Writer Brian Michael Bendis may have been on the scene in comics for a long time now, but he’s the new kid on the block at DC Comics and he’s making quite a splash. As the lead writer on Superman and the curator of the Jinxworld imprint, Bendis is taking DC’s oldest hero and some of his classic stories in brand new directions.
Earlier at New York Comic Con, Bendis announced Wonder Comics, a new DC imprint centered around YA titles that reintroduce long lost heroes such as the Wonder Twins and Conner Kent to the DC Universe. Stay tuned to the Beat for more details on these books and more.
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Brian Michael Bendis kicked off the panel by discussing Jinxworld. Bendis brought up Pearl‘s co-creator, Michael Gaydos, to the stage. They announced that Pearl, originally a six-issue limited series, will now be an ongoing series. Gaydos said that Pearl is the “hardest” thing he’s ever worked on, but he loves working on it. The ongoing series, focusing on Pearl going to Japan, will begin a few months after the current six issue series ends.
Bendis then brought up his Scarlet artist, Alex Maleev. Bendis mentioned that a “major studio network” that is “really showy kind of timey” (Showtime) is developing the series, which focuses on a young woman who kickstarts the next American revolution after deciding to stand up to corruption in Portland, Oregon. Bendis said he and Maleev are working on a couple of other projects at DC that will come out after Scarlet.
Turning to Wonder Comics, Bendis’ YA popup imprint at DC in the vein of Young Animal and the Sandman Universe, Bendis brought up his Young Justice collaborator, Patrick Gleason, to the stage. Bendis said that he wanted Gleason thanks to his work with Peter Tomasi on previous Superman stories but was nervous about potentially stealing an artist away from a different book. Luckily, Gleason said that he had wanted to do Young Justice for a while. The panelists then showed off concept art for Tim Drake, Conner Kent, and Bart Allen.
These images were followed by a look at Amethyst and Dark Opal of Gemworld.
Bendis then showed off a page from his next Batman Walmart special, which will feature Nick Derington introducing Jenny Hex, a distant descendant of Jonah Hex.
Bendis then showed off some interior art and a cover from Naomi, bringing up the character’s co-creators David Walker and Jamal Campbell. Benids promised that her character would “unlock a key to something massive in the DC Universe.”
Naomi co-writer David Walker discussed how, when Bendis was going through a severe illness last year, the two of them were concepting a story about someone who had to climb an uphill battle for survival just because of “the way she looks.” Bendis was “doped up” in bed at the time according to Walker, which led him to believe that this was all idle chatter, but three months after the end of his hospital stay Bendis called up Walker and told him that their book had been greenlit– to which Walker replied “what book?!”
Bendis then brought up Wonder Twins, which he described as “the reason why I came to DC.” He gushed about writer Mark Russell (Prez, Snagglepuss) and how he needed the writer on the book. He then showed off concept art from Steven Byrne.
Turning to Dial H for Hero, written by Sam Humphries and drawn Joe Quinones, Bendis showed off the cover art and had Quinones talk about lead character Miguel’s design.
For five seconds, Bendis even called up Sam Humphries to say hello.
Bendis turned his attention to David Mack, whom he is working with on the Jinxworld title Cover. Surprising fans, Bendis revealed that legendary creator Bill Sienkiewicz would be illustrating part of Cover #3.
Speaking to the influence of previous Dial H for Hero runs, Bendis said the new comic would have a “Robby surprise.”
A fan asked a question about whether Static Shock would be in Bendis’ Young Justice comic. Bendis replied that “it was the first call I made” to Milestone, but they weren’t ready for Static to be in the DCU again yet.
A fan brought up Bendis writing Legion of Superheroes, to which Bendis said “interesting.” Then, he continued, “be patient. We’re building.”
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Alex is the New Media Editor of the Comics Beat. He is also a freelance comics editor with previous credits at First Second, Top Cow, and Papercutz. He primarily covers DC Comics and Magic: the Gathering.