WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Event Leviathan #6, by Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev and Josh Reed, on sale now.
After months of teasing and red herrings, DC has finally revealed the identity of the terrorist known as Leviathan. Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev led fans down a series of rabbit holes recently in Event Leviathan, with clues pointing towards the menace being Jason Todd, Damian Wayne, Sam Lane or even Batgirl.
However, with the wild goose chase zeroing in on the Manhunter known as Kate Spencer, Event Leviathan #6 confirms she was being framed and used as a patsy by one of her predecessors. As revealed in flashbacks to Superman's big confrontation with the villain, Leviathan reveals himself to be Mark Shaw, who was once known as the hero Manhunter.
Like Spencer, Shaw was a lawyer who struggled with how badly the world was being overrun by criminals. In the '80s, he was eventually goaded by his uncle, Desmond, to join the Manhunter cult, which formed on Earth after the Manhunter androids meant to police the galaxy by the Guardians of Oa got out of control. The Manhunter initiative was deemed too dangerous and they were exiled, being replaced by the Green Lanterns. But the remaining robots infiltrated many worlds and thanks to the Grandmaster, Desmond became part of the movement, with Mark then suiting up as a vigilante.
Once he realized the android movement was getting out of control, he broke away to become the Privateer. As a bounty hunter, Shaw would work with the Suicide Squad for years before then working as a U.S. Marshal. But as it turns out, he was simply a spy collecting information since his Checkmate days, converting soldiers from the likes of the D.E.O., A.R.G.U.S. and Spyral into his ranks. The latter's where he got the tech to take down Superman in a previous fight, thanks to weapons the group kept in case Jon Kent went rogue.
The reveal comes when Superman convenes with Lois back in Metropolis after leaving Iceland. He tells her about the big brawl that just ensued and the flashback shows Leviathan unmasking after asking Superman once more to join. Kal-El admits Shaw was tired of seeing superheroes shouldering the burden, revealing he had thousands of agents strewn across the globe. He says that he got fed up of watching the Justice League fumble around and wanted to build an organization that could tackle everything high-profile events to the ground-level criminals on the street.
The Man of Steel doesn't buy it, but when Batgirl calls in the cavalry, Shaw teleports his army away, cursing the heroes for rejecting him. They've foiled this mission to release the secrets of several governments and military organizations, but despite protecting the sensitive information, Lois and Damian, in particular, feel like they've lost. Lois confesses her dad was the one who came up with the file about forming a new organization, which Shaw stole and appropriated. With Sam now dead, this has tarnished his legacy irrevocably. Damian also feels that because Leviathan escaped, they failed, only to be reminded by his father Leviathan is now on the run.
Since he still has Jim Harper, the Guardian, by his side, Shaw isn't alone, and Harper reminds him that the Leviathan legion is still there and ready to launch another assault. While Shaw might have considered himself an anti-hero before, he's now looking like a full-fledged villain, especially as he admits the duplicity of Batgirl and the sneaky tactics Batman used pissed him off.
Although Lois exposes his plans to the public, Shaw vows to continue his war. While he might've lost this battle, he made the Justice League accuse their allies in their distrust and left them in a state of complete disarray. If that's any indication of what else he has planned, Leviathan's war is far from over.