Thursday, 24 December 2015

Uber #16 - Avatar Press

UBER No. 16, July 2014
Reading more like an historical text describing real life events during the course of the Second World War than a fictional alternate narrative published by “Avatar Press”, Issue Sixteen of “Uber” is a frighteningly realistic read which must have delighted its 7,082 buyers in August 2014. Certainly Kieron Gillen’s script successfully conveys the terrifying scale of the Nazi’s Blitzmensch V1 threat to the Allies as the enhanced humans easily achieve “a blockade of the North Atlantic” by destroying America shipping at their leisure, and just as effortlessly bombard “the Allied-held Belgian port” of Antwerp.

However the British author’s true strength seemingly lies within the consummate ease with which he is able to thread the fears and doubts of some of the war’s more notable personalities ‘in and around’ these world-changing, albeit entirely fantastical, military events. Indeed one of this publications many highlights has to be Joseph Stalin’s keen interest in ‘Katyusha’ Maria’s miraculous ability to generate “the red muck” as an alternative to Russian knowing the secret of the catalyst’s creation, and evident terror at the woman’s power of transmutation; “Molotov… She’s a long way from here, yes?”

Just as impressively handled is the introduction of “the paranoid Yanks… higher-level activation” subject Vernon, an African-American soldier who Gillen apparently ‘considered’ killing off almost as soon as the former computer game journalist presented him if the comic’s ‘Afterword’ is to be believed. Fortunately the Stafford-born writer would appear to have resisted such a temptation, even if “it would certainly fit the banal horrible nature of the war that Uber’s aesthetic leans on” and instead has the son of one of the Harlem Hellfighters survive a halo-effect augmented Kriegsmarine attack upon his ship. In fact the emergence of the water-logged trooper from out of the sea at the conclusion of the magazine makes for a fittingly optimsitic conclusion to the book. One which is most welcome considering how bleak and depressing so much of the news on the numerous allied fronts seems to be…

Undoubtedly adding to this periodical's success, is Daniel Gete’s artwork, which is extremely polished throughout the comic book. The Spaniard’s pencilling is especially sharp when depicting the sinking of several heavy transporters by a German submarine armed with just five Blitzmensch, and only overshadowed by his excellently-drawn double-splash of several British Tank-Men bloodily encountering their significantly heavier Third Reich counterparts.
The regular cover art of "UBER" No. 16 by Daniel Gete


  1. A very fair and accurate review, Simon. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again but this series is going from strength to strength. By the way, Stalin has every right to fear "Katyusha" Maria. She's growing stronger and more powerful. I'll say no more. ;-)

    1. Many thanks Bryan. A totally agree that this series is going very well with this current story-arc and I'm certainly enjoying it immensely :-)