|UBER No. 5, August 2013|
Profanities, inappropriate sexual references and graphically gory mutilations aside, Issue Five of “Uber” is strangely reminiscent of the patriotic stories found within the black and white pages of British war comic “Commando War Stories”. For seldom has a magazine’s narrative been so ‘pumped full’ of fervour for ‘King and Country’.
Straight from the start, as Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery briefs the Allies’ “enhanced humans”, there is a genuine atmosphere to the proceedings of ‘England expecting every man to do his duty’. A feeling which is especially well-written by Kieron Gillen considering that the former Commander of the Eighth Army has “a few of our American friends along with us on this endeavour” and in fact the British grouping’s “appropriate counter” to Battleship Sieglinde is a former Yank pilot, haphazardly named H.M.H. Colossus.
This sense of intense national pride and zeal intensifies as the Battle for Paris begins and the “small force of Allied Tankmen” are hastily deployed to the streets of the French capital. Two pages of reading about the ‘Jackboots’ dominating the defending conventional forces later and the scene is well and truly set for “the first enhanced human battlefield” as Panzermensch Matthias Scholtz is brutalised by “a bunch of British working class guys.”
What then follows is a titanic confrontation between the very best which the Allies can muster and the pride of the Fuhrer’s Uber programme. The tension is genuinely palpable and everything appears to be going so well for Patrick O’Connor and Montgomery’s “single international battalion.” Klaudia has been engaged and lured to Colossus’ locale, and within moments the American has wounded the blonde-haired giantess by ‘warping’ part of her back, warded off her initial psychic ‘disruption halo’ attack and pummelled the mass-murderess to within an inch of her life... Then, with victory in sight, the former computer games journalist has the reader turn over the page and one’s heart sinks as Winston Churchill’s great hope becomes the “first battleship-class casualty killed in action.”
Such a well-written horrifically compelling read, which at best portrays ‘a pyrrhic Allied victory’, is doubly exhausting an experience due to Caanan White’s insanely well-drawn illustrations. The African-American’s pencilling is as wonderfully rendered as his subject matter is grotesque, with stand-out moments such as Scholtz being stomped to death and Sieglinde tearing off her foes arms at the shoulders appearing all the more wincingly vivid and ghastly as a result.
|The regular cover art of "UBER" No. 5 by Caanan White|