Event Leviathan (2019-2020) Reading Order
Brian Michael Bendis introduces a new mystery to the DC Universe as part of his run on the Superman titles as the heroes are left wondering… who is Leviathan? Is it a person? A group? Both? What are their intentions? For all his power, even Superman finds he’s not going to be able to confront Leviathan alone…
This story takes place in and around the YEAR OF THE VILLAIN event.
Major Event: With a core mini-series, a number of one-shots and issues of other DC titles tying in to the story, ‘Event Leviathan’ is considered to be a major event.
Must Reads: Story arcs marked with a ✔are must-read stories from this time period, along with any key related stories and often-forgotten tales that are worth a read.
When an issue contains multiple stories, the relevant story is denoted with square brackets. For example [2/5] refers to the second story of the five stories in that issue, so you don’t need to read the other four.
YEAR OF THE VILLAIN – Lex Luthor is transformed
Want to keep it simple? Here’s the chronological reading order without story descriptions, or spoilers:
- ✔ Action Comics #1007-1012
- ✔ Superman: Leviathan Rising #1
- ✔ Action Comics #1013-1016 (also see YEAR OF THE VILLAIN)
- ✔ Event Leviathan #1
- Superman #16 (tie-in) (also see MILLENNIUM)
- DC Year of the Villain #1 [2/3] (also see YEAR OF THE VILLAIN)
- ✔ Event Leviathan #2-6
- Action Comics #1017-1021 (also see YEAR OF THE VILLAIN)
- ✔ Lois Lane #6
- ✔ Leviathan Dawn #1
- Supergirl #34-35 (also see YEAR OF THE VILLAIN)
- Wonder Woman Annual #3 (also see THE FOUR HORSEWOMEN
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|Must Reads||Title, Issue Number and Synopsis|
|✔||Action Comics #1007 |
Jimmy Olsen’s latest love interest takes him to a secret Kobra meeting. He flees the building right before it explodes. Lois Lane meets her father, Sam Lane, and tells him she’s married to Superman, prompting him to walk away in silence. Superman saves Task Force X leader Amanda Waller when a bomb destroys her ARGUS office building. She disappears while he’s busy saving others…
|✔||Action Comics #1008 |
Adam Strange arrives at the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO) building to take over Supergirl’s role, but ends up saving Director Bones when an intimidating armoured being emanating crackling blue energy blows up the building. Sam Lane and Amanda Waller meet up, with each believing the other called the meeting, and are soon confronted by something emanating blue energy. Waller shoots Lane to but herself a chance to escape. Lois Lane comes out of hiding to return to the Daily Planet where Jimmy tells her and Clark Kent about the Kobra incident. Later, Amanda Waller shows up in the Kents’ apartment and calls Clark ‘Superman’…
|✔||Action Comics #1009 *|
Superman takes Lois Lane, Amanda Waller and Jimmy Olsen to the new Fortress of Solitude after Waller warms that Leviathan is coming. She claims Sam Lane is in protective custody in a Columbus Hospital getting treatment for a heart attack, so Lois snaps and punches her out. Superman heads to Columbus where the Question is watching over Sam Lane, then drops in on Talia Al Ghul’s empty Leviathan base, the Batcave and Director Bones before heading back to the Fortress. Wondering if the spy organisation Spyral are involved, Superman & Lois re-adopt undercover roles they used when facing Nemesis and head to London…
|✔||Action Comics #1110 |
Director Bones senses something fishy at the FBI debriefing area he’s held in, but may have been too late to stop Leviathan agent ‘Kate Spencer’ from killing him. Lois and Clark (as ‘Andi & Chaz Donen’) and have a tense conversation with Spyral agent Tiger when another armoured Leviathan being lands in London. Superman hurls it into space before it explodes, but finds Lois and Tiger missing when he returns…
|✔||Action Comics #1111 |
Maggie Sawyer’s Metropolis Special Crimes Unit try to arrest the real Kate Spencer (aka Manhunter) who escapes. In London, Tiger reveals to Lois Lane that the leaders of Spyral found out Leviathan was coming and went into hiding without warning their people or other intelligence agencies. He leaves Lois with evidence then leaves but is taken out by another armoured Leviathan creature. Amanda Waller escapes the Fortress of Solitude after Jimmy accuses her of being Leviathan. Superman explains to Lois and Jimmy that there haven’t been any bodies at the explosion sites. Someone visits the injured Jim Harper (Guardian) in hospital and offers him a role in the new world…
|✔||Action Comics #1012 |
Superman briefly returns from his mission in space with Superboy (Jon Kent) and Jor-El (during THE HOUSE OF EL) to update Lois Lane. Reporter Robinson Goode meets with Rose Forrest whose other persona is the ruthless vigilante Thorn. Thorn tells Goode she believes there’s an ‘Invisible Mafia’ in Metropolis and the police turn a blind eye to her actions so she can deal with it. Her Rose persona tells Goode that someone called Leviathan approached her and offered her the chance to make a real difference…
|Must Reads||Title, Issue Number and Synopsis|
|✔||Action Comics #1013 |
Robinson Goode tells Perry White how Thorn/Rose Forrest rejected Leviathan and returned home to find Leviathan agents there. Perry casts suspicion on how Goode gets her stories. Goode begins to lose a little control of her Red Cloud powers in the office. Lex Luthor appears to Invisible Mafia leader Marisol Leone via one of his drones, offering her – as a crime boss and owner of the Daily Planet – a gift. More Leviathan agents come for Thorn. Superman comes to her aid and is told by one of the terrified agents that he’s going to be on board with their plans before he’s teleported to New Delhi. He believes the missing agencies have been teleported elsewhere rather than destroyed. Lex Luthor offers the Red Cloud information on her origin…
|✔||Superman: Leviathan Rising #1 |
Marisol Leone is approached by Leviathan in a book store who wants to join forces to take down Superman. Leone suggests kidnapping Clark Kent and Leviathan sends agents to the Kents’ apartment. Clark allows himself to be kidnapped and is taken to Talia al Ghul whose men fit him with a Kryptonite vest as part of the trap. When Clark doesn’t show up at home, Lois Lane calls on Jimmy Olsen who has landed himself in trouble in Gorilla City, getting drunk, married to a super-criminal and cornered by Dex-Starr all in one night. Lois turns to Batman and Wonder Woman for help, instead. Elsewhere, Supergirl discovers ex-DEO agents Eliza & Jeremiah Danvers are missing and that Leviathan are behind it. Leviathan frees Clark from the Kryptonite vest and apologises before leaving. Lois arrives dressed as Talia, with Jimmy Olsen, Dex-Starr and Firestorm in tow on a mission to rescue Clark. Lois gives him his costume, so Superman can pursue the escaping Leviathan ship, saving Talia al Ghul from certain when Leviathan himself throws her from it. Elsewhere, Marisol Leorne makes Robinson Goode her equal partner…
|✔||Action Comics #1014 |
Perry White finds Marisol Leone in his office. She reveals herself to be the new owner of the Daily Planet and asks him to find out who Leviathan is and bring back Lois Lane. After he defeats a giant Drafutatu, Superman discovers illegal experiments going on in STAR Labs as they deny any connection to Leviathan. Thorn accuses Mr Strong of Leviathan involvement in the Invisible Mafia’s club, attracting the Red Cloud’s attention. The superhuman Naomi McDuffie crashes from space into the Daily Planet building and Superman is there to meet her…
|✔||Action Comics #1015 |
Superman takes Naomi to the Hall of Justice to be checked over and finds out she’s from an alternate Earth where the heroes were all murdered. Superman speeds off to rescue Thorn from the Red Cloud’s clutches. But Red Cloud reveals her recent power upgrade from Lex Luthor and Superman is fighting for his life…
|✔||Action Comics #1016|
Superman is on the losing end of the fight with the Red Cloud when Naomi crashes in, saving his life. The tables quickly turn and the Red Cloud dissipates, making her escape. Batman and Superman meet Naomi’s adopted parents. Marisol Leone finds out the Red Cloud accepted Lex Luthor’s offer and decides to go public…
|✔||Event Leviathan #1 |
Batman and Lois Lane both investigate the destruction of the Odyssey – the new ARGUS HQ – at the hands of Leviathan and find Steve Trevor in the ruins. Steve becomes convinced Lois is part of Leviathan and opens fire, clipping her arm. Steve is taken down by Green Arrow and the three form an alliance, unaware they’re being watched by the Question. Elsewhere, Dr Strand of ARGUS is in the presence of Leviathan himself who asks for her help in building a better world…
|Superman #16 (tie-in)|
Robin interrupts Leviathan troops at Gotham Harbour who were expecting minimal interference with Batman out of town. Robin disrupts their operation, forcing them to teleport out and destroy their own boat which helps Superboy find Robin. Superboy and Robin share time together eating hotdogs and beating criminals. Superboy returns to the Cave of Solitude and says farewell to Superman when Saturn Girl arrives and takes him 1000 years into the future…
|✔||DC Year of the Villain #1 [2/3] |
Batgirl and Green Arrow apprehend Merlyn, despite him pleading for an alliance. They ignore his begging until it’s too late and Leviathan arrive. When Batgirl wakes, Leviathan explains they all want the same thing and offers her a role in his grand plan. Later, Green Arrow reports in to Batman, but doesn’t mention Batgirl’s disappearance. Robin tells Batman he suspects the Red Hood of being Leviathan…
|✔||Event Leviathan #2 |
A Leviathan agent shows up in Sam Lane’s room at the hospital. The Question tries to subdue him, but Lane briefly wakes and shoots the agent in the head. Plastic Man is sent to the morgue to look for clues, but Leviathan arrives and makes Plastic Man question his place in the world then teleports the body away. Batman’s team of detectives – Green Arrow, Lois Lane, Manhunter, Plastic Man, Question & Robin – confront their number one suspect: the Red Hood.
|✔||Event Leviathan #3 |
The Red Hood escapes Batman’s detectives, advises Lois Lane to find Amanda Waller and disappears. The team return to the Cave of Solitude where Robin discovers an ARGUS espionage device left by Waller. Leviathan confronts Waller in Cuba, but their conversation is interrupted by Superman…
|✔||Event Leviathan #4 |
Leviathan teleports away with Amanda Waller. Supermen regroups with the detectives at the Batcave, though he and Batman suspect them all. Silencer is watching Wayne Manor and sees Lois Lane leave in one of Bruce Wayne’s cars. Batgirl contacts Batman, having convinced Leviathan of her loyalty. Superman and Plastic Man head to the source of her signal, but are intercepted by a dazzling light. Lois meets up with Harvey Bullock, John Constantine, Deathstroke, Elongated Man, the female Question & Zatanna – her second, secret team of detectives…
|✔||Event Leviathan #5 |
Lois Lane’s second team are convinced Sam Lane is Leviathan. Zatanna teleports them to his bedside at the hospital where a Leviathan agent enters and is shot by Sam Lane. Lois and her father are teleported again to an icy tundra where Sam dies. In the sky above Chicago, Leviathan unmasks before Superman. In Gotham City, Batman’s detectives are attacked by Talia al Ghul…
|✔||Event Leviathan #6 |
Talia tries to steal Manhunter’s tech and defeats her, but the detectives don’t let Talia take her. Lois and the other detectives teleport in with Sam Lane’s body. Sam had written a warning to the spy agencies that someone could take them over, which Leviathan did by using his warning as a to-do list. Mark Shaw – a former Manhunter – unmasks to Superman and reveals his plan to make all the world’s secrets public. Amanda Waller steals back the technology that would allow him to do that and gives it to the detectives. Lois Lane reveals Leviathan’s identity in a Daily Planet article. Seeing his potential allies as enemies, Leviathan continues to move forward with his plans to make the world a better place whether the heroes want that or not…
|✔||Action Comics #1017 |
Yesterday, Clark Kent’s interview with Marisol Leone was interrupted when fireball tore through Metropolis. Clark investigated as Superman but was teleported to Gorilla City where he was immediately attacked by its inhabitants. While he was away, Leviathan set off an explosion at Leone’s Ace Club, now known to be a front for the Invisible Mafia. Today, the Legion of Doom are confronted by the Justice League after assaulting Metropolis and demanding Superman’s surrender…
|✔||Action Comics #1018 |
Days ago, Fire Chief Melody Moore met Clark Kent to tell him she’s running for mayor, inspiring Clark to reveal to her that he’s Superman. They were interrupted by the arrival of the Legion of Doom’s headquarters. When the doors opened, Leviathan stood allied with the Legion. Now, Robinson Goode recalls how a group of corrupt scientists at Star City STAR Labs tried to murder her when she investigated a missing persons case; throwing her to their interdimensional experiment and accidentally giving her powers which she used to kill them. In the present, the Red Cloud watches as the Legion of Doom overpower the Justice League.
|✔||Action Comics #1019 |
After Leviathan was revealed to the world, the Legion of Doom requested a meeting. Though it was tense, Leviathan teleported the Legion to Leviathan Island and agreed to join forces with them and the Red Cloud to kill Superman on his home turf. Now, central Metropolis is almost completely destroyed…
|✔||Action Comics #1020 |
While Young Justice help civilians, the original Superboy (Conner Kent) assists Superman against the Legion of Doom as a surprise ‘ace’! After the Justice League join the fight, Leviathan gets ready to put his real plan into action, using Lex Luthor as his pawn…
|✔||Action Comics #1021 |
Superman is defeated and held in place by the Red Cloud while Luthor gloats. When Leviathan fails to strike as Luthor planned, Conner Kent attacks him. Red Cloud tries to kill Superman and he begs them not to let innocents die, so she hurls Superman at Luthor and the Legion and saves kids caught in the carnage. Leviathan teleports the Legion of Doom away, takes the Hall of Doom for himself and leaves the Justice League to clear up their mess. Red Cloud returns to Marisol Leone who plans to make the most of Superman’s impending revelations over his secret identity…
|Must Reads||Title, Issue Number and Synopsis|
|✔||Lois Lane #6 |
Lois Lane thinks back to key moments in her life with her father, Sam Lane, and can’t accept the American flag on his behalf at his funeral. She recalls his visit to her after she told him that her husband is secretly Superman and how close he came to believing in him.
|✔||Leviathan Dawn #1 |
Superman has just revealed his identity to the world (during THE TRUTH REVEALED). Now that Steve Trevor’s no longer suspected of being Leviathan, he’s broken out of confinement by the King (Kingsley Jacobs). Trevor recruits Mister Bones, Green Arrow, the Question, Talia al Ghul, Lois Lane and Manhunter. Elsewhere, Dr Elisabeth Netz, one of Leviathan’s own scientists, reveals she was the one who leaked the key to Leviathan’s defeat to Amanda Waller. Leviathan take control of Markovia, prompting Steve Trevor’s new crew to gather and prepare to deal with it…
Supergirl turns to Dr Shay Veritas to help her track the cyborg hand she built for Eliza Danvers, but the search brings her to a morgue. Leviathan agents arrive, subduing Krypto and using Kryptonite on Supergirl. One agent is shot by a mystery assailant. The agents are teleported away while the assailant unmasks as Jeremiah Danvers…
Supergirl & Jeremiah exit the morgue when they’re beset by a female Leviathan agent. She separates Jeremiah from Supergirl, but he thinks it may be Eliza under the mask. Leviathan tries and fails to recruit Supergirl. Before Jeremiah can explain anything to Supergirl, she flies to the Fortress of Solitude where Brainiac 1 has broken in and tried using Kryptonian tech to make a new body for himself…
|Wonder Woman Annual #3|
Twelve years ago, Wonder Woman rescued the orphaned Helen Paul from Neo-Nazi terrorists. Helen was raised by retired ARGUS agents and grew up to become one of ARGUS’ most-skilled agents, inspired by Wonder Woman. Five years ago, Wonder Woman accompanied Helen Paul and Steve Trevor on a mission to Gorilla City to overthrow Gorilla Grodd, but decided ARGUS’ methods weren’t acceptable. She showed Helen that the truth would bring peace to the city. Weeks ago, ARGUS fell to Leviathan and Helen was recruited by Leviathan himself by revealing Wonder Woman had withheld the truth that her parents were the Neo-Nazi terrorists who were gunned down by ARGUS. Helen’s bloodline had been at war with the Amazons for years. Leviathan funds her transformation into Warmaster…
|Title, Issue Number & Synopsis||Event / Crossover|
|Superman #18 (2020)|
Superman reveals his secret identity to the world.
|Checkmate #1-6 (2021-2022)|
Checkmate gather to oppose Mark Shaw; Superman investigates Leviathan-ruled Markovia; Lois Lane learns the secret of ‘Snowman’s Ticket’; Mark Shaw is deposed as leader of Leviathan; King’ is revealed to be Kamandi; Eliza Danvers is seen among the members of Leviathan in Markovia.
|Young Justice #10-15 (2020)|
Following her interactions with Batman and Superman, Naomi McDuffie joins Young Justice before clashing with the Legion of Doom in Metropolis.
|Action Comics #1022-1028 (2020-2021)|
Conner Kent meets Jon Kent and is welcomed into the House of El; Lois Lane is arrested when Marisole Leone raises questions surrounding the death of Sam Lane; the origin of Marisol Leone is revealed and the fate of the Invisible Mafia is decided.
|Justice League of America #30-39 (2019-2020)|
The Justice League and the Legion of Doom have their ultimate showdown; Kamandi confronts the Justice League over failing to prevent their universe from doom.
|YEAR OF THE VILLAIN|
|Wonder Woman #751-757 (2020)|
Warmaster seeks out Wonder Woman to avenge her family.
|THE FOUR HORSEWOMEN|
|Justice League #62-63 (2021)|
Zumbado comes to Prime Earth in search of Naomi McDuffie; Naomi joins the Justice League and proves herself against Zumbado.
|Justice League #71 (2022)|
Daemon Rose/Leo Lane joins Checkmate.
|Justice League Annual 2022 (2022)|
The Hall of Doom is found abandoned in the Louisiana swamps and inhabited by Epoch.
|THE GOLD LANTERN SAGA|
Reading Order ©OmniverseComicsGuide 2023