A red herring is a plot device used to mislead or distract from the actual important questions or solutions. It’s such a common plot device that it’s often parodied. So the question in Event Leviathan #2 is whether this issue’s confrontation with Jason Todd is worthwhile, or just a red herring?
Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, and Josh Reed bring us the next chapter in DC Comics’ big mystery event.
[*Minor spoilers ahead!]
On the site of another Leviathan attack, Batman finds Red Hood, and the duo detail everything they’ve learned so far. Through several confrontations, more clues to the identity of Leviathan and his organization’s goals become clear. Now, Batman and his team have to ask the question that’s hung over the DCU since May’s Year of the Villain one-shot – is Jason Todd Leviathan?
At first this chapter seems to be heavily decompressed thanks to a slow start, another conversation between two people, but it picks up more and more as the issue goes on. He uses several classic mystery tropes to draw us in, and provides a lot of information. The Question is the story’s MVP, getting a great showcase in his appearance, and flipping expectations that Bendis set up. It leads up to a great cliffhanger, even though we don’t have all the evidence to believe Jason IS Leviathan, we believe he CAN BE.
Maleev continues to be the best part of the series. His Batman is majestic, taking inspiration from classic takes like Marshall Rogers and Kelly Jones, balanced with his own past superhero stories. His character work overall is great, especially with Leviathan himself, who shows so much personality, despite being unable to see his face.
His layouts are unusual, but they are clear with a great sense of flow across the page both for engaging action and quieter conversations. He also drops some great visual cues in his colors, muting most the colors except (not coincidentally) Jason and Leviathan’s red armor. It comes all together and looks amazing throughout.
Leviathan has strengthened its grip on the DC Universe, and it continues to be a great read.
Event Leviathan #2 is available now from DC Comics.