[New to DCU] How Bendis's Action Comics Changed for the Worst: Mini-Opinion Article

You know how much you guys hate Bendis? It’s my most commented on post ever (at 53) and was originally about how Bendis’s action comics run lost it’s way and how the initial issues of the series were actually pretty good. Once Leviathan started the run fell apart and hasn’t recovered.


Theory: The worst X-men run of the decade was Uncanny X-Men which gave their writer permission to do almost anything because Hickman was on the way. What if DC is letting Bendis do what he wants because Superman’s next writer will be 5G and will reset alot of this continuity? Hmmmm.



Thanks for giving me a ray of hope.

Clark as Superboy can now in.the Legion again. because it is now cannon

If he spends a lot of time with the Legion. Clark.could gain experience that way and do a few secret misdions as a teenager without being known before coming out as Superman

He just gained his power at 16 rather than 21 or so

Hey Guys!!! I found the reason why Bendis is still writing DC Comics. NO JOKE. This is the ACTUAL Description for the Trade of Superman Vol. 3 Look at third paragraph. I think DC doesn’t realize something…

Well… it is almost impossible to destroy the Superman mythos.

But impossible things happen everyday…

I have tried this sack of burning crap and honestly I don’t think I will continue.

Has no understanding of the character and is just screwing around for shock effect.

Naturally when he is done with this hack job there will be a reboot…

I will just wait…


For the record, though I participated in this thread, I do not hate Bendis’ take on Superman. It’s actually one of my favorites. I’ve mentioned why in other posts before, here:

and here

and here

Figured I’d just link to my posts instead of repeating myself. Sorry, not trying to prove anyone wrong. It’s just how I honestly feel about both series. For those here that haven’t enjoyed them, I hope something more to your liking comes your way soon :slightly_smiling_face:.

1 Like

@moro I actually think there’s a lot of potential in Bendis’s eyes. Especially the first arc of Action Comics is really good. I also like Man of Steel. My problem is the rest hasn’t delivered on the eyes. It delivers the ideas but doesn’t take the time to let the ideas exist before throwing on new ones. Example, Jon meets Mom and Dad immediately fights an intergalactic war, forms the united planets then goes to the future. All of this story happened in the course of at most 3 days. (But 9 months real time). There is no room for these characters to evolve or understand the new status quo. Supergirl went from a strong slow burn arc about the origins of Rogal Zar into Leviathan into becoming infected back to back. Now Supergirl has done a great job transitioning, but even then it struggles to let Kara just be Kara. The best moment of Bendis’s story is the moment where Clark sits in his appartment lonely missing his family. (Superman #1). We need more of that and less rapid movement between ideas.

1 Like

@Nathan.Payson Thank you for a thoughtful and well written response. I guess the very thing you dislike I actually do like. For me it has this big epic feel to it, with so much at stake and so much going on, yet the more personal/emotional moments are still there to shed light on the characters. There hasn’t been a dull moment in it (for me).

Having said that, I can understand your desire for more character driven storytelling. Those moments really do shine through in several parts of the story, like the one you mentioned…or when Superman reflects on Jon while talking to Adam Strange. Or when he’s thinking about killing Rogol Zaar in the Phantom Zone. They’re there, but maybe they resonated with me more than others.

Off topic, but just to maybe understand where your coming from a bit more…have you read Tom King’s Batman? He really did spend quite a bit of time on the character himself (the Knightmares arc literally took place in Batman’s head). Do you prefer something a bit closer to that style?

1 Like

We got into a fight on this week’s podcast over Tom King. I think it’s really great. but Knightmares is bad and City of Bane started great and ended poorly.

@moro I think it helps to realize my first Superman comic was Tomasi and Jurgens Rebirth run so to me, Superman isn’t Superman. He’s Clark who tries to be Superman. He is the most human person despite being 100% alien. For me, Bendis focuses on the 100% alien over the humanity. I actually write a Fan Fiction on DC Universe where I merge the ideas Bendis established (Jon aging and all) with taking a breather and reinserting humanity into Clark. I discovered his placing pieces actually allow for some very interesting story directions and character moments. Bendis just ignores them.

The start of the Rogol Zaar arc up til after the lantern visit was great. After that it collapsed. The whole plot with the hidden secrets was forgotten and hastily and sloppily written off at the end. Everything she learned on her quest was retconned out in the next issue of Superman. In the end she accomplished nothing of what she set out to do. Even the part where she came peace with her loss (for the umpteenth time) rendered moot by the infection that once again started digging into her now again unresolved issues.

Her foray into the leviathan arc was meaningless at best. The massacre of the deo, not syncing at all with Leviathans modus operandi and filling no purpose for the greater leviathan arc. It was a post-it note trying to fit on top the leviathan arc but was never part of it. Anything of importance for her own arc in regards to her foster parents thrown into the dumpster in lieu for the BWL garbage fire.

Supergirl right now builds nothing on the past arcs. It neither looks, smells or taste Supergirl. It fails all the litmus tests of hope, help and compassion for all. It is most likely an attempt at a cash grab from the Batman audience.

I could also dig into that letting DCs symbol of the BDSM lifestyle dress up a minor in shredded leather, twist her mind and put in her facepaint stripping her identity is wholly inappropriate on a killing joke level.

I wholly agree that DC is completely missing letting Kara be Kara, but I don’t think there was a smooth transition anywhere in the process. It feels like every step she has taken since she left OA has been a constant shift in directions, leaving no integrity left in the title.

Respectfully disagree with the notion that Bendis writes Superman as 100% alien. He definitely does not shy away from the Kryptonian heritage, but many times in the story so far we see Superman’s humanity shine through, in moments both big and small.

  • When he stops people from looting.
  • When he contemplates killing Rogol Zaar and the teachings of Jonathan and Martha bring him back to earth.
  • When he demonstrates to Jon how to settle a major conflict without losing lives.
  • When he asks Livewire to help at Star Labs.
  • When he reunites with Kara, Jon and Krypto.
  • When he reflects about Jon with Adam Strange.
  • When he reflects about how often he hears/sees people trying to help and do the right thing and the hope that gives him.
  • The speech he gives when he gives up the secret identity, emphasizing his upbringing and pride in being Clark Kent.

These are all moments from the Superman series that, in my eyes, portray the character as more than an alien and emphasize his humanity. In addition, Action Comics featured Clark Kent the reporter frequently.

Haven’t heard the podcast… but no “fighting” desired here :slightly_smiling_face:. Gonna bow out now before I upset anyone.

1 Like

Haha. They attacked me. I think my comment on Bendis is that there aren’t enough human moments especially one’s unrelated to Superhero-ing. Also Lois and Clark have yet to have a real personal moment in the run (I’m not counting the Leviathan Undercover thing)

In addition the Agents of Spyral part of the story, which you just mentioned, Action Comics #1004 was very Clark and Lois centric and gets pretty personal (when Clark finds Lois). Action #1012 also has another personal Lois & Clark sequence (in the fortress).

That’s what I can remember of the top of my head (had to look up the issue numbers; no photographic memory here). Maybe not as many moments as you would have liked, but they’re there, and they show two people that are very much in love.

1 Like

I think the core parts of who Clark is get pushed aside for big newsworthy headlines. There is no real lead up, so it feels like shock value instead of genuine moments. Moments like Clark revealing his secret identity come out of no where and feel unearned. A moment is only as good as the lead up to getting there. Unfortunately that part often gets left out. Leviathan is arguably the only moment where Bendis has taken the time to build up. The end reveal of who Leviathan was just fell flat though.


I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on mostly everything regarding Bendis’ Superman, but that is ok :slightly_smiling_face:.
Gonna have to agree on the Leviathan reveal, though. I enjoyed the story, but had nooo idea who Manhunter is…so the reveal did fall flat for me.

1 Like

Yeah I dropped it all and took my issues back to my shop. And said you resell this garbage. I read one issue of Event Leviathan and was like why am I spending money on this. Lois Hiding from Superman out of what shame? The characters are off on who and what they are.
I went to the competition for my ongoings after that. I love Wonder Woman and the Trinity. But the current talent that is on these books doesn’t have the same love. I did the same thing with Snyder’s JL. 18 issues in and only makes sense by the annual. I want to collect and enjoy the books from my favorite company. Not have to feel I have been duped.
Biggest let down was how the New Age of Heroes was handled. Silencer was the best book on the shelf and we got lied to about that as well. Was supposed to have big name artists and writers for more than one issue. That didnt happen.
Just a frustrating time to be a current DC Comics collector and reader and 5G will only cement this problem of poor direction.

1 Like


Great analysis

I am trying to read Synder’s JL and he makes King’s work.extremely logical and readable. There is a lot of spectacle though.

I am glad that even reading JL slowly and carefully. It is hard to read. I thought I was just getting old.

I am reading these two titles along with Silver Age Flash. The characters were one dimensional but I uinderstood every word.
John Broome and Gardner Fox could finish.a story in one issue whereas today that takes at least six issues minimum.


After getting over the loss of Tomasi, Gleason and Jurgens on the SuperBooks, I was excited for the Bendis run after reading the first few issues. Things certainly took a turn with Event Leviathan. I wasn’t familiar with Bendis’ style, but have learned the hard way that he tells extremely decompressed stories that seem to go on forever. Certainly a big change after the double shipping of the Rebirth era when a storyline wrapped up rather quickly. Now the big events seemed to have made things worse. I would appreciate some smaller stories in both length and scope. At least we have Superman Smashes the Klan!

I absolutely agree with everything you said!