Action Comics #989 is the third part in the long awaited “Oz Effect” storyline that deals with the revelation of the mysterious Mr. Oz’s identity and his connection to Superman.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“THE OZ EFFECT” part three! The startling revelation of Mr. Oz’s origin has stopped the Man of Steel dead in his tracks. With Superman distracted by disasters looming around the world, Mr. Oz has the time to confront Lois Lane.
So what’s the story and how is it?
Jumping off of last issue, this one further sets Mr. Oz’s plans for Clark and his family into motion. The world around Superman is becoming more and more chaotic due to Jor-El’s machinations that started in issue #987. One of the major conflicts within the issue comes around a dangerous extremist who breaks into the Daily Planet armed with a handgun and a suicide vest and holds the people within at gunpoint. This section of the issue gives Lois her time to shine at being able to help people by de-escalating the conflict happening while getting everybody else clear. The other main conflict pieces are Superman at the Fortress with Jor-El and Superman dealing with a civil war where both sides are just as bad.
The civil war component helps to further Jor-El’s point to Clark that humanity as a whole is full of terrible people, as both sides are shown committing acts like using chemical weapons and hiding behind civilians. The issue also features the first proper meeting of Jor-El and Lois/Jon. It further develops Jor-El and his observations of the Kent family while also giving the undertones that he has more planned that he is not telling anyone.
It’s still rather unclear what Jor-El’s overall goals outside of taking the Kents away and causing a global crisis, which is worrying since the arc only has one issue left. It may lead to the final issue being a lot more rushed pacing wise to get the story where it needs to be for the arc afterwards.
How about the art?
The artwork of this issue was done by Viktor Bogdanovic. Viktor draws an incredibly good looking Superman, whose facial structure is a mirror of Jor-El without all the damage. The page containing the name of the issue and the credits is drawn incredibly well with Superman witnessing horrible events from humanity that are drawn within the letters of the issue’s title. The way characters are drawn during the issue are great with distinctive looks given to each primary character on the individual panels and include details that are relevant to the characters within the story, such as the Oz tattoos on characters that are part of Mr. Oz’s large network.