By: Kieron Gillen (writer), Caanan White (pencils), Keith Williams (inks) and Michael Dipascale (colors)
The Story: The story of superbeings in World War II shifts to the Pacific Theatre.
The Review (with SPOILERS): Uber continues to do thing differently enough to be interesting and unique. The first five issues had followed World War II in the European theatre as the Germans were just about beaten…..before unleashing their superpowered beings on the Allies. The Allies responded and we ended that story with the Battle of Paris in the last issue.
Now we shift the focus to the Pacific Theater. The Japanese are on the ropes (this is around the time of the Battle of Okinawa) and surprise……the Japanese seem to have a few superbeings too. What I really liked about this revelation is that it isn’t made precisely clear HOW the Japanese ended up with these beings. Did the Germans tell them how to do it? Given how completely beaten the Germans were in the first story-arc, it seems a little implausible that they would have time to share. It also seems unrealistic that they would WANT the Japanese to have the same technology. So, perhaps it is a case of independent creation? In reality, all of the major WWII powers had their own nuclear programs, so it would appear that in the Uber universe, they all had superman programs (and all of the spying on enemies and allies that comes with such programs). Neat! I look forward to seeing if the Japanese supermen have the same limitations/powers as the German/British/American supermen and superwomen.
I also liked how the Japanese supermen were revealed. They just show a guy jumping from a plane, swimming to ship and tearing into it from below the waterline. The art and storytelling really captures the surprise of sailors seeing a new weapons system for the first time. And….ultimately…..that’s what Uber is all about. These supermen are just new weapons systems. When these sailors are surprised by the Japanese superman, it’s probably a feeling like what the Roman soldiers felt when Hannibal came down from the Alps with elephants or when Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War faced a machine gun for the first time. Kieron Gillen isn’t at all concerned with whether these supermen will be good, moral men who make the world safe for truth, justice and the American way……he’s just interested in telling the story of how they change warfare. If Uber were a real story, this is the sort of thing that would go onto the Wikipedia page.
Uber isn’t the best comic I’ve ever read, but it fills a very empty niche in the comic universe. Given that most comic creators not named Garth Ennis seem happy to just yada-yada things like how militaries work or tactics or types of guns or whatever, it’s nice to see a comic that is just kinda rolling around in that sort of thing.
The art is totally functional. To my personal taste, it is way overinked; this is a case where less would be more. Each line that goes down on the page is just one more opportunity for a mistake or to sap vitality from the page. However, the art isn’t unclear in any way. You can always tell what is going on. I guess if I sound a little disappointed in the art, it’s because (a) I really do enjoy the story, (b) the art is clear, but overinked and (c) the inker had to work harder to end up with an end-product that isn’t quite as good. Still, there’s no reason to turn away from this comic just because of the art.
Conclusion: Uber keeps telling its own story. I like how the focus is on the impact of a new weapons system rather than on “great power” and “great responsibility”. We’ve had plenty of THAT, so it’s nice to just have a clinical evaluation of how great power can change warfare.
– Dean Stell