The Unwritten 4: Leviathan

unwritten volume 4 leviathan cover trade paperback tpb
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

A new direction for the series

Still feels derivative of other similar series

Comic Info

Comic Name: The Unwritten

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer: Mike Carey/Peter Gross

Artist: Peter Gross

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2011

unwritten #20 cover leviathan

The Unwritten #20

Reprints The Unwritten #19-24 (January 2011-June 2011).  Wilson Taylor is dead, and now Tom, Lizzie, and Richie find themselves trying to untangle the mess that he’s left Tom as his inheritance.  Tom has a mission but finding the purpose of his life isn’t going to be easy.  Travelling to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Tom first clue could be tied to Herman Melville and his tale of Moby Dick.  With the cabal seeking Tom, Tom needs answers fast, and when he discovers himself trapped inside the fabled book, the answers he seek could be buried in the belly of a whale.

Written by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, The Unwritten Volume 4:  Leviathan is a DC Comics comic book collection published under the Vertigo imprint.  The collection follows The Unwritten Volume 3:  Dead Man’s Knock and features art by Peter Gross

The tone of the first three Unwritten collections feels a lot different than this outing.  This feels like it is starting to get into the nitty-gritty of the series.  The joining of stories, fables, myth, and philosophy start to occur as Tom tries to find his path.  Due to other similar storylines (often in other Vertigo titles), The Unwritten 4:  Leviathan feels a bit derivative, but also it feels original.

unwritten #23 cover moby dick

The Unwritten #23

The Unwritten feels derivative in the sense that it feels like a lot of other series.  The Sandman had a similar storytelling tone, but the idea that Tommy Taylor is a knock off of Harry Potter also makes it feel like The Books of Magic (which also felt like Harry Potter).  More so, the final couple issues of the collection really feel like Fables which also played with story-based animals in “real world” situations.  The Unwritten feels buried in these other titles if you read them.

The story feels original in that it feels like the core plans for Tom and his adventures are different.  Tom is a reluctant hero (if you can even call him a hero), and in this volume, Tom begins to pivot.  The first three collections, Tom is in search of his missing father and seeking answers.  Now, Tom has to look within himself and vague clues left by his father to determine what his purpose is.  It is a bit of a mystery, but it isn’t the type of mystery that a reader can solve on his own.

The Unwritten 4:  Leviathan “dives” to new depths that it feels like The Unwritten needed a bit sooner than the fourth volume.  The story has been alright, but it also feels like the first three volumes could have been more condensed with a similar result.  With Richie turning into a vampire, and Tom and Lizzie’s relationship taking off, the story has finally launched some basic storylines that should have been running for a while.  The Unwritten 4:  Leviathan is followed by The Unwritten 5:  On to Genesis.

Related Links:

The Unwritten 1:  Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity

The Unwritten 2:  Inside Man

The Unwritten 3:  Dead Man’s Knock

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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