Comic Picks By The Glick

The Umbrella Academy vol. 3: Hotel Oblivion

October 27, 2019

Okay, so it’s been… *goes to check the publication date on vol. 2* TEN YEARS since the last volume of this series was published?!  I guess I should be glad that only two volumes were published before now. If more had been released, and then we’d been hit with a ten-year gap between volumes, I’d probably be angry.  In this case, I’m honestly surprised that vol. 3 reads as well as it does given the gap between volumes.


It really helps that the concept behind the titular hotel is really easy to grasp:  It’s the place where Sir. Reginald Hargreeves, the creator/father figure of the Umbrella Academy sent their defeated adversaries after each battle.  The problem is that with Hargreeves now long dead the Hotel and its security measures have fallen into disrepair, leading some of its inhabitants to believe that now is the right time to make an escape.  Meanwhile, the adult members/survivors of the Academy are still trying to find some way to give their lives some meaning. For Luther and Diego, that means putting aside old rivalries to head into an unknown part of the universe to look for answers regarding their father.  The Boy has taken up freelance industrial espionage, Klaus is doing seances for bikers who give him drugs, and Allison is still dealing with the repercussions of using her powers to secure her one significant non-family relationship. As for Vanya, she’s still going through physical rehabilitation after her stint as the White Violin, but she’s about to get some help from a familiar and and yet unexpected source.


While a re-read of the previous volumes probably would’ve helped, vol. 3 is still entertaining on its own terms.  Way’s imaginative quirkiness is still fully intact and capable of leading the reader to places both funny and unnerving -- sometimes at the same time.  Gabriel Ba’s art is also effortlessly inventive, creating a surreal world that deserves a group of superhumans as damaged as the members of the Academy are to protect it.  I was certainly glad to see the Academy’s return after all this time. That being said, Way and Ba had better not let another decade go by before we get vol. 4 after this volume ends on a cliffhanger.  That’d be beyond rude -- the definition of a dick move.

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