Thursday, 3 March 2016

Uber #23 - Avatar Press

UBER No. 23, February 2015
Transporting its 5,747 strong readership to Antwerp, Bletchley Park, Kiev, and Moscow within the space of just a few pages, the narrative to Issue Twenty Three of “Uber” truly demonstrates just how far-ranging the breadth of Kieron Gillen’s “alternate World War Two” storyline really is. However having depicted the destruction of the Belgium city, and the subsequent “systematic annihilation of an entire country”, as well as Russian’s highly explosive blood test of Maria and the ‘evacuation’ of the British Superhuman Programme to a “location undisclosed” in England, the Cambridge-educated writer’s tale doesn’t stop its European excursions there and actually then whisks its audience off again in order to witness “one of the new destroyers” HMH Dunkirk in action just south of Brussels and ‘HMH Churchill being declared ready for deployment’ back in Blighty.

Such a flabberghastingly fast sequence of events, all of which potentially progress this title’s plot quite significantly, could easily become overwhelming to the uninitiated bibliophile, especially as the odd setting, such as Molotov’s meeting in Moscow with Stalin, last just a single sheet or two and yet still contain important insights as to the motivations of the main cast of characters. But such is the British author’s concise narration of events, coupled with plenty of explanatory dialogue that the majority of his scenes seem more like succinct easily understandable excerpts from a genuine historical text than panels belonging to a fictional comic book.   

Arguably the highlight of all this exposition though has to be the former music journalist’s creation of a British Uber created using “five activations physical, [and] one activation halo.” This masked “big guy” looks every bit the super-soldier the Allies had hoped HMH Colossus would become and his retrieval of “two of the 3:3 destroyers deployed” by “the core German firing line” in Brussels makes compelling reading; even if the Kerrang! Award-nominee’s use of ‘the worst kind of expletives’ is entirely unnecessary and unjustified.

Just as successful as Stephanie's creation of HMH Dunkirk is Daniel Gete’s artwork for an incredibly busy script. The Spaniard’s wonderfully clean pencilling of the German Battleships, Maria, Molotov, Montgomery and Stephanie, as well as Cohen and the rest of the British "enhanced humans" causes all these personalities to almost literally leap to life off the page. Whilst this magazine’s opening splash makes it crystal clear as to just why Gillen is “weirdly obsessed with how Daniel draws buildings” on account of it containing a phenomenally detailed rendering of a partially flattened Antwerp.
The regular cover art of "UBER" No. 23 by Daniel Gete


  1. I mean no disrespect, Simon, but I knew you'd find the profanity too much to stomach. However, I honestly found nothing to complain about in this first rate issue of a series that has totally captivated me from the start. No spoilers from me but the series keeps on improving with each subsequent issue. Oh, and you're right to highlight Daniel Gete's artwork. It is worthy of the highest praise.

    1. No slight taken Bryan. I simply thought the language for that particular scene was crass and not necessary. As you say though this issue was a very involving one with lots going on, and Daniel Getes' work was excellent.