Brian Michael Bendis has created some of Marvel’s most popular recent characters — and the veteran writer is keeping up that track record now that he has moved to DC Comics.
According to Bendis, his philosophy — which he admits he does not always live by — is to add more to the toybox than you are taking away, so the first issue of The Man of Steel — and those that follow it over the first few months — are chock full of new characters and concepts.
“My first instinct is, ‘let’s be additive, let’s not be destructive,'” Bendis told ComicBook.com. “I’ve come on books in the past and have been gleefully destructive, and that’s fun too, people like that as well. But as I get older and as I learn lessons from things that I’ve done in the past, I know that I personally like throwing toys in the toy box. And honestly, the deal I have with DC inspires me to create as many toys and put them in the toy box. I’d be a fool not to. And also, when you start reading Superman, though the family unit is [wonderful] and beautiful and ready to go, there’s a lot in Metropolis that still needs to be built up. And the parts that have been built up needs to be revisited and enjoyed. That includes adding a lot of antagonists and protagonists into Clark’s life, including new members of the Daily Planet, new villains on the streets of Metropolis and the skies above as well. So far, I think I’m up to 14 new characters. I’m like, ‘Good, that’s additive.’ Not saying they’re all going to land and they’re all going be the next Rocket Raccoon, but they’re all coming from a place of true honesty and story. There’s a lot more story to be told with these characters.”
Bendis comes to DC after years of being one of Marvel’s most consistent hit-makers and creating a legacy there that includes creating Miles Morales and Jessica Jones. His first DC book will be released next week, as he is one of the contributors to the oversized, anthology-style Action Comics #1000.
Following Action Comics #1000, current Action and Superman writers Dan Jurgens, Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason will exit the titles to make way for Bendis (though Gleason will head to Action Comics as its artist) — but first, Bendis will launch a six-issue, weekly series titled The Man of Steel, mirroring the approach John Byrne took with the character.
After The Man of Steel, Byrne took over the Superman titles as well, launching a new Superman #1 in 1986. At the time, it was a bold and surprising move, but it set a standard for a changing industry: Bendis’s Superman #1, coming later this summer, is the third such relaunch since 2011.