Incoming Superman and Action Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis, who will use the character of Mr. Oz/Jor-El as a major player in his upcoming run, calls the character a "great gift" from outgoing writer Dan Jurgens.
During a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Bendis admitted that he never would have thought to use Superman's biological father in the stories, but that realizing Jor-El was on the table was a game-changer.
Minor spoilers ahead for The Man of Steel #6, on sale today.
"I would not have come up with this story -- or the storyline or the theme -- without Jor-El," Bendis admitted. "when I first got the book, I called up and I said, 'Is this really Jor-El? Is it Mxyzptlk or something? Are we going to find out [it's a trick?]' [Editorial] is like, 'No, that's really him. Are you okay with it?' I went, 'Thank you!' I didn't even know where I was going....I can tell you flat out I would've never gone down a road with Jor-El on any level if not for this beautiful gift, which has completely opened the book to me — is what Jor-El wants, what his agenda is," Bendis said. "Is everything he's saying at face value the truth, or is there are other levels to it? What kind of man is he? What kind of relationship will they end up having once the dust settles and once Clark finds out his agenda? Will they be in conflict or will they be in tandem? All of it is very interesting. What I love about it is, you have Superman, who's struggling with his relationship with his father, and that is very relatable. When people talk about Superman's relatability, there's about 19 things you can point to and that's now one of them."
Bendis did not want to share many further details about what was going on with Jor-El -- and with Lois Lane and Jonathan Kent, who joined him for a trip through space at the end of today's The Man of Steel #6 -- saying that the story of Superman's family is the "linchpin for a year-long, completely original Superman story."
“There's a big thing that happens in Man of Steel with Mr. Oz -- with Jor-El, and the entire House of El, Superman's family,” Bendis teased. “There is a shift I think people can see coming on some level, but I know for a fact that those who are fearing that these characters are going to go fly off into some other book or something and not be part of this is incorrect, but I can only prove that in the months ahead.”
The Man of Steel #6 is on sale today. Superman #1 and Action Comics #1,001 will both be on sale later this month.