2018 is set to be a huge year for Superman. Not only does this year mark the 80th anniversary of his debut in Action Comics #1, it’s also the year that Action Comics reaches its landmark 1000th issue (a first for a superhero comic). That’s quite a dual milestone for the Man of Steel.
Unsurprisingly, DC is pulling out all the stops to mark the occasion. Scroll down to find out exactly how DC will be celebrating the release of Action Comics #1000 in April. We’ll continue to update this article as more announcements are made.
Action Comics #1000 is an 80-page Prestige Format comic that features a number of stories from superstar creative teams. This issue will feature writers Scott Snyder, Marv Wolfman, Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, Tom King, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer and Brian Michael Bendis and artists Doug Mahnke, Curt Swan, Butch Guice, Frank Quitely, Olivier Coipel, Tim Sale, Clay Mann, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Jim Lee.
Bendis and Lee’s short story may be the most noteworthy of this impressive lineup. Action Comics #1000 will mark Bendis’ first published DC work since signing an exclusive contract with the publisher. Bendis has promised that this story will set the stage for his upcoming Superman run as he takes over both Superman and Action Comics in July.
Accompanying the release of Action Comics #1000 will be a hardcover collection called Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman. In addition to reprints of various classic Superman stories, this hardcover features an extensive cover gallery, essays by writers and historians like David Hadju, Tom DeHaven, Larry Tye and Gene Luen Yang and a never before published story believed to have been crafted by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and the Joe Shuster Studio.
Both Action Comics #1000 and Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman will be released on April 11.
For many Superman fans, the most significant thing about Action Comics #1000 involves not the creative teams involved, but the fact that it’ll debut a new costume for Superman. This Jim Lee-designed costume is notable for restoring the character to a more classical look, bringing back the red trunks and yellow belt that were lost in his New 52 redesign.
Expect this new look to become standard across DC’s comic book line in 2018.
DC will be following up on the release of Action Comics #1000 with Man of Steel, a new mini-series that sees Brian Michael Bendis and a team of artists (including Ivan Reis, Evan Shaner, Ryan Sook, Kevin Maguire, Adam Hughes and Jason Fabok) tell a revamped version of Superman’s origin story. The series will spin directly out of Bendis’ Action Comics #1000 story and the debut of a new villain with close ties to Krypton. This six-issue series will in turn set the stage for Bendis to begin his runs on Superman and Action Comics in July.
Man of Steel #1 will be released on May 30, but readers can also look forward to a short prelude story by Bendis and artist Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez in DC Nation #0 (due out on May 2).
While both Action Comics and Superman look to be going on hiatus after the release of Action Comics #1000, fans can still look forward to new material from writers Dan Jurgens, Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. Both series will be receiving one-shot specials in May that effectively serve as the finales to Jurgens’ Action Comics run and Tomasi and Gleason’s Action Comics run.
The lead story in Action Comics Special #1 (by Jurgens and artist Will Conrad) will deliver the final word on Superman and Lex Luthor’s uneasy working relationship in DC Rebirth. Luthor will be faced with the choice between saving Superman and proving he’s turned over a new leaf or letting his longtime enemy perish. This issue will also include two backup stories, one by writer Max Landis and artist Francis Manapul and the other by writer Mark Russell and artist Jill Thompson.
In Superman Special #1, Tomasi and Gleason will revisit their story “Escape From Dinosaur Island” in Superman #8, as Superman rescues Captain Storm from dinosaur-infested purgatory and brings him into the modern world. This issue will also feature two backup stories, one by writer Mark Russell and artist Bryan Hitch and the other by writer Ian Flynn and artist Kaare Andrews.