Writing by Michael Bendis, Art, Cover, & Colors by Alex Maleev
The redacted graphics on the front cover are the first indicator that the six-issue mystery Event Leviathan will be about uncovering hidden truths. The very first page is quietly ominous, showing Batman moving in silence down into the ruins of the destroyed HQ of A.R.G.U.S. … until he unexpectedly bumps into a few friends, "How did YOU get in here?" The beautifully conceived, designed, and colored page dramatically sets the stage for this six-act play. (It is also the feature of this week’s “Pages That POP!”)
Evil forces led by the hooded, masked figure calling itself Leviathan have attacked and destroyed all the infrastructure of the world’s intelligence communities, both good and bad (A.R.G.U.S., the D.E.O., CADMUS, KOBRA, etc.), and are pursuing and killing all the intelligence directors they can find. But why? What is Leviathan’s endgame? Is it to create a new world order? These questions will require gathering the greatest detectives in the world to find the answers and stop them, before civilization falls.
Leviathan recruits an idealistic A.R.G.U.S. worker, talking to her creepily in third person: “We are Leviathan.” Is Leviathan referring to “we” as in “you and me”, or is it a clue that Leviathan is actually a multiple personality or combined persona? Dramatically, the only reason to wear a mask is to hide one's identity from others (unless you're vain like Doctor Doom). Is Leviathan someone we know?
Alex Maleev (Daredevil) was an excellent choice of artist for a dark, mysterious series featuring DC’s greatest detectives. His organic, sketchy style with plenty of blacks and shadows gives the proper amount of gravitas that a mystery story deserves.
The hues and textures throughout the book are excellent examples of how modern colorists are using the computer to produce more and more sophisticated atmospheric effects comics pages. Colorists are now able to mimic the dust and grit in the air, as it crosses flashlight or sun beams, or create selective focus depth of field to create a greater feeling of 3D separation from foreground to background. Or how a sunset diffuses a landscape and throws glare into your eyes. All these techniques add a subliminal real-world feel to comics like Event Leviathan.
This issue sets the stage and gets the ball rolling; it will be interesting which DC detectives are recruited for this series and to see what happens next.
• Page 1 is our featured “Pages That POP!” this week.
• Dr. Strand, who does NOT know the meaning of the phrase “LEAVE NOW!” no matter how many times she is told