Action Comics #988
Judging from comment boards, there was no shortage of disappointment of the reveal of Mr. Oz. For those waiting to catch up in trades, be warned, I’m talking in spoilers from here on.
The common sentiment was Mr. Oz was Ozymandius actively setting in motion events to eventually oppose his former Watchmen ally Dr. Manhattan. And there’s no better ally than Superman.
With the reveal Mr. Oz is actually Jor-El, there was some major outrage. But for readers willing to give the second chapter of The Oz Effect an open mind, the ties and connection to Doomsday Clock are just as obvious and perhaps made even more interesting with the events this issue. This issue may as well be a prologue for Doomsday Clock with the way the story unfolds to slowly position Superman against Manhattan from a very personal standpoint. Doubt writer Dan Jurgens if you’d like, but continually on this run on Action Comics he’s proven his long-game plans are worth waiting to see how they play out.
Superman immediately doubts Jor-El’s claims. There wasn’t going to be any one piece of evidence that would validate this new truth to Superman, but to DC readers, that familiar blue glow was perhaps all that’s necessary.
While we now the identity of Mr. Oz a new mystery has emerged and it’s even more compelling. Why would Dr. Manhattan want to keep Superman’s father alive? But even worse, Manhattan was selectively showing Jor-El the worst of humanity tainting his vision.
Ryan Sook handles the art this issue. Sook crafts really excellent covers for a lot of DC titles. His work is solid on the interior work, but lacks the heavy ink work in a typical Sook presentation.
Hi-Fi’s color work is too clean and bright. That doesn’t fit the tone of this story. Darker colors would have further complemented the crushing tale Jor-El tells Superman.
The Oz Effect’s first chapter shocked readers last issue and the second continues disrupting and shaking expectations. Jurgens goes with a sensible cliffhanger and I’m very interested to see where he takes the story next.
Rating: 9 out of 10