By: Andrew Fontana
The ideas behind Dan Jurgens’ “The Oz Effect” are truly rock solid. Setting up Jor-El as a bitter foil for his son opens up so many possibilities for interesting and original Superman stories to be told. Unfortunately, most of the narrative steam seems to dissipate in #989. There are several reasons for this, chief among them the hamfisted characterization of Jor-El/ Mr. Oz.
The revelation of Mr. Oz as Jor-El is undercut by the fact that he is clearly being manipulated. We get the sense in #989 that he is truly just a figurehead controlled (presumably) by Doctor Manhattan. The fact that Jor-El could be so easily guided flies in the face of what we know about the character, and cheapens his transformation into a foil worthy of Superman. Dan Jurgens does move the plot forward into an interesting direction this issue, but his failure to make Jor-El’s motivations feel more organic threaten to undermine what is a genuinely interesting story arc.
Bogdanovic’s pencils are strong at portraying scenes where action is prevalent. Luckily there is plenty of that to be had this issue, but his inconsistent facial work is still an issue. The real problem, however, is the contrast between his work and that of the art team from #988. DC’s habit of holding to a bi-monthly schedule for their main books is definitely a blow to any aesthetic continuity between issues.