Writer: John Layman
Artist: Nick Pitarra
Leviathan is a lot to take in. In every possible way, It is fast, wild, and just plain big. It has a big ensemble cast, a big heart, and a bigger monster. Leviathan feels like a natural choice for both John Layman and Nick Pitarra’s next big project, and overall it lives up to the expectations.
Ryan Deluca is throwing a party, and unfortunately, there is no more beer thanks to some party crashers. On his way to the store, a giant, Godzilla-like monster suddenly appears and does what Kaiju monsters do. Now, Ryan needs to get back to the party to save his girlfriend, whom the monster is heading right towards.
John Layman and Nick Pitarra have a keen understanding of what makes Kaiju stories so great. In addition to creating an explosive spectacle, Layman has an ensemble cast of enjoyable characters. The sheer destruction of the giant monster is nothing short of exciting due to Nick Pitarra’s effective art massive spreads. There is an incredible amount of detail in every panel. Of course, I would expect no less from Pitarra after Manhattan Projects. This book has it all, from raging fires, massive explosions, and giant chomps. Fans of kaiju flicks will find a lot to enjoy in this debut.
Outside of the spectacle, Layman has a fun cast of defenseless humans. Due to the party and many outsiders who will inevitably cross paths, no character besides Ryan and his girlfriend get much time to shine. Most of these characters appear to be nothing but hollow archetypes, but there does appear to be a decent amount of depth in multiple characters.
Outside of the giant monster stuff, Pitarra’s art might not work for everyone. His distinct style full of caricatures isn’t meant to be cute. The style works for this type comic, which focuses more on the fast action than the individual characters themselves. Fans of Manhattan Projects will feel right at home, as Pitarra hasn’t missed a step here. Leviathan’s storytelling relies almost as much on the art as it does the script, with multiple actions scenes being told entirely through art.
Leviathan is perfect for kaiju fans. It’s also a solid read for those who just want a fun time with silly characters. John Layman and Nick Pitarra are a perfect team for this sort of story, which should be a wild ride. It doesn’t have the most developed characters, but this doesn’t stop the creative team from accomplishing what they set out to do.
It won't please everyone, but kaiju junkies will find a lot to love in Leviathan #1.