Writers: Brian Michael Bendis, Greg Rucka, Matt Fraction, Marc Andreyko
Artists: Yanick Paquette, Mike Perkins, Steve Lieber, Eduardo Pansica,Julio Ferreira
Colors: Nathan Fairbairn, Paul Mounts, FCO Plascencia
Letters: Dave Sharpe, Simon Bowland, Clayton Cowles, Tom Napolitano, Alw’s Troy Peteri
The issue begins, a new character named Mrs. Leone has a conversation with a mystery character; they’re planning the kidnapping of Clark Kent to trap Superman. Meanwhile at The Daily Planet, Robinson Goode, Perry White, and Jimmy Olson talk about a lead for a new story, which Perry sends Clark Kent to pursue. Later that night, Clark tells Lois Lane that he’s spotted intruders in his apartment. He decides to knowingly walk into a trap to go undercover as a reporter despite Lois’ reservation. He bites off more than he bargained for when his captor is Talia Al Ghul, who’s engineered a plan to provoke Superman; She has Kryptonite. While this is happening, Jimmy Olson has a romantic evening with Catwoman which leads him to call Lois Lane and ask for money to pay for the damages he caused to the hotel. Meanwhile, Lois is concerned by the length of Clark’s absence so she contacts Wonder Woman and Batman to investigate. The issue ends with a bang, tying Talia to Leviathan, Mrs. Leone to Robinson Goode, and Superman to mortal danger.
There are a lot of deconstructionist stories being told about superheroes in recent years: see an unworthy hammer-wielding god and a shrivel-armed goliath for evidence. However, unlike most stories like it, this one is grounded in crime mystery with a human element that gives it depth. Readers who’ve been following The Silencer know that The Leviathan organization is a criminal organization operating in the DC universe for awhile. They also know that Talia Al Ghul has been battling to retain the leadership of the organization. However, it’s the addition of a rich, ruthless, and formidable character in Mrs. Leone that has me interested for the long-haul. She recently purchased The Daily Planet and seems to understand a lot about how not to attack Superman.
I love the way Bendis pulls in elements of his run on Action to connect this universe and make the story feel lived-in. For example, the Daily Planet reporter Robinson Goode appears as the mysterious red cloud villain shown previously in Action #1004. She kills a villain who’s pressuring Mrs. Leone. This team-up of feminine ferocity has me interested. It’s not typical because they’re are wise, ruthless, and resourceful in a human way as much as in an over-powered meta-human way.
Overall = 10/10
There aren’t any low-points in issue #1 of the Leviathan series. Bendis pulls no punches introducing readers to a list of old-school DC criminals mixed with a new face or two. The mystery surrounding Leviathan grows, the peril increases as Superman is over-matched by this group of criminals who are really good at being criminal. I highly recommend this story for readers who are looking for a fresh Superman story.