The Unwritten, Volume 4: Leviathan
Author/Artist: Mike Carey/Peter Gross
American release date: October 25, 2011
Format/Genre/Length: Graphic Novel/Fantasy/144 pages
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: Suggested for Mature readers
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Similar series or titles to check out: Sandman, Lucifer, Hellblazer
Tommy and Lizzie and Savoy find themselves on a tour bus labeled White Whale Tours in Pittsfield. Tommy is insistent that they need to be there. Part of the tour includes the house where Herman Melville wrote his magnus opus. Savoy isn’t doing so good—his skin is crawling like he’s got ants, and the light hurts his eyes; he thinks it’s an allergic reaction to the sun, because he’s British.
According to the map, the Arrowhead Farm is “the source”, whatever that means. But Tommy won’t move on until he finds it. Searching for a place to stay, Tommy chooses The Spouter Inn, as it has the same name as the inn Ishmael stayed at in Chapter Three of Moby Dick. Meanwhile Mr. Pullman is recruiting the services of an old dollmaker, and tempting her to shed her neutrality by offering her the chance to get the Maanim.
Lizzie remembers something Wilson once said to her about symbols, as she and Tommy sit in his room. Lizzie doesn’t want to be alone, so Tommy tells her to read the book to him, but one thing leads to another… Meanwhile, Savoy’s got his own issues, and things are getting strange. Or stranger, depending on one’s perspective.
While Lizzie’s in the shower, Tommy glimpses a great white whale from the window of the inn. He leaves Lizzie a terse note and off he goes after it. Lizzie grabs Savoy and chases after him, but they’re just a little too late, and Tommy finds himself aboard the Pequod, facing its too familiar and obsessive master. The Toymaker is alerted to the presence of the trio in Pittsfield, and Savoy tells Lizzie about the new development in his situation, as well as his theory as to how the heck this happened
At the end of this volume is Stairway to Heaven, in which we meet our friend Pauly again.
The fourth volume of the Unwritten series takes us deeper and deeper into the belly of the beast—in more ways than one. This one is no less gripping than its predecessors as Tommy and his friends continue their literary journey to find the truth. We run into old friends in the form of Frankenstein’s monster and Mingus, as Tommy works his way through understanding what is going on, especially once he finds himself in the belly of the whale. Can Savoy be what he really thinks he’s becoming? And from a fictional character such as Count Ambrosio? Or is the written word more powerful than anyone suspects?
I can’t say enough about this series. The artwork is fabulous, the writing amazing. Mike Carey and Peter Gross must be great guys to hang out with; I love how their minds work. Just when you think you have things figured out, something else happens and you realize you don’t know shit. Can’t wait to read volume five.