Since DC kicked off Rebirth, DC has insisted that the new branding on their comics was not a “reboot.” Unlike The New 52 which came before it, DC has insisted that Rebirth is a new chapter in the same story, not a new story. Your mileage may vary on how much water that claim holds or if that distinction even matters. But trying to define Rebirth by what it doesn’t seem frivolous when there is so much to say about what it is.
First and foremost, Rebirth seems to have been an opportunity for DC’s creative teams to hit a reset button. The label DC wants to put on that reset is mostly a semantic argument. But between the death of New 52 Superman, the three Jokers mystery, and the return of Wally West’s Flash, Rebirth stopped all New 52 story momentum in its tracks, in favor of a new universe-wide storyline.
The most puzzling thing to happen in DC’s Rebirth, however, was the introduction of the Watchmen characters into the mainstream DC comics universe. Since Batman and Wally West discovered The Comedian’s blood-stained yellow button in the Batcave, DC has used Watchmen iconography to tease out the unification of the two worlds.
Most specifically, DC has teased Doctor Manhattan. It seems that Allen Moore’s blue godlike character may have a hold over the DC Universe. At this point, it’s unclear if he has been present since the start of Rebirth, The New 52, or the creation of DC Comics itself, but the universe that Doctor Manhattan left Watchmen to create may very well be one populated by Batman and Superman.
Mr. Oz v Superman
So when Clark Kent found himself set upon by a brilliant and mysterious tactician calling himself Mr. Oz, readers were quick to assume this was the second Watchmen character to appear in the DC Universe. Readers were sure that the villain was Ozymandias, the Watchmen hero turned villain. After all, if DC is bringing over one Watchmen character, certainly they plan to bring over all of them.
For two years now, readers have followed along as Mr. Oz has terrorized DC’s heroes. While he has focused most of his attention on Superman, but not all of them. He also kidnapped Tim Drake, keeping him hostage from the Bat family. Over the last two years, Mr. Oz has remained in the shadows. So when DC announced that they would reveal Mr. Oz’s identity in Action Comics #987, anticipation was at a fever pitch.
Imagine the surprise everyone felt when they saw that Mr. Oz was not Ozymandias. He wasn’t even a Superman villain known for disguises, like Bizarro or Mr. Myxlplyx. In fact, it wasn’t even a Superman villain like Lex Luthor or Brainiac. No. In fact, the final page of Action Comics #987 revealed that Mr. Oz was, in fact, Superman’s true father, Jor-El of Krypton.
Is Mr. Oz Jor-El?
What we still don’t know, however, is if Mr. Oz is Jor-El. If that is true, it will rewrite a lot of Superman’s mythos. Afterall, we’re supposed to believe that Kal-El ended up on Earth because his father trusted in the good of humanity. For that same father to be waging war on his son and the human race seems alarming to say the least.
The other big question would be which Jor-El is this? Is it the Jor-El who sent dead New 52 Superman to Earth? Or the Jor-El who sent Post-Crisis current Superman to Earth? Or a different Jor-El entirely? In the Rebirth universe with three Jokers where Doctor Manhattan is God, it seems like anything goes. And as long as that anything continues to be good, we’re game.
The ending of Action Comics #987 promised Mr. Oz’s origin story next issue, so hopefully, we’ll get more closure on this soon. Be sure to check back here to get an update when that comic drops. And until then you can stay up to date on all the top comic book news by following us on Twitter or Facebook. And, while you’re there, be sure to let us know what you think about the big reveal!