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Advance Review – The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1 (Dark Horse)

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Gerard Way
Artwork: Gabriel Bá
Colours: Nick Filardi
Letters: Nate Piekos
Release Date: 3rd October 2018


With the increase in the number of super powered villains springing up, Sir Reginald Hargreaves has developed the ultimate solution for those captured by his gifted Children – a trans-dimensional prison known by its guests as Hotel Oblivion. However, a few years after his death, things are not going well. The Umbrella Academy is dissolved, Number 5 is now an assassin for hire, The Kraken and Space Boy are in Japan hunting for an old colleague of Hargreaves’, Rumour is nursing Vanya back to health and Séance… well we’ll get to him another day.

In 2007, Gerard Way & Gabriel Bá created Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, a series that became an instant classic with Way himself citing Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol as one of his major influences. In 2008 we saw the release of Umbrella Academy: Dallas. It has been nine years since Gerard Way first announced that the next story, Hotel Oblivion was in the works, and there have been some major stumbling blocks along the way to getting this into print but boy has the wait been worth it!

From the point of view of the characters almost no time has passed since we last saw them, and it’s fantastic to see them as fully formed and recognisable as they were almost a decade ago. The downside to this is that if you haven’t already read the first two books then you’re going to struggle to get up to speed so I’d heartily recommend getting those read first.

Right, everybody caught up? Good!

As I was saying, the characters we’ve grown to know and love are all here, including some old ones we’d thought long gone. I was a massive fan of the series when it first arrived and Way has consistently provided us with a fantastic world filled with fantastic characters. Gabriel Bá’s artwork really brings all the weird and wonderful creations of Way’s mind to life with such vividness and inventiveness that it’s a delight to revisit them and to see them new and fresh.

The first two series were coloured by the legendary Dave Stewart and whilst it’s sad to see he’s not attached to this, Nick Filardi does an excellent job of filling his boots and while he stays faithful to the original style there is something fresh and vibrant in the brilliant contribution he’s made to this project.

As opening issues go, this is a textbook example of how it should be done, and this for me feels like the start of the final episode in a trilogy, pulling together all the strings of the previous stories. It also feels like things are ramping up to something way bigger than we’ve seen so far and I’m really excited about what Way and Bá have in store for us.

Rating: 4/5.


[PREVIEW ARTWORK]





The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏


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