Friday, 19 September 2014

Deep Sequencing: Ubergesehicht

Or a comparative timeline between the true history of WW2 and the fictional WW2 of Uber
by Kieron Gillen, Caanan White, Keith Williams, and Digikore Studios; Avatar Press

Uber is a comic that posits an alternate history where Nazi Germany unleashes a force of superhumans in the final days of WW2. This prevents German defeat and causes the war to drag on in a way that diverges from actual history. The contrast and relationship between Uber's fictional history and the real history of WW2 is one of my favourite aspects of the comic. It's adroitly done and interesting to puzzle over.

Uber is also interesting because it falls into that category of alternate history that has rigorously reported timestamps. Virtually every major event in Uber Vol. 1 has the date of the event reported to the audience which is a choice I really, really like. I like it because it gives Uber an authority and a granular, material aspect that makes the comic feel more solid and realistic somehow. For me it changes the language of the comic from "World War 2 superhero adventure" to "thoughtful exploration of a given premise". Less Science Fantasy and more Sci-fi. I also like this choice because it means you can make a nifty timeline comparing the events of Uber to actual history on a day-by-day basis!

(And I love making timelines!)

This is a timeline piece, so it, basically by definition, has a ton of *SPOILERS*.

A few quick methodology points. On the Uber side I focused on the kind of major events that would be recorded in history books, there are events that are tied to dates in the comic that do not appear on the Uber timeline. A couple Uber points are approximate, since the relationship between the date stamp and the point in the timeline is a little nebulous. I did my best, but you know, it's still a bit imperfect. On the History timeline I used Wikipedia's date entry articles (Wiki "May 2") and if that failed I got info from "Today in History" from So you know, armchair research as opposed to carefully sourced stuff. Take this as infotainment. I tried to make History timeline entries for every day with an entry on the Uber timeline and also included what I considered salient events on days not appearing in Uber that fall within the time covered in the comic (like VE-Day on May 8th 1945). Also, presumably some of the details on the History side of the timeline also appear on the Uber side (like the death of Roosevelt), but I only included events depicted in the comic. You'll have to use your judgement a bit. I feel like this is an overall reasonable approach to compare and contrast the divergent timelines of Uber and History.

Apologies in advance for any mistakes!

So I Read Uber

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