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  1. #1
    Incredible Member SuperCrab's Avatar
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    Mar 2016

    Default Mr. Oz in Superman #32-34 Forshadowing Early Rebirth Storyline?

    In Superman #32 and #33, a character named Oz is introduced in a single panel each, in Superman #34, we see more of him.

    Bleeding Cool did an article speculating that this character may actually be:

    Someone from the Watchmen comics, given another character's presence from the same in the DC Universe Rebirth solo book
    end of spoilers

    I started rereading these issues, which by happy coincidence were exactly where I happened to be in my Superman re-read anyway, after reading the article. So, obvious tip of the hat to Bleeding Cool. Also, I should note that I'm just starting my reread of 34, so Oz may appear in other issues beyond that, and that may confirm, refute, or change my theory (I read these long ago, but I don't remember the Oz storyline very well).

    But here's my original observation-

    Oz seems to be making a distinction between *Clark* and Superman. It's subtle, but reread the dialogue and you'll see bits like this:

    Now, that's easy to just explain anyway. If you know Clark Kent is Superman, as Oz seems to, you might just interchange which name you call him randomly, without any hidden meaning. But I see several times Oz doing this, and in light of certain facts, it seems to me that this *could* be a very important clue.

    Part 1/2
    Last edited by SuperCrab; 05-24-2016 at 05:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Incredible Member SuperCrab's Avatar
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    Mar 2016


    Part 2/2

    Some spoilers for Superman #52 and DC Universe Rebirth (I haven't read the issues, just the kind of stuff we've been reading on comics news sites and the forum) follow, and then just solicitation spoilers (i.e. The little teasers and covers that DC Comics sends to retailers- like looking at the front and back cover of a non-comic book- nothing big for those issues) for stuff beyond that follow (So, basically, if you've been reading all the articles and thread sites, this isn't going to spoil anything that's not already spoiled. I have some original speculation, but it's just speculation. My guesses aren't spoilers, because they are probably wrong ):

    Some reports say that new52 Superman doesn't leave a body behind when he dies in Superman 52. He disintegrates. Then in the DC Comics Rebirth special, Mr. Oz is back and tells Superdad that Superdad isn't who Superdad thinks he is, and neither was the dead Superman (Without details, or not details that anyone has reported yet, anyhow). Later in the early Action Comics issues post-Rebirth, the solicitations talk about a mysterious Clark Kent who isn't Superman, and even show him on a cover with Superman (Superdad, presumably).

    Meanwhile, Solar Superman is in recent issues of Superman sort of introducing the idea that a guy can think he is Superman, but not really *be* Superman, and I think that's a hint too.

    Meanwhile, in general, the premise of Rebirth line-wide seems to be that the new52 universe is not a separate universe from the pre-Flashpoint universe, or a wholly different timeline, but rather it's the same universe, and certain things have been changed by Dr. Manhattan, including making the new52 characters forget 10 years that happened in their continuity, that we didn't know about either, as well as forgetting the previous continuity altogether. The Rebirth is the seams unraveling, and people starting to remember the missing 10 years, and even the old continuity, as well as some people who don't exist in this continuity returning.

    Now, with most characters, the path forward seems obvious. If you're, say, Batman, you simply remember some or all of the things that happened to you in the missing 10 years, and maybe some pre-Flashpoint adventures, but you also remember the new52 stories, and in a sense are the new52 Batman with extra memories added on. I think that's what's going to happen with 90% or more of the heroes and villains. So, far we know Wally West is one exception (No need to spoil that on a Superman thread), for reasons that make sense storyline wise.

    Superman seems like the *biggest* exception, though, which kind of sucks. I think most of us new52 Supermen fans would have been just fine with new52 Superman simply getting pre-Flashpoint Superman's memories to add to his own new52 memories, maybe making a uniform change or two, and possibly even breaking up with Wonder Woman and trying to date Lois Lane because of what he remembers (Not saying that I would prefer him to date LL to WW, just saying I'd have accepted it- it's not a deal killer for me).

    However, that's not what's happening. New52 Superman is dead. SuperDad is alive. But neither of them are who they think they are. And there's this mysterious Clark Kent who we're told isn't who *we* think he is (Jurgens on stage at WonderCon- and since we'd have logically thought that he was the new52 Superman at the time, he probably wouldn't be, if Jurgens was telling the complete truth).

    What if somehow when Dr. Manhattan reconfigured the universe to start the new52, Superman and Clark Kent were split from each other? The guy on the Telos planet who we know as SuperDad maybe got the Superman part. New52 Clark Kent got the Clark Kent part. This would explain certain things, potentially. Like, how come Superdad doesn't seem to have any interest in journalism? How come new52 Clark Kent started out wearing a t-shirt and jeans, and then later lost his powers and went back to the t-shirt and jeans and motorcycled around the country and seemed to be less about the uniform and the powers in some ways? Why did Superdad seem to have a bit more of an arrogant self-righteous baring, whereas new52 Clark is more earthy and gets mad and frustrated but seems more human? Why did Superdad seem do focused on family at the expense of the world?

    Let's say, just as a theory, that with the Clark half of SuperDad left on Earth, Earth needed a Superman. It didn't just need a Superman in the sense that, you know, there are comics to be published, or people to save, but in the sense that whatever these god-like manipulators of reality were doing, it required that there be a Superman on earth.

    So, we see in Superman 32-34, Oz kind of making claims that he trained Clark or whatever, and molded him into, well, Superman. Maybe on his own, Clark wouldn't have become Superman with what was left after the split.

    The walls of the universe sort of coming down may be part of why both new52 Superman and Superdad were losing their powers (new52 Superman to a much greater degree than SuperDad), and new52 Superman was dying. Yes, the power loss was kind of explained by Vandal Savage's mechanizations at the end of Truth, but could Vandal have really been responsible for *all* of that by himself? Maybe he was working with what was already there.

    Also, we see new52 Superman say he's dying of kryptonite poisoning, the battle on Acropolis, and the battle with Rao, combined. Now, that seems like more than enough combined to kill anyone, but yet, we've never really seen any version of Superman die that way. It's not that it couldn't work as an explanation, it's that it's not rock solid that it must be the true explanation all by itself. If new52 Superman was only half of himself, it'd be easier to take him out, right? If the universe was starting to reconcile what it was and what it is, it might try to kill off one of the two Supermen, right?

    So, maybe they are two halves of a whole.

    Honestly, if they could merge new52 Superman into SuperDad and have him keep the memories of the last 5 years from the new52 adventures, and some of the feelings and personality traits, I'd be much more likely to resubscribe after cancelling because they were killing off my guy. If they can keep him alive as part of the other guy, it'd be better than nothing. And, in a sense, it's the only way to provide a whole Superman- whether literally because some of what I am speculating about is correct, or just figuratively in the sense that Batman and the others will remember everything we've read from 1986-2016, plus the 10 missing years, but SuperDad, if left unaltered, is only 1986-2011 at most, without the new52 stories and without the 10 missing yeas (Granted, plus the playing house husband to Lois for a decade in California, but that's boring).

    I think it makes story sense, if the theme is one universe, and Batman is Batman, and Superman is Superman, and they remember everything post-Crisis, that you actually figure out a way to do that with Superman. Superman being the only person (Other than Wally) to be missing the recent years really puts him at a disadvantage relative to his peers and is like a special FU to the people who paid DC Comics and invested their time and love for the last years of Superman comics.

    If we can't get the new52 Superman with the extra memories and feelings he's "missing", then we should get the Superdad with the extra memories and feelings *he's* missing.

    It sounds odd to say it, but to me just the continuity of having this kind of be the continuing adventures of the guy I am reading about right now in Superman #34 and him remembering doing all that, make the difference between me continuing and not continuing. I don't like Superdad on his own- I don't like the kid as such a strong plot element and a superhero, I don't like that he's replacing my guy, I don't like the personality distinctions between the two guys, etc.. If you can just give him the memories, I can find a way to make it work for me personally, despite the elements I don't like. I'm not an absolutist. It's not totally new52 Superman only or bust, but I need something- like a merger or memories, so I can hang my hat on it and view it as a continuation of what I've read.

    Also, if they merge in new52's memories in some way, and these memories are coming back for everyone, it could set up an eventual return to the Daily Planet and the traditional Superman setup- he'd remember everything he experienced with his friends there, the stories he wrote, etc.. Maybe he'd even be a few years younger and not be questioned as being Clark Kent.

    Of course, the mystery Clark Kent might just be the Clark Kent half of the split, but if he isn't like new52 Superman reborn wanting for a merger with amnesia that goes away when he's merged, it'd another FU to new52 fans. Like, yeah, there's a missing half of SuperDad, it's the new52 Clark Kent, but not the one in the actual new52, the one we just invented last week, who didn't experience the new52 events. Um, because, yeah, FU.
    end of spoilers

  3. #3
    Incredible Member NYCER's Avatar
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    Aug 2014


    Therein lies the problem: the writing and editorial staff seem to have come off directly from that movie SOAPDISH under Whoopi Goldberg's character's tutelage.

    And now we have one big mess that constantly needs cleaning up/retconnic/rebooting etc.

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