Thursday, 25 June 2015

Uber #7 - Avatar Press

UBER No. 7, October 2013
As an instalment which “brings our current time in the Pacific theatre to a close” it is perfectly understandable for creator Kieron Gillen to want Issue Seven of “Uber” to be a thrilling, actioned-packed affair, absolutely crammed with wartime engagements, firefights and the famous ‘suicidal’ frontal infantry attacks which the Japanese Army seemed to so frequently employ during the last years of the Second World War. But alongside this carousel of combat the former computer games journalist disappointingly also incorporates enough unnecessary profanities and vulgar speeches into his narrative to have the 1954 regulators of the Comics Code Authority turning in their graves for many moons to come.

The greater part of this disagreeable dialogue is due to the presence of Eammon O’Connor’s foul-mouthed buddy “charmer” Chuck, an offensively obnoxious soldier who seems to unpleasantly verbally relate the everyday happenings of the war to various biological bowel movements. Indeed this character’s contribution to the comic is so distasteful that it arguably comes as something of a relief when, upon the turn of page, he’s cut off mid-sentence by a halo disruption field partially removing his head; “Heh. Yeah. Guys-- Just try to screa--”

Fortunately the vast majority of this book’s twenty two pages actually concentrate upon the exploits of a trio of somewhat softly-spoken Japanese supermen, rather than wallow in the swearing and grisly innuendo of the American trenches… And as a result the reader is able to gain some insight into the motivations of these Miyoko warriors and their absolute dedication to the ‘will of their Emperor’, as well as explore the final fatal effects of a “fatigued” Uber.

Gillen's script also provides artist Caanan White with plenty of opportunities to draw some truly grisly and bloody wartime casualties. In fact the African-American illustrator arguably depicts his most gory bodily mutilations yet published, as the three surviving super-powered saboteurs on Okinawa quite literally tear apart a squad of hapless United States Marines who happen to be foolish enough to try and trap the ‘panzermensch’ in a cave. Arms, legs, decapitated heads, torsos and unrecognisable chunks of human flesh are all tossed unceremoniously into the air as the Japanese Miyoko counter-attack their foes and the fast-falling American soldiers “scrabble around” for cover.
The variant cover art of "UBER" No. 7 by Caanan White


  1. If I wasn't such an avid follower of this series your review would push all the right buttons to make me want to track it down. Profanity bothers me about as much as excessive violence and gore, which is, not at all. War is a very stressful business and one of the easiest ways to relief stress is to use profane language. I understand that and I accept that. Also, a lack of education or manners will also make a person more prone to swearing. Circumstances being what they are in this story I'd be more shocked if the front line soldiers didn't swear. Just my two pence for what it's worth.

    1. No problems at all Bryan. Profanities in comics simply aren't my cup of tea that's all... and certainly not to such excess as Gillen allows in this issue. Purely personal taste though I accept and it won;t stop me continuing to buy this colourful series ;-)

    2. Fair comment, Simon. I almost never swear myself and I don't really approve of it in real life, but when it comes to works of fiction, be it books, comics, film or TV, it doesn't bother me. Go figure!

    3. You're clearly a complicated fellow Bryan, which is probably what makes you so interesting and engaging a fellow blogger :-) I have no problem with bad language when its funny or emphasises something. Sadly I thought a lot though in this comic was neither.