Brian Michael Bendis Talks About the Conceit of Secret Identities

In a new interview with Newsarama.com, writer Brian Michael Bendis talks about “The Truth,” the upcoming story in the Superman comic books in which the Man of Steel will reveal to the world that he is Clark Kent.

“Secret identities do not mean the same thing in this society as they did when Superman was birthed into the world,” says Bendis in the interview.

When asked if it’s because the world today is more negative, Bendis replies, “Well, you talk to kids today – most won’t even go on social media because all it is is people with secret identities who are going to ‘get’ you. It’s an unsafe place.”

He continues, “So for many people, having any kind of secret identity is just, like, why? What are you hiding?. That’s not the space that Superman holds in people’s hearts.”

“I think you and I have both seen years of people wrestling with, and goofing with, the secret identity of Clark Kent and Superman. So instead of leaning in to the hubris of the conceit, we wanted to be more truthful and see what happens with the character.”

And apparently there are plenty of stories to be told…

“So far, it is just poured out – and the reason Warner Brothers approved this is … thousands of new Superman stories. Literally, everyone online goes, ‘What’s Batman going to say?’ And I’m like, ‘Isn’t that amazing? You don’t know!’ That’s very exciting.”

“For fans young and old – for people who have ‘seen it all,’ isn’t it exciting you don’t know what’s going to happen next?”

Read the entire interview at Newsarama.com.

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8 Comments
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MattComics
November 14, 2019 6:54 pm

I’m not sure what’s worse here, the willful ignorance regarding the character and the function of secret identities in superheroes or the cynical snobbery of it all. Also The Truth when we just had Truth. What’s next, Newer 52?

svillar13
November 14, 2019 7:06 pm

Pardon my french but this guy is officially an F’in idiot. Why doesn’t Batman remove his mask? Because we all know that the first thing his villains will do is go after the people he loves and all his time will be dedicated to protecting them from harm. The same thing with Superman! With Sup’s villains it will always be “well Superman either bring me to justice or save Jimmy Olsen (insert Superman family here) from dying a horrible death.” This idiot is just pretending to be woke. So what if people hide who they really are online who the… Read more »

NeoRanger
November 14, 2019 7:12 pm

Man, even if I was mildly interested in this story, Bendis’ reasoning behind it would’ve killed that interest in an instant. Secret identities? Right to privacy in a world that is increasingly inter-connected and public? Truly an outdated and irrelevant concept!

liheibao
November 15, 2019 5:11 am

Bendis just sounds ignorant. Willfully so.

lcmcbain
November 15, 2019 9:42 am

lol, It’s astounding to me how DC can continually employ people who lack understanding (at best aspects of, at worst the whole character) the very characters they are charged with writing. This level of incompetence at that level is quite the site to see.

MattComics
November 15, 2019 9:46 am

What’s even more face-palming to me is the way he’s trying to fold his personal hang-up with the secret identity conceit into the suggestions that it is something inherently sinister and that it would be more in character for Superman not to have it in addition to suggesting that as a fan you’re supporting something inherently sinister for liking the secret identities. I love this character and the secret identity is part of that character and in general part of the fun of superheroes. I don’t think it gives anything to the character or society to tear this element down.… Read more »

Whogaman
November 15, 2019 10:58 pm

I am so sick of this. Brian Michael Bendis is a fool. In the show Lois & Clark The New Adventures of Superman,Clark told Lois, ” Clark is who I am, Superman is what I do.” I have two glaring problems with the storyline. One is, Clark Kent was raised as a human male not a super being. When his powers manifested themselves, that’s when he had to learn to use his powers. Clark is the real person and Superman is the tool he uses to help people. Bendis doesn’t understand about the reasons for secret identities. It lets Clark… Read more »

DW13
November 16, 2019 5:41 am

Just because it worked for Iron Man, doesn’t mean it’ll work for Superman.
Or Spider-Man, either. ;p