As writer Brian Michael Bendis prepares to launch his run next month on DC's Superman, he promises to avoid the initial missteps he made at the beginning of his tenure on Marvel's Avengers.
"I’ve been thinking about this [with Avengers #500] lately," Bendis reflected in an exclusive interview with CBR. "That was where I thought it would be oh so clever to blow everything up. Some fans liked it, and some hated it. There were a lot of arguments online, and a fan said to me, 'We’re Avengers fans. All we buy is Avengers. And we have no idea who you are, but you came over and kicked all our toys over. You said, "Haha! This is fun, right?" And we said, "No! We were enjoying that, and you kicked everything over!"'"
Released in 2004 with artist David Finch, Avengers #500 kicked off the pivotal "Avengers Disassembled" storyline that saw Earth's Mightiest Heroes laid to their lowest point, with Avengers Mansion destroyed, Ant-Man and the Vision killed, and She-Hulk completely losing control. The storyline proceeded disband the team before relaunching the title with a new roster as New Avengers, with Bendis and Finch remaining on as the creative team.
"I’ve thought about that a lot. They weren’t wrong," Bendis continued. "There was a criticism there that I take to heart. It’s not that I would have changed the story of Avengers, but the glee with which I did things, I could have been more cool with. So I thought about that a lot coming into this [Superman]. It’s tough when you’re coming on, but the book has been in a good place creatively. There’s nothing to blow up. There’s no reason to do that. I’m coming in strong, and big stuff is going to happen with Superman — but it doesn’t have that 'Haha!' attitude."
Starting with Marvel in 2000 as the writer for Ultimate Spider-Man, Bendis became a mainstay of the publisher until the surprise announcement in November that he had signed an exclusive, multi-year deal with DC. The writer's DC debut came in the recently released Action Comics #1000, which teased readers with big changes for Superman to unfold in his miniseries Man of Steel.
Man of Steel will look back on the life of DC’s preeminent superhero. A prelude chapter will be released on May 2 as part of the DC Nation #0 sampler, illustrated by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, before the miniseries kicks off on May 30.
Art for the series will be handled by a lineup of all-star artists, including Reis, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Ryan Sook, Kevin Maguire, Adam Hughes, and Jason Fabok.