Brian Michael Bendis: ‘Action Comics’ 1000 is a ‘celebration’

April 17 (UPI) — Famed Marvel comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis — known for creating Jessica Jones and Spider-Man Miles Morales, among other characters — has taken his talents to DC and is ready to usher in a new era for Superman as the company gears up to celebrate the Man of Steel in Action Comics Issue No. 1000.

Action Comics 1000, set to be released Wednesday, will feature the first DC story from Bendis with art by Jim Lee. The story will set the stage for a six-issue weekly miniseries titled Man of Steel which will begin on May 30. Bendis will take over Superman on July 11 and Action Comics on July 25, which will resume with Issue No. 1001.

Bendis and Lee will not be the only creative forces behind Action Comics 1000 as the 80-page special will contain a number of stories from an an all-star lineup of contributors including Superman film director Richard Donner, famed comic book writer Geoff Johns, Brad Meltzer, Tom King, Scott Snyder, Olivier Coipel and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, among others.

“The entire book is a celebration. It’s an anthology of just gorgeous, beautiful voices both in literature and art,” Bendis said of Action Comics 1000 during an interview with UPI. “There is literally something for everyone in this book.”

As DC honors Action Comics — which first introduced Superman to the world in 1938 and launched the superhero genre — and celebrates Superman’s 80th anniversary, Bendis is looking to add new elements to the Superman mythos including a new villain with ties to the character’s past while still maintaining what has made Superman the icon that he is today.

“Superman was created during a time of incredible, international chaos. It’s fascinating that so many creators and fans are gravitating back to the character when we yet again find ourselves in a different time of almost daily international chaos where people are not treating each other well,” Bendis said.

He added that Superman stands up against the evils of the world.

“That’s why I think he stands the test of time because he reflects the best parts of us,” he said.

Part of paying homage to Superman’s past includes the return of the hero’s red trunks which have been missing in action for years. Bendis says the decision to bring back Superman’s classic look wasn’t his, but, he has found a “lovely reason” for the red trunks to come back in the pages of Man of Steel.

New work

Bendis’ multiyear, multi-faceted exclusive deal with DC Comics extends past Superman and involves bringing over the writer’s Jinxworld line of creator-owned books to the company which includes comic book series’ Powers and Scarlet, among others.

DC will be publishing old and new stories from Bendis’ existing Jinxworld titles and introducing new works such as Pearl, which features his Jessica Jones collaborator Michael Gaydos, about a tattoo artist turned accidental assassin, and Cover, which is loosely-based on a true story about a comic book creator who gets sucked into the world of international espionage with artist David Mack.

Bendis will then run a new imprint at DC that he says will feature a collection of comic books that are “thematically connected” and contain other characters that he “truly has a deep passion for” outside of Superman.

Moving on

Bendis, who has played an important role in shaping Marvel’s comic book line for close to 20 years, is best known for penning noteworthy comics such as Ultimate Spider-Man, Alias, New Avengers, Daredevil, House of M, Secret Invasion, Siege, Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, Invincible Iron Man and many others.

“It was the right time so I’m glad that I waited until now,” he said about joining DC.

As Bendis prepares to eventually say goodbye to his Marvel creations, he says he’s happy with how Jessica Jones have been portrayed in Netflix’s ongoing drama series about the character.

“It’s perfect, it’s wonderful,” he said of the show. “It’s all beyond anything I could have ever hoped for.”