Review: Action Comics #988

As Superman struggles with the ramifications of Mr. Oz’s identity, the mysterious figure’s origins and the long road to Superman’s doorstep finally reveal themselves.

In Action Comics #988, the second part of “The Oz Effect,” we find out more about who this mysterious character is and how he came to Earth. For those that missed the last issue, its been revealed that Oz is in fact Jor-El, Superman’s father who survived the destruction of Krypton and has been watching over Earth and his son for quite some time. This issue is all backstory and while there still might be a head fake or two to come, it seems, based on this issue, that this is the real Jor-El.

Writer Dan Jurgens delivers a solid issue not just taking through how this character is still alive but also how he came to Earth and why he feels the way he does. We get a deeper look into the final days of Krypton creating a motivation that’s understandable.

It shouldn’t work, but it completely does primarily due to the fact that Jurgens focuses on Jor-El the person instead of the events that led to him to where he’s at. There’s something throwback to it all too, especially the ending where Jor-El makes a statement that’s a bit cheesy cliffhanger.

What also works is that Jurgens keeps the bigger picture hinted at. There’s a greater hand at play here and we the readers can ignore that or it will get you more excited for what’s to come. While revealing a mystery, there’s enough thrown in there to deepen it at the same time.

The art by Ryan Sook is solid and gives an emotional heft to the story that ups the drama. There’s a few scenes in particular that just wouldn’t play well with a different art style and Sook also delivers minute detail in Jor-El’s healing that plays into the story. His scars tell a story for instance.

Action Comics #987 set things up and Action Comics #988 lays a lot of it out and explains the “how.” It really shouldn’t work and should feel like a silly retcon, but what’s presented is an entertaining story that captures the fun and tone of Jurgens’ current Superman run. Entertaining overall (though I expect there’ll still be a swerve at some point) and it gets me to want to see what happens next.

Story: Dan Jurgens Art: Ryan Sook
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review