(++Warning: this article contains spoilers for Event Leviathan #6++)
For the last six months, we’ve watched the mystery of Leviathan’s identity play out over one of the worst single nights in DC Universe history. Now Event Leviathan #6 lays the entire mystery out, paving the way for a new world…
Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, and Josh Reed lay everything bare.
On one front, Talia al Ghul’s arrival has provided the detective heroes with the last pieces they need to figure out Leviathan’s identity. On the other, Superman and Plastic Man come face to with Leviathan himself. And in the aftermath, Leviathan stands revealed, his initial plan thwarted but ready to step into phase two…
Where the other issues of this story have but slow but structured to bring readers clues and false leads in the mystery, Bendis’s story in this issue doesn’t succeed in its structure or plot. There’s too much plot to wrap up realistically. And there’s the matter of the big reveal- Mark Shaw is Leviathan. Not only does this elicit a response of “who” from the casual fan, but nothing in the series leading up to the reveal would lead anyone to the conclusion that Shaw is Leviathan. Though the story possibilities are exciting and interesting, the reveal falls short.
That’s not to say that it’s a bad issue though. The best part of the series to date has been the character interactions and this issue is no exception to that. Superman and Lois Lane has been one of the best pairings Bendis has written since moving to DC, and here he continues to show how well he understands and writes the duo.
Maleev continues to be the major draw of the series. He’s able to add an incredible amount of tension to Shaw’s unmasking, both in the pacing of his layouts and figure work as well as the otherworldly colors he casts the scene in. His depiction of the heroes, especially Superman, Batman and Lois, show an interpersonal connection between the characters, not just a group of people talking. There’s real emotional stakes, even if the reveal didn’t quite work.
There’s a new era of the DC Universe at hand here. Even if this story is ultimately a bit disappointing, it’ll be fascinating to see what’s next.
Event Leviathan #6 is available now from DC Comics.