Story and Breakdown Art by Dan Jurgens
Pencils by Viktor Bogdanovic
Inks by Bogdanovic and Trevor Scott
Colors by Mike Spider
Cover by Nick Bradshaw and Brad Anderson
Previously: After watching Superman for years, the mysterious Mr. Oz finally revealed himself as Jor El, Superman’s father. He was saved by a mysterious force, shown human history, and now his plan is to prove to Superman that humanity isn’t worthy of him or his family.
What happened: Now that he’s told Superman who he is and why he’s here, Jor-El is ready to show Superman the terror and destruction that occurred while the two were talking. Rather than showing him the past, Jor-El has Kelex show Superman the present. He looks on horrified at a cross section of several news broadcasts as they show the damage that Jor-El’s influence has wrought. Ignoring his father’s protests, Superman flies off to save as many as he can while Kelex verifies that chemical weapons are being used in a civil war in Logamba, a war that is progressing faster than Jor-El planned.
Meanwhile, the Daily Planet is being held hostage! Under the influence of Jor-El, a man with a gun and explosive vest has stormed the building and demand that they stop printing the “fake news” that he insists the Planet has been publishing. Steve Lombard gets shot trying to stop him, which causes Lois to strike a deal. She will write this man’s story, and put her reputation behind it, as long as everyone else is allowed to leave safely. She knows that he may still kill her after she writes the article, but she secretly plans to send a message to the Fortress of Solitude to get Superman’s help and warn him that Oz has followers. Lois nervously continues to write the ravings of a violent lunatic on the Planet website until help arrives, but not in the form she was expecting. With the Fortress compromised and Superman busy protecting soldiers in Logamba, Lois is surprised when Jor-El flies in to save the day.
Jor-El quickly deals with the terrorist holding Lois hostage and introduces himself before leaving abruptly. He was somehow able to sense Jon’s presence nearby, and doesn’t want to miss this opportunity to speak to his grandson alone. Jor-El introduces himself to Jon and takes him to the Fortress. He gives Jon a much more gentle version of his history and plans, and even shows him a glimpse of an alleged future. Jor-El tells Jon that he can live on a world where he never needs to hide who he is or what he can do. He shows Jon an image of a world of heroes called Bliss, and asks Jon to help him in his crusade.
Thoughts on the issue: We find ourselves in the third issue of The Oz Effect, and true to form it’s the third consecutive issue of Jor-El talking about his plan. Sure, Superman finally gets to fly off and do something for like two pages, but really that just serves to get rid of him, since this issue is more about Lois and Jon than about Clark. Other than that, Jor El is still just talking about stuff, first to his son, then to Lois, and finally to Jon. What this issue had that the others lacked, however, was a single plotline. The story involving Lois and the terrorist was topical and at least somewhat tense, and had something to pay attention to that wasn’t just filler for another semi-startling reveal.
One last thing: We get a small glimpse of a potential design for an older Jon, and I seriously doubt anyone is going to want to stick to it when that time comes around. It’s not great.