REVIEW: ‘Leviathan Dawn,’ Issue #1

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Leviathan Dawn

After the monolithic phenomenon of Event Leviathan, the title villain is back to wreak havoc in the DC Comics universe. Leviathan Dawn #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art and cover by Alex Maleev, and letters by Josh Reed. In the prior issue, Leviathan’s master plan crumbled around him as Superman and Batman and their groups of detectives confronted the man behind the mask. Also, this was the issue where the mask finally came off to reveal his identity as Mark Shaw, a prior superhero and Manhunter.

Leviathan Dawn #1 picks up the pieces from this previous mini-series. Leviathan is intent on not wanting to wallow in defeat and immediately sets off to reinforce his ranks. The organization moves quickly to assure the public, that they’re not the bad guys in this situation, but rather, they are the liberators. They are the rebels who have broken the chains of the American intelligence government agencies grip on the public. In the conclusive pages, they unleash a move that even draws the attention of some other notable villains who find themselves asking, “Why didn’t we think of that?”.

Meanwhile, with Mark Shaw and his Leviathan organization still in the wind, the conclave of heroes needs to regroup and collectively brainstorm on how to bring them to justice. This will involve recruiting some unusual individuals, but such is the desperate nature of the situation. As the group comes together, they are joined by a new figure, one that the majority of the group questions their participation.

The synopsis is vague, but it has to be! It’s fantastic to see that the tone, and mystery, of Event Leviathan, has resumed in Leviathan Dawn #1. For me, this is the example of how a first issue should be, in that it should leave you enough of a frame of the story while leaving huge gaps in detail that connect the dots in the story.

Bendis seems to revel in this story arc, and his partnership with Maleev really is quite wonderful. Bendis creates this beautiful parallel between the protagonists, and antagonists, where they quote “If not us, then who?”. The environment is intensely chaotic as the reader is introduced into a world where there are no longer any intelligence communication agencies. At one point in the story, Lois Lane is called into a situation as the person reporting confesses he didn’t know who else to call because there’s no one left to call. There remains a good level of depth to explore post-Event Leviathan, and plenty of details left to discuss.

Maleev’s art is so bloody consistent, it’s inhuman. It’s almost as if the art poured out of his brain and formed independently on the page. The watercolor style is so beautifully suited to this detective-style mystery noir. There are many panels that are worthy of high praise, an action sequence on the docks with Green Arrow, one later with the Question in Beijing, and a period of communication between Steve Trevor, and Talia Al Ghul in Iron Heights prison to name a few.

Reed’s lettering must also be mentioned, as his contributions blend fantastically with Maleev’s art. Typically within the Leviathan arcs, there is a lot of dialogue, but Reed finds a way to balance it nicely. His use, and style, of onomatopoeia, is really utilized well. Overall, Leviathan Dawn has sustained a powerful level of intrigue and mystique that continues the need for more exploration into the depth of these characters and this story.

Leviathan Dawn #1 is available in stores now.

Leviathan Dawn #1


Overall, Leviathan Dawn has sustained a powerful level of intrigue and mystique that continues the need for more exploration into the depth of these characters and this story.

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