Event Leviathin: The Real Mystery is, Who Are These Characters?

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Event Leviathin 1

So I've just finished reading EVENT LEVIATHIN #1 -- and boy, are my logic processors tired.

Boiled down to its core, Brian Michael Bendis's grand design is a "mad bomber" story, utilizing technology that doesn't leave behind any clues other than the massive destruction and the aforementioned lack of clues. We open with Batman sneaking into the ruins of the darn-near-just demolished ARGUS facilities to investigate, only to find he's not the only investigator there. Not first responders or CSI teams or DHS agents. Him in the dark, because that's how a Batman story works. The bodies are skeletons, because the energy was just efficient enough to detroy tissue but not so hot as to shatter bones. And who does he find waiting inside but Lois Lane, who snuck in all on her own.

And she's holding a gun on him. And she keeps it trained on him for far too long.

The dialogue exchanged between them does not, unfortunately, improve anywhere else in the book.

Batman: Did he who gave you that Kryptonian weapon drop you here?

Lois: I got in here myself.

Batman: No offense meant. It's a rational deduction.

My entrails almost mistakenly thought I was reading Vogon poetry, and you know how they react to that.

Two's company, but three's a crowd, and it's not long before the crowd forms. Steve Trevor is also on site, the sole survivor of the catastrophe. He's rambling, but then who isn't in this first issue of this DC Comics miniseries? Conversations are had of half-sentences, question fragments, and thinking-out-loud moments done solely to clue the reader in to what has gone on before -- a valid technique, but it's still an info dump if you're doing too much of it.

The ARGUS bombing is only the latest of the night. KOBRA, Task Force X, Spyral, and the D.E.O. have all been hit and wiped out. As Trevor puts it, they don't exist, because the eradication was so thorough. No agents are left of any of them. Lois and Batman question Trevor for more information, which takes us back forty-two minutes, to sunset on Coast City. The Odyssey is an imposition of Jack Kirby architecture against a real world setting, making it look like a scene out of FALLING SKIES. Trevor is already aware of the previous bombings and is trying to evacuate and being delayed by a subordinate who asks too many questions, because infodump. Trevor is distinctly spared to tell the story. Or to become a suspect. Or to accuse Batman and Lois. We really can't be sure, because he's obviously lost his damned mind.

At just about every other page, we're reminded that Talia Al Ghul used to be Leviathin, but that this "just doesn't feel like her." And when Green Arrow shows up, the dialogue continues down its dismal, out-of-character path:

Green Arrow: Okay then...What does the new Leviathin want?

Batman: They have not said. We imagine "New World Order" or "No World Order." Which is, in itself, by definition, a new world... But Ra's Al Ghul or Talia were never into..."

Green Arrow: Shush, nerd.

Be honest, BMB. You let William Dozier write the Batman dialogue bits, right?

Despite the characters admiting they know absolutely nothing, their gut instinct is that they have to solve this whole global conspiracy case by morning or the whole world will fall apart.

At least the art by Alex Maleev is appropriately moody both in pencils and coloration. But that's not worth our $3.99 per issue if the story is completely lacking the hooks needed to make the reader invest in the premise.

Grade: 
2.0 / 5.0