In a huge exclusive from Mark Hughes over at Forbes, Brian Michael Bendis has announced his initial plans for what’s coming in his huge move over to DC, which shook the comic book landscape back in November.
While the article itself is well worth checking out, here’s the blow by blow:
- Bendis will make his DC debut in Action Comics #1000, which Jim Lee will illustrate, and Bendis describes thusly – “it’s not just some random backup story or flight of fancy. It is a major chapter in what we’re doing, with some really big bombs we’re dropping in Superman’s life — and two of them happen right there in Action Comics #1000. So it’s a huge tease of what we’re doing and what’s coming up in Superman’s life.”
Of that, anniversary issue, he credits Dan DiDio for urging his participation: “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!”
- The writer will then script a 6-issue weekly miniseries entitled Man of Steel, featuring art by Kevin Maguire, Ivan Reis, Doc Shaner, Ryan Sook, Jason Fabok, and Adam Hughes, which he says follows up on the revelations of the Action Comics #1000 story and digs even deeper into the new status quo of Superman’s life, including the debut of a new blockbuster villain that ties deeply into Superman’s origin and birthright. The weekly will also focus on Metropolis itself, a major point of interest in Bendis’ vision for the character – that mini will begin on May 30th
- Lastly on the Superman front, Bendis will take over writing duties on the monthly Superman and Action Comics titles, relieving Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason and Dan Jurgens. Superman will relaunch with #1 on July 11th, and Action Comics will pick up with #1001 on July 25th. The main Superman title will be an action driven book, while Action, ironically, will focus on Clark, Metropolis and the Daily Planet.
- Regarding how much Superman‘s intrinsic Jewish background might play into what Bendis brings to the character: “I can honestly tell you the choices we’ve made and bring to Superman are deeply connected to his origins. I don’t want to say too much right now, but it’s a reflection of where he came from and the world we live in now.”
- Bendis also stated that a recent visit to the Cleveland Public Library was the very thing that prompted him to sign the deal with DC: “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.” He also said that much like Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, he too was a little Jewish boy from Cleveland, and the weight of that connection loomed large in his decision.
- Bendis will also contribute to the upcoming, and previously unannounced, DC Nation #0 on May 2nd with another special chapter in his Superman story drawn by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, which he says will set up a good deal of what’s coming with Action Comics, including introducing some new cast members of the Daily Planet, and will detail just how they plan to build up Metropolis as a character all of its own.
- Equally headline grabbing: DC will now be the home of Jinxworld, meaning DC will take Bendis’ entire creator-owned library (Jinx, Powers, Scarlet and more) and be re-releasing it digitally and in print through the publisher. Additionally, Bendis says Jinxworld’s new home will also include brand new titles this year.
- Finally, much like Gerard Way’s Young Animal and Warren Ellis’ The Wild Storm, Bendis will be overseeing his own pop-up imprint at the publisher. While details were not announced at this time, he stated they will be a select number of comics, some he will write, others he will curate, and readers can look for them to debut later this year. He also said it will add a special flavor to the DC Universe and involve many of his favorite characters. So much like Young Animal, it will involve known DC properties.
Phew! That’s a lot of news and huge developments at DC. Like I had predicted in my DC Round-Up column a few weeks back, one of my hopes for DC in 2018 was the pairing of Bendis with one of their biggest characters. It doesn’t get much bigger than the original superhero, and I’m delighted to hear about the focus on the larger cast of Metropolis especially, which has weirdly been on the back-burner with Superman comics for a long time. The wait for Action #1000 is going to feel like forever.
And below you can find Ivan Reis’ first four Man of Steel covers in raw form: