Superman: Leviathan Rising is the event that has been a setup from DC Comics since bringing on Brian Michael Bendis. Superman: Leviathan Rising is published by DC Comics, written by Brian Michael Bendis, Greg Rucka, Matt Fraction, and Marc Andreyko, illustrated by Yanick Paquette, Mike Perkins, Steve Lieber, Eduardo Pansica, and Julio Ferreira, with colors by Nathan Fairbairn, Paul Mounts, and FCO Plascencia, and letters by Dave Sharpe, Simon Bowland, Clayton Cowles, Tom Napolitano, and ALW’s Troy Peteri. The current issue, sets the initial plan of Leviathan in motion, while also promoting two other tie-in series focusing in on Jimmy Olsen, and Lois Lane while also highlighting a third with Supergirl.
The book starts off with a meeting between the aptly named Leviathan, and a lady he refers to as Ms. Leone. The meeting quickly becomes a game of mental sparring between two very dangerous minds. Each figure trying to read the other and assess their motives and weaknesses. Leviathan has donned a face-altering mask and it creates a very unsettling, but mysterious tone, due to the fact that every minute or so, his face scrambles into a completely random one. This parley between these obvious super-villains reinforces the lengths they will go to, while planning to remove Superman, including talking in code and not referencing key members of the story by name since Superman can literally hear everything.
The depth of this conversation really struck me. These are individuals on a cognitive level who have had time to assess and analyze the failures of others who have attempted to take down the Man of Steel. However, it feels like every precaution is being taken. At this point, they highlight that Superman has softer targets that no one ever seems to leverage.
Soon, Superman stumbles upon a team of black ops agents in his apartment waiting to kidnap him, or more accurately, waiting in the apartment of Clark Kent. Clark discusses this with Lois who senses her husband’s willingness to chase the story down, and allow the crime to happen. The interaction between these two at this point has a real feel of warmth and humor. Unbeknownst to Superman though, the kidnapping of Clark Kent was far better executed than even this mysterious crime organization could have planned for, and he unknowingly walks right into the spider’s web.
There is so much more I like about this comic. Lois at one point shuts down Batman while he ‘mansplains’ something to her. And the tie in comic Superman’s Married Friend Jimmy Olsen is full of hilarity that ensues during a drunken night out in Gorilla City and also features a cameo appearance from an intergalactic visitor and an interdimensional thief.
Overall, the creative teams have packed in a huge amount of story and subtext within these 73 pages, that will surely make for perfect reading once the mystery of Leviathan has been opened up further down the line.
Bendis has found a way to tell a Superman story without giving us almost any Superman in this issue. Instead, the writer chooses to focus in on his mild-mannered alter ego, Clark Kent. This choice serves to humanize him in a way, that’s not often depicted.
My one minor takeaway is that some of these tie-in stories are unnecessary. While I understand why they leveraged this issue as a platform to promote the upcoming series. The likes of Supergirl seems to be just jammed into this issue without a lot of context which is a disservice to that property.
In relation to the main story however, the mystery that surrounds Leviathan as a villain has made this a captivating story line that has been teased and threaded throughout many of the DC properties. This 73-page issue is certainly one you won’t want to miss.
Superman: Leviathan Rising is available now wherever comics are sold.
Superman: Leviathan Rising
The mystery that surrounds Leviathan as a villain has made this a captivating story line that has been teased and threaded throughout many of the DC properties. This 73-page issue is certainly one you won’t want to miss.
Aaron is a contributing writer at But Why Tho, serving as a reviewer for TV and Film. He is also the co-host and social media manager of the Nerds Social Club podcast.
Hailing originally from England, and after some lengthy questing, he’s currently set up shop in Pennsylvania. He spends his days reading comics, podcasting, and being attacked by his small offspring.