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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

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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

Review: Über #5

Growing up watching movies, the very first time I watched anything resembling Kaiju was King Kong. I watched everything from the very first black and white movie to the most recent one and each one transported me to that first time. The mere fact that something like that could exist was phenomenal. Eventually, I found out about Godzilla through his Japanese movies. Those became an instant obsession for myself as well. Since then not too many subgenres can keep me captivated like those movies.

Godzilla was little bit more prolific than King Kong as the kaiju’s movies were a huge sensation in Japan during the 1960s and 1970s. One of Godzilla’s best movies, after the hilarious Son Of Godzilla, was his face off against King Kong. The movie by today’s standards may seem outdated but the effect it created was major. In the fifth issue and conclusion to the first arc of series of Über we get an epic battle between Colossus and Sieglinde.

The reader is taken to Paris, as the Allied forces are briefed about Sieglinde and the powers she carries, as this is no weapon they have ever seen before. Soon after, the very first Panzermensch, Matthias Scholtz, gets incinerated by one of the HMH, as the science Stephanie smuggled finally pays off for the British. In turn, Sieglinde, hears about this and wants to even the odds, which is a trap set by the HMH, where she faces off against Colossus. By issue’s end, not all things go as planned, as the fault here was one’s ego.

Overall, an excellent end to the first story arc. It’s one which gives hope for some characters while meaning the end for others. The story by Kieron Gillen is intense, fun, and brimming with hope for future arcs. The art by Canaan White is striking and lifelike. Altogether, an issue that will keep you on for the next story arc.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Canaan White
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.65 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Über #4

As a fan of movies one of my favorite actors was Paul Newman. There was no one quite with the flair and intelligence that Mr. Newman brought to characters on the movie screen. Who could forget his portrayal of lone pool player Eddie Felson in The Hustler, which he reprised years later in The Color of Money. Then there is his portrayal of John Russell in Hombre, as a fast shooter who is shunned because Native Americans raised him.

As much as I enjoyed his classic movies, it was his later movies which caught my eye. Who could forget his inspired turn as an Irish gangster in Road to Perdition. Then there is his incredible performance of General Groves in Fatman and Little Boy which showed a man focused on winning the war, as he famously says in the film:

We could give this country the biggest stick in the playground, and I intend to do that.

In the fourth issue of Über, this is exactly what Churchill hopes to do now that he possesses the technology to create his own “battleships.”

We catch up with Stephanie shortly after Churchill ordered her to start building his HMH troops, as Patrick being the first one, undergoes the excruciating procedure. We also find out where the German battleships have been, as they are sent to Paris, which lies defenseless, to draw out the Allies. As the war heats up, it appears Stephanie is having even worse troubles then she had with German ones, they are prematurely dying, as each HMH troop thus far, is missing the durability. By issue’s end, it looks as if they finally found answer to the German battleship problem, in Patrick, as he becomes the most powerful HMH troop.

Overall, full of training montages and war reels, but one that leaves the reader hopeful for a big showdown next issue. The story by Kieron Gillen is fun, gritty, and action-packed. The art by Canaan White is enthralling and vivid. Altogether, an issue that will more than satisfies readers of this book.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Canaan White
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.45 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Über #3

As long as technological advancements have made the world a better place, it always starts somewhere. Many of these advancements have been tested on animals.  This is usually due to the fact, that they believe that to her mammals, such as certain animals, are a good test subjects. This was not always the way innovators tested their devices.

Many of these experiments were made on humans, often on slaves. This is what made the recent protests of the statues of J. Marion Sims, a man who conducted gynecological experiments on slave women without anesthesia, still so disturbing.  Because at its core, these types of liberties in the name of advancement, is also barbarianism, in its purest form. In the third issue of Über, the Allies looks to even the odds despite the inhumane means that bringing the balance would mean.

We catch up with Stephanie, shortly after arriving in England, where she must brief Churchill, as well as turn over the technology she escaped with. We also catch up with Sankt, a s he briefs Hitler on how Stephanie escaped the country with the very technology she cultivated in SS labs.  Eventually, Stephanie must recruit a solider to part of the English superhuman tank. By issue’s end, Hitler has another card up his sleeve, something neither the Allies or his subordinates can see coming.

Overall, an excellent issue that shows just how complicated war is and how everyone may have more than one purpose for doing the right thing. The story by Kieron Gillen is powerful. The art by Canaan White is elegant. Altogether, an issue that bridges a few gaps and will surprise fans in the most unexpected way.

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

Review: Über #2

The last days of World War II is one of those periods of history that is wrought with mystery This where those hidden cracks lie, where war criminals fade into the darkness ad where certain truths becomes known.  This is where the truth of the Holocaust, was brought to the forefront for the whole world to see. This is also where the truth of how America treated their own citizens, Japanese-Americans, like prisoners of war, something that most would like not to be brought up ever again.

These hidden gems of history is why so many people are still obsessed with this time of history as the stories that are still being uncovered continue to prove to the world how evil Hitler was. The sheer numbers of people he looked to expunge from the world doesn’t compare to the world he was trying to shape. Therefore, the clandestine operations by the Allies during that war cannot ever be repaid. In the second issue of Über, we catch up with   Freya, as she pushes forward to the Allied lines, as the German SS looks to make up ground in catching her.

We catch up with Guderian and Sankt, are fearing their capture as war criminals, as they hatch a last-ditch effort using the “Battleships”, as their final hope. We also catch up with Freya, as she travels the neutral zone, as she sees the reality of war, leaving lives in peril, with Gelt chasing her. We also catch up with Sieglinde and Siegmund, as they struggle with their own crisis of consciousness, as Siegfried’s actions looks to doom them all three Battleships existence in jeopardy. By issue’s end, the Germans has lost one of their Panzermensch and tide looks to change in the Allies favor.

Overall, an exceptional issue, which pushes on the gas as the story pushes past reader’s expectations, exceeding the book’s harshest critics. The story by Kieron Gillen is riveting and action packed. The art by Canaan White is beautiful and vivid. Altogether, another great installment of this page turning comic book.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Canaan White
Story: 9.3 Art: 9.1 Overall:9.4 Recommendation: Buy