Since he arrived at DC Comics back in 2018, Brian Michael Bendis has worked hard to revitalize the publisher’s stable of Superman titles. Along with artists like Ivan Reis, Ryan Sook, and John Romita Jr., he’s resolved dangling story threads from the early days of DC’s Rebirth initiative, added new villains like Rogol Zaar and Red Cloud to the Man of Steel’s rogues gallery, ushered in the formation of the United Planets, and aged Jon Kent into a teenager and sent him to the 31st century to join the Legion of Super-Heroes. And oh, yeah, there was the little thing where he had Clark Kent reveal his secret identity to the world. Now Bendis is reportedly winding down his time on the Superman titles.
In an episode of David Harper‘s Off Panel podcast released last week, Bendis said that he’s “heading toward the end” of his tenure as writer on Superman and Action Comics. The episode, which was pulled shortly after its release early last week, has since been reposted today. Twitter user/YouTuber Comic Boom! shared the pertinent details, which The Beat confirmed prior to the episode’s reposting:
"I'm heading toward the end of my run on Superman. So I've been more reflective on it and…I will never be more grateful than I got to heal my near-death experience through Superman and then get through this pandemic." – @BRIANMBENDIS in his interview on "Off Panel".
— Comic Boom! – Shakalaka Boom! (@Metropolis40) June 8, 2020
“I’m heading toward the end of my run on Superman,” Bendis is reported to have said. “So I’ve been more reflective on it and…I will never be more grateful than I got to heal my near-death experience through Superman and then get through this pandemic.”
Bendis has made a big mark on the DC Universe outside of just the Superman titles, consolidating all of the DCU’s various spy organizations during the Event Leviathan storyline, and bringing back Young Justice and introducing Naomi as part of the launch of the Wonder Comics imprint. Bendis also wrote Batman Universe, the lead story of DC’s first batch of Walmart-debuting Batman Giants, with artist Nick Derington.
What’s unclear from the comments is just how soon Bendis will be leaving the Superman titles. “Heading toward the end” could mean it’s six months away, or a year, or longer. Bendis historically has worked pretty far ahead on his scripts, so anything’s possible, but knowing the end is in sight for him could mean we’ll see him start to wrap some things up. (or, as he did when he left Daredevil many years ago, we’ll see him break things even further for the next person to pick up).
You can listen to the Off Panel episode with the full interview with Bendis now.