Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes: A Review



Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes!
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Chris Burnham and Cameron Stewart

Finally! Finally! I get some closure... sort of...


SPOILERS!!!!!

Not knowing what in the world was Leviathan leading up to/all about was the biggest casualty of the New 52 re-boot by DC, in my opinion. A lot of the others DC books we were reading had smaller plots that weren't as interesting or had wrapped up any arcs they were working on. But with Leviathan, I was so upset I wasn't going to know what would have happened.

Now here we are.

Leviathan Strikes is a one shot story that takes place before Flashpoint and the New 52. It's actually two issues in one, which is why there are two artists. Cameron Stewart illustrates the first issue, beautifully, I might add. Stephanie Brown a.k.a. Batgirl has infiltrated St. Hadrian's Finishing School for Girls under the directions of Batman because they know Leviathan has something to do with it. The people there are actually training the girls to become ninja-like assassins. It's kind of funny to see them shoot at the posters of the various super-heroes because they take aim directly at their crotches. The whole place is very much like a cult. They feed the girls mind-controlling wafers. Professor Pyg is there, ready to torture Stephanie and her "friend" because they know one of them is a mole. Stephanie looks like she's in a real tight pickle but then luckily Batman is there, all along, ready to help her out.

While this was a fun read, we still don't know who or what Leviathan is. I enjoyed it immensely but I think it would have been better to have an issue that sets up what's going to happen in the next chapter, drawn by Chris Burnham. At times, the artwork is very reminiscent of Frank Quietly. This chapter was SO trippy though. Somehow, someway we don't know (which is what we should've seen in Chapter one) Bruce-Batman, Dick-Batman, Red Robin and Damien get trapped in an endless circle of doors and events representing Dedalus' labryinth and Oroboro, the snake eating its own tail, things that have been hinted at previously.  Bruce-Batman is inhaling some gas that causes the same effects as Alzeihmer's so he's constantly forgetting and constantly chasing after the villain in charge, Otto Netz, trying to find out if Jezebel Jett is Leviathan and trying to stop Otto from bombing the world. What's worse for the Bat-team is that Otto has captured the Batmen of the world and turned them into his own fighting zombies. Every five minutes another batman gets killed. El Guacho is an awesome double agent. Who really saves the day though is Damien. He sees his dad in trouble so he sends a dagger flying through both of Otto's eyes. It's pretty cool considering all the eye symbols Otto had around the place.

In the end, Bruce finds out Jezebel truly is dead and Leviathan is none other than Talia. And the thing I hate most is that the story doesn't end. It's to be continued in 2012. Aaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! I just wanna know how this ends! We still have yet to see the real significance for the Bat-Bots. I wish the two chapters would have connected some more. The writing has always been all over the place, though. It's a puzzle itself and forces the reader to connect the dots and think a little unlike the majority of stories that explain everything in crystal clear detail. It's good and it's bad because you can go over board with that kind of writing and really lose the reader, which at times has happened with this storyline but I think it holds itself together just enough.

It's not much of a one-shot if it's to be continued. I'm happy to have read this story and I'm anxious to see what's coming next.

-O.Pelaez

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