Superman: Leviathan Rising Special #1
Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 29, 2019
Cover date: July 2019
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis, Greg Rucka, Matt Fraction & Marc Andreyko
Artists: Yanick Paquette, Mike Perkins, Steve Lieber, Eduardo Pansica & Julio Ferreira
Cover: Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Act One: Leone
Daily Planet owner, Leone is visiting Magnus Books and perusing rare editions when a member of staff approaches her. The staff member reveals himself to be using former DEO technology to hide his true face. He proposes a collaboration given Leone prefers secrecy and he knows many secrets himself.
He is Leviathan.
Leviathan offers to help Leone with her Man of Steel problem. Not by battling Superman himself but through his ‘soft target’ of his allies such as… Lois Lane and Clark Kent. They have both come to realize that you cannot confront Superman head on and so an alliance is born.
Act Two: Lois & Clark
After another fist fight with Mongul, Superman heads to Chicago to see Lois. While there he realizes that some strange men are in his apartment at home intent on kidnapping him. Lois wonders whether he should notify Maggie Sawyer. Curiosity gets the better of him and he decides to get himself kidnapped for the potential story.
When Clark awakens he finds himself face to face with Talia Al Ghul who interrogates him over Superman. She also has him fitted with a Kryptonite corset so Superman can be caught. Her aim? The fall of the age of heroes and the rise of Leviathan but things will be set in motion with his ‘rescue’.
Act Three: Lois Lane
Back at The Drake, Chicago, Lois begins to realize things haven’t gone to plan. Clark’s kidnapping has led to radio silence to his wife and best friend but there has been no ransom, no demands and that leads Lois back to Metropolis, seeking the aid of the trinity.
Wonder Woman and Batman swear to use all the League resources to find Superman and that is when it dawns on her… They are looking for Superman but they really should be looking for Clark Kent…
Act Four: Jix
Jimmy is on a book tour, but wakes up in the honeymoon suite of the Gorillton Grande Hotel, Gorilla City, hung over, in nothing but a bow tie and with a new wife, Jix.
Jix reveals herself to be a multiversal jewel thief on a mission to retrieve rare gems stolen from her family centuries ago.
Act Five: Jimmy Olsen-Jix
Jix advises her new husband to seek an annulment as soon as possible to avoid any ramifications and tells him about a strange cat in the bathroom. Jimmy tries to greet the strange cat but it surprises him in a few ways!
Jimmy sees a danger alert on his signal watch and realizes its GPS tracker and Kryptonite detection has activated. Forget the madness, Superman needs the help of his best friend!
Act Six: Supergirl
Kara finally returns home, but after six months in space the Danvers house is nothing but rubble.
The DEO is also rubble, a casualty of Leviathan.
Jeremiah and Eliza mourn the loss of their friends and colleagues but their opinions of the DEO differ greatly. Kara finds Jeremiah’s wedding ring and we discover in flashbacks what happened to the Danvers…
Act Seven: Clark Kent
Leviathan appears to Clark and removes the corset and apologizes. A perplexed Clark tries to escape his bonds and wonders if it is Kryptonite poisoning delirium as he is greeted by a new Firestorm, Lois disguised as Talia, Jimmy in a gorilla suit and Dex-Starr.
With the Justice League fighting off Leviathan’s minions, Clark races to stop Leviathan’s escape craft.
Act Eight: Leviathan
Leviathan questions Talia’s motives for the kidnapping so close to the Rising event and it is revealed that he stole the organization out from under her control.
Leviathan decides to kill Talia and hurls her from the craft but unknown to him, Superman has been silently in pursuit and rescues the falling woman. When he questions her she opts for prison over the truth.
Act Nine: Robinson Goode
Robinson Goode transforms into Red Mist and promptly dispatches Leone’s security officer.
Leviathan being able to gain audience with Leone means a leak and one that’s promptly closed by Goode. Leone and Goode go from mentor and protégé to partners and they aim to expose Leviathan.
Meanwhile, Lois & Clark are also on the case!
To Be Continued…
Story – 5: Essentially this is a book made up of four separate books.
On a personal level, to rate it less than five for the effort alone would be unfair, though I am not sure it needed to be collected together. Part of the magic that was the triangle numbers was the strong continuity between books. This is more like a free comic book day teaser (except it wasn’t free!)
I’ll have to break them down into the arcs and in the synopsis I have tried to minimize spoilers, so let’s break it down without giving too much away.
First we have Leone. She obviously has a dark purpose and that’s been brewing since Action Comics #1000. Leviathan seeking her out is interesting, he’s cocky, resourceful, manipulative and clearly a threat. I am less interested in Leone given Leviathan proved she is a minimal threat but I am wondering what her long game is because she doesn’t seem to have been doing much.
Moving onto Lois & Clark. We have some nice interaction between the couple. Curiously there is no mention of the ‘Unity Saga’, Jon, Jor or Rogol Zaar. We’ll come to that later but for now we get some great dialogue where Lois finally feels like the familiar, no nonsense reporter we know and love.
Clark comes to a perplexing decision, putting himself into danger without knowing the variables, something more likely to have come from Lois. There is a really funny moment when Lois criticizes Clark’s penchant for being a bit over dramatic. The decision puts Clark into a situation Silver Age readers are more familiar with, so it’s nice to see some Clark Kent story-lining.
Then onto Lois Lane. This is clearly Greg Rucka writing and it is just fantastic. Her detective skills are shown, her character interaction with Jimmy, Bruce and Diana. It is short, but significant, especially the last page.
Next is Jimmy. This was the weakest part of the book, it didn’t fit the narrative well and was jarring creatively. It feels like it’s trying to be about comedy and that would be fine except the rest of the book is extremely serious, also Jix was a bit weak. The good things to come out of it were Dex-Starr and Jimmy’s resourcefulness. Also the signal watch is now a smart watch, good to see it get an upgrade along with Jimmy’s career! He’s been criminally underused so it will be fun to see how he and Dex-Starr get on.
Then it’s Supergirl. Kara’s storyline gives us the most in this book. It provides some hints as to the end of the ‘Unity Saga’, the backstory to Leviathan, the end of the DEO and another mystery for Supergirl to solve. It also gives Kara a family crisis to deal with and a second mystery along with it.
I really like Jeremiah and Eliza and seeing their conflict and how it plays out was genuinely heartbreaking. Because of how the story ends I won’t go into the rest of the story. But it sounds like it is going to be great – I wish this was the story they started with to be honest and I can’t be the only one wondering why Lois & Clark aren’t missing Jon or why Mongul is now cameo panel fodder? It is interesting to note that it is an extremely female driven story. Lois, Kara, Eliza, Talia, Leone, Robinson and even Jix are pivotal to each chapter.
Art – 4: A difficult one to gauge collectively but examining each there are some stunning visuals. Each artist matches each act perfectly. Jimmy Olsen’s storyline is the clear winner here as, despite my feelings on the writing, the art is a perfect match.
I can’t pick a favorite to be honest, for the same reason I can’t in the writing. It is such a rollercoaster creatively. Each sequence feels a good match but collectively it makes it hard to find a fluid reading experience.
Cover Art – 4: A pretty cool ‘overview’ cover that doesn’t reveal anything about the book but gives you a teaser of things to come. It’s great to see Lois, Clark and Superman taking centre stage.
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