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Review: Uber #15

Uber #15

One of the movies that made me a cinephile is the highly underrated The Warriors. It’s one of those movies that looks like the typical B movie at first glance, that is until you get caught up in the plot. The movie begins with a gathering of all the gangs in New York for a summit lead by one of the gang leaders, Osiris. The movie moves forward with his killing and the gang, The Warriors, being blamed for his murder. They spend the rest of the movie, trying to survive every gang in New York, until daylight when they can prove their innocence.

What made that movie so good was the chase. You didn’t know if they would survive until the morning. When you have nowhere to run and everyone is out to get you, if you survive to see the other side of it, it really is a miracle. In the beginning of a new story arc, the fifteenth issue of Uber, one of the German Battleships is in Allied territory, and their capture is almost imminent.

We find Sieglinde, outgunned and behind enemy lines, as she gets attacked by the British fleet, which seems that her death was close, until one of Germany’s Elektroboats save her and destroy the three destroyers. We also catch up with Freya, as she prepares Leah for what she could mean for this extended war, as her prowess to looks to be twice what the Panzermensch has meant to Germany. As Freya, explains what her research has discovered, to the room full of men which comprise the United Kingdom’s war cabinet, as they are uneasy of following a woman’s advice. By issue’s end, Freya has come up with a plan that will turn the war to the Allies favor, and it could mean a complete sea change for all involved.

Overall, a pulse pounding issue which gives fans a glimmer of hope that the good guys have a chance to win. The story by Kieron Gillen is exciting and well developed. The art by Daniel Gete is captivating. Altogether, an excellent installment in this stellar series that captures the best of war comics and superheroes.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Daniel Gete
Story:9.7 Art:9.6 Overall:9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Uber #14

Uber #14

For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “‘The LORD said to my LORD: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”‘- Acts 2:34-35-Bible

There’s nothing like when people underestimate you from the onset. No matter who you are most people tend to judge others from their preconceived notions. We habitually go into most situations and base them on our experiences and level of knowledge. We basically make an “educated guess” on what will happen next.  This same skill set is used to pre-judge people mostly on appearance and then possibly because they remind you of someone.

In the theater of war, military leaders cull from years of experience, data of the enemy, and military tactical history. Even with this wealth of knowledge sometimes, and actually quite often, the most prepared leaders are outmaneuvered. They cannot count on certain actors what some may call “wild cards,” as they often tip the balance of the battle and rarely is one prepared for contingencies. In the 14th installment of Uber, the Russians have unleashed their own wild card in battle of the superhumans.

We are taken to Hitler’s bunker, where his dead body is found by his personal military attaché, and with both him and Churchill dead, some new forerunners can seize power. As the reader finds out how the first airship was experimented on and eventually how they perfected the formula. We also find out how the killing of Hitler was no accident, as it had been a long gestating plan of action.

Overall, it’s a thrilling issue that gives readers another Easter egg on what is really going on that the reader won’t see otherwise. The story by Kieron Gillen is clever and enjoyable. The art by Gabriel Andrade is beautiful. Altogether, an excellent entry in this entertaining World War II series.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Gabriel Andrade
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Über #13

There is nothing like chase movies where the villain is in constant pursuit of the protagonist. One example has entered the zeitgeist by sparking nostalgia and pulling from the best elements of 80s movies, Stranger Things. The show made adults who grew up in the 1980s feel like the decade they grew up in was something to be proud of and be able to enjoy again. I was one of them and saw that usually most movies and tv shows made fun of the time (primarily because of horrible aesthetics).

Despite the obvious story elements, it brought back the chase story in a way that still excites and intrigues viewers and makes some of us look for the 80s movies that inspired it in the first place. In the 13th issue of Über, we find Katyusha as she faces the horrors of war in all its gory cruelty and uses that familiar element.

We find Katsuya wandering the wilderness near Ukraine, defenseless and almost out of life, as she saved by an elderly couple. As she regains her consciousness, she slowly bonds with them, eventually finding out that their sons died in this war that she had been fighting for several months. Eventually Russian soldiers come looking for her, who she destroys in minutes. By issue’s end, she destroys an army that comes for her head and eventually leaves them now knowing what happened to Chirchill.

This is one of the best issues in the series that although it feels out of sorts, gives readers a peak into Katyusha’s psyche. The story by Kieron Gillen is intense, riveting, and action packed. The art by Gabriel Andrade is world class and elegant. Overall, this issue serves as a masterclass in character exploration.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Gabriel Andrade
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Über #12

How does one carry on when change occurs beyond recognition? Some assume that our future is dictated by our past. We see all that came before and assume that we will repeat the cycle. The reality is, the cycle can be broken, as each individual can change their own destiny.

Take for instance familial skirmishes where one family has no idea why they even hate each other but just do. This all can be helped if someone from each side tried to mend things and actually have a true dialogue. These things happen when generations die off and history is lost with them.  In the 12th issue and the beginning of year 2 of Über we find all three nations rudderless without the men who lead their nations but their bloodlust even more heightened.

We catch up with Stephanie shortly after the massacre in London, as the RAF assess their casualties which includes Churchill. We soon find out that Stephanie has been using  what she learned from the Germans to create a different type of warship in Bletchley. As her ambitions become reckless, almost killing Bletchley, Alan attempts to stop her ,knowing no good can come from extreme measures. By issue’s end, some unexpected news gives Stephanie and Alan pause. Something that will change everything.

Overall, it’s quite an introspective issue that dives into the motivations of one of the main characters Stephanie. The story by Kieron Gillen is gripping and smart. The art by Gabriel Andrade is luminous and elegant. Altogether, an entertaining issue in this saga of superpowered humans in World War II.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Gabriel Andrade
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Über #11

Growing up as a fan of Kaiju movies, I always loved the big fights between the creatures. Those movies felt like watching each of the monsters wreak havoc in everything they see, leaving scorched earth wherever they walk. The movies ultimately come down to both of these gigantic monsters battling until one died or was beaten. Often these movies were subtitled or badly dubbed but they were pretty easy to follow. The plot was pretty clear. That flaw didn’t take away from what made them so enjoyable, the fights and how they destroyed everything in their path. It was also interesting to see how the humans react to kaiju that came their way.

There was something both intriguing and ridiculous about these movies. In the 11th issue and end of the second story arc of Über, we get the big fight readers have been waiting for.

We catch up with Sieglinde as she continues her onslaught on London, effectively Germany’s second Blitz on the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Churchill looks for help from Stephanie, as England’s own Ubers are decimated within minutes of deploying. As defeat nears, Churchill ensures the royal family’s safety and England’s ultimate saving grace. By issue’s end, Siegmund provides Hitler a most unwelcome surprise.

Über #11 isan excellent issue that grinds this arc to its ultimate conclusion that both satisfies and entertains the reader. The story by Kieron Gillen is smart, well-paced, and intense. The art by Canaan White is beautiful. Altogether, a fitting bookend to an intriguing story arc.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Canaan White
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Über #10

As well known as Captain America is as a comic book character, it’s still interesting to see how people are still discovering the character. His most famous visage these days is Chris Evans’ onscreen representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  What most war comic enthusiasts usually like about the character is his origin story and his adventures with the Howling Commandos. These stories capture how we imagine the world was in this well glamorized era.

I always wondered if someone ever tweaked Captain America’s origin, how twisted could it be? Comic book fans got see a different version when he was revealed to be an agent of HYDRA or the more recent mash-up between Doctor Strange and Captain America. I always wondered how it would be if the experiment which made Steve Rogers Captain America made him a monster instead? In the tenth issue of Über, we get to see America’s entry into the superhuman powers race.

In the issue we catch up with England, as Churchill convenes his War Cabinet, anticipating Germany’s and Japan’s next moves, as he feels something is burgeoning, but doesn’t know what it is. We also find Stephanie enhancing the superhuman formula, something that would be superior to the other countries existing warships. We find the German warships in rare discussion between each other, as they try to figure out which of one of them will heading to the frontlines, as Klaudia has an eerie feeling she will be next. By issue’s end, Stephanie has found a recruit and Klaudia may be seeing her last moments alive

Overall, it’s an excellent issue that accelerates the story as pieces on this chessboard have gone to sudden death. The story by Kieron Gillen is intelligent, entertaining, and riveting. The art by Canaan White is alluring and luminous. Altogether, one of the better issues in this series.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Canaan White
Story: 10 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Über #9

The subject of “nuclear proliferation” has been in the news recently as what went on behind the scenes of the recent talks with North Korea is discussed. The very idea that any of us can turn such destructive weapons on each other is still a frightening idea. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was the hot button issue in the second Iraq conflict, leading American troops to search for these all over that country and was the impetus for war. The passage of time, almost 80 years has passed since the devastation seen in Hiroshima, has not deterred nations form holding on to these weapons of mass destruction and still threaten to use them.

As we start to lose people from that generation who have memories of what went on when nuclear power was unleashed on the world and experienced the horrors firsthand, we risk becoming less empathetic as to how callous such weapons are to humanity. My grandparents used to talk about World War II and how it turned the men and women who occupied their country into saber-rattlers. In the ninth issue of Über, the arms race has only heightened to an alarming rate which are starting leaves both sides depleted.

We find the Russians in fear of defeat, but a glimmer of hope is found in the formula for German Panzermensch coming their way, which forces Stalin to take drastic measures. We catchup with Maria, as she becomes stronger from the trials and just a bit more insane, as the drugs has an effect on her psyche. We also catchup with Siegmund, as word of the Russians moving into Kursk catches wind, but what the Germans, don’t is that they have a regiment of Superhumans ready to battle, leaving him disabled. By issue’s end, Maria finds herself even more powerful than any of the enhanced soldiers the war has seen so far.

The issue is a sudden change of events which may prove just how dangerous this technology is for both the allies and the axis of evil. The story by Kieron Gillen is smart, well-paced, and exciting. The art by Canaan White is striking and brilliant. Altogether, proof that  Kieron Gillen is a master storyteller.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Canaan White
Story: 10 Art: 8.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Über #8

As the world operates on the precipice with the constant threat of war, it is hard to imagine that the last time the world went to war was 1942. As the world came to grips with the “Axis of Evil”, and their plans for global domination, it is hard to almost believe that such a collection of evil minds ever existed. In today’s world, the definitions of “evil” and “ally” become faintly resonant, as the lines have slowly become blurred. This is the direct result of denial of facts. The power of undeniable truth has become less effective.

There was a time when the world saw evil as it is and did not hesitate to stop it in its tracks. The alternate consequences of a world where evil has prevailed is portrayed in The Man In The High Castle. The world would shutter at the atrocities that would have occurred if the Axis had won. In the eighth issue of Über we find an arms race with Japan in the lead. That may have the Allies outflanked.

In the first few pages, we finally get to see the view from Russia, as Stalin makes his move, as the USSR has gotten their hands on the science that the rest that the Japanese, English, and Germans have. As his generals recount the carnage left by the German airships have blazed on their way to winning the war, as the “axis of evil”, is no more, and each country is looking to strong arm themselves into arsenal superiority. We also catchup with Katusyha, the Russian sharpshooter, that all men who have crossed her path have come to fear, and who is called back to headquarters to unleash Stalin’s most daring maneuver in the war yet. By issue’s end the most dangerous weapons yet is revealed

Overall, the issue is an excellent installment of this stellar series. It gives a different view from the frontlines. The story by Kieron Gillen is brilliant, pulse pounding, and layered. The art by Canaan White is gorgeous and paints horror like no one else. Altogether, a great issue that propels the story to places readers will not see coming.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Canaan White
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Über #7

The term “heat of battle” has been used in every war movie ever made but it has come to be used in other venues. As a football fan plays in various games are described in such terms by various announcers. The truth of the matter is that it describes the primal need of human beings while fighting. As to whether actual thinking goes into each action or pure aggression takes over. It is even more primordial when it comes to a matter of life and death. When a gun is pointed in your direction is usually when one’s true nature takes over.

I remember the first time I saw a kid in my neighborhood shoot someone on my block. The look in his eyes still haunts me. I can tell it was the first time he had ever pointed the gun and the first time he shot someone as the hardened look he had before he pulled the trigger faded away once he knew the depth of the destruction it caused. This happens all the time in a war zone. With no time to pause, every second to act can mean if you live to breathe another day. In the seventh issue of Über, the action heats up in the Pacific leaving hundreds of bodies along the way. The Japanese Ubers take center stage.

We are taken to a room full of Japanese generals, who even though it seems all is lost, a German officer, inserts himself into their hierarchy by giving them the blueprints to create the Miyoko, the Japanese version of Panszermach. We also catch up with Chuck and Razor, as they search for the missing Miyoko, while they reminisce of better days in the war, before the arrival of these superhumans. The missing Miyoko that Chuck ad Razor were looking for, had been found by a platoon of Allied soldiers, who decimate instantly using their powers, leaving no witnesses to the power of their devastation. By issue’s end, though they have subverted the Miyoko for now, not everyone leaves unscathed, and anther character has been forever changed because of them.

Overall, another pulse pounding issue that embraces the carnage of war and shows that there is no victor when war takes place, just survivors. The story by Kieron Gillen is fierce, smart, and features wall to wall action. The art by Canaan White is engrossing and vivid. Altogether, an excellent issue that proves this universe is both interesting and complicated.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Canaan White
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Über #6

The horrors of war, for anyone who has witnessed it, has seen the carnage humans will do to one another.  The mere fact that although we have gone through years of advancement in diplomacy, to the point where we have learned each other’s languages and customs.  At our most base instincts, when it comes to fight or flee, human nature takes over, and most people are surprised at what they can do, when it comes to life or death. Before my grandparents passed away, I remember them telling us of the treatment they underwent during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II.

I can still see my grandmother’s face, as her eyes welled up, remembering those times as it was a bad nightmare, and not quite feeling safe, even though to that point, it had been 40 years. Realizing then as a child, that something as traumatic, never really goes away, it becomes a scar on your psyche. I knew she would carry it with her until she left this earth, of her treatment and those she loved.  In the sixth issue of Über and the beginning of a new story arc, we find the tory moving towards the Pacific, where find the Japanese have their own enhanced soldiers.

The reader is immediately transported to the Pacific, a few miles away from Okinawa, giving a bit of a history lesson, as we find out just how decisive suicide bombers were to the war effort. We are also introduced to two Marines, Razor and Chuck, who are attempting to understand why so many Japanese are willing to kill themselves than expect help from any American. We also see that the Japanese has been using the same technology as the Germans and the English, except they act as suicide bombers destroying navy ships and submarines without thinking twice.  By issue’s end, we are introduced to the squadron of “Miyokos”, a team of enhanced soldiers, who is even more formidable than the German “battleships” were.

By issue’s end, the story though moved to the Pacific, just became even more thrilling. The story by Kieron Gillen is layered, dramatic and intelligent. The art by Canaan White is both horrifying and exciting. Altogether, this issue expands the canon and pushes the pedal to the floor on the action.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Canaan White
Story: 10 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

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