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Brian Michael Bendis Takes Flight with DC's Superman

[courtesy: DC Entertainment]

Eighty years ago a character from Cleveland flew into American imaginations through the pages of Action Comics Number One

He was a refugee from the planet Krypton who gained incredible powers from the Earth's sun - Superman

The beloved superhero, created by Clevelanders Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, is now in the hands of another Cleveland native - comic writer Brian Michael Bendis. 

Last year while back home for his brother's wedding, Bendis paid a visit to the Cleveland Public Library. Unbenownst to him an exhibit dedicated to Superman's Cleveland connections was on view.

"So I walk in there with Superman on my mind, and it was like I got punched in the face with every Cleveland-Superman memory I have from growing up reading them," he said.

It was then that he decided it was time to leave his long-time comic home at Marvel and join rival DC Comics to write Superman.

"Part of my hire and part of what we agreed upon is that I'm going to be writing a lot more about Clark than I am going to write about Superman," he said.

Growing up Jewish in Cleveland added another layer of interest for Bendis given that Superman's creators - Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster - were also Jewish.

"I'm a little Jewish boy from Cleveland, and when you're a little Jewish boy from Cleveland- and I went to the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland- all you hear about is the Holocaust and Superman," he said.

For those who think Superman's a boring character because he has no flaws to explore, Bendis argues that's not true.

"Superman doesn't have to do any of this.  He doesn't have to be a reporter.  He doesn't have to run around and help us.  He's choosing to and that's cool," he said.


Dave DeOreo is coordinating producer for Ideastream Public Media’s arts and culture team.