Comic Book Review: The Umbrella Academy – Hotel Oblivion

The Umbrella Academy Hotel Oblivion

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The Umbrellas are back to save the universe again in The Umbrella Academy – Hotel Oblivion! This time Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba introduce readers to a shady hotel/prison in another dimension, a spoiled billionaire messing with things he doesn’t understand, a lost and rediscovered spaceship, and a weird religious (maybe) group all converging together on our Umbrellas. Mayhem ensues. But The Umbrellas emerge triumphantly! Wait, those aren’t the Umbrellas, there are birds on their uniforms… What is going on!?!

[Warning: My review of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s The Umbrella Academy – Hotel Oblivion contains some spoilers!]

The Umbrella Academy is scattered again

The family starts off once again scattered around the world. Diego and Luther are in Japan looking for Dr. Zoo, an old acquaintance of their father’s. They’re hoping to get Luther into hero shape again after he let himself go in The Umbrella Academy – Dallas. In the process, they get roped into a space adventure and travel to the edges of space and beyond. 

Five is now a hired gun. He’s contracted to investigate a shady billionaire named Perseus. He reaches out to Allison for help and she agrees in return for a favor. During their investigation, Five and Allison get caught in the middle of an interdimensional prison break that derails everything.

Meanwhile, Klaus is being kept in a drug-addled state by a biker gang. The gang uses his powers to con rich people out of money. Klaus proves himself the biggest con artist of all by double-crossing everyone. Things look pretty bad for him when he celebrates his “victory” by ODing. But this is Klaus so don’t count him out yet.

the Umbrella Academy - Hotel Oblivion
Cover of The Umbrella Academy – Hotel Oblivion #5

Finally, Vanya is spirited away by their robot mother to meet a possible religious-based cult. This whole situation leaves the readers with a lot of questions. None of these questions are resolved by the end of Hotel Oblivion, leaving me with an unfulfilled feeling. Hopefully, they don’t just get dropped by the wayside like other side-plots in Dallas and Apocalypse Suite were.

There is one more important storyline in the comic. It follows two prisoners trying to escape from the Hotel Oblivion. A hotel that is actually a prison for all the Umbrella’s worse villains. Their escape of course unintentionally leads to a mass break-out, unleashing all of these baddies on the world at once.

All these separate storylines end up coming together in one ultimate final battle that brings everyone together. Will our Umbrellas emerge victorious? Will the new players upstage them? Do the Umbrella’s finally get therapy? (They need it!) Well, they’ve already handled two apocalypses, so there is hope.

The artistic style of The Umbrella Academy – Hotel Oblivion

Gabriel Ba’s distinctive look returns again in Hotel Oblivion. The general feeling is that a very emo child got ahold of the comic. Although seeing that Gerard Way is the lead singer of My Chemical Romance, pairing his story with an emo artist makes sense.

The look is very simplistic but the colors are dark and bold, giving an overall feeling of danger to the panels. Ba’s use of sharp angles is everywhere, nothing is rounded out to give a sense of comfort to our heroes. Extremely dark outlines make sure that everyone is separate and alone. I like realistic art personally but I can appreciate the way Ba’s style complements the Umbrella’s story.

Great summer read

Hotel Oblivion is a fast-paced story that keeps the reader fully engaged the whole time. I really liked how the very different starting points all ended up fitting perfectly together in the end.

The story did leave a few questions out on the table. It also didn’t wrap up any of the loose ends that Dallas or Apocalypse Suite left hanging. Both of these are frustrating to me. I NEED to know! However, they weren’t huge plot points (aside from those pesky bird people) so the loose ends don’t detract from the overall story.

I honestly liked this story better than Dallas. Maybe even better than Apocalypse Suite. The best part is you really don’t need to read the previous books to enjoy The Umbrella Academy – Hotel Oblivion. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, fun read this summer.

Rating: 8/10

The Umbrella Academy – Hotel Oblivion by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba is available on BAM! and other booksellers now! [As affiliates of BAM! we may receive a commission from purchases made via the above link]

Have you read The Umbrella Academy – Hotel Oblivion? What did you think? Let us know over on Twitter or Facebook! If you haven’t already, check out my reviews for The Umbrella Academy – The Apocolypse Suite and The Umbrella Academy – Dallas!

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