Writer Brian Michael Bendis has confirmed that when Clark Kent reveals that he is Superman to the world in December's Superman #18, the change will last for the foreseeable future.
The circumstances of the reveal, which was first announced in DC's December 2019 solicitations, have not been disclosed, but writer Bendis tells the New York Times his planned twist will open up "1000 Superman stories that have never been told."
Superman's identity has been revealed before, most recently a 2015 story in which he was outed as Clark Kent. However, Bendis assures readers his version of this turn of events won't be a gimmick or flash-in-the-pan.
“I don’t do fake-out stories,” Bendis explained. “I did a story where Daredevil was outed - a different kind of outing - but that was his reality for 15 years.”
“Everybody who’s ever been in contact with him is going to have a completely different perspective and reaction to this,” Bendis continued, spelling out the reveal's ramifications. “Some heroes are going to be thrilled, some heroes are going to be livid, some villains are going to change their ways.”
Bendis went to say he and other DC writers including Matt Fraction and Greg Rucka are already "hundreds of story pages in," implying the change in status quo is meant to last.
Finally, Bendis added the story will call into question whether someone with Superman's abilities can also be trusted to do Clark Kent's job as a journalist ethically, without using his powers to circumvent the law.
Superman #18 is due out December 11, followed by Superman: Heroes (announced in DC's just released January 2020 solicitations), a one-shot showcasing the fallout from Superman's big reveal on January 29. January's Action Comics #1019 and Superman #19 also deal with the new storyline or status quo, depending on your point of view.