In what might be the most calculated and crippling power play a villainous organization has ever conducted in a comic book, Leviathan destroyed every entity in the global intelligence community in a single day. If that wasn't bad enough, the group also kidnapped Amanda Waller, who is still missing, and for a short period of time unknowingly had Superman in its grasp, neither of which is a small feat. Investigations launched into who now runs Leviathan and what exactly the group's end game is have all come back empty handed, leaving the world's greatest detective(s) tugging at any string they can in Event Leviathan #1.
Overall, this whole Leviathan business has been pretty fun. The group has proven itself to be an entity not to be trifled with by making smart, tactical moves to reach its end goal, whatever that might be. Brian Michael Bendis' current run on Action Comics has devoted the most pages to Leviathan, but as the scope of attacks widens, more heroes are getting pulled into the vortex of intrigue. Event Leviathan #1 takes a step back from the action and focuses on the aftermath of one of these attacks, with Batman and Lois Lane's individual investigations intersecting.
The bulk of the issue focuses on Bruce and Lois recapping what has happened in the larger world and comparing notes. But even with the best investigative journalist and the a legendary gumshoe on the case, there isn't much movement forward. This might come off as frustrating to some readers, but this issue acts as the true beginning to something much larger. All the threads in Action Comics and Leviathan Rising #1 were just window dressing. Presumably, whatever the real threat is still hasn't reared its head quite yet, which is a rather intimidating idea considering all the damage Leviathan has done already. If Batman and Lois Lane can't get to the bottom of this whole thing, then who can?
At this point, it's pretty obvious Brian Michael Bendis loves writing Lois Lane. From Jinx to Jessica Jones, he's always had a soft spot for tough, inquisitive female protagonists, which is why Lois might be the best written character in this issue. That's not to say Batman and the rest of the cast are poorly written (in fact, how one character specifically is handled is quite rattling in the best way), but there is a certain level of care taken with Lois that really jumps off the page.
Alex Maleev's art is solid, as usually. His use of heavy inks really helps convey the sense of dread on every page, and the story beats move fluidly from scene to scene. Maleev and Bendis excel as a team in long conversational moments. They are able to make pages filled with panels of two people talking feel fresh. Pick up any issue of their iconic run on Daredevil and read through any scene where criminals, politicians or vigilantes are plotting and scheming and you'll see what we mean.
As exciting as this issue is and for how it sets the stage for the biggest event from DC Comics this summer, it does point to some untapped potential. Bendis is doing amazing work in pages of Superman, Action Comics, Young Justice and the myriad Jinxworld titles, but seeing him and Maleev create what is mostly a Batman comic will have some readers chomping at the bit for these guys to pick up where Tom King will eventually leave off. Bendis' plate is already plenty full at the moment but seeing him work with Maleev on a detective superhero story makes Event Leviathan #1 a proof of concept.
Event Leviathan #1 is on sale now. Event Leviathan #2 hits shelves July 10.