Action Comics #987
Written by: Dan Jurgens
Pencils by: Viktor Bogdanovic
Inks: Jonathan Glapion, Jay Leisten, and Viktor Bogdanovic
Colors by: Mike Spicer
Cover by: Nick Bradshaw and Brad Anderson
SPOILER WARNING: Usually our reviews are relatively spoiler free, allowing you to read and enjoy the issue. While this issue is still readable and enjoyable after reading this review, it may contain more spoilers than our normal content
Previously: The mysterious Mr. Oz has been watching Superman for years. He has captured some of Superman’s allies and enemies, such as Doomsday and Tim Drake. No indication has yet been given as to who he is or why he’s doing this. After being betrayed by General Zod, Metallo has been captured by ARGUS.
What happened: The new arc entitled The Oz Effect opens with its eponymous character. Mr. Oz visiting Metallo in his cell at ARGUS. Metallo begs Oz to free him, and Oz complies by killing the villain and ripping the green Kryptonite out of his chest. He fashions the Kryptonite onto the head of his staff, returning to his mysterious HQ and declaring that Superman will soon find humanity to be unworthy of his protection.
Meanwhile, in Metropolis a classic scene is playing out. A criminal has stolen a truck full of valuable medicine and while fleeing crashed the truck into the river. Superman saves the truck and flies the medicine right to the country that it was going to be shipped to. Superman returns to The Daily Planet, where Lois has taken Jon to meet his parents’ co-workers, while in a undisclosed location Mr. Oz begins to carry out his plan. Using whatever otherworldy power he has, Mr. Oz influences people all around the globe and brings out the worst in them. On his monitors Mr Oz watches humanity indulge terrible desires; poachers, thieves, and murderers all easily justify their actions as they begin to commit atrocities.
News alerts start going off from all around the world at The Daily Planet, and clearly this is a job for Superman. Clark changes and flies out to deal with problem after problem, but eventually finds himself overwhelmed. He returns to the camp he delivered the medicine to earlier in the day to find nothing but smoke and death. Mr. Oz takes this opportunity to reveal himself to Superman, and takes the two of them back to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. Superman confronts Oz, demanding answers and for him to reveal himself. Mr. Oz obliges, removing his hood and showing that he is Jor El, Superman’s father, claiming he survived the death of Krypton and has sent his son to the wrong place.
Thoughts on the issue: By and large, this issue is built to serve the last page, it’s 21 pages of build up to a man finally saying his name after 3 years readers wondering. It does serve to show us what Mr. Oz’s plan is, but doing so didn’t need a full 21 pages. Metallo’s unceremonious death at the beginning matches the lackluster reveal that this mysterious Superman villain is yet another surviving Kryptonian who thinks that Superman should be ruling Earth. Declaring that Jor El is alive should be a big deal, not feel like we’re just getting a second General Zod.
One last thing: If this really is Jor El, why is he just grabbing Green K and waving it around in the beginning?