Much like the supersoldiers on its pages “Uber” exists in a league of its own. The depth of research involved in telling the story makes Kieron Gillen’s script a supernatural primary document. All of which is disgustingly brought to life by Caanan White’s brutal artwork. This book isn’t for the faint of heart, but the brave will find a riveting look into the horrors of World War II.
Issue nine pick up in the Eastern front. Where the ubermensch program doesn’t adhere to the rigorous testing it did elsewhere resulting in a harrowing look at the USSR’s desperation inside this conflict. Once again Gillen hits it out of the park.
World War II is a fascinating and terrifying slice of history. Throughout my university years where I acquired a history degree, the classes on the war were always the most interesting. They were also hard to sit through. Nobody got through the war unscathed that much is clear but as Gillen outlines in this issue nobody had more to lose than the Soviet Union.
Issue 9 smartly structures itself on the second battle of Kursk. After literally cutting a hole through their army in search of ubermensch candidates Stalin believes he has a force ready to take on the battleships. The ensuing conflict shows ninety of these Soviet supersoliders take on Battlegroup Siegmund. You can guess how it works out for them.
Caanan White must revel in these scripts. Siegmund wields so much power on the page that gigantic splashes are used to demonstrate the insanity of taking on these battleships. It’s tremendously visceral and doesn’t skip a beat in terms of bloodshed. White ensures that the Soviet desperation is felt within every panel, and by the end of the conflict you’ll certainly feel for these red soldiers.
The few pages after the battle twist the narrative into a new and interesting direction. It seems Gillen was a little worried about these departures to the other fronts after the incredible first arc. Yet, he takes time to develop the mythology of his world. The result is actually more dynamic and interesting because once the second year of “Uber” begins the playing field will be entirely different.
The issue finishes with the perfect tease of what’s to come and a wonderfully informative piece by Gillen that sums up the arc.
“Uber” is a master class in historical fiction. It never denies the weight of the issues it deals with but heightens them to a fantastical place that makes the conflict and characters more engaging and dramatic while making a bloody mess. Often World War II stories tread the line of sensitivity and historical accuracy falling too far on either end to be compelling.
Gillen understands the plight of the conflict and manages to convey all of its pitfalls in a supernatural world. It’s actually stunning to see. If you are a fan of world history then I can’t recommend “Uber” enough. It’s just not for the feint of heart, but then again what Avatar Press book is?
Rating: 4/5 Skulls.