The Bendis Deal, Reexamined from the Perspective of its Three Key Players

Tomorrow brings the arrival of Event Leviathan, a six-issue DC event comic from the team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and his long-time artistic collaborator Alex Maleev. Building off of the story Bendis has been crafting in Action Comics ever since he began defining the direction for Superman, it’s a big deal, as event comics often are meant to be.

While Bendis has been plenty busy after signing his exclusive deal with DC Comics in November of 2017, having taken over the Man of Steel’s main titles just a little over a year ago, restarting his Jinxworld imprint with four books this past August, and launching his Wonder Comics pop up imprint earlier this year, Event Leviathan is the biggest moment yet for the legendary scribe. As much as DC leadership talked up the value of his smaller books, you don’t sign a superstar to play a supporting role; you sign them to lead the way.

Much was made about the importance and potential of the deal that brought Bendis to DC after nearly 18 years at Marvel after it was announced, and that’s understandable: it was a seismic announcement within the industry. But there’s been little reflection on how it has worked out since then. With that in mind, the arrival of his first DC event feels like a good line in the sand, a demarcation point from which we can look back and reassess that massive point in recent comic book history. Let’s do just that from the perspective of the three key players affected by the deal.

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