Über, vol. 2

Summary: Kieron Gillen redefined the alternate history comic by radically revitalizing the super soldier in the pages of Uber. This sweeping war epic shows all the grime, and fear, and blood of enhanced soldier warfare in an unrelenting World War II drama. The first blow in the battle between English and German Ubers has been wrought and neither nation walks away whole. The war rages on in the Pacific Theatre as Japanese Kamikaze pilots attempt to drive the US forces out while delivering devastating losses to the enemy naval fleet. But the tides of war change as the Japanese deploy their own enhanced soldiers and the Germans deliver their devastating secret attack.

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Über, vol. 2, by Kieron Gillen and Caanan White 7.25

After reading the first volume of ‘Über’, Kieron Gillen’s WWII-set superhuman nightmare, I was intrigued to see where he would take it. Especially since it’s been conceived as a five year-long monthly series: this implies that he’s got a game plan, a fully-sketched story to tell, that it’s not just a gimmick.

Where could the Second World War go in the hands of superpowered human beings instead of mere mortals?

I do wonder.

But the outcome can’t be good.

Hmmm…

The problem is that I’m quickly getting tired of watching warring factions deploying these omnipotent (though not indestructible) behemoths on each other. Yeah, yeah, another city has been decimated. Oh, there goes a whole contingent! I get it: these powerhouses can level nearly anything in their path.

It gets old fast.

Perhaps I’m supposed to appreciate the various leaders’ strategies and all of the historical references; some people love that stuff (in fact, I’ve known many people who relish anything to do with war history). But I’m not one of them; I find that stuff tedious. Plus which there’s nothing I loathe more than war.

So it all leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Still, Gillen impressed me with his ability to illustrate the folly and horrors of war; in no way does he try to glamourize it (though its unabated über-goriness might counteract this message). I appreciate that he’s clearly demonstrating that no amount of power can solve the problem of human conflict.

In ‘Über’, power can only pause or aggravate it.

Sadly, Caanan White continues to disappoint me with his artwork. Though he’s able to illustrate the carnage in all its gross detail, his accuracy is lacking in other respects. I was particularly annoyed to see how interchangeable different races were – to such a degree that it actually became confusing.

Perhaps his deadlines are too tight for the scope of the piece, but the outcome looks slightly amateurish.

At this juncture, I’m not sure if I’ll continue the series or not: I don’t find the setting compelling, White’s storytelling abilities don’t match the requirements of Gillen’s vision, and the end is nowhere in sight. After reading 12 issues, I’m just not invested or intrigued enough to plow ahead for another 48.

We’ll see. War is hell, after all.

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