Action Comics #991
Story by Dan Jurgens
Script by Rob Williams
Art by Will Conrad
Colors by Hi-Fi
Cover by Francis Manapul
Previously: Mr. OZ has revealed himself to be Superman’s father, Jor-El. He manipulated people across Earth to turn on each other in an attempt to show Superman that they are not worthy of his protection. After destroying the staff that gave Oz his powers, Superman learned that it was also the source of his corruption and that it was keeping him alive. Superman, once again, loses his father.
What happened: In his Fortress of Solitude, Superman is still looking for answers about his father. He reboots Kelex, and after making certain there is no corruption in the system, asks again if Jor-El is Mr. Oz, and Kelex confirms that he is. Superman is growing agitated, worried that his biological father’s compromised ethics will rub off on him, and is surprised to see Batman walk up to him in the fortress. Bruce tells him that he’s worried about his friend, as well as the possible ramifications of an unstable Superman. Bruce tells Clark that he’s not the only one who had a strange conversation with a father he thought was dead, referring to the event of The Button crossover in which he met Thomas Wayne from the Flashpoint timeline. Bruce deduces that something is wrong with Time, that someone has damaged it. Batman can’t discuss it any further due to Superman flying off to save a sinking ship somewhere.
Meanwhile, at the Daily Planet, Perry White is shouting in his usual fashion about the absence of Clark Kent from the newsroom. Lois and Jimmy cover for him, but Lois is clearly also worried about her husband’s recent obsession. She goes to the roof to find Superman there, and tells him that she’s worried. Superman says that she’s not alone, he’s worried that Jor-El is right, and that humanity may in fact be beyond saving. The two are interrupted by a communication from Hal Jordan, saying that some information that Superman needed is available on Mogo. Lois gives her husband an understanding goodbye, and wishes him well on his search for answers. Superman heads to Mogo and meets with Hal and Salaak, the senior Science Lantern. They look through the recordings of Tomar-Re who was the Lantern of Krypton’s sector when it was destroyed. They see that Clark’s was the only ship that was launched, but for some reason the image is corrupted at the exact moment of destruction, as if tampered with, which something that Salaak insists couldn’t have been done. Superman tells the Lanterns that it’s not the file, but time itself has been tampered with. Superman flies back to Earth with a plan in mind. He briefly visits his family before going to the Watchtower, and goes directly to The Flash’s Cosmic Treadmill. He sets the date for the last days of Krypton, and runs into the past. Immediately after he leaves, a voice shouts “wait!” as Booster Gold and his trusty companion Skeets arrive just in time to fail to save the time stream!
Thoughts on the issue: Now that we know who and why Mr. Oz is, it’s finally time to do something about it. Time is broken, dead dads are popping up left and right, and somebody needs to act. After the stagnant and monologue-heavy Mr. Oz storyline, the amount of progression in this single issue is a breath of fresh air. Add to that moment some time travel hijinks with the personalities of Booster Gold and Skeets, and this arc already promises to be much more fun than the last.
In this issue, Clarks says to himself “[Jor El] has to be a good man. Because if he’s not, what does that make me?”
The son of Jon and Martha Kent, that’s who. Jor-El’s a chump compared to those two.