Brian Michael Bendis must feel very connected to Superman. After all he’s writing two ongoing series starring the character, and Bendis, Siegel, and Shuster all come from the city of Cleveland. In a new interview, he has a lot to say on the character. Check out some highlights below.
On writing Superman #1:
“In my world it feels enormous. It also feels almost surreal. You know, one of my peers said to me, ‘You’ll have written Superman #1, Spider-Man #1 and Avengers #1.’ Not a lot of people can say that! ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ does fit this. It’s Superman, you’re in charge of it, don’t mess it up. All I can do with that is write as honestly as I can, which is kind of my goal anyhow. So it’s nice that my job and my life goal are in sync.”
On the Clark Kent side of Superman:
“Regardless of it being on everyone’s minds in the last couple of years, you know what journalism is, what truth is, and what facts are. That’s one of my bugaboos, and something I’ve loved to write about ever since the early days of Powers. Now I’ve been writing it for a while, you really get into the mindset of, ‘What has Clark done for himself?’ Superman is a character who’s had a lot happen to him. You’ve been rocketed to Earth, you’re going to be Superman, the world needs you. So out of all these things, the one choice that Clark made for himself was that he was going to be a journalist. He could’ve not done anything for a living. No one said, ‘Oh and when you get there, pull out your tax forms and get a job.’ It’s just go and make the world better. With the concept of truth, justice, and the American way, truth is what Clark can do as a journalist that sometimes Superman can’t. And even if Superman can find the truth, it’s Clark who can reveal the truth.”
On working with DC’s artists:
“Patrick was actually the first person that I raised my hand to say, ‘Is he busy? Can I have him without stealing him?’ Because that’s one of the weirdest problem with our jobs, accidentally stealing people from other books. Everyone does it, you say ‘I really like this artist.’ And you don’t know that person is signed up to 17 other books. So you try not to cause too much chaos with your enthusiasm.”
On writing two comics:
“Really, it gets super easy in that I write so deeply into the artist’s perspective. I’m much more interested in writing something that would inspire great work in them, or that would lean towards their strengths or lean towards strengths that they didn’t know they had. Because I’m not writing a bunch of me scripts. I’m writing a Patrick Gleason script or an Ivan Reis script or an Alex Maleev script. I write for them, not for me.”
On contributing to DC:
“It’s kind of what they wanted from me, you know?” Bendis laughed. “And they came to me and said, ‘If you came here, you’d tear some stuff up!’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s have some fun! But only if it’s additive.’ The lessons I’ve learned in my career are if you come and start blowing things up because it looks cool, everything is still someone’s favorite thing and these things mean stuff. So anything worth changing has to be additive to story, additive to character. It’s not like I’m shepherding people’s stories, but the stories I’m bringing are meant to bring some stuff to the table and add stuff to the DC Universe, starting with Superman and building out from there.”
What do you think about what Bendis had to say. Let us know in the comments!