Brian Michael Bendis Taking Over “Action Comics” and “Superman”

Taking Over the Reins on Superman with New MAN OF STEEL Weekly Miniseries in May, New SUPERMAN #1 and ACTION COMICS #1001 Ongoing Series in July

Last November, best-selling writer Brian Michael Bendis set tongues to wagging in the comic book world when he announced that he would be joining DC Entertainment as part of a “multifaceted” deal. Today both DC and Bendis have revealed the first details on what he has in store for fans.

Bendis’ first DC story will be with fan-favorite artist Jim Lee in ACTION COMICS #1000 (on sale April 18), but this is only the beginning when it comes to his relationship with Krypton’s Last Son. On May 30, Bendis debuts MAN OF STEEL, a six-issue weekly miniseries. Featuring six interconnected covers by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado, this series will shake up the classic story of Krypton’s final days and Kal-El’s path to becoming an iconic hero, introducing a new villain that knows a terrifying secret behind the destruction of Superman’s homeworld. Bendis’ story will feature an incredible lineup of artistic firepower, including Ivan Reis, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Ryan Sook, Kevin Maguire, Adam Hughes and Jason Fabok. A prelude to MAN OF STEEL by Bendis and artist Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez will be available on May 2, in the DC NATION #0 preview sampler.

This July, more fireworks are in store for fans with not one, but two Superman-themed titles, both written by Bendis. July 11 debuts SUPERMAN #1, with art by Ivan Reis. The conclusion of MAN OF STEEL will leave both fans and Superman reeling, and the debut story arc will dive deeper into its consequences, building on popularity already generated by co-writer Peter J. Tomasi and co-writer/artist Pat Gleason. On July 25, ACTION COMICS resumes with issue #1001; with art by Gleason, Bendis will deliver stories that are more character-focused, introduce new characters (both heroes and villains) and spotlight more of Clark Kent and his role at the Daily Planet. ACTION will also take a closer look at how the actions of Superman impact the DC Universe.

In an exclusive interview with Forbes.com, Bendis gives a few more details…

While keeping as much secret as he could, Bendis was willing to give us a little hint about what to expect from the miniseries. “The Man of Steel story will debut a huge new villain, a blockbuster villain who connects deeply to Superman’s origin story and to his birthright,” Bendis revealed. “We’re going to dig in very hard, this is one of my goals, to be a additive to Superman as possible. The characters we debut right away, including this new villain, will send ripples of horror across the entire Superman family and beyond!”

After Man of Steel‘s publication, Bendis will take over writing duties on the monthly titles Superman and Action Comics. The Superman monthly will relaunch with a new issue #1 on July 11, while Action Comics picks up with issue #1001 on July 25, and each will have a different approach and tone. While the main Superman title will be an adventure-driven book, Action Comics will delve into Clark Kent’s daily life.

But when the two regular monthlies pick back up, things won’t be the same in Superman’ world. “The fallout of Man of Steel #6 is enormous,” Bendis insists. “It’s some of the biggest status quo changes to Superman literally since Crisis. So we’ll be launching Superman with a brand new #1, and that’s going to be very Superman-focused and big DC action stories. Action Comics will be launching with #1001, I’m very happy to say, and that will be focused more on Clark and Metropolis and the Daily Planet, and how the world of Superman effects the world of DC.”

Bendis sounds energized as he lays out the extent of his plans, and credits the creative freedom of his deal with DC for helping galvanize his imagination. “It’s pretty elaborate plotting and I’m excited about it,” he said. “It’s all new toys, all new characters – we’ll be introducing a lot of new characters, both heroes and villains. DC set up a situation where my partnership with them is so exciting, it inspires me to create as many new thing as possible. And Superman is long overdue for it.”

That said, it’s important to understand this will not be a “reboot” of the character or his world, something that might disturb some fans and purists. “For those who are worried, they should not be,” assures Bendis. “The last runs on Superman by Dan Jurgens and Peter Tomasi and Pat Gleason have been phenomenal runs, and my run will be following their runs. We’re not throwing anything out, we’re not abandoning anything, we’re following what’s been going on and taking it to surprising new areas.”

Read the complete interview at Forbes.com.

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