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Batman, Lois Lane fight for truth in DC's 'Event Leviathan'

By Wade Sheridan
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Batman, Lois Lane fight for truth in DC's 'Event Leviathan'
The cover to "Event Leviathan" Issue No. 1 by artist Alex Maleev. The limited series, written by Brian Michael Bendis, is a mystery-thriller starring Batman, Lois Lane, Green Arrow, The Question and others. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment

June 12 (UPI) -- Famed comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis has big plans for the DC Universe, and it all begins Wednesday with the launch of Event Leviathan, a six-issue mystery thriller with art by Alex Maleev that features characters like Batman, Lois Lane and Green Arrow trying to uncover the truth behind a grand and far-reaching conspiracy.

The storyline, first started by Bendis in the pages of Superman-focused series Action Comics, tells about a secret organization known as Leviathan that has started to wipe out all of DC's other clandestine groups in a bid to eliminate all of their competition. Led by a mysterious villain in a red mask, the organization looks to bring order and reshape the world in its own image.

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Bendis told UPI in a recent interview that Event Leviathan will diverge from other company-wide event comics -- stories he was known for creating at Marvel -- that he compared to disaster movies.

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"This one is different, this one is literally detectives on a case, and they just happen to be the best detectives in the world," he said.

Ace investigators The Question, Kate Spencer (Manhunter) and Plastic Man will join Batman, Lois Lane and Green Arrow for the first time. The group will uncover the secrets behind Leviathan, discover who is leading it and how the organization's actions will affect the rest of the DC Universe, including how it ties into DC's Year of the Villain arc.

Bendis said the series is welcoming to new comic book readers.

"You can come in at this having never read a comic book before because the questions that Batman and Lois Lane are going to ask are the questions that you're going to ask," Bendis said. "They don't know anything you don't know other than there's a world of superheroes and spies and someone blew it up."

The central antagonist behind Leviathan, Bendis said, will be someone readers have encountered before and who makes a valid argument concerning the group's mission. The red-masked leader, in the pages of prequel comic, Superman: Leviathan Rising, expressed how the group believes other superheroes will join its cause once they see what the organization is building towards. The mysterious villain even has attempted to recruit heroes, including Batgirl in the pages of Year of the Villain.

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"My favorite villains are the ones that you see their point," Bendis said.

Damian Wayne, Batman's son and the latest to don the mantle of Robin, will be playing a role in every issue of the series. Lois Lane, meanwhile, will be at the forefront of the investigation alongside the other heroes, able to hold her own as someone who always exposes the truth.

"There are journalists in the world who I wish were better than they are, or less compromised. And I live sometimes in a daily frustration about it, so I get to write Lois as the person I wish were writing the real-world stuff," Bendis said about the Daily Planet's top reporter. "If you write Superman as the hero we wish were flying around and helping us, I write Lois as the woman I wish were telling us the truth."

Bendis, best known for his time at Marvel, where he worked on a number of high-profile comics including an acclaimed run on Daredevil with Maleev, got his start at DC in 2018 with a story in Action Comics Issue No. 1000. He has stayed with Superman and the character's line of comic books ever since.

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It remains unknown how much or little Superman will be involved in Event Leviathan. However, Bendis said the series and his Superman books will touch on The Man of Steel's creed to fight for truth, justice and the American way, a motto he found to be cliche as a kid.

"This character is fighting for truth and justice, which are not cliche ideals, anymore. They are things that people are actually fighting over and dying over," Bendis said.

He defined the American way as an idea that anyone can come to the United States to live safely and freely.

"That has to be fought for because it is being challenged in the world that we live in," he said.

Bendis said Event Leviathan looks at that creed and shows it means different things to different people. and said the Leviathan organization will see things differently from the heroes.

"That's where the conflict really comes in -- that they both think they know what's right for truth and justice," he said.

After Event Leviathan is wrapped up, Bendis teased that even bigger things are on the horizon.

"As far as what's coming next, believe it or not, coming after this is actually the biggest thing that we've ever done," he said.

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