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‘Leviathan #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

The creators of Leviathan are absolutely right: Pop culture needs more kaiju presence. John Layman and Nick Pitarra have set forth on a mission to bring us a campy, little piece of delightful disaster porn. It’s a Godzilla story that has been inflicted with a case of the sillies. Everything from the plot to the art style will have you cringe-laughing. This is like Mars Attacks! for kaiju fans.

So far, the premise is simple and clear: A local idiot named Goth Jimmy performs a demonic ceremony at a house party and releases a giant beast from some kind of unseen hellscape. It’s not complicated, and why should it be? The creators of the book are correct to skip immediately into the action as quickly as possible. A modern pitfall of stories like this tends to dwell heavily on extraneous cliches in order to hook an audience that it misunderstands. The fact is, we want mayhem, and we want it now. Please?

The main character is Ryan, and he is a white male protagonist designed to act as the audience surrogate. His most defining feature is that he loves his girlfriend. There is not much to say about Ryan, or anyone at this point. The characters do not seem to be as important as the circumstance they must overcome. I am excited to see if the writers even try to flesh out these characters, since they are clearly tropic clones of conventional disaster-porn stereotypes. There is a grand opportunity here to flip some of these tropes on their head, which is something I would very much like to see.

The art style of Leviathan reminds me of MAD Magazine, in a good way. The frames are cluttered. The colors are vibrant. The humor is dark, especially a cameo from a certain president who will remain nameless. The book is satire and wastes no time taking a crack at your funny bone.

I particularly enjoyed the monsters' design. Take special notice of the finger-like spider legs connected to the mouthpiece. It’s a nice touch that separates the monster’s design from other kaiju-like beasts. Sure, the design borrows from various other pop culture destruct-a-ghouls like the monsters from Cloverfield and Rampage but adapts it for an Adult Swim audience. If any of this excites you, well then, you are in luck! As per the back of the issue, it looks like there will be an even larger variety of monsters for us to play with in the issues to come.


Creative Team: John Layman (writer & letters), Nick Pitarra (artist), Michael Garland (colorist)
Publisher: Image Comics
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