Review by Ian Keogh
A regular feature Brian Michael Bendis has introduced to this series is episode splash pages showing phone messages, untidy desks, busy noticeboards, doodled notebooks and similar scenes offering written clutter and small pictures. It’s a novel form of recap, but attention is required.
Otherwise, contrary to expectation, Bendis places most of the plots set rolling in Invisible Mafia on the back burner and instead focuses on the DC Universe’s protective and terrorist organisations. They’re all being targeted, and not everyone is making it out alive. One who does is Amanda Waller, head of Task Force X, better known as the Suicide Squad, and a completely devious and manipulative type. She’s not the only one.
Leviathan Rising is a mystery thriller that displaces all thoughts of previous subplots, and eventually leads into Event Leviathan, as what the Leviathan organisation is doing also filters into other DC titles. Superman and Lois Lane are back together, and are a team for most of what’s Bendis constantly messing with readers’ heads. Because he’s channelling the mindset of super secret spy organisations, suspicion and mistrust are high on the agenda, and nothing can be taken at face value. Is Adam Strange really controlling Leviathan? Or is it Amanda Waller? Perhaps it’s Jimmy Olsen. By the end you’ll actually be suspecting that.
Most of the art is provided very nicely by Steve Epting, with Yanick Paquette illustrating the final chapter, also very nicely. Both of them focus well on people, have an innate sense of what makes a page dramatic to look at, and there are no distractions of poorly drawn people. Both also put the work in supplying fully realised locations. Telling the story via close-ups or background-free panels just isn’t on their agenda. The short of it is, everything looks great.
A final chapter is supposed to set the scene for Event Leviathan, and in a way it does, but Bendis surprises again, via an important person not yet seen in Leviathan Rising. Their story continues when the continuity picks up again in Leviathan Hunt. This, though, has been compelling from start to finish with some lovely character touches.