Bendis Talks About Revealing Superman’s Secret Identity

Back when December’s solicitations were revealed last month, we reported on the news that “Superman #18” and “Lois Lane #7” would be the start of a story in which Superman will be revealing his secret identity to the world.

Now, with the January 2020 solicitations giving us a bit more detail on this story, writer Brian Michael Bendis had a bit to say about what exactly is going on in a new interview with the New York Times.

“On some level, this is what DC brought me here for,” said Bendis, indicating this story appears to have been in the pipeline for some time.

As for whether the story will stick, he’s quoted as saying, “I don’t do fake-out stories.”

Superman’s being honest about his identity, Bendis said, will bring him closer to being “the best version of himself.” It also opens up areas of exploration, he said: “We wanted to do this because behind it is 1,000 brand-new Superman stories that have never been told.”

“Everybody who’s ever been in contact with him is going to have a completely different perspective and reaction to this,” Bendis said. “Some heroes are going to be thrilled, some heroes are going to be livid, some villains are going to change their ways.”

You can read the entire interview at the New York Times website.

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30 Comments
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Ultimate_Superman
October 18, 2019 6:53 pm

So you killed of New 52 Superman just to do the same story again and by a worse writer.

liheibao
October 18, 2019 7:50 pm

Typical Bendis. He doesn’t like secret identities and can’t write them past Ultimate Spider-Man, but he just couldn’t resist telling a story that isn’t going to work.

MattComics
October 19, 2019 10:52 pm
Reply to  liheibao

I’d say if you are someone who doesn’t like or understand the appeal of the secret identity then get the hell out of superhero comics.

Randall
October 21, 2019 9:45 am
Reply to  MattComics

Agree with you both. This is just terrible decision making. I’ll also throw in the understanding of what a Secret Identity is for.

MattComics
October 21, 2019 11:07 am
Reply to  Randall

It’s also willfully ignorant of how the sense of transformation is relevant to superheroes. Obviously Superman does not transform in the same sense that a character like Billy Batson does nor does he put on a mask like Bruce Wayne or Peter Parker.

But spending time with Superman as a Clark Kent, the regular person before the big shirt rip where he assumes his superhero role, that transition from the ordinary person to the extraordinary one is part of the fun of superheroes.

Duke
October 18, 2019 8:14 pm

lol if you guys think this is bad look up “DC 5G” rumor where they plan on replacing ALL the heroes with younger and more diverse characters. Jon will be aged up even more to become the new Superman.

Ultimate_Superman
October 18, 2019 9:41 pm
Reply to  Duke

I’m fully aware of those rumors and I personally hope they would consider using Calvin Ellis for Superman. However I still believe that they could’ve done all of this with New 52 Superman.

Duke
October 19, 2019 6:14 pm

Rather have him not be replaced at all, once Clark Kent is gone or changed to where he is no longer recognizable then so ends my 30 years of collecting Superman books.

Superman2878
October 19, 2019 10:23 am
Reply to  Duke

I really hope that isn’t true. I like Jon Kent as Superboy, but I prefer Clark Kent to be Superman. I’m not a fan of replacing one hero for another. I hope Mxy shows up at some point to use his magic to make Jon his original age again and fix this mess.

Superman2878
October 19, 2019 10:37 am
Reply to  Superman2878

I believe that it is just way too soon to do the whole Clark Kent is Superman story again. It hasn’t even been ten years since they last did this story yet. It’s so unoriginal. I wish that they could find a way to bring back Conduit. A new story with this villain would be a great story I believe. It must be over twenty years since they last had that character. If they can bring back Superman, Jason Todd, Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, surely they can figure out away to bring back Conduit.

JasEl
October 18, 2019 10:50 pm

^&$* I hate you Bendis

SupermanFan83
October 18, 2019 11:28 pm

I really think that he as ruined a lot of good that came with Rebirth.

afriend
October 19, 2019 1:30 am
Reply to  SupermanFan83

I really miss the thumbs up feature right now…

Superman2878
October 19, 2019 10:17 am
Reply to  afriend

I’m glad that the thumbs up or thumbs down option is gone. It prevents cyber bullying. As for what I think of Bendis’s work on Superman, I really do think that he’s just not a right fit for big blue.

Superman2878
October 19, 2019 11:32 am
Reply to  Superman2878

It is a shame that people use the down voting option for cyber bullying afriend.

Randall
October 21, 2019 9:47 am
Reply to  afriend

same.

Superman2878
October 23, 2019 11:39 pm
Reply to  Randall

afriend, please understand that I wasn’t being disrespectful or rude to you or your comment about the voting option. I respect you and your comment. I was only speaking from personal experience when I said that I am glad that it is gone. I can see and understand why you liked having it, but from my own experience, I was constantly cyber bullied by it. Every thing I said, I would get a negative vote on. It didn’t matter what I said. I would still get a negative. For example, I had said a really nice compliment about Terry Hatcher… Read more »

NeoRanger
October 19, 2019 12:53 am

Bah. I’m not opposed to change and I’ve argued with many here through the years over this, but doing away with the secret identity only removes a significant portion of the character’s core. I’m not even remotely sold on the notion that there are “1,000 brand-new Superman stories that have never been told” that will come about because he blew his secret identity.

Bendis can keep his parlor tricks, I’m not interested in them.

sundevil82
October 19, 2019 12:59 am

I stuck with his entire run up until the last two months… too many plots with not enough resolution for me.

MattComics
October 19, 2019 12:13 pm

There are not enough hands with middle fingers on this planet to properly express my opinion of this idea.

JasEl
October 19, 2019 11:54 pm
Reply to  MattComics

thumbs up

Kal L
October 19, 2019 2:48 pm

Wow, you lose Jurgens and Tomasi for this guy! So he can come over from Marvel and rehash his old ideas here. DC needs editors that can say NO! to some of these proposals. Bendis seems to hate secret identities for sure, maybe its time to learn how to make them work, rather than binning what you cant obviously work with.

MattComics
October 20, 2019 6:21 pm
Reply to  Kal L

Tearing down Rebirth seems to be exactly what they brought him on for. Also for all the talk there often is about making Superman more relatable their big brilliant idea is to strip the character of his family and the aspect where he lives and works as a human being. It’s such a needless and stupid thing to do and I am so sick and tired of tactics like this from this company.

sundevil82
October 20, 2019 7:49 pm
Reply to  Kal L

Rebirth was fantastic up until the whole Jor-Oz thing… sounds like that was forced upon Jurgens though. I agree with you… both the film and comic division need people to wrangle the creators in. Bendis is talented no doubt, but like i said above, I gave up on his runs because he was all over the place, didn’t finish up storylines before starting new ones and I just flat out lost interest in the new characters that went nowhere (again Jor oz and Rogal zaar). I was pretty close to the finish line too, but I had it once event… Read more »

SupermanFan83
October 20, 2019 8:33 pm

I remembered a quote from Lois and Clark.

“Clark Kent is who I am, Superman is what I can do.”

Randall
October 21, 2019 9:35 am
Reply to  SupermanFan83

Probably the greatest quote to come out of that show and one of the most defining statements of Superman I’ve seen to sum up Bryne’s Man of Steel and every modern version of Superman.

theagingfanboy
October 21, 2019 1:29 pm
Reply to  Randall

I totally agree with you both. The quote was even used in the Supergirl TV series (“Supergirl is what I can do, but Kara is who I am”). I’ve been reading Superman for a long time, but when it came along I knew that the Byrne reboot was Clark as he should be, and that quote sums it up.

DW13
October 22, 2019 8:14 am

*tsk-tsk-tsk*
Didn’t Marvel learn their mistakes when Spider-Man revealed his identity to the world? Heck, I remember there was an episode of “Ultimate Spider-Man” where Aunt May had to fight off these villains that knew Peter’s identity.
I feel that the same might come to this.
Thanks, Bendis. You shoulda’ stayed in that hospital bed where you belonged! X(

MattComics
October 22, 2019 5:38 pm
Reply to  DW13

As frustrating and face-palming as this all is I would not wish Bendis or anyone else to be in the hospital. I’d rather he just made better choices and/or that editorial would, or that he simply moved on to a different kind of project maybe even out of superheroes.

I’m just so tired of a writers big idea for an established superhero character being to break the premise, replace them, or kill them off.

Enigma2099
October 23, 2019 12:43 pm

Sure! Why not? I mean it worked for Spider-man

… wait, no it didn’t!!!!