I’ve not been much of a Superman fan. I’ve always found him too goody-goody. He’s a moral alien trying to protect the planet he lives on. As such, I’ve only kept an eye on his world in Action Comics. One character however, has been playing on my mind for years; Mr Oz. The Oz Effect brings together years of questions and lays it all on the table. That’s right comic book fans, we finally get to find out who Mr Oz is! Not here though. You gotta buy the book if you want those kind of spoilers.
Collecting Superman-Action Comics #985-#992, The Oz Effect finally draws one mystery to a close. While the reveal itself is the main attraction (FYI: half way through), it’s the sub-plots and what happens next that really make the book stand out.
What is The Oz Effect?
Long-time Action Comics writer Dan Jurgens is here to guide us through this arc and does so brilliantly. We join Superman as the world is on the cusp of collapse. Superman is desperately trying to restore hope to humanity but is failing. He’s up against it though. Rather than a larger than life baddie, our way of life is under threat by our biggest enemy; us.
Couple the unravelling of man with whatever Mr Oz is up to and you can get a sense of how stretched Superman is. The Man of Steel can’t give 100% to everything at the same time and cracks start to show. It is a different version of a hero to what is perceived. To see Superman struggle to cope is why I loved The Oz Effect.
Ryan Sook and Viktor Bogdonavic bring the art direction and with a story as big as it is, everyone delivers fantastically. Supes is loving when the panels involve his family and frantic when trying to fix the world. The artwork compliments the story perfectly.
Should I look into this?
Two things stand out in The Oz Effect. Firstly, DC certainly know how to build a story. This secret began way back in the New 52 era. It has festered in the background for years and it is tied in so beautifully the pay-off is incredible.
Secondly, the social commentary that accompanies the main revelation is on point. The book takes a not-so subtle look at the world today. Political instability, immigration worries and abuse scandals. It’s all in there like a slap to the face. Comics have always been about taking real world problems and encouraging people to make a change.
With today’s climate being so volatile, it’s important to remember that we’re all trying to survive on a tiny rock hurtling through space. By showing us humanities dark side, we can work towards the light.
This is more powerful than finding out who the man behind the hood is. I’ve never been much of a Superman fan, but this collection of Action Comics has changed my mind. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read the build up to the Oz Effect or not. This book is for anyone.
Simply put, this book is one of the best Rebirth collections so far.
If you liked my take on Superman Action Comics: The Oz Effect you can pick up a copy from Amazon, Forbidden Planet or anywhere books are sold. Try and buy locally and support your comic store if you can.
An advance digital copy of this book was kindly loaned to me by DC Comics. I’ve not been paid for this review, nor has it been given a positive spin for preferential treatment. Read more here.