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Monday, July 17, 2017
Pop culture website 13thdimension.com posted an "exclusive first look" at upcoming issues of Action Comics this weekend. Running throughout the title in September and October will be a five-part story by Dan Jurgens called "The Oz Effect," in which we will finally discover the true identity of Mr. Oz.
Reading the advance solicitations included in the article, all I could think was "please don't let Mr. Oz be Booster Gold."
The popular theory is that the mysterious Mr. Oz, introduced three years ago (!) in Superman #32, is Ozymandias from Watchmen. Personally, I think that seems a little too "on the nose" to make a very satisfying reveal after all this time. And even if the fans were right and it was supposed to be Ozymandias, I would expect DC to change Mr. Oz's secret identity mid-story to maintain the surprise. (Anyone out there still remember the last minute Captain Atom/Hawk swap in Armageddon 2001?)
Many of the things Mr. Oz has done and said over the past three years indicates a fixation on Superman. Therefore, I assume that Mr. Oz is someone aware of Superman's past in Smallville, Kansas. (I think Mr. Oz takes his name from the original manipulative "man behind the curtain," the Wizard of Oz, who also has ties to Kansas.) While those clues might point to familiar Superman foes like Conduit or Ruin, I begin to worry that it might be a time traveler with historical ties to the Man of Steel.
Which is fine, just so long as it's not Booster Gold.
I mean, if Mr. Oz is revealed to be a nearly omnipotent time traveler seeking to unify a fractured universe (post-"Crisis", "Flashpoint", "New 52", "Rebirth", "Watchmen," etc.), it would certainly explain why fan-favorite Booster Gold has been M.I.A. since Convergence. And we can't deny that Booster has beef with Superman that goes way back. And Dan Jurgens does like to recycle his favorite characters . . . .
As I said, I don't want this to be the case. I don't want Booster to be a "villain." (And I certainly don't want to have to add all 30+ appearances of Mr. Oz to the Boosterrific database after the fact.) But it could be worse. After three years of waiting to find out who Mr. Oz really is, it might turn out that he's the Black Beetle.
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