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Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #2 Review

3 min read

”Will you and I just wind up collecting dust?”

Creative Staff:
Writer: Gerard Way
Art: Gabriel Ba
Colors: Nick Filardi
Letterer: Nate Piekos

What They Say:
As big-business interests close in on the overgrown adolescents of the Umbrella Academy, unlikely alliances are formed and two brothers head into deep space. Also: Ballroom dancing! A Magic Eightball! Cowboys! Dollhouses! And more . . . ! Soon to be a Netflix original series.

Content: (warning, spoilers)
What made the first issue of this Hotel Oblivion arc difficult to get through was just how cryptic it was. The entirety of the issue was meant for you to be confused, with absolutely nothing for you to grasp onto in terms of a story or direction.

With this second issue, we continue to be in the dark about the titular Hotel Oblivion, but at least we have a better idea of where the former Umbrella Academy members are as of late. We open with former Academy member Klaus now a full-blown drug addict, getting payment through underground séances. Elsewhere, Luther lives up to his codename of “Spaceboy” and begins liftoff into space on what’s apparently an off-the-books mission. Allison looks to be picking up the pieces of a broken relationship that was only begun due to her powers of persuasion. Number Five continues his job as an assassin. And to top things off, Vanya continues to recover in the hospital with her “mother” Mrs. Hargreeves at her side.

As broken as the family has always been, it’s nice to get some kind of reminder of just how broken everyone is. You get a sense of isolation with each character, and you get just the right amount of knowledge/reminder of their powers and the legacy they left as a crime-fighting family. Tiny details like a news report mentioning the Paris mission from the series’ first arc, give the impression that you’ve stepped in the middle of a world already happening, and not just one built within the confines of a comic book. So when you see each cast member currently down on their luck, it actually feels like time has passed for the worse and you wish to see them get their life back to what it once was.

It’s messy and complicated as are most fallouts, but it’s interesting enough to keep my attention. If anything, I just wish that Vanya and Mrs. Hargreeves continue to get more screentime, as they’ve always come off as the most interesting of the Academy members. Where other members have lost so much, those two feel the most “together” in the present time, and thus the most capable of bringing everyone back together.

In Summary:
Where the first issue spent more time building up intrigue, Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion issue 2 feels like a more proper re-introduction of the cast. While names are rarely mentioned, you are treated to some superhero antics turned on their head, as we’re given glimpses into the life of these superhero has-beens. The gang is still as broken up as they ever were, but at least it feels like the last of the introductions have happened and the time for story is just around the corner.

Grade: B-

Age Rating: T+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 7th, 2018
MSRP: $3.99

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