With the shocking news breaking today that Superman will get his iconic red underpants back in Action Comics #1000, and the knowledge that “The Great One” Brian Michael Bendis will pen his very first DC Comics story in that issue with superstar artist Jim Lee, excitement is high in the comics community. So when a hermetically sealed envelope with no return address arrived at the Bleeding Cool offices this morning addressed to Rich Johnston, no one was paying attention as we carefully signed for the letter and quietly slipped into a broom closet to open it ourselves.
What we found inside were several pieces of paper that appear to have been crumpled up, torn into pieces, tossed into a garbage can, lit on fire, and then retrieved by an anonymous source inside the DC Comics offices and carefully taped back together, along with a note reading:
You know what to do.
Most of what was originally contained on these pages is too badly damaged to recover, but we were able to piece together a few select passages of what we now believe may be the first draft of Bendis’s upcoming DC Comics debut story in Action Comics #1000.
Spoilers ahead, so last chance to back out.
Clark Kent and Lois Lane are getting dressed in their bedroom. Clark is reaching his hand inside the top drawer of his dresser, trying to reach something stuck behind the drawer.
Clark: “Hey! My underwear?”
Lois: “Your underwear?”
Clark: “The red ones.”
Lois: “The red ones.”
Clark: “I’ve been looking for these.”
Lois (munching food): “I’ve noticed.”
Clark: “They must have fallen back there.”
Lois: “…the hell?!”
*a large chunk of text is too damaged to read here*
Clark slowly, ceremoniously pulls the iconic red underpants on over his blue tights. The sequence should take place over 3 dramatic pages, ending in a splash page reveal of Superman in the iconic shorts.
*more damaged text*
Lois: “Please tell me you’re not going to go outside like that.”
Clark: “This is my iconic look.”
Lois (facepalming): “Not like this!”
*yet more damaged text*
Clark: “I have to go, Lois. The Hood is menacing downtown Metropolis.”
Lois: “The Hood? You mean Red Hood?”
Clark: “No, the Hood.”
Lois: “Isn’t he a Marvel villain?”
Clark: “Who’s going to notice?”
–There’s a knock at the door.–
Clark: “I’ll get it. It’s probably my best friend we’ve never spoken about until today. Jack Enclosure.”
–cut to Superman and Jack Enclosure battling The Hood in downtown Metropolis–
Jack Enclosure: Sweet Yuletides!
*more damaged text*
Nothing from that point on could be recovered from the pages. We don’t know who this mysterious “G.J.” is, and, of course, we cannot verify the veracity of these passages purported to come from Bendis’s first DC Comics story in Action Comics #1000. And of course, none of this may make it into the final story. It is, after all, only a first draft. Nevertheless, if any of this does turn out to be true, remember that you heard it here first, Little Bleeders!
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