For months, the mystery of who or what Leviathan is and what he/she/they/it wants has touched pretty much every Superman book currently being released. Flashes of blue light, clandestine organizations being decimated, whispers of a name that had only been heard or used in tandem with Talia al Ghul's organization were the only breadcrumbs we've gotten for so long. It seemed like the mystery was going to remain out of reach forever, and not in that teasing way that most stories do where you know answers are coming eventually.
No, the mysterious threat of Leviathan has seemed almost too big, too competent in its destruction and too evasive for even Superman to defeat. Just look at the chaos it created in one fell swoop, almost effortlessly taking out every single shadowy government organization at once. That's terrifying and equally exciting. But with time continuing to stretch on without a single clue as to what this threat actually is or stands for, it was starting to feel like we'd never get answers. That Leviathan might actually succeed in whatever its goal was, and we'd never learn why it happened in the first place. That's…well, not as exciting.
Of course, we know this is all leading up to the six-part Event Leviathan mystery thriller series from Brian Michael Bendis, so answers are coming. But knowing they’re coming and feeling like they’re on their way are two different things. Now, with the end of Action Comics #1011 and the release of the Superman: Leviathan Rising Special, we're finally here. Answers are on their way. "Who is Leviathan? What do they want? And what happens tomorrow?" are just a few of the questions that are going to be resolved. And I have never been so impatient and rabid to find out what happens next.
That's because this event series already feels like an epic moment in DC history, thanks to the potential of this mysterious villain. We may not know much about it yet, but what we do know is intriguing. Leviathan revealed to Jim Harper in his hospital room a little of what he/it wants: "Change. Real change." The first step was taking out what Leviathan considered to be corrupt organizations, rotting from the inside. What comes next is anyone's guess. The opportunities are endless. If this was only Leviathan's first step, it's clear that it can accomplish so much more when the real fireworks start.
But Leviathan appealing to a superhero's desire to save the world and affect real change? That's perhaps what's most fascinating about all of this, because you really can't argue with it. Now stay with me here, because I'm going to go deep. Like, even deeper than usual (if that is even possible).
Heroes are fighting every day to push the needle just a little bit more towards justice and away from crime. But they're essentially fighting a losing battle, as hopelessly pessimistic as that sounds. There will always be more crime, more evil, more villains to fight. No matter how many wins a superhero racks up, the overall goal of saving the world is reactionary. Heroes can only fight what springs up. When a new villain makes a move, a superhero comes to stop whatever they're doing. They can't predict what's coming or stop something before it happens.
If you think about it, the battle of good vs. evil can never be won for good. It can only be fought continuously, whereas evil always has the potential to win (but hopefully never will). It's a pretty rough hand to be dealt, but it's why heroes are so inspiring—they keep fighting knowing that the fight will never end.
So, what happens when a villain presents an idea—a plan so logical that it appeals to what heroes have been trying to do? Leviathan has already killed so many people, so its methods are clearly not what we’d call “heroic.” But if the end goal is a world without evil, that has to be something that will cause at least some of our heroes to pause and think. In fact, based on how Leviathan was talking in that hospital room, the ranks of heroes joining up with Leviathan may already be bigger than we could ever imagine. I wonder which heroes have defected over to Leviathan? Wouldn't that be wild if some of the big ones have already switched sides and we just didn't know it yet?
If this upcoming Leviathan event series is truly going to be the "struggle to control the DC Universe," maybe it's because some, a lot or even most of the superheroes will end up joining Leviathan. How will Superman fight that? Will he fight that?
And maybe all these questions aren't even the right ones. Maybe I'm so off base that these questions don't even make sense. We still know so little about what or who Leviathan is and what the ultimate plan is. But my mind is already racing with "what ifs" and theories and even more questions. Thankfully, we're finally at the moment where answers are coming. And I've never been more ready to find out.
Sydney Bucksbaum covers movies, TV and comics for DCComics.com, and writes about Superman every month in her column, "Super Here For..." Follow her on Twitter at @SydneyBucksbaum.