Event Leviathan #2
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Maleev
Review by KrisK
After an issue spent catching readers up on what’s been going on, particularly the Leviathan Rising Behemoth, it was great to get to the meat of the story. This issue picks up after the events of issue 1 with no real transition. It’s a hard break, but the story is good, so it can be forgiven. Batman meets up with Red Hood.
Red Hood, aka Jason Todd, served as Robin after Dick Grayson, until he was killed off by the Joker and rabid comic book fans. After about 20 years of death, Jason returned as the Red Hood. He began as an enemy who believed the only way to fix crime was to rule it. He executed many criminals and built an empire to challenge Black Mask, before Batman unmasked him.
Red Hood went underground as a supposed villain, who posed as a criminal and using the guise to take out villains. He avoided killing criminals, though, until the recent death of his best friend. After that, Jason changed his mind on murder. Now, he kills any who try to kill him as he dissects the criminal underbelly. Jason dislikes the system, both Criminal Justice and Vigilante, and views them as broken.
Batman gives Jason the run down of what is going on with Leviathan. Along with several people wounded but not dead, Batgirl remains MIA after a Leviathan attack. He also informs Jason, and the readers by extension, of two run-ins involving Leviathan. The first involved the Question, who stands guard over the hospital bed-ridden General Lane. The second meeting involves Leviathan interrupting Plastic Man’s investigation. Leviathan speaks with the detectives, but he avoids actually killing them. Leviathan seems to think of himself as a revolutionary hero, putting him in the vain of Anarky though much more successful.
The writing, by Bendis, keeps the story rolling. The event functions primarily as a mystery, and while Detective Chimp and Tim Drake are needed to truly be the best detective team in DC, the team here is pretty dang good. The characters feel like them, and Bendis excels at turning talk into plot. He uses dialogue to rev up tension between characters. Bendis earns the tension in each fight. Plus, his Jason Todd leaves me wishing for a Bendis run on Red Hood, whenever Scott Lobdell hangs up the gloves on his run.
The art by Maleev stands on its own. Their talent for dark rooms and smoky personalities suits this, and any mystery, perfectly. The layout of the pages feels organic, and the final two page spread flows organically.
The comic feels short, though, with some of the story stretched to reach the desired end point for the issue. I left it feeling like I only got two-thirds of a comic book issue.
Verdict: Buy! This comic wraps you up tight in its mystery like a python. The story feels great, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.