WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Event Leviathan #4 from Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev and Josh Reed, on sale now.
DC's Event Leviathan continues to stump Batman, the World's Greatest Detective, and many of DC's other elite minds, as they try to find the masked villain that's been tormenting the spy agencies across the DCU in books like Action Comics. Oliver Queen, Manhunter, Damian Wayne and Lois Lane are just a few who've also struggled to figure out Leviathan's identity, and Leviathan has been recruiting other heroes and playing mind games with everyone.
In Event Leviathan #4, the mysterious character proved that he or she is just as physically strong by beating up DC's most powerful icon, Superman, easily in a jaw-dropping defeat.
Before the beatdown, Superman confronts Leviathan in Cuba after the leader and his/her group's attempt to kidnap Amanda Waller. She refused Leviathan's offer to join, and Superman wants to protect Amanda because he knows she's a key asset to stopping the villain later on. But when Kal-El tries to super-speed off towards Leviathan, he gets the shock of his life, and it's a feat that not even the recent suspect in Jason Todd seems capable of achieving.
As Superman recalls the story to Batman and Lois Lane, he feels extremely flustered and stunned at losing, to the point he feels as human as he ever has, and might as well just be Clark Kent. He tried to use his x-ray vision to see through Leviathan's mask, but it was cloaked and his gaze couldn't pierce its veil. We don't know if it's alien tech to nullify his Kryptonian powers or if it's magic, but when Kal decides to kick off towards Leviathan, but the villain has found a way to use his super-speed against him.
Previously, Clark thought Leviathan wasn't killing people or blowing buildings up, the villain was simply using spatial manipulation to whisk objects away in the blink of an eye. So logic dictates, if Superman can break the sound barrier and move faster than the rate at which Leviathan manipulates space and time, being faster than a speeding bullet should be enough to take the enemy out.
As Superman pushes on, the more he's pushed away, which traps him in a bubble. This pushback was so great that he didn't move and he finds himself up kneeling, out of breath and needing help as he's never been drained this way, possibly through gravity manipulation.
All we know is he was left calling out for Batman and Lois, which means he was soundly beaten. The fact it was the night when he came to says it all because while it appeared like a few seconds to us all, it was much longer for the Man of Steel. It remains to be seen why Leviathan left him there and took Waller, as they could have killed the Man of Steel for good. Apparently, him being alive to report this to Batman's league of heroes works to Leviathan's benefit somehow. It might be to inflict fear in the other heroes, or it could be Leviathan's way of showing that Superman just isn't that big of a cog in hi schemes.
It's not everyday you see someone mentally trample Superman like this and render him useless without any apparent use of Kryptonite. While Lois and a new crew of detectives are trying to find out more, they will fare better than Superman and Batman, because right now Leviathan is proving to be unstoppable and has all of the tools needed to inflict doomsday on the world if they so choose.