Bendis and Superman [Rant]

Comic Book Resources broke a story earlier that finally announced Brian Michael Bendis’ plans at DC. Having announced his leave from Marvel, in which he worked for 18 years and created characters such as Jessica Jones and Miles Morales. Noted for his work on Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the countless events he’s initiated and written.

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On a personal note, I loved Bendis’ early work, having come out in my childhood and early teens. Particularly the early Ultimate Spider-Man and House of M event. However modern Bendis feels as though he’s lost a fair amount of his spark. Struggling to finish up storylines he starts, forcing Marvel into universe changing events that shake up the characters in OTHER PEOPLES books. Professor Thorgi on YouTube sums up a lot of Bendis’ problems in a handy video.

The idea of Bendis moving to DC, while at one point laughable, seems like a good change of pace for him. A new world to write in, new characters to play with. It was announced a few weeks ago that his first work for DC will be as part of the Action Comics #1000 book. Completely unsurprising as he is a celebrated author and it’s a major milestone. However, the question still remained as to what Bendis would actually be doing for DC. What would be his main book?

Given Bendis’ preference and talents for writing young heroes, one existing book and one possible book seems like the perfect fit for him. Blue Beetle and Shazam! Given that he would also be just getting started in the DC Universe, putting him on a less high-profile book for a little while feel like the right thing to do. However. As CBR broke earlier, Bendis will be starting off on a Superman mini-series (decent idea and rather fitting given the name is Man of Steel, the same name as another former Marvel writter’s series, John Bryne), before taking over both Superman and Action Comics. The main problem here is that Bendis taking over both books is completely unnecessary and could lead to trouble down the line. The very same trouble Marvel have found themselves in in the last few years.

“Following the miniseries, Bendis will write both Superman and Action Comics. The former will relaunch with a new #1, while Action will continue its numbering, with Bendis’ first issue being Action Comics #1001.” [Gerding. 2018]

On the main Superman title, Tomasi and Gleason have been doing an amazing job. Being able to explore the family dynamic, as well as proving multiple times over that they understand the character. In Action Comics, which I can’t overly speak for as I am just about to start reading it, we have Superman veteran Dan Jurgens doing another celebrated run. Both titles have been holding strong with legions of fans. The problem with Bendis taking over both titles is that this gives him tremendous access to characters that could bring about earth shaking cross over events every few months. A problem at Marvel that many argue Bendis started. It feels like this decision from DC is giving Bendis too much power far too quickly.

To add insult to injury, Bendis’ take over Superman will set the book back to #1. Another problem Marvel currently has is a constant string of number 1 issues. DC during the Rebirth initiative proved that they understood this problem and did their best to return a number of their flagship titles to their original numbering. A decision which has lead to the landmark of the #1000 issue of Action Comics.

This decision feels like it’s done out of desperation. One made just to capitalise on a writer who people know, without taking into consideration the writers history. Time will tell, but frankly, my hopes are low.

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