Brian Michael Bendis on Turning Down Batman for Superman

Brian Michael Bendis has given John Siuntres's Word Balloon podcast the ins and outs of leaving Marvel, joining DC Comics and his recent health issues, over two hours and change. A regular guest on the show, this week, he gave them his all.

On leaving Marvel at this particular time:

"Legacy felt like these stories could be the 'last stories' for these characters — Riri, Miles, and Jessica.[Executive Editor] Tom Brevoort came to me with offers to write Deadpool & Wolverine and some other big projects. Tom was being ambitious, but it felt like the mountain had already been climbed. "

"It was sad to write to my friends at Marvel that I had to go, because they're still my friends. I was worried about my relationship with Joe [Quesada] because Joe is awesome. There was nothing to worry about. We're great."

"C.B. Cebulski being named EIC at Marvel brings me such joy, but I'm not part of it. I do know with C.B. there, what I helped build with Marvel will be maintained and thrive. What else could I ask for?"

"I know people are tuning in to hear me say something bad about Marvel, but I gotta say there's no drama or gossip. I heard both company's plans for the future, and they're both very good. There's more that I can accomplish with what DC was offering. There's more partnership involved. A deep partnership that Marvel, you know… they're not in that business right now. "

"I am of the unpopular belief that DC and Marvel are not in competition. They're in the same business: keeping the medium alive. Friendly competition will bring great products."

"It did feel to me that [the comics industry] needed some more of this stirring of the pot right now, and if I got off my ass, maybe others will get off their asses — which seems to be going on, and that makes me happy."

On DC Publisher Dan DiDio's offer to come over and a secret storyline Easter egg:

"Dan came to me with his master plan. DiDio has plans for the publishing market that are unbelievable. He knows what he needs to implement the plan and I couldn't jump on fast enough."

"I like Dan a great deal. He texted me saying, 'I have a creative challenge for you.' It's something about the '80s, which you'll see in my work later in the year, because I did accept his challenge. I texted back, 'You and I would've been friends in high school.'"

On Taking over Superman instead of Batman:

"I said to Dan, if Superman is available sometime in my contract, I want to take a shot at it. I think he thought I was going to ask for Batman… but I think Batman is well taken care of. Not that Superman isn't, as well — the Mr. Oz story is phenomenal — but one was pulling to me more. Dan said, 'We're gonna start a new direction with Action #1000. What a great place to land you and say, this is part of the legacy and how much we believe in it.' I would literally have to start writing for DC the day after I finished writing for Marvel, but we could do it."

On moving his Jinxworld books to DC:

"For the Jinxworld line of books, this isn't just publishing my work and hoping for the best. They're treating the books as their own. There's a marketing campaign and a distribution campaign. It gives us an unheard of second chance to get Jinxworld up and running at a level it should have been running at the entire time, which is more robust. We'll have Scarlett Vol. 3 and The Powers graphic novel, and announce new books about a month from now [at Emerald City Comic-Con] featuring some really big collaborators people will be really excited about."

On writing for the DC Television shows or DCU Films

"At the moment, I am not. The things I'm doing in TV and film haven't been announced yet, but they are happening, and very exciting."

Plus, more details about Bendis's new DC imprint, behind the scenes stories at DC about the Superman Shorts debate, the 2003 Batman/Daredevil Crossover (co-written with Ed Brubaker) that almost happened, tales from an ill fated all-star Superman Parade from years past in Cleveland that was supposed to raise funds to build a Superman Museum, and much more.

Let us know what tickled your fancy.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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