SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Rebirth and Dan Jurgens & Victor Bogdanovic’s Action Comics #987, on sale now.
Veteran comics scribe Dan Jurgens and artist Viktor Bogdanovic kicked off the hotly-anticipated "The Oz Effect" arc in last week's Action Comics #987, promising to to drop a major bombshell with the revelation of the enigmatic mr. Oz -- and they certainly delivered. In the issue it's revealed that the cosmic, reality-altering being is none other than Jor-El, Superman's father, who was believed to have died with the destruction of Krypton way back in 1938's Action Comics #1.
Shedding some light on the decision to reveal that Mr. Oz is in fact Jor-El, Jurgens spoke to CBR in an exclusive interview, talking in-depth about the shocking reveal and its ramifications on the Man of Steel as we know him.
Jurgens right away confirmed that the intention was never to have Mr. Oz be the character Ozymandias -- the central villain of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, who many fans assumed was Mr. Oz's true identity ever since DC Universe: Rebirth #1. "Oz was never Ozymandias," Jurgens said. "We were focusing on Jor-El from the start. Mr. Oz is Jor-El. The Jor-El."
Jurgens explained that he wanted the revelation of Mr. Oz to reinforce the fact that he and the rest of the creative team are telling a Superman story, through and through. "We explored the idea of it being someone else and came up with some different ideas, but whenever we did so it became less of a Superman story," Jurgens said. "Jor-El as Mr. Oz turns it into a Superman story – a very different type of Superman story than we’ve seen before – and that’s what excited us."
Asked whether the revelation is painful for Superman, or a blessing in disguise -- considering he discovers his presumed-dead father is actually alive -- Jurgens said, "That’s a great question. That’s exactly the kind of question a writer must ask when tackling something like this. How will it affect Superman, never mind Lois and Jon? What would the lasting effect be? Where do we take Superman that we haven’t taken him before? We’ll explore all of that as all of this plays out."
You can check out CBR's full interview with Jurgens here. Action Comics #987 by Jurgens and Bogdanovic is available now.