Last week on Off Panel, a podcast with interviewer David Harper, superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis told the host that he is preparing to wrap up his run on the Superman titles. Bendis, known during his years at Marvel Comics for long runs on titles like Daredevil and The Avengers, joined the Superman family with Action Comics #1000 in April 2018. He has said from the beginning that he did not plan to stay on his DC titles as long as he did at Marvel, since he has so many DC properties he wants to get around to working on before his exclusive contract is over.
During his time on the Superman titles, Bendis introduced new villains and some new supporting cast members, aged up Jon Kent from 10-year-old to teenager, and sent the boy to join the Legion of Super-Heroes. He did so by playing off of the return of Jor-El as the villain Mr. Oz, set up by writers like Geoff Johns and Dan Jurgens in the years immediately preceding Bendis's arrival at DC.
"I'm heading toward the end of my run on Superman," Bendis is quoted as saying. "So I've been more reflective on it....I will never be more grateful than I got to heal my near-death experience through Superman, and then get through this pandemic."
The near-death experience in question was, for those who don't remember, when Bendis suffered from a MRSA infection, which temporarily blinded him and nearly killed him. During his time at the hospital, Bendis said that he was visited, and called frequently, by friends and collaborators from Marvel and DC alike, and he came out of it determined to finish off his comics bucket list, starting with a trip to Metropolis in The Man of Steel, a miniseries that set the stage for his take on Superman.
During his years at Marvel, Bendis was responsible for some of the publisher's best-known and best-selling comics and storylines, with long runs on comics like Daredevil and The Avengers. He also reinvented the character of Jessica Jones in Alias, the comic that would lay the groundwork for Netflix's acclaimed Jessica Jones TV series. Perhaps most famously, he tackled the reinvention of Spider-Man's early years in Ultimate Spider-Man, a gig that ran so long he eventually killed off Ultimate Peter Parker and created his successor, Miles Morales, who remained a key figure in the Marvel Universe after the Ultimate Universe had been done way with.
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