Main story: Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Art and Cover by Yanick Paquette
The Superman: Leviathan Rising Special was advertised as a $9.99, 80-page “event” book that would set the stage for what’s to come in the DC comic universe this coming year… a “can’t miss” issue for fans.
Well, I am sorry to say that fans won’t miss a thing by skipping this oversized “special” and saving themselves ten bucks. There are no major reveals or advancements in the Leviathan saga, other than the announcement of a controversial new owner of the Daily Planet.
Let’s start with the very dramatic, but extremely misleading cover that DC used to promote this event and generate pre-orders. Yanick Paquette created a Christ-like, post-Crucifixion scene that evokes “The Pieta” and the “Descent From The Cross”, depicting a kryptonite-vested Superman in the arms of Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, with a legion of DC heroes coming to his rescue.
A scene that does not appear in this issue…not even close.
“Superman” technically never wears the Kryptonite vest in the story, and no one shown on the cover ever sees the vest. Only Lois, Firestorm, Jimmy (in a gorilla suit—WTH?), and a ring-slinging Red Lantern cat (double WTH?) “come to the rescue” at the end of the main story.
Separate, shorter stories by different writers and artists starring Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane interrupt the main story, loosely linking up with it, but seem to serve only as previews for their own upcoming comics series, advertised at the end of the book. We've been had. Another short story starring Supergirl introduces another somewhat mysterious element to the Leviathan storyline, but again, no major news.
While we do see a couple of new (villainous) alliances, they are not very shocking or surprising revelations. We see Leviathan's impatience with his allies, and that life at the Daily Planet is about to become much more stressful because of the new owner's hidden agenda.
The highlight for me was seeing Paquette draw Superman…I love his version of the Man of Steel, especially in flight and in battle scenes. He appears determined and powerful, without the necessity of being drawn with overly-large musculature, an artist's choice that never makes sense to me.
The last page promises “The Mysteries Continue in EVENT LEVIATHAN”…let’s hope more happens that did here.
• a Metropolis shout-out to Richard Donner, director of Superman The Movie
• a cool reference to the cover of Action Comics #1 on display in Amanda Waller’s office
• Lois Lane, inexplicably appearing in the same dress as a villain earlier in the story