I've been doing a reread of Brian Bendis's Superman/Action run this past week -- with the publication of Action 1009, he's reached 24 full issues, plus a short in Action Comics 1000. And I've found some interesting threads to consider.
1) On his recent Word Balloon interview, Bendis mentioned that there's a conspiracy at STAR Labs. It was one of their experiments going wrong that plunged Earth into the Phantom Zone in the first issues of Superman. Specifically, it was "Phantom Zone mapping," which they'd done before with no ill effects. So it might have been sabotage, or an interaction with another experiment the rank-and-file didn't know about.
Anyway, in Man of Steel #1, Lois mentions the Vice President has a secret financial stake in STAR Labs's overseas operations. She was just about the force him to disclose it when she headed out into space. (The allegations about the VP are repeated in issue 2, so there's a good chance this isn't throwaway dialogue.)
2) The Dominators. The first issue of Superman opens with Clark out in space, looking in all directions for Lois and Jon. He spots a Dominator fleet heading straight for Earth. Light-years away, but on the move. He flies out there and disables them before they cause any harm.
Later, in issue 7, Jon tells his story of his time with Mr. Oz. That *also* begins with a fight with the Dominators, heading straight for earth. And Jon & Mr. Oz take out the fleet. It seems weird that two unrelated Dominator fleets were heading for Earth at approximately the same time. (The fight in issue 7 would have happened before the fight in issue 1.) So either the Dominators are being really persistent in targeting Earth, or maybe it's a hole in the now-aged-and-returned Jon's story. The one drawback to that theory is that Lois was there for the Dominator battle. She might not have been aware of which aliens they were, but I can't imagine her not asking.
Anyway, I found that a little strange.
3) The visions. In Superman issue 5, Zod has a vision of a peaceful future, with the houses of El & Zod celebrating a tenuous wedding to unite their houses. Kandorians are there also, indicating that Zod doesn't yet know they've been killed by Rogol Zaar. The scene is broken up by an attack from a large group of flying people...and in issue 5, it was easy to presume it was the horde of Phantom Zone criminals Zaar was leading.
And yet in issue 9, Superman daydreams himself a similar peaceful scene -- World Peace Day, with superheroes the world over thanking him for making it possible. Zod arrives on the scene in a spirit of truce as well, seemingly invited by Jon. And then, another attack from the sky. We can see the attackers a little more clearly this time, and can make out some silhouettes. And it could very well be the Legion of Super-Heroes. (There are figures that look like Bouncing Boy, Gates, Lightning Lad, and Chameleon Boy among them.) And that puts the last line Zod says before getting attacked in *his* dream in a different perspective. His last words there were, "The future..."
I haven't reread Action Comics yet (aside from the story in 1000), but I'm betting I'll find more clues and things that reward close reading there, too.
Anyway, that's what I've got to say for now. I'll probably follow up with some nice moments from the run in a little while. There's definitely one bit of storytelling in Superman issue 6 that I really want to highlight -- a virtuoso use of the comics medium.
Anj’s theory is that all of them are working together --with Ted being the front man and Captain Atom being the enforcer... and Nightshade part of the team too, probably because of her ties to the dark dimension. Keep in mind: We don’t know for sure that Leviathan is a bad guy. They’re someone acting at cross-purposes to the status quo, but no bodies have appeared on the sites. (Even though the people might be disintegrated instead of teleported, the no bodies thing seems like a big, significant clue as to both method and motivation.) They’re making a big change, and trying to do it with zero body count. That doesn’t say villain to me -- more of a conscientious revolutionary.
It's definitely an interesting theory. Bolstered by the fact that Comixology just started offering the L.A.W. series from 1999 which features the Charlton heroes. It would also line-up with Bendis using the Question in Superman comics and now in E.L. And it is mentioned that the Question arrived on this investigation by pursuing his own path.
It does bother me a little that this would be somewhat out of character for Blue Beetle who has never really struck me as a methodical chess master type.
I love the style of the Goodwin/Simonson one, but in a group story, I'd rather have Spencer, unencumbered with all the baggage of International Immortality Conspiracies & whatnot. To me, she seems like a cleaner character to use in someone else's story.
So who's been approached by Leviathan with an offer to join?
Batgirl, the creator of the Odyssey, and ... was Plas formally approached? Any others?
Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:
....multiple heroes might be working together to be Leviathan, who always uses “we” when talking about his plans.
Maybe Leviathan is Venom.
Whoa! I was really surprised to see Rose/Thorn in the latest issue of Action Comics today! I had completely forgotten about her/them.
We've come quite a way in Superman, Action, and Event Leviathan since this thread was last active. In today's issue of Superman (#15), we get our first extended conversation with the Legion of Superheroes! And yet, there's no explanation for the visions in earlier issues, when everything about Unity Day went wrong... is there more to that story?
Also, we see Adam Strange for the first time since Leviathan attacked the DEO, I believe... and the long-running plot with Jor-El is given some closure.
I read a theory about the identity of Leviathan that is pretty convincing. Basically, some sharp eyed readers identified the Leviathan insignia and noted that it is the same insignia that has been worn by a DC character in the past. I won't spoil it here but you can read the theory here if you are so inclined.
I think this is as good a place as any to discuss theories about who Leviathan is and what they want. ("They" meant in both a gender-nonspecific way, and a way to acknowledge that there could very well be multiple people acting as Leviathan.)
That theory -- which I'll name after some spoiler space -- is a pretty good one. The logos do look similar, and an ancillary character is prominent in the series, so it's not completely out of left field. But at the same time, that character's organization hasn't been mentioned at all in the series so far. From what I recall, there's no sense that there are any other...
Okay, spoilers, I guess.
...any other Manhunters in existence (within the parameters of the story), so while it's fair play for long-time DCU readers, it's not necessarily fair play for readers of the Event Leviathan series itself. It's on the edge.
Other theories are that it's Green Arrow -- Batgirl stopped talking and wanted to know who was in the Batcave soon after Ollie spoke.. could it be because she realizes he's Leviathan (or a Leviathan agent)? Could it be that she knows Ollie is still with her at the Leviathan base, and so the Ollie in the batcave is a fake? And then, what was it that started garbling her transmission? Could it be interference from a sonic arrow from GA's quiver?
A similar argument could be made for Damien. He's got ties to the previous Leviathan through his mother, and Batgirl clammed up *immediately* after she heard him speak. That said, I think Babs would reasonably expect Damien to be in the Batcave with his father, and if she wanted to make sure he wasn't there, she would have said so at the start.
And how does Sam Lane fit into all of this? He was attacked, but left alive. Is he involved somehow? Upcoming solicits for Lois Lane seem to have Lois dealing with the repercussions of this story, and Sam's involvement would make this more personal for her than any other character.
That said, the international cloning conspiracy of Manhunters seems to be the one group that hasn't been affected by Leviathan, so who knows...? The ScreenRant people might be onto something.
I’m just pumped that we have Ralph Dibney back.
Wait…Elongated Man, Event Leviathan…E.L…Ralph, nooooooo!
Oh, and I don't find Zatanna interesting at all, but I do like that she appears here in her JLA Watchtower-era costume on the last page--red jewel and all!