|UBER No. 12, April 2014|
Series creator Kieron Gillen openly admits at the end of this comic that penning the script for Issue Twelve of “Uber” was difficult, and came at a time, due to a family bereavement, when “writing anything was hard.” As a result it is somewhat easy to forgive parts of this dreary Stephanie ‘one-shot’, even if the tediously dull and uninteresting twenty-two page periodical provides little forward movement to the former computer games journalist’s “alternate World War Two” narrative.
Admittedly not all of the scenes within this comic book are as dialogue heavy and difficult to persevere through as the British writer’s opening, which depicts British modernist author “…Virginia Woolf , in person, speaking to us all” in a lecture at Girton, Cambridge. The revelation as to just how enormous and terrible-looking the grotesque “Heavy Battleship” Leah Cohen is proves to be a particularly fascinating, if not alarming, scene. Whilst Stephanie’s drunken realisation that she too “can be an enhanced human” should she expose herself to the catalyst will surely be more fully explored as a future dilemma; “Give it to me. I’ve killed people for less.”
Sadly however the majority of this magazine does arguably do little but demonstrate just how dishonest, dislikeable and manipulative the red-headed secret agent can be. Not only does she apparently openly lie to a battle-weary Tommy about sneaking into one of her much older sister’s college lectures, in order to simply impress upon him that she’s been “cursed with an exceptional memory”. But Stephanie is just as dishonest with her disfigured creation, Cohen, when she blatantly boasts “I was a most gifted child… I speak more languages than there are countries in Europe.” It is therefore little wonder that towards the end of this instalment her confidant, computer scientist Alan Turing, shouts at her that he “can’t abide how you lie.”
Perhaps this edition’s most disquieting aspect though is the replacement of series regular artist Caanan White for Gabriel Andrade. Gillen is equally candid about replacing the African-American penciller in his ‘Afterword’ as he was about his writer’s block, and cites that “basically due to the last couple of issues of Caanan’s epic thirteen-issue-of-comics-in-a-row running a little late” “Avatar Press” needed “to alternate artists between the major arcs.” Fortunately the Instituto dos Quadrinhos comic book illustrator brings a heavily detailed style to the proceedings, with his double-splash of the Second London Blitz aftermath, rife with mutilated Tank-Men and gory bodily entrails, proving to be especially gruesome and memorable.
|The variant cover art of "UBER" No. 12 by Gabriel Andrade|