Brian Michael Bendis' first full-time work for DC Comics will be to kick off Man of Steel, a six-issue weekly miniseries. Bendis' Superman tale will be illustrated by a who's who of artists, including Ivan Reis, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Ryan Sook, Kevin Maguire, Adam Hughes and Jason Fabok. The series, announced this morning via an interview with Forbes, is slated to debut Wednesday, May 30; a prelude chapter illustrated by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez will arrive May 2 in the DC Nation #0 preview sampler.
Following the miniseries, Bendis will write both Superman and Action Comics. The former will relaunch with a new #1, while Action will continue its numbering, with Bendis' first issue being Action Comics #1001.
Bendis' first DC Comics work overall will be a ten-page Superman story in Action Comics #1000, illustrated by Jim Lee. "It's not just some random backup story or flight of fancy," Bendis told Forbes. "It is a major chapter in what we're doing, with some really big bombs we’re dropping in Superman’s life — and two of them happen right there in Action Comics #1000. So it's a huge tease of what we’re doing and what’s coming up in Superman's life."
Reis and Joe Prado will provide all six covers for the series, which will connect to form a single image. You can see the pencils for the first four covers, below.
"[Man of Steel is] telling the giant new story that’s the status quo, what’s going to be going on with Superman and Metropolis and everything around him," Bendis said of the project. "Again, it’s following up on the big bombs we drop not only in Action Comics #1000, but following up all of those beats and digging in even deeper."
This isn't the first time a creator long associated with Marvel Comics has made their first major DC Comics work a Superman project. In 1986, John Byrne debuted in the DCU with his own six-issue Superman miniseries titled The Man of Steel. Dubbed "The Comics Event of the Century," Byrne's story was released twice a month and retold the hero's origin story for the then-new post-Crisis DCU. Though it's unlikely Bendis' tale will revamp Superman's origin too much, the cover art indicates that it will explore Krypton's destruction and his childhood as the son of Ma and Pa Kent, among other aspects of his life.
In addition to his Superman work, Bendis is spearheading a custom imprint for the publisher. The as yet unnamed imprint, based firmly in the DC Universe, "will feature some of Bendis’ all-time favorite characters in very unique and unusual situations, combined with new characters created specifically for this new imprint."
DC also announced that Bendis' creator-owned series --Jinx, Torso, Brilliant, etc. -- are also coming to DC Comics, and will be re-released digitally in the spring. Powers, Scarlet and The United States of Murder will all return with new issues in 2018, along with several unannounced new projects.