Review – The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1

The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1 - Dark Horse Comics

Written by Gerard Way

Art by Gabriel Ba

Colors by Nick Filardi

Letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot

Sometimes it's hard for family to stick together.  You know how it is, people have busy lives and they just sort of lose touch.  When it comes to the adopted family of The Umbrella Academy, it's definitely more complicated than that.  With the Netflix series not too far away, Dark Horse is adding another chapter to their story.  Let's check in to the Hotel Oblivion.

The title itself is a bit misleading, and I'll tell you why.  Yes we do get to see this hotel, and a very familiar villain that would become a guest, but that does not seem to be the main part of the story.  The focus here is on the team themselves, and how they are all over the place.  Spaceboy is off trying to find information on his father, with The Kraken just happening to be tagging along.  The Boy is off doing his own thing, and quite the violent thing at that.  The Rumor is actually helping The White Violin with her recovery, although it may not be as simple as that.  I could go on, but basically this was like a "where are they now" type of situation in this first issue.  That's not to say that we don't get back to the Hotel itself, because an escape seems to be in the works.  The interesting part is not who is trying to get out, but rather who may be helping them.  That question will, I'm sure, keep Umbrella Academy fans debating until the next issue.

If you were a fan of these characters going in, this book will not disappoint you.  At the very least, you get a current look at what is going on with everyone and what the path looks like going forward.  New readers may want to do, at the very least, a little research before diving into this issue.  It won't take much, but it's necessary to really get a good appreciation of what is going on.  I know these books tend to be pretty weird, but this one wasn't so weird that you couldn't follow it.  While it was a bit all over the place, I think it was necessary in this instance to make sure that all of the bases are covered.  Since we got very little in the way of a linear story, it's hard to really critique this first issue, so I will save my observations for the next one.  It should surprise no one that Gabriel Ba delivers some solid artwork here, and Filardi's colors make for a great compliment to that.  The jury is still out for me on this one, but it's nice to see the team (kind of) back together.


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