The plotting in the second issue of Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion is scattershot. I had to go back and read the first issue again to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. It makes sense that the story isn’t smooth; right now, the special siblings raised by a wealthy alien in human skin (Hargreeves) are currently not a team but are scattered about, each focused very much on their own goals, making this a complex, character-driven story. There are underpinnings of a story dealing with the Hotel Oblivion – a sort of prison on another planet for supervillains that has been left unattended since the untimely death of Hargreeves and a prison break.
This second issue is difficult to review. Some of the character dynamics don’t make a lot of sense based on what happened in the previous issue, and other characters are in situations that don’t connect with anything that’s happened previously. Then, there are elements that are so shrouded in mystery that I don’t know what to make of them. This is like playing someone at chess who is far better than you; you see all of the pieces but can’t make heads or tails of what they’ll do next. Considering that the previous volumes were brilliant, I can only imagine that there’s a plan in place that will blow me away.
This issue does introduce us to a crazy, Sam Elliott-like cowboy called Mr. Calhoun. We only spend two pages with him, but it’s enough to leave a lasting impression. We catch up with The Séance who’s working with a couple of biker dudes who are feeding him drugs (I guess.) if he helps them make money from contacting dead people for paying clients. It’s seedy. It’s intriguing. And that’s the thing: There are so many intriguing elements at play that I don’t know which one to attach myself to yet. Here’s hoping issue three will bring a little more clarity.
Creative Team: Gerard Way (writer), Gabriel Bá (artist), Nick Filardi (colors), Nate Piekos from Blambot (letters), Scott Allie (editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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