INTERVIEW: Dan Jurgens on Unmasking Mr. Oz's True Identity
Jeffrey Renaud
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Action Comics #987, on sale now.
In 1992, Dan Jurgens did the unthinkable. He killed Superman -- and readers loved it, making it one of the best-selling storylines in the history of comics.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the "Death of Superman" arc, but instead of leaving it all well enough alone, Jurgens is back, giving it to the Man of Steel once again.
Now that Jurgens and art by Viktor Bogdanovic's highly anticipated "Oz Effect" arc has begun, CBR spoke candidly with Jurgens about Mr. Oz's Krypton-shattering true identity and what implications the character's arrival in present-day DCU continuity are to Superman and Clark Kent, as well as Lois Lane and their son, Jon too.
CBR: Was Mr. Oz ever going to be the hotly-rumored Ozymandias of Watchmen fame or was he always Jor-El?
Dan Jurgens: Oz was never Ozymandias. We were focusing on Jor-El from the start. Mr. Oz is Jor-El. The Jor-El.
When Geoff Johns first shared the true identity of Mr. Oz, what was your reaction?
Like anything, it becomes a question of, "How do we make this work?"
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. 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.
Readers were most likely craving a Watchmen connection here – and maybe there still will be – but the fact that Mr. Oz is Superman's father is the ultimate mind-blow. You have done some terrible things to the Man of Steel over the years – most famously killing him off in 1992 – did you have to think long and hard about unleashing this kind of pain on Kal-El or is Jor-El's return actually a blessing in disguise? Pardon the pun.
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.