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Brian Michael Bendis is “heading toward the end” of his time on the Superman titles

The writer revealed his imminent departure from the titles on an episode of the Off Panel podcast.

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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,” 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 is going!

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.

17 COMMENTS

  1. “Since he arrived at DC Comics back in 2018, Brian Michael Bendis has worked hard to revitalize the publisher’s stable of Superman titles.”

    Uh…last issue of Superman before Bendis (#44) sold 43,493 copies. Most recent Bendis issue of Superman (#21) sold 37,271 copies.

    I know these are puff pieces but you can still polish someone’s knob without insulting the intelligence of your readers.

    Mike

  2. And by insulting the intelligence of your readers, I mean things like closing the comments on the Hartley Sawyer post.

    Mike

  3. I’ve actually really enjoyed his Superman stories. I don’t quite understand the hate. I get that the man’s divisive (I had my qualms when he was announced as the new writer), but the books have felt fresher to me than the second half or so of the Tomasi/Gleason/Mahnke Rebirth run or the entirety of Jurgens’ Rebirth run. Daily Planet regaining importance? Good. Metropolis becoming a character in its own right? Also good. Jon no longer dominating the focus in stories? EXCELLENT (Far too saccharine a character. Sorry, not sorry). Lois able to be a reporter once more, instead of just Mom? THANK YOU. I, for one, look forward to continue reading his Superman and Action until it concludes. Runs click for some and not for others, I suppose.

  4. @Geoffrey Bendis made Clark and Lois bad parents by letting their son go to space with his crazy grandpa that they didn’t trust, made Lois an even worse mother when she pretty much just left Jon and Jor-El alone in space, aged up Jon (oh I’m sorry, is having a son too saccharine for you? I used to read these with mine), made yet another Not-Doomsday who was the TRUE reason of why Krypton was destroyed, revealed Superman’s secret identity to the world without consequences and just a few years after another writer had already done it… The art has been great so it’s not always obvious how bad the writing was. The funny thing is Bendis ASKED for Superman although it seemed like he didn’t care about what was going on in the book or have no idea what to do next. His Legion has been horrible too. Again, saved by great art!

  5. I don’t find him saccharine because I think Lois having a son is saccharine. I find him saccharine because I don’t think he’s a believable character. That said, excuse me if I’m more interested in Lois showing her reporting skills than a child-rearing Lois. As for the rest? I’m not going to cast value judgments on decisions fictional characters make. That’s insanity.

  6. Judging by his tweets, there’s still enough time to put the toys back in the box before he leaves, like he did on Avengers. It’s easy, just get Mr. Mxy snap his fingers. Here’s hoping.

  7. Quoth robstaeger: “I’m gonna miss him on Superman — I hope he sticks around on Legion!”

    I second this emotion. He’s done such major prep-work on the Legion relauch, it’s hard for me to see him ditching it so soon, so I hope it’s just Superman/Action he’s leaving, not Legion/Young Justice.

  8. Artists can boost comic sales, but I don’t think writers (except maybe Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman) have that impact. Chris Claremont recalled that at one point he was writing Marvel’s best selling title (Uncanny X-Men) and its worst selling (Spider-Woman). His name sure wasn’t selling Spider-Woman.

  9. Well, one more data point: Bendis brought me back to reading Superman & Action; and I’ve really, really enjoyed his work on both titles (and Legion, Young Justice and the various Leviathan series.)

    For context, I really enjoyed his Marvel work — particularly Ultimate Spider-Man and his Daredevil work. He seemed to me to be flagging some during the last few years of his Marvel career (though I still enjoyed them); I was subsequently impressed with how energized his DC work was.

    Finally, I’ll be grateful he made the move to DC, if for nothing else than co-creating Naomi; I loved that book!

  10. I am so thankful Bendis is leaving Superman. I have read comics for 47 years. His run in DC, is one of the worst runs I have ever read! He destroyed Superman, utterly destroyed him. Everything I loved about Superman is gone! Turned his marriage to crap. Turned the story line with is son to crap. Turned his marriage to crap. He made Jor-el one of my favorite characters into a cosmic Hitler. The rebirth stuff was amazing utterly amazing. Costumes, relationships direction. Bendis comes in and wrecked it all. My hope is the next writer erases Bendis by it all being a bad dream, and we get to telling Superman stories with hope, giving back Jon Kent’s childhood and restoring integrity to Jor-el. And giving him a great marriage with the greatest reporter on Earth. His style is more suited for Marvel, not DC properties. Go back to Marvel as fast as you can sir!

  11. Odds the new writer has sense and brings back the joy that was created when Rebirth started or at the very least, Superman before New 52 hit? When is this supposed to happen?

  12. Good riddance, now we may finally see Jon back to normal. Who knows? Maybe if we get enough intelligent people to tweet at DC, we might get Super Sons.

  13. Thank the good Lord. It was sad having to drop three titles (Superman, Action Comics, and Supersons ) thanks to Bendis. I truly feel sorry for whichever writer has to pick up the mess he made.

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