As “Oz Effect” draws nearer to a close, Superman must constantly deal with the ever degrading state of the world due to the machinations of Mr. Oz as well as dealing with a problem on another front: his son. With art that is hard to rival and a story that is constantly taking new turns, the “Oz Effect” is ramping up to have real consequences and reveals for the coming future of both the DCU and Superman.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“THE OZ EFFECT” part four! If Superman refuses to join Mr. Oz’s cause, maybe Superboy will! The mysterious villain hits Superman where it hurts when Oz and Jon join forces. But the stakes are raised when the Last Son of Krypton is forced to choose between his son and saving his adopted home planet.
Why does this matter?
Pitting Superman in a conflict where he has to choose between his adopted home and his son is one that can really reveal how he will deal with choosing between the things he loves most.
What’s the story?
Superman is flying around the world, stopping a civil war within the fictional country of Logamba where the government tried to use chemical weapons on the rebels before being stopped by Superman; however, the rebels have sent chemical weapons on the big city. Superman has to stop the gas from killing any more civilians before forcing the two sides to come to an agreement while many of the superheroes around the world are trying to keep other areas stable. Meanwhile Jon is missing and Lois is panicking due to her not knowing where he is. Jon at the time is listening to Jor-El, aka Mr. Oz, who is revealing his plans for what he wants, which is to take the Kent family away from Earth before a large incoming force causes problems — heavily implied to be Doctor Manhattan.
What was good and bad about it?
The way that Superman resolves the conflict between the rebels and the regime in a peaceful but forceful way captures the character perfectly — unless he absolutely has to, he’ll solve problems in ways that’ll cause no casualties and has people work over their differences with words instead. This is a part of Superman that isn’t often shown and will be definitely important with the next large upcoming DC event that is teased within the issue by Jor-El.
Jor-El going to Jon in order to sway him to his side, and by extension sway Clark to join him, is a great plotline within the issue as it shows that Jon is still rather naive when it comes to family members while also being relatively skeptical. This lines up with what Superman is like, and what he’d teach Jon, where he listens to people if they aren’t being violent and is willing to listen to every side if he believes that the person has some sort of point. The issue perfectly shows the family dynamic between the Kents and how close knit they are. Although two members of them have superpowers they are all still as normal as any family with trust and worries about one another. The issue also shows the behind the scenes work that Oz is orchestrating with the extremists to push Earth off balance even more in order to try and sway Clark to his side.
And the art?
The art of the issue is spectacularly done by Viktor Bogdanovic, who again draws an incredibly impressive Superman with the square jawed visage that is common with the character. The colors within the issue look incredibly good throughout, although some of the hair looks unnaturally shiny. One problem with the art I had was with the lips — they can look rather odd at times, however the art overall is incredibly great to look at.
As a fantastic continuation of the “Oz Effect,” Action Comics #990 captures the essence of Superman spectacularly.