Mild Mannered Reviews – Event Leviathan #4
Event Leviathan #4
Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 11, 2019
Cover date: November 2019
“Event Leviathan: Part 4”
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Alex Maleev
Cover: Alex Maleev
Variant Cover: Kaare Andrews
Reviewed by: Mario Bennese
In the Batcave, Superman recaps his encounter with Leviathan to Batman and Lois. When he arrived to protect Amanda Waller, he was attacked with the same temporal force he experienced in Action Comics. Upon his return, he found Leviathan and Waller were gone.
Having been sent to the kitchen, the rest of the team tries to figure out Leviathan’s identity. Manhunter reveals she had been approached, but she refused to join. Superman, Batman, and Lois enter the kitchen to further discuss Leviathan’s identity. Robin offers some advice Alfred had given him from his days as a secret agent before Lois borrows one of Bruce’s cars. Perched in a tree outside of Wayne Manor is Silencer, armed with her sniper rifle. After spotting Lois in Wayne’s car, she sees something in the sky.
Back in the Batcave, the team gets a message from Batgirl. She was approached by Leviathan and decided to join in order to get intel. Batgirl tells the team she thinks she’s in Seattle as Superman and Plastic Man prepare to investigate. Outside, Silencer sees Superman flying out of Wayne Manor before receiving orders to leave. On their way to Seattle, Superman and Plastic Man find themselves at the mercy of one of Leviathan’s flashes.
Somewhere in the city, Lois parks in an alleyway where she meets up with her second team of detectives, featuring the likes of Zatana, Constantine, Deathstroke, and Harvey Bullock.
Story – 2: I’m getting to the point where I’m just done with this story. It’s uninteresting. The entirety of this mini-series has comprised of people standing around and telling people about things that have happened to them. That’s not interesting. Yeah, we get to see what happened, but it’s still narrated. Nothing happens in this book because everything we’re shown has already happened off-panel. This is a book of flashbacks with stiff, unnatural dialogue and minimal plot development. Characters are two-dimensional and largely mishandled. C and D-list characters take center stage. When was the last time you met someone who genuinely cared about Kate Spencer or Silencer? Of course, giving obscure characters a chance to shine isn’t a sin. What’s a sin is making them unbearably boring, then giving them an entire scene where they’re the focus.
The twist at the end with Lois having a second team of detectives is just unnecessary. Nothing’s been discovered with the main team, so adding a completely different team just complicates things. At this point, it just feels like Bendis is trying to move the plot along, but he’s got no idea how to do it. It’s also incredibly off-putting seeing Deathstroke and Harvey Bullock standing right next to each other. I understand that the world is falling apart, but it’s not like Bendis couldn’t have chosen different characters. I eagerly await the final issue.
Art – 3: The art in this issue isn’t awful. Maleev clearly has some artistic talents and it shows occasionally. The key word here is “occasionally.” There are numerous panels where the art is largely amateur, resembling something that a DeviantArt user would produce. Numerous panels feel incomplete as a result of a bare-bones, rough sketch approach. Faces sometimes look wonky and staging often feels stale.
Cover Art – 3: Hey, look at that! A cover that actually reflects the content of the book! In addition to (loosely) depicting a sequence from the story, the cover also reflects the bland and sleep-inducing nature of the issue.
Variant Cover Art – 5: I think I’ve figured out one of my (many) issues with this whole series and, subsequently, the variants. Leviathan is a generic villain in both characterization and appearance. This is just another in a series of covers featuring heroes defeated at the hands of a mildly-intimidating villain. Leviathan isn’t menacing because I’ve seen dozens of characters that look exactly like him.