Much has been said about why longtime superstar Marvel writer “The Great One” Brian Michael Bendis abandoned his post at the House of Ideas to defect to rival DC Comics earlier this month. But as with the other big story last week, it took a real journalistic outlet to blow the lid off the story. In this case, an article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer posted to Cleveland.com has finally revealed why Bendis left Marvel for DC.
And the reason is so shocking, we’re going to drag it out into at least one more paragraph!
That’s right, little bleeders. According to Cleveland reporter Michael Sangiacomo, The Great One was inspired to leave Marvel after visiting the Cleveland Library and finding himself in awe of their Superman exhibit!
“I was in town for my brother’s wedding and I went to the library, which was so important to me growing up, and I saw the Superman display,” Bendis revealed. “It was a flood of impressions and Cleveland connections. While looking at the Superman artifacts, I realized that I had not climbed the DC mountain and I needed to.”
Bendis, a Cleveland native (which explains a lot — just ask LeBron James), went on to reiterate that the Superman exhibit at the Cleveland library was indeed the primary factor in his decision.
“I just had a landmark (50th) birthday and I had lost a lot of weight and I was thinking about what else I could do to scare myself,” he said. “What could I do next? DC was coming at me pretty hard with offers that were hard to resist. But it was not until I walked into the library that everything came together. I remembered how much I connected with Superman, how I was an artist during the 1988 Superman convention in Cleveland (The Neverending Battle celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Man of Steel.)”
So while all the things reported by Bleeding Cool as reasons for Bendis’s departure may have been factors, they all apparently paled in comparison to Cleveland’s tribute to the Man of Steel.
“Somehow, I did not know about the exhibit,” said Bendis. “When I walked in and saw it, I felt like the library was my own personal museum that I needed to see and walk through. I then realized I had to take DC up on their offer, it was so head-turning that I really could not refuse.”
If nothing else, this story makes one thing clear: if Marvel ever hopes to lure The Great One back, there’s only one way they’re going to accomplish it. Somebody get a Fantastic Four exhibit set up at the local library in Portland. Just don’t tell Ike Perlmutter.