Leviathan (2000 AD)

Leviathan  is a horror comic series created by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli and, which appeared in the British magazine  2000 AD  starting in 2003.

The story is set on a massive ocean liner (the  Leviathan  of the title) which has been transported to some places of the world. Tales of the  Leviathan  The story appeared in ten parts followed by three stand alone “Tales of the  Leviathan  ” which expanded on the history of the ship.

Ian Edginton has described it as ” Agatha Christie meets Silent Hill .”  quote needed  ]

Characters

  • Detective Sergeant Aurelius Lament  , a police officer investigating the mystery. His wife, Mary, died in child birth, the result of the ship’s doctor being drunk.
  • William Ashbless  , the boat’s architect.
  • Sky Baker  , a “Mace”, one of the unofficial police who maintain order in Steerage class. Her mother was killed by the Stokers about six months before the story starts.
  • Hastur  , the demon influencing / powering the ship under control of Ashbless. His servants – known as Stokers – kill their victims by flaying them with their long tongues.
  • Davy Moyes  a young Scottish apprentice who became Hasturs’ first servant (in “Chosen Son”)
  • Captain Michael McLean  , Captain of the  Leviathan  , and previously a soldier, hunter and adventurer who went on an expedition to Hold Thirteen, rumored to be filled with luxury items. (in “McLean’s Last Case”).
  • Petra Connaught  , famed aviatrix, while trying to search for land (in “Beyond the Blue Horizon”).

Plot

The  Leviathan  is the largest ship ever built – A mile long, half a mile tall and taking ten years to build. Designed by architect Ashbless – who is aboard and part of the governing cabal, and launched in 1928 with some 28,000 on board his maiden trip to New York. At some point in the world, it is endangered and lifeless.

Detective Lament is summoned to the officers club, where the cabal ask him to look into several murders – hushed up as suicides – that have occurred in the First Class section. Initially Lament is loathe to become involved, but he believes the First Class is still in contempt, however Captain McLean persuades him to investigate.

Lament has barely begun to be investigated and has been arrested. The steward insists that “Stokers” – shipboard mythical bogymen are in fact real and responsible for the deaths, but before Lament can question him further. Disgusted, Lament returns to his deck and regrets his involvement.

Later McLean Approaches Lament and again asks for his help, suspecting that the steward was correct and unnatural forces are at work – “the  Leviathan  should have run out of fuel decades ago “. Lament again takes up his investigation and ventures into the steerage decks, where he is rescued by Sky Baker, has “Mace” – one of the self appointed security for the Steerage decks.

Sky confirms Laments theory about the Stokers, and the two venture down to the engine room. They are taken to the “engine” itself – an oubliette containing the Demon Hastur. Hastur explains that Ashbless is in fact eight hundred years old, initially one of the Hospital Knights in the Crusades, but entered a devils bargain: Ashbless owns Hastur’s soul, and is immortal so long as he has it. Hastur’s soul (represented by a talisman stylized as an eye – a symbol seen throughout the ship,) Hastur would be free to exact revenge upon Ashbless’ soul. That Hasturs claims DESPITE being white has demon he only wishes to be released from Ashbless’ control – shoulds Lament _him_ help, in return he will restore  Leviathan  and all onboard to New York.

Sky distrusts Hastur, but Lament disagrees, and confronts Ashbless who confirms everything Hastur has said. During a struggle Ashbless is shot several times, but shows that he is indeed immortal with no reaction other than annoyance to his wounds. Lament has broken Ashbless’ chain containing Hastur’s talisman, and Hastur is released from the engine room.

Hastur keeps his word, and after healing Lament removes  Leviathan  from the alien world and new York, where it crashes into the docks, dwarfing the city outline.

Collected editions

All of the strips were collected in a hardcover by Rebellion Developments in October 2006 ( ISBN  1-904265-65-0 ) then a softcover in 2010 (190751919X), which got a US edition from Simon & Schuster in 2012 ( ISBN  9781907992698 ):  [1]

  • Leviathan  (in  2000 AD  # 1351-1360, 2003)
  • Tales of the Leviathan  :
    • “Chosen Son” (in  2000 AD  # 2005, 2004)
    • “McLean’s Last Case” (in  2000 AD  # 1465, 2005)
    • “Beyond the Blue Horizon” (in  2000 AD  # 1466, 2005)

See also

  • Propeller Island  by Jules Verne

Notes

  1. Jump up^  “Leviathan” . Simon & Schuster .

References

  • Leviathan at the DB Comic Book
  • Leviathan at 2000AD online

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