Ever since it was announced that Brian Michael Bendis would be ending his historic run at Marvel Comics to sign an exclusive deal with DC Comics fans have been wondering what it is he will do at the company. It had been rumored that he would be helming Superman which was further hinted at since he will be writing a story for Action Comics #1000, but now we finally have official confirmation of what the legendary writer will be doing, and boy is it a lot.
In an exclusive interview with Forbes, Bendis finally revealed what his stay at DC will see him do. Bendis will be taking over writing on both of DC’s monthly series Superman and Action Comics. Along with this, he will also be reviving his creator-owned Jinxworld comics which will see him publish new content from aswell. But before all this unfolds Bendis will be doing a major miniseries, Man of Steel which will see a major change in the heroes status quo.
During the interview, Bendis revealed everything involved with his massive deal at DC Comics,
“I’m very excited about this, it’s a very big deal. When I was first approached by DC, there was a lot of speculation about what I would do and what characters I’m interested in. But the one at the top of my list — and it surprised some people — but at the top of my list was Superman.”
And this shows as Bendis is one of the legendary writers who will be contributing to the highly anticipated Action Comics #1000 releasing April 18, after which DC will release a 6-issue miniseries, Man of Steel, May 30. The weekly series will include art from legends such as Ivan Reis, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Ryan Sook, Kevin Maguire, Adam Hughes, and Jason Fabok. Which we now have a first look at the original pencil art for the first four covers of the series.
Bendis also revealed what it was that drew him to want to write Superman who is such a legendary and beloved character among many and ultimately why he chose to accept the DC deal,
“I’m a little Jewish boy from Cleveland and my connection to Superman is very, very deep, genetically.”
“It just so happened I was back in Cleveland for the first time in years for my brother’s wedding, when the offer was put forth [by DC]. I went to visit my friend John [Skrtic] who runs the Cleveland public library — we grew up together — and he had a Superman exhibition. And I walked in there and it was like the universe was speaking to me, telling me ‘Oh you’ve got to do this!’ And it flooded back to me in the biggest way possible, and here we are.”
For many Bendis’ moves to DC was a bit of a shock and even more so was the fact that he would be contributing to Action Comics #1000 as his first outing for the brand. And Bendis explained how it was that Dan DiDio came to offer the story to him,
“It was a lovely offer from [DC Comics Co-Publisher] Dan DiDio when we were discussing my plans and what I could or couldn’t do. He called me up the next day and he goes, ‘I don’t want to be greedy or rush you, but we happen to have this once in a lifetime Superman situation going on with Action Comics #1000.’ And I’m desperately in love with the DC anniversary editions, I’ve always been in love with them. Superman #400 for example is one of the best comics ever made, it’s such a celebration of art.”
But it wasn’t just the offer itself rather it was the larger framework that sold Bendis on the deal and pushed his entry into the DC universe at a faster rate than expected,
“Dan goes, ‘There is a possibility we could give you a first shot to write in Action Comics#1000, and make it really a big part of the Superman legacy and our legacy. What if we put our foot down and say this is a big part of the character, where we’re headed is a big thing and we believe in it, so there’s no better place to put it than in Action Comics #1000 with our publisher Jim Lee drawing it.’ And I was like, of course I’m going to say yes to this!”
Interestingly enough Bendis’ story in Action Comics #1000 is not just some backup story, rather it will be a major chapter in the character’s history and will drop not one but two major bomb’s in Superman’s life. Which is set to be a huge teaser for what’s to come in Superman’s life.
Moving on Bendis discussed some of the significance of his Man of Steel miniseries,
“It’s a big weekly Man of Steel event. It’s six issues, and I’m writing all of them. They’re telling the giant new story that’s the status quo, what’s going to be going on with Superman and Metropolis and everything around him. Again, it’s following up on the big bombs we drop not only in Action Comics #1000, but following up all of those beats and digging in even deeper.”
The series will see each issue drawn by a different DC artist each time with many of them some of the greatest artists working today. Bendis went on to explain how honored he is to be working with such amazing artists from Ivan Reis and Doc Shaner to Jason Fabok.
And while Bendis didn’t reveal too much about the series, he was able to give us some hints at what we will see in the event,
“The Man of Steel story will debut a huge new villain, a blockbuster villain who connects deeply to Superman’s origin story and to his birthright. We’re going to dig in very hard, this is one of my goals, to be a additive to Superman as possible. The characters we debut right away, including this new villain, will send ripples of horror across the entire Superman family and beyond!”
After Bendis wraps up Man of Steel he will move on to helm both Superman and Action Comics. Interestingly enough, when Superman relaunches July 11 it will be a new issue #1 while Action Comics will pick up with #1000 on July 25. For Superman, the title will see more of the characters adventure driven stories, while Action Comics will delve more into the life of Clark Kent’s life. Bendis assures fans this will not serve as a reboot for the character or his world but rather a change in the status quo.
Bendis will also be contributing to the special event, DC Nation #0 on May 2. The comic will see him partner with one of the most legendary artists in DC history, José Luis García-López, who is coming out of semi-retirement for the comic. The issue will take place between Action Comics #1000 and Man of Steel #1. Bendis went on to explain some of the relevance to the event for his story he wants to tell for Superman,
“That storyline will set up a lot of what’s going to be going on in Action Comics, we’ll dig really deep into what’s going on at the Daily Planet, and introduce some new cast members at the Daily Planet and some new villains in Metropolis.”
“I have a lot of goals for Superman one of which is to help turn Metropolis into something as provocative and unique as Gotham City is. I think everyone will agree Gotham is one of the most built and best places in all of fictional cities, and Metropolis should follow suit. So Action Comics and DC Nation will be the first hints at how we’re going to be building up Metropolis. Both in people and in culture, it’ll be more than just the place Superman lives. We’ll be taking a good look at a lot of place we haven’t looked at before.”
Bendis also revealed that DC will be helping him to revive his Jinxworld comics and to help publish more stories. The deal is something never done before in the comic book industry and Bendis went on to explain the details,
“The big headline here is this isn’t just DC grabbing some of my books and giving me a safe place. They came and offered me a genuine partnership. They’ve offered creator-owned books before, but what they’re doing here is something brand new for them and for comics. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come in the future.”
“They’re going to take my entire library — and by mine I mean the stuff I own with my co-creators and collaborators — from Powers to Jinx, and to Scarlet and others, and we’ll be releasing it all digitally and in print through Jinxworld, through DC Comics.”
“Two things are happening that are unique to this partnership and to how comics usually work. Number one, DC is going to be hosting Jinxworld as a whole,” he said, “so everything I’ve ever done in the creator-owned world will be coming to DC. And on top of that, we’ll be debuting brand new material, brand new series that I think will be exciting for the marketplace and for fans, stuff I haven’t tried before and stuff people have been begging us for. We’ll be debuting that all this year.”
“And number two, separate from Jinxworld, is that I will be hosting and curating an imprint, a custom imprint not unlike what Gerard Way is doing with [DC imprint] Young Animal. It’s going to be a select series of special comics, and we’ll debut what those are later in the year. I’ll be writing some of those and curating the others, but they’ll all be under this imprint and add a very special flavor to the DC Universe. I’m happy to say it will star some of my all-time favorite DC characters in unique situations, and that I could not be more excited for.”
This is a massive deal for Bendis, as it seems him not only make his own huge mark on the history of Superman but also gives him his own section to develop his own content and oversee a whole new world of creators and characters. But along with this Bendis furthered revealed that following Jinxworld, they will be debuting a new imprint, “which will feature both new characters and classic characters.”
This is true not only a huge deal for Bendis but for the comic book world as a whole as it will see a new world of stories come to fruition for fans old and new. So to stay tuned to all of this news make sure to check out SuperBroMovies for updates.