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Week of Cool Comic Book Moments – Batman’s Nemesis, Leviathan, Revealed!

Every day this week will see me feature a brand-new Cool Comic Book Moment. For this week only, I’ll be specifically featuring cool moments that happened in the last couple of years (basically since I last did the Year of Cool Comic Moments). Here is an archive of all the past cool comic moments that I’ve featured so far.

Today we finish the week off with a look at the reveal of Batman’s latest nemesis, the head of the evil organization known as Leviathan, by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham…

As we entered Batman: Leviathan Strikes, Batman had had quite an eventful year or so. First he meets his son, Damian Wayne, who has been trained by his mother, Talia (daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul), to follow in her footsteps but he instead decided to be a hero like his father. Bruce Wayne had a girlfriend named Jezebel Jet who was part of an evil organization that tried to not only kill Bruce, but destroy his family’s reputation in the process. Finally, Batman was sent on a bizarre journey through time at the hands (or should I say the eyes) of Darkseid. Upon his return, Batman decided he needed to step things up in the face of a new, frightening threat called Leviathan, whose spread of evil across the globe helped lead to Batman forming Batman, Incorporated, which involves Batman putting together an army, of sorts, to stop the hordes of Leviathan.

But who IS the head of Leviathan? As we entered the main story in Batman: Leviathan Strikes, the most popular guess as to who the head of the group was Jezebel Jet herself, who everyone THINKS was killed by a group of Man-Bats in an earlier issue but Batman and his allies have their doubts. Is she really dead? Or is she the head of Leviathan? We discover the truth after we see Batman fight against one of of Leviathan’s agents, Doctor Dedalus as he is set to start a plan for epic world destruction from the belly of a sinking underwater lair (one of the members of Batman, Inc. who Dedalus thought was secretly working for him, El Gaucho, tries to stop Dedalus after first incapacitating Batman under Dedalus’s orders, but gets stabbed by Dedalus and he just can’t find the strength to use his weapon against Dedalus before Dedadlus effectively blows up the world)

Now it is up to Batman and his closest allies (Red Robin, Robin and Nightwing – then the alternate Batman) to learn the true mastermind behind all of this. IS it really Jezebel Jet?

Yep, Talia has moved up in the world of villainy.

Such a great ending to the first volume of Batman, Incorporated and it sure set things up well for the current volume. Talia’s hatred over the loss of her son has been remarkable to see and I’ll probably eventually get to her spotlight issue in Batman Incorporated volume 2 (where we see the background behind her rise to power in Leviathan) in this column, as well.


Man, that was such a great issue. First Cam Stewart did that awesome Batgirl Steph in an assassin’s girl’s school with the pop star teachers, then Burnham totally got his Steranko on in that freaky deaky circling room thing. Then this reveal. WHOA!

(side note, I believe before the first image you mean that El Gaucho is “incapacitating” Batman. And I hope to goodness I spelled it right when I tried correcting you!)

That “give or take 4 letters” bit is kinda dumb, though. Really? Batman’s supposed to get it from that, Talia?

Damn, Damian’s got…ahem…killer aim!

Aw, look at sad Batman with the hotline phone!

I dunno about the whole Leviathan group and all. It just seems like it’s too well put together to have just come together as recently as it appears in the books, but if it’s been around longer, it’s another shadowy group in the GMozz run, and that’s…eh.

Overall, though, INC has been so good that even the headscratcher parts of it like that are worth overlooking — sit back and enjoy how freakin’ awesome it is!

And hey, I just noticed in looking at this — that must be the original Batwoman there, at the top of the one page, looking over the mountains, saying “he hated flowers”, right? Wonder if she’ll ever get followed up on?

Since I own most of these cool comic book moments of the past week, does that make me cool?

Oh, yeah, NO it does not.

[Sad Batman with a red phone]

Travis, I think Leviathan is League of Shadows, isn’t it? Talia took over her father’s business and renamed it.

Also, I loved the issue too!

Cich said: “Talia took over her father’s business and renamed it.”

Ohhh, yeah, that makes sense now. Duh me. The whole rebranding/corporation/mirror of the Batman family — big theme time!

Yeah, sometimes I feel all smart and stuff, but other times the obvious eludes me and then I must have a lie down because haid hurt!

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 10, 2013 at 4:56 am

@ T.P.: Alas poor poor T.P. We hardly knew him. His haid hurt! :-(

Even the legendary T.P. has an off moment, now and then. He/She/It is only human (I think).

Suck it up, man, and solder on! ;-)

El Gaucho died? Assssssssssssssssss! Why did I have to click to read this post?

Carlos, no, he didn’t die. As a matter of fact, there were LOTS of moments in Morrison’s run, when different characters seemed to have perished, but reappear later with dumb explanaitions for their “resurrections”. That makes it even harder to accept Damian’s death.

In this case, Morridaughter, the “dumb explanation” happens two pages later, as seen in the pages posted above, and makes a fair amount of sense.

@Morridaughter: Thanks, dude. El Gaucho is from Argentina and since I’m half Argentinean, the guy has a place in my heart.

Morrison and Burnham are quite a team. They are quite Morrison and Quitely, but being a notch below the best current creative team in comics is a Hell of thing for Burnham.

I am always delighted by how Morrison manages to fold little details from Batman’s past into his epic. The red Batphone Under Glass is both a clever reference and a way to suggest innocence lost.

Great stuff.

A waste to move Talia in that direction. But DC probably thinks that it can just change/retcon it away later if they want. One of the biggest problem with the current philosophy of comics :-(

It’s not like they hadn’t been telegraphing it forever. No real shock to anyone paying attention.

cool loved the look of sadness in batmans face when talia tells him its too late levithan plans are in motion and its his move next. plus also loved the little omage to the batman tv series with the red phone under glass batman talking to talia . after all she is her fathers daughter .

Malachi, Talia was “villainized” some years ago by Greg Rucka, way back before even infinite Crisis.

@ Travis and cich regarding that “give or take 4 letters” bit. I think she was saying that in signing her masterpiece it’s her name in Leviathan (LevIAThAn). The e,v,h,n being the extra 4 letters.

Oh, I realize that’s what she meant, that the letters of TALIA are in Leviathan. It’s the “I practically signed” it bit that amuses me. Yeah Talia, Batman is a junkie for “anagrams plus another 4 random letters” puzzles.

Actually, he kind of is. He’s spent years going up against the likes of the Riddler, Cluemaster, etc. Event eh Joker used to run around calling himself stuff like “Joseph Kerr” and robbing stores whose first letters spelled out his nom du crime.

Omar, I’m thinking of a bit from an issue in Morrison’s run (can’t remember exactly where, but I think it was after the Club of Heroes/Island of Mayhew 3 parter but before Final Crisis) where Batman is “inner monologuing” about how he never liked the puzzles and riddles himself, it was all for Dick. It’s interesting because Jezebel Jet and Talia and a few others since then have all commented on how Batman loves puzzles like that. All they do is give Batman a sad face!

But otherwise, yeah, you’re right. I am humbled, as usual, by your vast knowledge. Which in this case isn’t exactly esoterica.

I try to sound smart, but then people always have to confuse the issue with facts, dangit.

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