LEVIATHAN Suspects: Which HERO Could The Red-Masked Character Recruit?

DC Comics July 2019 solicitations
Credit: DC
Credit: DC

There are a lot of offers being made this summer in the DCU.

Not only is the “Year of the Villain” event depicting Lex Luthor offering power to various DC rogues, but Event Leviathan appears to be dominated by offers too.

Event Leviathan is the limited series by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev that kicks off June 12 after the author planted seeds over the last few months in his Action Comics run.

For Event Leviathan, the mysterious, red-masked leader of Leviathan (now nicknamed “Leviathan” himself) is approaching various characters in the DCU and asking them to secretly join his alliance.

Bendis and DC have revealed some of the new recruits in a series of advertisements about Event Leviathan.

And there’s evidence that some DC heroes have already joined him.


Who is Leviathan?

In DCU history, Leviathan was previously an organization associated with Talia Al Ghul, and then was linked to the secret organization Spyral in Grayson.

But someone new is running the show at Leviathan, and he’s been destroying most of the other secret organizations in the DCU (including Kobra, CADMUS, A.R.G.U.S., and the D.E.O.).

Credit: DC

The red-masked Leviathan appears to want the good guys to win, however. In this week’s Superman: Leviathan Rising Special #1, he specifically indicates that he wants to fight on the same side as Superman, and he tosses Talia Al Ghul out of the organization because she does something negative to Superman.

As Leviathan says about his hero recruitment plan:

“When all of them see that what we are building is what they have been fighting and dying for all their lives, they will join us.”

Credit: DC

And the ads feature Leviathan stating, “The world needs us to do better.”

So far, very few clues have been revealed about the identity of Leviathan. He seems to know that Clark Kent is Superman, he knows Barbara Gordon’s name and history, and he’s working very hard to hide his true identity.

And the red mask he wears makes Damian Wayne think Jason Todd might be Leviathan.


Credit: DC

Who’s Been Recruited?

In the issues leading up to June’s Event Leviathan #1, readers have already seen Leviathan reach out to recruit characters like Batgirl and the Golden Guardian. And ads have teased other offers, including Green Arrow, Batman, Plastic Man, Lois Lane, the Question, and Manhunter.

The dialogue in the most recent recruitment scene, from Action Comics #1011, indicated there are already heroes who have joined Leviathan’s plan.

Credit: DC

He tells Jim Harper, “You won’t believe who else has already joined us.”

The next scene after that dialogue showed Lois Lane, Superman and Jimmy Olsen together. Has one of these characters joined Leviathan?
Suspect List

Let’s take a look at each of the suspects from the advertisements to consider their possible recruitment:


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Plastic Man:

Patrick “Eel” O’Brian has an origin story that includes a life of crime, and Plastic Man has struggled against some his alter ego’s criminal tendencies in the past. This might be enough for him to turn toward the seemingly more direct form of justice being proposed by Leviathan.

But the hero’s involvement in the the Terrifics, who have been literally inseparable of late, as well as the addition of son Jake (a.k.a. Offspring) to the team, both seem to negate the possibility that he’s been secretly serving a clandestine organization.

Recruitment Possibility: Low


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Lois Lane:

Lois Lane has frequently been depicted as a spy, one who can lie and infiltrate organizations, sometimes without her husband knowing her true intentions.

And there was something weird happening when she returned from space in Action Comics last year, yet hid the return from her husband. She was secretly meeting with Lex Luthor and told her husband she needed a break from married life.

The juxtaposition of the above line about “who else has already joined us” with Lois Lane in Action Comics #1011 also points toward Lois being a possible turncoat.

Recruitment possibility: High


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The Question:

The Question is also a character who can infiltrate organizations, although the way Bendis briefly showcased him in Action Comics #1005 doesn’t seem to indicate that he’s on the side of Leviathan. That said, Vic Sage has been portrayed as a corrupt character in the past (most recently in the "New 52"’s Suicide Squad).

One sign that might point toward the Question’s involvement: His presence in the shadows of Sam Lane’s hospital room in Action Comics #1009. Only two issues later, Leviathan showed up in the shadows of Jim Harper’s hospital room. There’s probably a connection between the two scenes.

Recruitment possibility: Medium


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Kate Spencer has been implicated in the murder of her former boss, Director Bones of the D.E.O., because Leviathan used her identity as a disguise. She’s now being hunted by Maggie Sawyer’s organization, so it’s not likely she’s part of Leviathan. Why would she set herself up?

However, Kate has experience in clandestine organizations. And she became a superhero because she was upset that the court justice system was failing and criminals were running free. This attitude might make her the ideal candidate for Leviathan’s new way of pursuing justice.

Recruitment possibility: Medium


Credit: DC


The thought of Batgirl turning against other DC heroes is almost unthinkable. In past incarnations, she served as Oracle, a highly trusted character who had the ability to connect with all the heroes of the DCU and access to many of their secrets.

However, she’s been portrayed in the past as a hacker who crosses legal lines to serve justice, and her experience in the Birds of Prey includes clandestine operations and alliances with villains. Barbara has also experienced the bad side of the “we don’t kill” approach to crime-fighting, having been paralyzed when the Joker was allowed to live. And if Leviathan really is Jason Todd, he might be able to convince the heroine that his alternate crime-fighting method is worth giving a try.

Recruitment possibility: Medium


Credit: DC

Green Arrow:

Oliver Queen has often gone undercover and sometimes moves in contradiction to other superheroes, including his role on the "New 52" JLA, which was set up to potentially counteract the Justice League.

And of course, although it’s not in continuity anymore, Oliver Queen turned toward brutal justice before in the Cry for Justice limited series, so his recruitment into Leviathan might serve as a Rebirth-era echo of that story.

Recruitment possibility: Medium


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Sure, Batman can deliver his own brand of justice, and he often does things nobody else expects.

But Leviathan kills.

Granted, there’s often no bodies after each Leviathan massacre, but this week’s Special made it clear that the people are dead. And mutilated.
And Batman does not kill.

Recruitment possibility: Low

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