March 17th, 2014
Über #0-10, by Kieron Gillen, Caanan White, Joseph Silver, Kurt Hathaway and Digicore Studios
Kieron Gillen let the mask slip a little at the start, when he positioned this comic as the anti-ASS, as a refutation of Superman’s central place in 20th Century history, in a spiel designed to mark Über out as being a comic free of the sort of self-commentary that defines so many modern superhero comics. “It’s probably the least ironic book I’ve ever written,” he said:
It has nothing to say about superhero comics. In fact, its utter negation of that genre-criticism may be the closest it comes to commentary. I’ve read many books which seem to labour under the delusion that the conception of Superman was the most important moment in the 1930s. This isn’t one of them. My only interest is in how I can use this genre’s conceit to create metaphors to explores aspects of WW2…
This comment, buried as it was in the mix of metatextual soul searching and historical gamesmanship of Über #0′s backmatter, provides the key to understanding the uncanny dynamics of this comic. In attempting to ward off irony and meta-commentary, Gillen negated any possibility of this comic escaping the superhero meta-conversation. Which, it turns out, is actually quite fitting in the end. Carefully researched as Über might be, with everything from troop movements to weather conditions having been taken into account, this WW2 with superheroes fantasy is still a superhero fantasy, and as such it manages the odd trick of destroying both history and genre conventions and reinforcing them at the same time.
In contrast to the carefully composed alternate reality of All Star Superman – with its suggestion of a world where greed, imperialism and mortal panic exist but are never the only options – Gillen and White present an alt-modernity in which the foundational horrors of the mid 20th Century era are all there but louder.
October 28th, 2013
SHE DID IT JUST LIKE SISTER RAY SAID
Oh hello. It’s Disembodied Morrisseybot X – 15735 here, and it really is too awfully dreary to be sentient isn’t it? No doubt I shall expire soon in a drizzle of lukewarm tea and ennui.
I suppose I should blunder blindly through this maddeningly dull preamble and lead you by the gilded glove to the rancid spectacle that is this week’s edition of SILENCE!
<ITEM> Somebody take my pulse and check I haven’t slipped away into the gloom, as we endure the administrative business at the top of the show…sponsorship, ghost girls in the comic shop and more information about the upcoming SILENCE LIVE at this year’s Thought Bubble. How plainly sickening and cruel.
<ITEM> It only gets more gruesome as those two boarish blitherers head into the Reviewniverse, old bones groaning. Puffing and wheezing they sing the praises, or cast onto the stones, the following comic books: Pretty Deadly, Hinterkind, Indestructible Huls Special, Wolverine & The X-Men, Velvet, Daredevil, Young Avengers, Samurai Jack and Marvel Now What..?!
Really. I’d rather not.
<ITEM> In a typically ham-fisted attempt at retaining their skinny fingers on the pulse, the two sample the questionable pleasures of the Captain America: Winter Soldier trailer… absolutely vile.
And so we come, inevitably to the end; alas all things must end, especially those precious and delicate moments of respite from the sordid boredom of life. Although in this instance I’m rather glad to see the back of it!
Life is very long, when you’re listening to podcasts…