Spoilers ahead for Action Comics #989.
Action Comics #989 brings the rest of Superman’s family into Mr. Oz’s sphere of influence, ending with the possibility that Jonathan Kent Superboy might actually join forces with his long-thought-dead grandfather.
The latest chapter in the “Oz Effect” storyline, ActionComics #989 continues the story of what happens after Mr. Oz reveals that he’s actually Superman’s Kryptonian father, Jor-El. In previous issue, we found out that Jor-El was snatched away from his timeline as Krypton ended, saving his life but leaving him burned and damaged. He ended up being imprisoned by his as-yet-unconfirmed captor and forced to watch the worst moments in history, and now he’s trying to convince his son Kal-El to join him in giving up hope in humanity.
This week’s issue opens with one of Oz’s followers talking a man named “J.B.” into terrorizing The Daily Planet.
But readers might recognize this follower of Oz as the character from March 2015’s Superman #39 – “Miss Janet,” who mailed a package to Clark Kent and actually talked to Mr. Oz from a pay phone, her payment a “hot meal.”
J.B. tells Miss Janet to “go on home now,” and that she knows “what to do next.”
Just as Lois is starting to notice the weird pattern of tragedies around the world (which we saw in Action Comics #987 was caused by Oz), and Jon is reaching Level Seven on his handheld video game, gunshots ring out from The Daily Planet lobby.
J.B. enters the newsroom and reveals that he has a bomb strapped to his chest.
Meanwhile, at the Fortress of Solitude, Jor-El is still trying to talk Kal-El into taking his family and abandoning the world because “Earthers” don’t deserve him.
Oz shows Superman the chaos that is still occurring around the world, and Superman returns to Logamba’s civil war, unfortunately failing again to stop them from killing each other.
Back at the Planet, Lois has talked J.B. into chatting awhile, as he says the paper is “lies” and “fake news” (very trendy, eh?) Lois calls his claims “bull” (literally – she yells “Bull!” at a guy with a gun – this woman’s got guts).
“I know the truth,” the terrorist J.B. says. “Oz showed us what’s real. That you’re hiding the truth of how bad things are.”
Lois recognizes the name Oz and gets J.B. talking some more. “Oz understands, knows that for most there is no tomorrow,” he says.
After Steve Lombard tries to jump J.B. (and gets shot), Lois convinces the terrorist to let everyone go except her (including Jon, who looks at his mom in confusion – obviously wondering if he should just punch this guy – but his mom says for him to go).
Lois convinces J.B. that she uploaded his rant to the internet, although she really sent word to the Fortress of Solitude to ask for Superman’s help.
J.B. says that “the end is coming” and that “Oz will survive and maybe he’ll take the people who really understand things with him.” As he angers and fires his gun into the ceiling, he says, “I know I don’t stand a chance, but I’ll make it so my Janet does!”
Just as he begins to push the button on his bomb, a figure flies through the window and throws J.B. out of the window, his bomb exploding in the air outside the skyscraper.
Lois thinks this figure is Superman, but it’s really Jor-El. Kelex sent him to rescue his daughter-in-law, whom he’s watched from afar, admiring the way she loves Superman.
As Lois meets Jor-El, Jon slips away from the crowd outside to don his Superboy costume, hoping to help the figure that he also assumes was Superman – or in his case, “Dad.”
But “Dad” is actually still dealing with Logamba’s issues, where the people are so violent and cruel that Clark is actually starting to question whether humanity really is beyond salvation.
Jor-El flies away from Lois to meet young Jonathan (although, as Jon points out, he already heard the “voice of Oz” in Action Comics #984). Jor-El uses a Kryptonian crystal to convince young Jon that he’s his granddad.
Back at Miss Janet’s house, the character talks to a computer and is shown manipulating some giant crystals of her own, saying that “Metropolis will die so Oz’s chosen might live.”
Jor-El convinces Jon to come back to the Fortress of Solitude.
We learn a few things about Mr. Oz/Jor-El during this scene:
– Jor-El says he has “methods that allow me to travel instantly,” mechanisms he created.
– The character has found a “better place” for the Kent family to live, a planet he calls “Bliss,” where he says Clark and Jon can be themselves.
– Everyone on Bliss is “special” he says, with the art indicating they all can fly and insinuating that they all have superpowers.
Can Jor-El convince Jon that he belongs on a planet where everyone’s just like him, flying around with superpowers? The teaser at the bottom of the final page says, “Next: The Fight for Superboy’s Soul!”
Action Comics #990 is scheduled to be released October 25.