Since the beginning of Geoff Johns' run on Superman with John Romita Jr. through to the blockbuster Rebirth event of the DCU, the question has been asked.
Who is Mr. Oz?
He seems to exist outside of time. He can view everything everywhere. He speaks cryptically of teaching Clark Kent important lessons in his life. He has some power. But he is hardly omnipotent. We recently saw him using henchmen to try to capture Doomsday. He seemed to need Doomsday as an energy source. He has popped in and out of the story as needed.
But who is he?
I initially guessed that it was actually a manifestation of Geoff Johns himself, a metatextual commentary on what was going on in DC Comics.
Then the Rebirth comic occurred, showing that the Watchmen were now a part of the official DCU. The easy answer seemed to be that Mr. Oz was Ozymandias. He had a penchant for looking at many screens, reading the events as they unfold. His workers are adorned with a symbol consistent with a Nostalgia perfume bottle.
But it seemed too easy. So I didn't agree.
I then hit upon the idea that Mr. Oz was short for Mr. John Osterman. Maybe he is a de-powered Dr. Manhatten. We know Manhatten has a big role in Rebirth, darkening the DCU. Perhaps it drained him? Perhaps, he forced Osterman to come to the surface, a way to humanize himself? I was sold on this idea.
But that didn't explain the 'lessons' taught (unless he meant the lessons learned from the New 52). And it also seemed too easy. Maybe because it seems like Mr. Oz is more Superman-centric than the company-wide Watchmen storyline.
So I have a new theory.
I think Mr. Oz is somehow Vyndktvyx, the evil 5th dimensional imp who was the big bad behind Grant Morrison's Action Comics run.
First off, Vyndktvyx has taught Clark a number of hard lessons. He was behind the death of the Kents. He tried to destroy Superman's spirit. He was a universal threat and villain. He has a history with Superman. So that part is covered.
And maybe he was de-powered. What better name than Mr. Oz, the non-magical persona of someone who appeared (or was) an omnipotent magical being. And so he is stuck using monitor screens. He needs energy.
It also might explain his being out of sorts with reality. Maybe he is in the 5th dimension, or some other dimension where he was cast off. That explains that.
But one more thing ... the staff.
One of Vydktvyx' weapons was the Multispear, the million point spear. A weapon so powerful it annihilated worlds.
Maybe Oz staff is the smashed remains of The Multispear. Maybe it is his Anduril, the shattered weapon to be reformed to strike back at his enemies. Maybe that is why he needs energy like Doomsday.
I little manipulation with the above picture and you can maybe see what I am talking about.
But lastly, I think this would be a way for DC to recognize something special that did happen in the New 52. I know I am an apologist but Morrison's run on Action Comics was perhaps the highest point of that reboot. Complex, retro, brilliant ... it all worked for me.
So I am putting my flag in the sand ... finally ... on who Mr. Oz is.
Mr. Oz is Vyndktvyx. (Or his son/avatar/weird timey-wimey guy Ferlin Nyxly.)