EVENT LEVIATHAN #1 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Event Leviathan #1 CoverEVENT LEVIATHAN #1/ Script by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS/ Art & Colors by ALEX MALEEV/Letters by JOSHUA REED/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Within the span of a day, the DEO, ARGUS, Task Force X, Spyral and every other covert group in the world tasked with keeping an eye on metahuman terrorism has collapsed. And it’s all thanks to the new management of the sinister group Leviathan and a new leader who has taken the name of Leviathan for himself. Now, four of the World’s Finest investigators have one night to solve the mystery of Leviathan’s identity before civilization as we know it collapses.

My hopes weren’t high going into this book but I was ultimately impressed by Alex Maleev’s artwork. I was a big fan of Maleev’s work back in the day when he and Bendis did Daredevil together and his dark, Neo Noir style has only improved with age. I wish I could say the same about Bendis’ writing, but the old master phoned this one in. There’s no action apart from one flashback showing a building being blown up and a whole lot of talking heads.

While this is par for the course for Bendis, the dialogue in this issue is terrible, with Lois Lane talking to Batman about “my husband, Clark Kent” like Batman wouldn’t know who he was. Then again, given that Maleeve draws Lois Lane exactly like Jessica Jones, he may have thought the explanation necessary.  In the end, Event Leviathan is tolerable but your ability to enjoy it will depend upon how well you can withstand BM Bendis’ clunky exposition for the sake of Alex Maleev’s artwork.

3-5

 

The Flash #72 CoverTHE FLASH #72/ Script by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON/ Art by HOWARD PORTER/ Colors by HI-FI/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Faced with his first super-villain – the same one ruling the dystopian Central City he saw after his unwitting trip to the future – Barry Allen must step-up and use his newfound powers of super-speed to save the day and become a hero.

This book continues to impress, but there is little surprise there. Joshua Williamson’s run on The Flash has been magnificent and his collaborations with Howard Porter and Hi-Fi have yielded some of the best Flash stories in recent memory. This new retelling of Barry Allen’s origins is shockingly fresh and exciting. A must read for any fan of the Scarlet Speedster.

5-5

 

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #7 CoverFRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #7/ Script by TOM TAYLOR/ Art by KEN LASHLEY/Colors by NOLAN WOODARD / Letters by VC’s TRAVIS LANHAM/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The FEAST shelter Aunt May manages is reopening but not everyone in the neighborhood is happy about that. Spidey is left with more questions than answers, however, when he finds his old friend The Prowler inside the shelter just before it mysteriously catches on fire. Is Hobie involved? And if not, what was he doing there?

I didn’t think it would be possible for this series to top last month’s special issue, in which Tom Taylor told a modernized version of “The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man” that managed to be a true tribute to a classic rather than a cheap knock-off. Somehow, Taylor did it again, continuing his storyline involving Aunt May’s illness while still delivering plenty of action and comedy, as Peter continues to cope with his super-villain roommate and the general indecency of man. Backed by the masterful art of Secret Six‘s Ken Lashley, this book looks as good as it reads.

If you haven’t already started reading Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, you are missing out on the best monthly Spider-Man series in years. This issue marks the perfect opportunity to rectify that mistake. Excelsior!

5-5

 

Spider-Man Life Story #4 CoverSPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY#4/ Script by CHIP ZDARSKY/ Pencils by MARK BAGLEY/ Inks by ANDREW HENNESSY/ Colors by FRANK D’ARMATA/ Letters by VC’s TRAVIS LANHAM/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

It’s 1992 and Peter Parker is fighting a hostile take over of his company by Tony Stark. That’s nothing compared to the fight that awaits Peter when a blast from the past brings him back into contact with his former step-uncle Otto Octavius, a familiar looking photographer from Chicago and a startling revelation!

That revelation may be less than startling, given the trajectory of Chip Zdarsky’s overarching story and his “What If?” take on how the various events making up Peter Parker’s life might have look had he aged in real time after his first appearance. With this issue set in the 1990s, it’s no surprise that Zdarsky tackles The Clone Saga and how it might effect a Spider-Man that is almost eligible to join the AARP.

Thankfully, Zdarsky’s story has plenty of other surprises in store, even if long-time Spider-Man readers can guess the plot points before they come. That, coupled with the excellent art by Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy and Frank D’Armata, make this book a must-read for all fans of the Spider-Man saga.

5-5

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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