Thursday, 24 March 2016

Uber #25 - Avatar Press

UBER No. 25, May 2015
Focusing solely upon the Pacific Theatre and Japan’s last deployment of Miyoko to Okinawa in 1945, Issue Twenty Five of “Uber” is an oft-times troubling, depressingly fatalistic read which portrays the Emperor’s tank-men as honourable heroes and the American forces, who up until this point in the war have actually found themselves at a seriously bloody disadvantage to their superior opposition, as little more than furtive murderers who quite shockingly kill sleeping enemy soldiers where they lay in their dug-outs.

Such a bias viewpoint of the island’s fictional final battle doubtless unsettled at least a few of this title’s anaemic 5,506 followers, especially when Kieron Gillen’s narration of events throughout the comic makes the Allied atrocities upon “the beleaguered defenders” sound so frighteningly factual. However this sudden shift in the enhanced-human power struggle between the United States and Imperial Japanese Army, along with the grisly impact it has upon the 'soldiers of the Rising Sun' as they quite futilely die in a final desperate suicidal charge, also makes this entire twenty-two page periodical an incredibly atmospheric and enthralling experience.

True the British author’s portrayal of the Yanks’ tank-men as somewhat stereotypically handsome poster boys who even display war propaganda images more readily associated with Air Force bomber nose art upon their stylish leather jackets, somewhat disrupts the illusion of reality. But the former computer games journalist’s depiction of the East Asian malnourished warriors, weary and battle worn yet still nobly loyal to their Empire until the bitter end, more than makes up for this ‘nod’ to the Silver Age of Superhero Comics… And indeed who is to say that the American authorities wouldn’t have dressed their formidably powerful troopers in such garish attire if they had actually existed during the Second World War?

Possibly in keeping with this book’s dark disheartening tone is the artwork of Daniel Gete. The Spaniard’s heavily shadowed sequences involving corporal Hideki definitely lack the regular penciller’s customary clean-cut drawings. Yet rather than being off-putting, such a change in style, whether intentional or not, undoubtedly adds a layer of grittiness to his work which seems entirely fitting when these panels spotlight the dispirited Japanese tunnel dwellers.
The regular cover art of "UBER" No. 25 by Daniel Gete


  1. A very good review, Simon, that I almost totally agree with. I say "almost" because there is no way I would describe myself as being one of this series "anaemic" readers! ;-) Nor did I find any scenes "unsettling!" Come on, you know me - Bryan the gore-hound!

    1. Many thanks indeed Bryan :-) I don't lack iron myself personally but sadly I do feel that the sales figures for "Uber" do. Indeed this is possibly the poorest selling title I regularly read and it certainly wouldn't have lasted so long if it was a "Marvel Worldwide" or "DC Comics" book; who as a rule of thumb imho tend to view the 20,000 sales figure as a minimum.

      Indeed even the recent "Age of Ultron Vs. Marvel Zombies", which I think we'd both agree can't hold a candle to "Uber" was on average selling around 32,000 issues per issue. And next month "Black Knight" finishes having been cancelled for having an audience of 15,000 readers.

      You are indeed a gore-hound my friend, and I'm delighted you enjoyed this instalment. I simply thought the scenes of the US Marines murdering the Japanese in their sleep was a little uncomfortable... for me at least ;-)

    2. Falling sales must be a big worry. And with Kieron Gillan moving on to other things, I'm doubting if this series will ever return. It had great promise and I would be very sorry to see it die. I certainly have no regrets about you getting me hooked on "Uber."

    3. Those are exactly my concerns too, Bryan, especially when his 'new' title in question happens to be something so iconic a title (and massively popular despite my own personal dislike of the writing) such as "Darth Vader" by "Marvel Worldwide". Sadly "Avatar Press" have just announced their June 2016 titles and there's no sign of "Uber"...