Superman – Action Comics: The Oz Effect Deluxe Edition

Written by: Dan Jurgens, Rob Williams
Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic, Dan Jurgens, Ryan Sook, Guillem March, Will Conrad, Jonathan Glapion, Jay Leisten, Trevor Scott, Scott Hanna,
Colors by: Mike Spicer, Hi-Fi
Letters by: Rob Leigh
Published by: DC Comics

Review by Cory Webber

The Oz Effect answers one of Rebirth’s biggest question — who is the mysterious Mr. Oz? He has been teased since Geoff John’s Rebirth one-shot kicked off the whole linewide shakeup. This trade collects Action Comics issues 985-992.

THE SETUP

The first two chapters, written by Rob Williams, feature a Superman/Lex Luthor team up. Here, the dynamics of these two fighting side by side are intriguing, and Williams plays them off each other nicely. This story leads into the introduction of Mr. Oz and hints at what his future plans are.

Their battle in India with Machinist provides some unique visuals involving elephants and tigers, but nothing cooler than the cover to issue 986.

More than anything, I liked the overall composition of these two chapters due to the bright neon colors, which popped against the background’s more muted, earthy tones. Also, the sense of action and movement was solid from panel to panel and page to page.

THE MAIN STORY: THE OZ EFFECT

Now, the next five chapters of The Oz Effect present the main story. First of all, we learn the mystery behind who Mr. Oz is and what he wants. As a result of the shocking revelation, his plan is elevated from pretty standard super villain stuff to something a little deeper and more impactful. Therefore, to reveal that would be to spoil Oz’s identity. Suffice it to say, the dynamics provided by Oz’s relationship to Superman is compelling stuff.

Jurgens, writing the longest running superhero, has somehow managed to come up with something fresh, unique and plausible. His handling of Superman and his supporting cast is perfect. In my opinion, the best thing to come out of DC’s Rebirth “don’t call it a reboot” reboot, is giving Superman a family. And the relationship of Superman and his son is the highlight. Now, not to be outdone by these two guys, Lois Lane really holds her own, proving she is as much a superhero as they are. Overall, their family dynamics are really stretched and put to the test with some truly heartwarming results.

The art, in spite of having rotating artists, was solid. The overall composition remained consistent throughout. Superman is really put through the ringer at the hands of Mr. Oz, who is inciting riots and wars across the globe. The art lends a great deal of urgency and desperation to the action.

I enjoyed the solid color and letter choices; they both made this book read fluidly. I really liked the use of enlarging the double-o’s in any of the sound effects (thoom, boom, krakoom, etc…), which really exaggerated the action taking place. Furthermore, there was a nice added touch with how the title pages of each chapter were incorporated into the background that really caught my eye.

THE OZ EFFECT EPILOGUE

At last, the final chapter of The Oz Effect, co-written by Jurgens and Williams, has Superman investigating some of Oz’s claims. Consequently, what we discover is concerning, as it appears someone is behind everything, including Mr. Oz. Furthermore, we get guest appearances from Batman and Hal Jordan. Finally, we get a surprise appearance from a fan favorite that hasn’t been seen in one of DC’s books for some time.

VERDICT

Buy it! This is a fresh, unique story in the 80-year history of Superman. They are really building towards something great. The story’s mystery added something completely new to Supes mythos. Now, the tease of an even deeper mystery has me not wanting to wait for the next trade, rather running to my local shop to snag all the ensuing issues I can get my hands on. Or, you know, buying the digital copies from the comfort of my home. Either way, Rebirth has me reading anything Superman consistently for the first time ever. 

Cory Webber
corywebber99@hotmail.com
Cory Webber is a devoted entrepreneur, husband and father. Having recently discovered the wonderful world of comics, he spends most of his free time devouring issue upon issue. The rest of his free time is devoted to sleeping.

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