Writer: Kieron Gillen
Illustrator: Caanan White
Publisher: Avatar Press
WHAT IS IT?
A World War II action/drama with superpowered soldiers. It’s a lesser-known sleeper hit penned by one of the greatest creative minds in comics that fans of war and sci-fi alike will love.
Imagine a prequel to Man in the High Castle where instead of trying to make a nuclear bomb, countries invested in making soldiers insanely, epically powerful and nigh invulnerable.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? (Minor Spoilers)
The Second World War is ending, or so it seems. But right as Hitler is about to end it all, his scientists report success in the making of a superweapon: Übers, extremely powerful soldiers that could turn the tide of the war against the Allies.
The Allies think they may be able to figure out (or steal) the science behind these super soldiers. But will they be able to match the onslaught of power the Axis has? Or are they simply delaying the inevitable as Germany seeks to use this newfound power to crush the Allies once and for all?
With all Hitler’s talk about the “Übermensch,” the concept feels closely tied to actual history
The art is dark and visceral, a perfect fit for the horrors of a WWII epic
Seeing how superpowers could be used on the battlefield, and how others respond to it feels highly interesting and natural
So many “Oh, $#!%” moments in the narrative keep you on the edge of your seat, anxious to know what will happen next
There’s something here for fans of WWII or the war genre, but also for horror fans and folks looking for a drama with light sci-fi elements
Over 30 issues are out there, giving the narrative plenty of room to grow and tell a compelling story
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
This IS a war story, so expect violence, gore, cursing, smoking…all kinds of stuff you probably wouldn’t want your young kid reading
Some characters look similar and, with a fast-paced script that also involves spying, it’s sometimes confusing or difficult to differentiate between characters or know what side they’re on
If you’re sick of stories constantly revisiting WWII, there may not be enough non-war content to keep you interested
Apparently, some readers felt the story glorified Nazis (for what it’s worth, I didn’t get that impression whatsoever)
The story's momentum can take a little bit to get going, so it can feel slow at first
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Gillen’s a masterful storyteller and the team breathes new life into a topic that could otherwise feel tired. Whether you love World War II stories, are into horror, or are just here because you love anything Kieron Gillen writes, I think you’ll really like this comic.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan & Niko Henrichon
If you like the art:
Über, Vol. 2 by Kieron Gillen & Caanan White
The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks & Caanan White
X-Men: Messiah Complex by Brubaker, Carey, Kyle, Yost, Silvestri, Tan, Bachalo & Ramos
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Kieron Gillen – Writer
Music Lover: Used to be a music and computer game journalist
Outlander: Hails from London (the one in England, not the one in Ohio)
Loves puns, and often makes them on Twitter
Caanan White – Pencils
His art is influenced by ‘90s artists, like Jim Lee & Marc Silvestri
Huge fan of Superman and Cloak & Dagger
Teaches Illustration (Figure Drawing) at IPFW of Fort Wayne, IN
Keith Williams – Inks
Has inked for Marvel for over 20 years
Was taught by the great Wil Eisner
Also worked on The Phantom for over a decade
Digikore Studios – Colors
Their “Comics” coloring business seems to be part of a larger enterprise featuring technological smart products and Visual Effects
They’re part of “…one of the largest professional setups in the World offering services in Penciling, Inking, Coloring and Lettering”
Kurt Hathaway – Letters
Prolific: Has lettered thousands of issues for publishers like Dark Horse, Image, DC & Marvel over 30+ years in the industry
Founded Cartoon Balloons Studio, a lettering and design studio
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