Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #6 – Review
With the first season of The Umbrella Academy on Netflix getting fantastic word-of-mouth, it seemed like time I finally read this series that I’d heard so much about. Right after finishing a Netflix binge, I read the first two collections. I loved them! Knowing that there would be differences, I found myself enjoying the parts that differed. What works in the comics doesn’t always work on television.
This week did see the release of the sixth issue of the current Umbrella Academy series, Hotel Oblivion. In lieu of another “what are the differences? article or speculation about the second season, I opted to review this latest issue. There will inevitably be spoilers, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: HOTEL OBLIVION #6
Publication Date: March 27, 2019
Writer: Gerard Way
Artist: Gabriel Bá
Colorist: Nick Filardi
Cover Artist: Gabriel Bá
Genre: Superhero, Science-Fiction, Action/Adventure
FC / 32 pages / $3.99
Fear is a prison.
Prior to reading this issue, I read the previous issues of this series. This is not the issue to pick up as your intro to the comic book version of the Umbrella Academy. That’s not something to expect, though, especially of a limited series. However, the effects of the television series can be easily seen in this series. We see Seance dealing with drug addiction and there’s the emphasis on the Rumor’s estrangement from her daughter. Fortunately, the series carves new ground by introducing an expanding gallery of villains the Umbrella Academy’s father exiled to an extra-dimensional prison that resembles a hotel.
This is probably the most action-packed issue of the Umbrella Academy since they faced off against Vanya. There is a lot of action and it all serves to advance the plot. What’s amazing is that there’s time among all of this to have moments of levity. One thing that the series is successful with is showing how powerful some of these super-humans actually are. The Rumor and Seance are revealed as possibly the most powerful of the team, but this is hardly a surprise. We see that they are not the most dangerous with villains like the Scientific Man and Terminal, we discover that the threats are so great that they need to be faced by powerful and resourceful heroes.
Gabriel Bá’s artwork blends so nicely with the story. It’s different enough from the mainstream that this doesn’t feel at all like a super-hero story. It feels different, and that works to make the point that this is a different type of super-hero story. With this series, that is a real challenge and Gabriel Bá has stepped up to the challenge.
My reading of Umbrella Academy both past and present has me very intrigued as to how this story will end. Gerard Way has a habit of ending the threat early and revealing something special to the plot that wasn’t readily apparent throughout. The Eiffel Tower book-ended the first series. The reasons for Kennedy’s death gave purpose to the mission in Dallas. I’m intrigued where this series will go.
By the way, my first choice for a new writer on Legion of Super-Heroes is Gerard Way.