Why Superman's Identity Reveal Matters Right Now, According to Bendis


With DC Comics' Superman having recently revealed his secret identity to the world, the inevitable question posed by series readers is "Why now?" Well, Superman writer Brian Michael Bendis has some answers, recently speaking to why exactly he felt it was the right time for the Man of Steel to shed the Clark Kent persona.

Bendis previously stated that Superman's decision to reveal his secret identity was a response to the world we currently live in. In a recent interview with CBR, however, the writer elaborated on what exactly he meant by this, and why Superman's secret identity is so topical.

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"[There are] a few things," he said. "Number one, it speaks to a larger truth that a lot of people have reflected. I personally haven't had to come forward with any truth in my life. I've been able to be who I am to everybody my whole life. So I've almost been able to take that for granted. I've literally [been] surrounded my entire life by people who haven't been able to be themselves publicly and from all kinds of walks of life, all kinds of orientations. And slowly but surely over the last years, a lot of my friends have found themselves able to step forward or come out or be who they are without any repercussions. That alone just shows me how much the world has changed over the last years. And there's Superman still living in this same kind of, 'Well, I can't tell everybody because of this and this,' and it was starting to feel wrong.

"It's also a personal choice," he continued. "That was the other thing, too. What Clark did was for Clark, but also, it helps Clark be a better Superman. He didn't feel like he was being his best self. So the only way he can show people how to be [their] best self is to be [his] best self by example. So once you feel that, there's no way to unfeel it until you fix it."

In the recently released DC Comics one-shot Superman: Heroes, there is a moment in which Pa Kent tells a young Clark "All you have to do is ask yourself: What's the best thing I can do right now?" Bendis elaborated on this line as well.

"And as a parent, too -- and this is one thing Superman and Pa Kent absolutely share with -- is that there's this lesson in life that you have to instill in your kids, and you have to be there for them when the lessons sometimes are hard choices," he said. "And so this gives Superman an opportunity to express himself, which he has always wanted to do, and also to stand up for people who may have needed that extra level of 'Yeah. If you can do it, I can do it.' And there's a lot of that in the world. A lot of people feel empowered by other people's strength, so [the reveal] lets Superman stand for that as well. So all those things."

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