Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Uber #24 - Avatar Press

UBER No. 24, April 2015
Described by creator Kieron Gillen as “a strange issue” and one which even made him ‘raise an eyebrow’ this "singular statement" heavily focus’s upon Field Marshal Montgomery’s preparations to (finally) deploy “strength-specialised British Uber HMH Churchill” in the field, and simultaneously inject “some honest-to-god comedy” into the series’ increasingly dark depressing narrative. Sadly however such a ‘contentious combination’ doesn’t arguably really work within a narrative already infamous for its large-scale bodily mutilations, massive body count and gratuitous violence, and instead simply results in the former computer games journalist causing Leah to appear as little more than a clumsy, “hysterical”, oversized buffoon rather than the “Hero” her fellow Destroyer-Class colleague HMH Dunkirk quite rightly views her as.    

Admittedly most of this comic’s 5,687 readers probably enjoyed witnessing the full extent of Cohen’s super-strength and mind-blowing toughness, especially as it’s so very well illustrated by the pencil of Daniel Gete. The scene within which she lifts up a forty-ton heavy infantry tank and hurls it effortlessly twenty miles away into a hapless farmer’s cattle barn is frighteningly impressive, as is HMH Churchill’s resilience to a fall from an aircraft having reached “terminal velocity”. But the woman’s phobia of heights, and the fact it reduces her to little more than an enormous heavily-armoured pudding sat like a distraught child on an airfield's runway arguably belittles these achievements, even when it does allow a genuinely touching moment between the one-eyed Howard and Stephanie’s creation; “I’ll jump with you. I’ll hold your hands as long as I can, then parachute.”

Equally as irritating is Gillen’s attempt to make both Duncan and Maria ‘figures of fun’. The bearded British scientist has always been depicted as an insensitive buffoon whose enthusiasm for success seemingly outweighs his ability to be professionally polite and civil. Yet even he and his infuriatingly crass comment as to using Leah’s “skeleton for anti-Uber armour” should she die in training arguably crosses the line of acceptability. Whilst the GLAAD Media Award-winner’s portrayal of "the manic sniper" as a ‘god-like’ “being mad with power” and lording it over her “brave trainees of the Soviet union” on a throne situated in the centre of Kiev comes across as a rather sudden, dramatic change in the character's (up until now) likeable though clearly damaged personality.
The regular cover art of "UBER" No. 24 by Daniel Gete


  1. Actually, I very much enjoyed this issue, with the scene you described where Cohen throws a tank as hard as she can laugh out loud funny. What you found offensive about this issue washed right over my head. Different strokes for different folks, huh?

    1. Bryan I actually expected as much tbh when I was writing this. I suppose I simply didn't 'get it' and just thought, considering Cohen's plight from 'over-experimentation' that she was a heroic figure not a humorous one. Still as you say different strokes :-)