Review By: Andrew Gaedele Action Comics #988 Written by: Dan Jurgens Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic, John Trevor Scott, Micheal Spicer Published by: DC Comics Released: 10/11/2017
What Is This: This week comes at us with Action Comics #989, the third issue of The Oz Effect. This issue is right in the middle of the arc, as the total arc will have five issues.
The Review: The story in this issue has Superman saving people from Oz-orchestrated disasters around the world, but when Lois, Jon, and the rest of the Daily Planet are in trouble, it’s Jor-El who soars to the rescue (but it seems Jor-El was responsible for the trouble in the first place?). Then, Jor-El gets some alone time with his grandson. There is a callback to an earlier issue: Jon learns the voice guiding him in the Fortress back in issue #984 was Jor-El. Then,the issue ends with grandfather and grandson have a chat about Jon’s specialness, and how Jor-El wants to take the Kent family to a place where Jon won’t have to live in secret anymore.
I was initially extremely on board with the Oz effect, and although I didn’t end up being surprised by Oz’s identity, I thought it was cool for him to be Jor-El. Unfortunately, I think the story is losing its steam. The arc started off with a groundbreaking idea (Jor-El is back!?), but it seems to be headed towards one of the most basic plots a superhero story can have. Jor-El details in this issue how humanity is a lost cause, earthers are hopeless, and that it’s time for Clark and his family to leave. I think we all know how this is going to go - Clark says no, Jor-El goes to more extreme measures to get what he wants, and he either ends up dead, trapped, or somehow otherwise detained. I really hope this isn’t the case, though. I hope the remaining two issues surprise me with Jor-El’s actions, and maybe even spin the trope on its head by having Clark convince Jor-El that “earthers” are people worth saving.
Final Thoughts: To elaborate on a point from the last paragraph, the issue is a turning point for me. Prior to this issue, I was excited about the story. Now, I am a bit jaded. But again, I really hope that the last two issues surprise me. I would happily eat my words if we get an innovative story.
I hope that the quality of this arc turns back around in the last issues. But for now, this issue gets a 6/10.