Comic Book Review: Action Comics #987

The identity of Mr Oz is finally revealed in an issue that threatens to turn Superman mythology upside down…


Warning: massive spoilers feature within…


For the past two years, a mysterious hooded figure known only as Mr Oz has been observing and occasionally manipulating the lives of DC’s heroes – in particular Superman. Who was he? Many believed he was Ozymandias, the Watchmen villain, seeing as DC Rebirth was integrating the characters of Alan Moore’s magnum opus for the first time. At last, Action Comics #987 reveals the face beneath the hood. Thankfully, even if you had guessed it already, the reveal is still a terrific moment.

Things start slow but still enjoyable, as we are reminded of Mr Oz’ immense power as he seemingly kills Metallo! Meanwhile, we get a welcome bit of Daily Planet action as Clark and Lois take Jon to work (hopefully the Kents’ return to Metropolis will mean more from the DP crew in future issues). However, the pace then quickly picks up as Mr Oz (somehow) causes a worldwide outburst of cruelty, as humanity’s worst traits are exacerbated. Supes is soon hopelessly out of his death, but this leads to lots of awesome scenes of the Man of Steel swooping in to (attempt to) save the day. Shout-out to artist Viktor Bogdanovic for his terrific work this issue!

And then, in a showdown in the Fortress of Solitude, Superman discovers the true identity of Mr Oz. And it turns out the answer is closer to home than he could ever have guessed…

That’s right, Superman’s presumed deceased father Jor-El has turned into a villain! Going by what we know, it seems that he somehow escaped Krypton’s destruction and has decided that humanity does not deserve his son after all. It’s a turn of events that was guessable after last issues’ hints, but it is still a (brave and) bold retcon that could totally change Superman’s world. Imagine Uncle Ben returning as a Spider-Man villain, for example!

So how is Jor-El alive? It is possible this is the work of Doctor Manhattan, who we believe has been playing God with the DC universe since Flashpoint. Alternatively, maybe this is an alternate Jor-El from another universe? That would explain his villainy and also not besmirch the good name of Superman’s dad.

Whatever the future holds, at least we now know who Mr Oz is. Kudos to writer Dan Jurgens for delivering on the months and months of build-up with aplomb. If you haven’t been picking up Action Comics lately, I would urge you to read this issue. Things are about to get very dramatic.


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