Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1
Part One: Evil
Written by: Gerard Way
Art by: Gabriel Ba
Colors by: Nick Falardi
Letters: Nate Piekos (for Blambot)
Faced with an increasing number of lunatics with superpowers eager to face off with his own wunderkind brood, Sir Reginald Hargreeves developed the ultimate solution. Now, just a few years after Hargreeves’s death, his Umbrella Academy is scattered. Number Five is a hired gun, Kraken is stalking big game, Rumor is dealing with the wreckage of her marriage, a rotund Spaceboy runs around the streets of Tokyo, Vanya continues her physical therapy after being shot in the head–and no one wants to even mention Seance until issue #2.
Umbrella Academy has always been a series that hits the ground running, tossing ideas over its shoulder’s left and right. That’s just how Gerard Way writes. It’s fucking great and Hotel Oblivion is no different, as the story opens in medias res, albeit in the past. This brief flashback excellently establishes the primary concept (so far at least) of the series; the Hotel Oblivion, a prison/rehab center of sorts for villains. What’s great about this whole intro is we also get to see Sir Hargreeves again, and as has been hinted in the past, not everything is what it seems with the mysterious old man (just check out the title of the issue). And just who and what is the Scientific Man? (great name!)
Way also does a great job of catching us up with the UA kids once the story jumps to the present. We can see the siblings are all spread out, still from the events of volume 2, Dallas.
It’s not all set up though, as we get a few great, kinetic action scenes with Number Five, Kraken and fan-favorite Space Boy (who has put on some pounds!).
Gabriel Ba is a fantastic artist and Umbrella Academy never fails to be a showcase for his talents. When you add Nick Faraldi’s colors into the mix, you get comic book art that has it’s own distinct style, while at the same time evoking everything from classic animation, manga, Euro comics, Kirby, Mignola, the list can go on. UA is a story deeply rooted in the medium that embraces all the tools the art form provides.
Nate Piekos also does excellent lettering work. There are multiple fonts and dynamic world balloon shapes. Great work.
Umbrella Academy is already a classic series, and Hotel Oblivion is already on it’s way to joining the previous volumes. A Way and Ba collaboration is always a cause for celebration, so you definitely need to check into the Hotel Oblivion.