Beer, love, and kaiju are three words that should never be used in the same sentence. Saying all of them are elements in a touching story about the power of love is even stranger. Leviathan seamlessly weaves a number of seemingly disparate characters and themes together in a fun story that has more than a little heart.
Leviathan is the story of Ryan Deluca and a party he is throwing. Unfortunately, some uninvited guests have decided to crash the get together and to make matters worse, they finished all the beer. Ryan decides to go out to get more but something sinister is happening that may put Ryan and his girlfriend Vivian in danger.
John Layman’s and Nick Pitarra’s story is fun and action packed. Leviathan is constantly throwing characters at the reader and there is a relatively large cast introduced in the first issue. However, with names like Goth Jimmy they instantly become memorable and it never seems like too much. Something new happens on every page and in almost every panel. The comic moves along along at a crisp pace without ever leaving anyone behind.
Pitarra’s art sets a perfect atmosphere for the book. Leviathan has the look of an underground comic straight out of the 1960s. The loud colors and and almost distorted faces add to the horror and silliness. There are also some great facial expressions that convey what is being felt at the moment. It is almost surprising to see this level of detail in emotions aside from fear. Most spectacularly, Leviathan has multiple pages where the action takes up most of the space. This does an excellent job of forwarding the story in a dramatic fashion.Leviathan is packed with humor. Some of the jokes are of the blink and you miss them variety. The backgrounds of many of the panels are filled with jokes as obvious as the logos on the t shirts being worn to as subtle as items in a refrigerator. A prominent American makes an appearance and the page is filled with jokes that will have the reader scanning the page again and again.
There is more to Leviathan than just over the top action and well placed jokes. At its core, this is a love story. There are pages filled with hearts and Ryan has a conversation with a friend in which he talks about his feelings for Vee, but it is his behavior near the end that demonstrates how far his feelings go. This is done subtly over the course of the comic, making the final page a unexpectedly moving moment.
If you were to describe Leviathan to someone, they might dismiss it. After all, there is only so much to get out of a story that involves a party, black magic, and kaiju. However, when the story is well written, looks good, and has characters with strong motivations you can get a whole lot more than expected. Leviathan is a good comic with a fun premise and a touching story.
Leviathan #1 hits stands on August 1st.
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