Incoming Action Comics scribe Brian Michael Bendis has big shoes to fill after Dan Jurgens's acclaimed Rebirth run helped reinvigorate the Superman franchise along with Superman writers Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason -- and nobody knows it better than Bendis himself.
During a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Bendis compared Jurgens's work on the character -- which dates back to early 1989 -- with some of the best and most influential runs in comics history.
"I told him to his face, and can say it publicly now that Dan Jurgens is stepping slowly away from what he's accomplished: for 30 years, Dan shepherded one of the great runs in superhero history. People talk about Chris Claremont on the X-Men, but Dan has done Superman longer, and with some of the most epic things that's ever happened to a character," Bendis gushed. "It's one of those things you can't even appreciate until it's over. That, number one. Number two, I think what I've enjoyed the most is as you dive in, you keep finding like these little secret gems. I mean, a lot of characters have them, but Superman seems to have a lot of little artistic Specials that are like, Dan Jurgens and Bill Sienkiewicz Superman Special or the Walt Simonson Superman Special. Every once in a while there's like some really beautiful, cool, almost under the radar Superman project that keeps popping up and it just always reminds me of how beautiful one of these could be."
ComicBook.com generally agrees, and has named Jurgens as one of the ten best Superman writers and artists of all time in the past. Our recent look back at his best stand-alone Superman stories even mentioned Superman: Day of Doom, the Jurgens/Sienkiewicz miniseries Bendis alludes to.
Claremont's legendary, 16-year run on the X-Men titles saw him orchestrate some of the most beloved stories of all time featuring those characters, and interacting with both John Byrne, who preceded Jurgens on the Superman books, and Louise Simonson, one of Jurgens's contemporaries from 1991 until 1999 on the titles. A documentary film titled Chris Claremont's X-Men is available from XLrator Media and director Patrick Meaney.
Superman #1, by Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Alex Sinclair, is on sale now at comic shops and online. Bendis's first issue of Action Comics will hit the stands in two weeks. Jurgens is currently writing Green Lanterns as well as the almost-impossible-to-find Titans 100-Page Giant for DC and Walmart.