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Bendis' Wolverine Research (and Howard Stern) Helped Him Prepare for Superman

Former Marvel Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis is preparing for the launch of his Man of Steel miniseries over at DC Comics, but recently he revealed a few of the sources he drew inspiration from for the much anticipated Superman story. One of those sources is somewhat... unusual.

"Before I came to DC and was thinking about staying at Marvel, there were a couple of books I was looking at. One was Wolverine." Bendis revealed in an exclusive interview with CBR. "I downloaded a lot of Wolverine stuff. I opened up the files and saw three covers that repeated over and over. There was 'Wolverine walks in to a dusty town.' Then there was 'Wolverine fights ninjas.' And then 'Wolverine schools a young ingénue into being a more hard-edged ingénue.'"

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After making the jump to DC at the end of last year, Bendis similarly researched the legacy of the Man of Steel.

"When I came to DC, I did the same thing for Superman," Bendis said. "What has been done to death? I went through everything, and there were certain elements I saw. No matter what Superman storyline I saw, Lex Luthor was somehow involved. Every single big storyline -- even if it was not a Lex storyline -- in the second-to-last issue there came Lex Luthor. I just thought, 'Let’s do some stories that don’t involve Lex sometimes.' So I’m going to take a break from him."

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In the recently released Action Comics #1000, Bendis made his DC Comics debut with a short story that introduced a new villain tied to Superman's past and promises to introduce more new characters in next week's DC Nation #0, which has another short story as a prelude to Man of Steel.

Surprisingly, it was the comments from popular radio host Howard Stern that also influenced Bendis to steer clear of more recognizable Superman villains during his run.

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"I also have this memory of listening to The Howard Stern Show like 15 years ago where he was saying, 'Why is every Superman movie about Lex Luthor? Every one! Where’s Brainiac?'" Bendis said. "That is a very good note! There are more stories to be told. But the mass populous, all they know of Superman is Lex Luthor. So now, between the SyFy show Krypton and what we’re going to do, we’re going to really get a chance to build that up. And from what I’ve gathered from people, this is what they’ve been looking for too."

DC Nation #0 features a prelude to Man of Steel written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and releases on May 2. Man of Steel kicks off in full on May 30 and is written by Bendis with art by Ivan Reis, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Ryan Sook, Kevin Maguire, Adam Hughes and Jason Fabok.

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