the issue in which all is revealed… why did we think the big news was coming? Or did it come, but in a very low-key manner?

And what the heck is a ‘snowman ticket’? The context suggests something in the realm of John le Carré, but an internet search offers me nothing but visits to shows starring Raymond Briggs beloved Christmas character. 

Event Leviathan #5 is another cracking read, with some nicely nuanced characterisation for Lois, a pleasingly take-charge Ralph Dibny and a Leviathan who sounds eminently reasonable as he explains to Superman that he doesn’t have to shoulder all the world’s problems. 

And Superman, as we expect from Bendis by now, is just wonderful. 

The full-colour art by Alex Maleev is again stellar, with the smaller scenes as impressively expressed as the big, bombastic moments. The opening recap, with intelligently chosen letters by Josh Reed, is especially fine, busy, eye-catching but not over-cluttered. And Maleev’s cover is a rotten, stinking tease… I love it. 

So, has Leviathan been revealed? Or do you have any final theories?

9 thoughts on “Event Leviathan #5 review

  1. Snowman ticket, eh? I’m stumped. The internet is stumped. I found ONE mention of it on twitter that had anything to do with Leviathan, and it was literally just someone asking Bendis about it. So I have no idea. Maybe the snowman ticket is …. (wait for it)…. how

    SNOWMAN ESCAPES THE MANHUNTERS!

    Seriously, I have no idea.

    I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I’m sorry to see what looks to be Sam Lane’s death in this issue. He was *finally* getting written as an interesting character, and I’m enough of a cockeyed optimist to think that might have lasted a while.

    And for the Manhunters… I think it might be a red herring, or at least not the whole story… and suddenly, it’s starting to make me suspect Batgirl. Not so much because of the clues leading up to this point, but thinking about who I’d want running the *one* global spy agency left in DC, and Barbara Gordon seems to be a decent prospect. And then there’s that “You’ve been through some weird stuff with your father lately. I can relate. I know THAT struggle.” — and I think Babs has been through weird stuff with her dad, just by virtue of having a secret ID. (And then when HE was Batman, it was even weirder, I imagine.) Of course, Damien also has weird issues with his dad, but he’s accounted for when Leviathan is talking to Superman. Barbara isn’t. (And if she was “cleared” by Team 2, it had to be second-hand at best, since no one has known where she is since this thing started.)

    Hmmm.. I thought we’d know by now, but we really don’t! Arrgh!

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  2. Manhunter is feeling like a red herring to me too. I did a search of all DC Manhunters (except my least favorite, the one from Mars. Mental block?) and no name that pops up has appeared anywhere in a Leviathan story. Still, Kate carrying a spying device unwittingly into these secret meetings would be so like her. She’s a great character and her series was amazing but let’s face it, she was a very bad super-hero. It worked though. If you were a career lawyer and single mother who decided one day to cobble together a costume from random villains and blackmailed a tech guy, would you be very good at it?

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  4. I have no clue, but I am enjoying this so much. I love his characterizations of Lois Lane and Clark Kent in all of these books he is doing, and Superman is just an amazing characterization so far. He really gets the character and the nuances between the way he behaves as Superman and the way he behaves as Clark Kent. I disagree with his Superboy move, as I really enjoyed little Jon, but it is what it is and the characterization is actually quite good, as he really does seem like a mini Clark and Lois.

    I am a bit bothered by the lack of utilization of Manhunter. Why include her if she has basically done nothing. Did Batman maybe suspect her connection all along? Or maybe Lois did?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great questions, Manhunter is a bit of a headscratcher. She’s been such a non-presence in the DCU for so many years that she’s not someone you’d expect to be picked for a team.

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