Bendis On Superman: A Rollercoaster of Emotion

by James Ferguson

Just in case you haven’t heard, Brian Michael Bendis has jumped ship from Marvel and landed at DC Comics in an exclusive contract. After this happened, fans were wondering what he would do over at the Distinguished Competition. We’ve now learned that he’ll be taking over on Superman, with his run relaunching the series with a new #1 issue, as well as Action Comics beginning with issue #1,001. I am torn about this news.

I credit Bendis with one of the reasons I got back into comics. Sure, there were notable books like Preacher and Y: The Last Man, but Bendis touched every other comic I was interested in as an impressionable young 20-something. At the time, he was killing it on Daredevil, Avengers, and Ultimate Spider-Man, not to mention Powers. I was reading every book his name was on. So, I’m incredibly excited to see what he can do with Superman, arguably the biggest comic book character ever.

Here’s the thing, though. The current runs of Action Comics, written by Dan Jurgens and Superman, written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are awesome. They have reignited my interest in and love for the character with updates that have made him more relatable than ever. He’s still an unstoppable force of good, standing for truth, justice, and the American way, but he’s also a family man, married to Lois with a young son named Jon (who has become a breakout character and a fan-favorite on his own).

The two series have worked well together, often throwing story elements back and forth, building an overall narrative that is nothing short of impressive. Whatever plans these creators had for the next phase of their stories is no longer happening. There were definitely plans, too, and even Amazon listings for future volumes from them as noted by Bleeding Cool. All of those have been swept aside to make room for Bendis, who I will reiterate, I’m a big fan of.

Skipping over the fact that I’m annoyed that we’re getting a new Superman #1 already, why did we have to lose all of those potential comics? Before Bendis takes over on those titles, he’s writing a six issue weekly series called Man of Steel. Why not continue on that title, making a third Superman book? Granted, that could lead to an over-saturation of the character, but if all three comics feature the high level of quality we’ve come to expect from the current two so far, I wouldn’t mind at all.

I realize this may sound like I’m whining. I’m fulfilling the role of the angry comic book nerd that’s afraid of change. I want my comics like they used to be. But I don’t agree with that. I’m more frustrated that in a rush to satisfy a big name creator, the long-standing plans of others were disrupted. DC Comics is fixing something that isn’t broken. I hope that Jurgens, Tomasi, and Gleason are able to pick up other titles and perhaps tell versions of their stories down the line. It looks like there will be some form of a wrap-up in two oversized one-shots, but I’m so curious as to what else was to come.

And who knows? Bendis’ books could come out and I’ll forget all of this griping. Time will tell on that front.