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Location: Lancashire
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Member Since: Thu May 07, 2009
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Subj: Re: Action Comics #987 - The Fantastic Mr Oz....
Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 at 04:46:46 pm EDT (Viewed 97 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Action Comics #987 - The Fantastic Mr Oz....
Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 at 11:38:10 am EDT (Viewed 118 times)

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    Over the years we have had many a fine story that has honoured the lives and place of the Kents in the role of Clark Kent's parents, how nice it might have been to see similar honour given to Jor-el, and done so in a less mean-spirited take on that much loved predecessor . . . .

I've noted that Johns, and others, seem to believe that there is no good Kryptonian other than Superman (Supergirl and Krypto being the exceptions). It's not merely Zod or H'El, but even in situations like WONK, the Kryptonian race is far from advanced, and a threat to humanity for unknown reasons of antipathy. Superboy-Prime is the worst offender, but even the Earth 2/Golden Age Superman was returned only to be an adversary to Superman, when either should be possessed of a similar moral compass.

While I'm still interested in the storyline, I worry about ramifications if it isn't handled well. Superman is very, very distant from his Kryptonian heritage these days, to point that he seems unconcerned about any furthering of that heritage, let alone preservation. A mad Jor-El would make Krypton a flawed society, with Superman being it's sole gem, and only because he landed on Earth, making Earth and humanity the conceit that makes Superman, rather than him being a mixture of both, mirroring the immigrant experience he hails from.

Great review!

That's a fair point concerning the gradual corruption of Krypton over the years, but the troubles with 'Mr Oz' as a concept lie in the fact that the gap between Dan Jurgens' characterisation of him as a seething sociopath and xenophobe are a very abrupt departure to what we were shown of the character in the last three years. While Oz was always very much a blank canvas as a character I felt like I was reading someone completely different with this issue.

Really though that was just one element... the simple truth to the matter is that nothing made much sense in this issue. There is a complete lack of logic to be seen in anything going on within.
Roll back a few issues to Action Comics #976 where we see Mr Oz watch on as the Kent family come together to alter reality and merge together two fractured timelines, and when you stop to think about it the implication from this scene is that Mr Oz/Jor-el comes from the previous, New-52, universe - after all it is clear that wherever he lives and watches out from it is somewhere outside time and space. So apparently he wasn't affected by the rewriting of reality in that issue's climax to the battle against Mxyzptlk and the revision which Superman's life underwent as a result.
If that logic holds then is it not fair to say that this Jor-el, if you accept it is he, would have to be a product of the Flashpoint/Doctor Manhattan breach that gave us the diluted and broken souls that were the New-52 Superman & Supergirl? And more generally a darker more violent universe?

Either way this is a broken Jor-el. A man taken out of time and driven to the edge of his sanity, lost in soul-withering bitterness and seeing the peoples of earth as a suitable target for some manner of undefined personal vengeance. And yet none of it makes sense, not the unconvincing plotting here in this issue nor Jor's reduction to petty evil spite and terrorism. Why? What is the point? The most gifted scientist and visionary of his generation Jor-el believes that attacking lesser and harmless peoples is a worthy and profitable exercise...?

It lacks any sense of logic. But then so does the issue as a whole.

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