After months of anticipation, Brian Michael Bendis made his DC Comics debut in April with a story in the landmark Action Comics #1000, marking the start of a still-young run with Superman that's his first major project with the company after years at Marvel Comics. Bendis' ambitious Superman stories kicked off with the introduction of the new villain Rogol Zaar, and will encompass the new Man of Steel miniseries as well as work on both Action Comics and Superman. Bendis is just beginning, but he clearly has big plans for the Man of Tomorrow.
And apparently, one of those plans includes the often-mocked villain from 1987's Superman IV: The Quest for Peace: Nuclear Man.
Yes, Bendis is apparently really introducing Nuclear Man into the pages of DC Comics for the first time, more than three decades after the character appeared on film, and it's the result of a fan challenge.
In the film, Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow) is created after Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) attaches a strand of Superman's hair to a nuclear missile and launches it into the sun. This generates the solar-powered supervillain with his jagged "N" costume and silver claws that crackle with radiation energy and are apparently dangerous enough to severely injure Superman with a single scratch. Superman IV was a commercial and critical failure, derailing both the Superman film franchise and the career of star Christopher Reeve, and so Nuclear Man was never revisited. During a takeover of DC Comics' Instagram account on Tuesday, though, Bendis revealed that it's finally time for the villain to make his return.
Bendis didn't reveal exactly how Nuclear Man will be introduced to DC Comics, how long he'll be around, or even whether he'll have a major impact on the run, but there he is, rendered in beautiful Ivan Reis pencils, ready to hit the pages of Superman #2 this August.
So, if you're one of those rare Superman IV fans out there, or you just want to see how Bendis could possibly pull this off, look for that issue in a couple of months.