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DC reveals first look, what's next for Superman comics after Bendis' acclaimed run

By Matthew Jackson
Action Comics #1029

This week marked the beginning of the end for a key era in modern Superman comic book history. With the publication of Superman #28 on Tuesday, writer Brian Michael Bendis — a legendary Marvel creator who joined DC Comics in 2018 to take the reins of both Superman and Action Comicsmarked the end of his tenure on the title alongside artist Ivan Reis.

Next week's Action Comics #1028 will also mark the end of Bendis' tenure on that title alongside artist John Romita Jr., paving the way for new creative teams to take over two of DC's biggest titles. Now, as we prepare for the end of the Bendis era, we're starting to see what the future holds.

DC announced Wednesday through an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter that writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Future State: Superman: Worlds at War) will take over as the writer of both Superman and Action Comics beginning this March, following DC's two-month Future State event in which all main titles will take a hiatus to make room for event miniseries. Johnson will launch his tenure with the Man of Steel via "The Golden Age," a two-part story spanning Superman #29 and Action Comics #1029, with art by Phil Hester and Eric Gapstur.

"I can't begin to describe what an honor it is to be writing Superman and Action Comics," Johnson said in a press release, "especially following one of my industry heroes, Brian Michael Bendis. One of my very earliest memories is the thrill I felt watching the Christopher Reeve Superman films for the first time. My goal for every issue will be to give readers that same physical reaction, and the same lofty aspirations that Superman inspires: the desire to be better than we are, and to do more than the world thinks we can do."

"The Golden Age" will begin with Superman #29 on March 9 as Superman's son, Jonathan Kent, returns from the 31st century to fight alongside his father. But this time, the cosmic threats the father-son duo face have a legendary reputation that Jon knows all too well from his adventures in the future. These are the beings responsible for killing Superman, unless Jon can change his father's fate. The story will continue in Action Comics #1029 on March 24. Both issues will include new backup "Tales of Metropolis" stories, including a Jimmy Olsen tale by Sean Lewis and Sami Basri in the pages of Superman #29, and a Midnighter story from Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, and Michael Avon Oeming in Action Comics #1029.

From there, Johnson will continue his work on both Superman and Action Comics with new art teams, including Scott Godlewski on Superman and Daniel Sampere on Action Comics, but the epic storytelling won't stop with "The Golden Age." In addition to regular monthly writing duties, DC also teased that Johnson and artist Mikel Janin are working on a still-unannounced major Superman event that Johnson teased will have big implications.

"The work I'm doing now with Phil Hester, Scott Godlewski, and Daniel Sampere is already some of my favorite of my career," he said. "All three are wizards on the page, and the massive event that we're building up to in Action Comics is a considerably bigger swing than I ever expected to get in comics. It's no exaggeration to say it will change Superman's status quo forever and have a lasting impact across the entire DC Universe. The already iconic Future State: Superman: Worlds of War artwork that you've seen from Mikel Janín in recent months is just the tip of the iceberg of what he and I have planned together. Stay tuned, you will NOT want to miss what's coming."

Check out the covers for the upcoming launch of "The Golden Age" in the gallery above, and get ready for a new era of Superman stories this March.