[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Steve Epting
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Rob Leigh
What took Brian Michael Bendis so long to start writing really good Superman comics? “Leviathan Rising” is a completely different approach to things than “The Invisible Mafia.” Bendis is doing himself and us, the readers a favor by ignoring anything and nearly everything that occurred in issues #1001-1006. Instead, he’s writing Lois and Clark as a team, working together.
Amanda Waller shows up at the Kent’s Metropolis apartment, wounded and confused. They take her to the new Fortress of Solitude where they’re also keeping Jimmy Olsen safe and recovering. Waller recounts her story to Lois and Clark and the two formulate a plan which involves using Kryptonian cloaking technology to disguise themselves and go undercover as Spyral agents.
While the plot doesn’t move forward much, the character moments are finally great. Clark is ever the gentleman in his treatment of the intruding Waller. He takes it in stride while Lois not only feels violated, she has no problem in exhibiting her displeasure with a proper haymaker to Waller’s chin.
The story moves quickly, because the dynamic tension between Lois and Waller is believable. Clark tries to keep Lois in check, but not too much. He understands her and knows she’s got valid reasons for feeling the way she does. Clark keeps a cool head while Lois lets her emotions get the best of her.
Jimmy provides a little humor when he wakes up to lighten the mood as he tries to catch up with what’s going on since his exposure of the Kobra cult. (They didn’t tell him he was in bed with Waller at one point.)
It’s interesting that by ignoring his first 6 issues, he’s improved the dynamic between Lois and Clark immensely.
Can’t forget to mention the beautiful artwork by Steve Epting again this issue. It’s darn near perfect. His draftsmanship is impeccable, but his posing of figures to evoke physicality, either tiredness or strength is masterfully depicted. He’s a wonderful addition to the title.
If Lois call Clark “baby” one more time, I may have to shoot myself. It just doesn’t sound like Lois. At all.
It’s probably important to take a step back and realize that despite the quality of this issue, there are still unanswered questions hanging around from this arc and the previous arc. While they don’t have a direct bearing on this issue, they should eventually be answered. Does General Lane even understand what Lois told him two issues ago? Amanda Waller claims to have known it all along….
After a terrible character arc in the first 6 issues of his Action Comics run, the current story is not only interesting, the character moments finally feel like they are accurate. Bendis is no longer trying to make Lois and Clark into something they’re not, he’s leaning in to what makes them work as a couple. That’s not to say it’s going to last…but, enjoy it while you can.