Veteran Marvel comic writer Brian Michael Bendis is taking on one of DC’s flagship titles: Superman.
Back in November, DC Comics shocked fans with the announcement that they had signed Bendis to an exclusive deal. Bendis had previously spent most of his 20-year career at Marvel, where he created now-iconic characters like Jessica Jones and Miles Morales and wrote stories that provided some of the blueprints for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. DC has kept its plans for Bendis close to the chest, but it seemed likely DC had offered him something big since they were able to entice him away from Marvel. Indeed, the publisher officially announced on Thursday that Bendis would be writing their biggest character of all.
As EW first revealed earlier this month, Bendis’ first published story for DC will come in the massive Action Comics #1000 anniversary issue, alongside a slew of other stories about the Man of Steel from DC’s other biggest talents. From there, Bendis will write a six-issue weekly miniseries called Man of Steel, set to launch at the end of May. Much like John Byrne’s 1986 miniseries of the same name, Man of Steel will revisit Superman’s origin story (funny enough, Byrne was also a big-name talent recruited from Marvel to reinvent DC’s signature character). Bendis will even introduce a new villain with mysterious knowledge about the destruction of Superman’s home planet Krypton. The series is also set to feature an all-star art roster, including Ivan Reis, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Ryan Sook, Kevin Maguire, Adam Hughes, and Jason Fabok.
After Man of Steel, Bendis will take the writing reins on both flagship Superman books, Action Comics and Superman. Following Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s acclaimed DC Rebirth run on Superman, that series will reboot with a new issue #1 and will allow Bendis to continue the story threads started by both the Tomasi/Gleason run and his own Man of Steel. Then, after a three-month break following that big anniversary extravaganza, Action Comics will resume with issue #1001 in July. Bendis will write that series as well, with a focus on “character-focused” stories and exploring Clark Kent’s role at the Daily Planet. Bendis knows a thing or two about newspaper stories after writing Marvel series The Pulse, which explored Jessica Jones’ life at the Daily Bugle. But it’s a bit of a break from the Rebirth status quo, which previously found Superman abandoning the big city of Metropolis in favor of a farm life with Lois Lane and their son Jonathan. Bendis’ Superman will be illustrated by Ivan Reis, and Action Comics will have art from Gleason.
On top of all the Superman, Bendis will also be curating a custom imprint for DC. There aren’t many specific details yet, but it’s set to launch in 2018 and will feature Bendis’ favorite DC characters in “very unique and unusual situations,” on top of new characters created specifically for the imprint. The library of Jinxworld, Bendis’ previous imprint of gritty noir comics like Jinx and Powers, will find a new home at DC as well.
Man of Steel #1 is set to hit stores on May 30. The six covers will form an interconnected image by Reis and Joe Prado; check out an early preview below.