Action Comics #987 has answered one of the biggest mysteries of DC Rebirth.
Warning: this article contains spoilers for Action Comics #987!
The identity of the enigmatic Mr. Oz has easily been one of the biggest overarching mysteries in the DCU lately. It's a mystery that predates DC Rebirth itself, with Mr. Oz originally appearing in Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr.'s Superman run in 2014. But this character has truly risen to the forefront over the past year, secretly spying on heroes like Superman and kidnapping everyone from Red Robin to Doomsday as part of his larger plan.
As we've covered previously, all the evidence pointed to Mr. Oz being a disguised Ozymandias, suggesting that Doctor Manhattan isn't the only Watchmen character to have crossed over into the DCU. But as it turns out, there's a far different but equally recognizable character hiding underneath those robes. Ozymandias finally confronted Superman and revealed himself to be none other than Superman's own father, Jor-El.
Right off the bat, this reveal answers a number of questions about Mr. Oz's motivations and why he's taken such a keen, even fatherly interest in Superman and his family. As this issue reveals, Oz firmly believes that humanity is unworthy of Superman. He seems intent on convincing the Man of Steel to leave Earth behind and start a new life elsewhere. Has he found some way of restoring Krypton?
This twist arguably raises more questions than it solves, however. Why did Jor-El disguise himself in the first place? Why did DC go out of its way to make readers think Jor-El was Ozymandias? For that matter, what is the relationship between Jor-El and Doctor Manhattan? Do they have shared goals as Manhattan continues his manipulation of the DCU?
There's also the question if this Jor-El hails from the same universe as Superman. His costume seems distinctly patterned after the Silver Age Superman comics rather than more modern representations of Jor-El (like the Marlon Brando-inspired version in Geoff Johns' Action Comics run). This could indicate that Jor-El is a refugee from the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths DCU or another branch of the DC multiverse. That in turn might suggest that further changes are coming to DC's multiverse thanks to Doomsday Clock.
We'll learn more about this big reveal in Action Comics #988, which will explore Mr. Oz's origin story. Look for that comic to hit stores on Wednesday, September 27.
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