What is going on?


When the Major Spoilers Crew reviewed the first volume of The Umbrella Academy, it was pretty much agreed that this was a rocking series.  So when it was announced Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba were teaming up again for an all new adventure, I was on board for that mystery trip.  But man, is this series a head trip and a half.

umbrella2cover_1.jpgThere’s something about the time jumping Number Five.  The spooky kid that doesn’t age, but spent an eternity in the future before figuring out a way to return to his family and saving the day in the process, is the key to this whole affair.  Problem is, readers don’t know what the whole affair is about.

As seen in the last issue, the Umbrella Academy family has become quite dysfunctional following the events of the Apocalypse Suite; Spaceboy is fat and bloated, Violin is confined to a bed, Rumor is speechless, Seance is trying to find his place in the changed world, and Kraken is being Kraken trying to figure out why people are still dying.

There is still a great deal of sibling fighting going, which ends up filling about a fifth of the issue.  It does feature conversations that need to be said, but it lands in the middle of the whole Where is Number Five? story line, that it becomes the equivalent of having to sit through a commercial break when you are waiting to find out who wins the Super Bowl.

It just isn’t Kraken who’s hell bent on playing the master detective in trying to find out where his brother is, so are the police, who have questions about all those dead assassins Number Five killed at the end of last issue.  There’s a great exchange between Kraken, Inspector Lupo, and his sidekick chimp Body, that is very much a take on the Batman character, all the way down to Kraken leaving through the window in a not so mysterious way.

Also thrown in the mix are two masked freaks who appear to have a thing for food and killing.  It’s a pretty bizarre set up as the reader is tossed in the middle of their conversation and subsequent hacking up of a local diner hash slinger.  I can’t tell if Gerard Way is writing this issue or if he asked Quentin Tarantino to do some ghost writing.  It’s pretty graphic, and probably not something you wÃ¥ould want to have the young’uns reading just before bed – or going out for dinner.  These two are working for some mysterious boss figure, who also wants them to track down Number Five, and they eventually make their way to Umbrella HQ, where they are able to capture Seance.  This will presumably lead to a Reservoir Dogs torture sequence next issue.

So where is Number Five?  He’s holed up in a cheap motel with one of the sentient chimps of this world dressed up as Marilyn Monroe, singing Happy Birthday, Mr. President over and over again.  It is pretty disturbing – really.  If I were in the same situation as Number Five, the last thing I would want to happen would be to have my sister bust in.  Thank goodness I’m not Number Five, as that is exactly what happens when Rumor enters demanding to know everything.

The Good

  • Monkey Marilyn Monroe
  • Number Five is still alive
  • Crazy masked dudes and their Pulp Fiction moments
  • The art rocks

The Bad

  • Still no idea what is going on

The first issue seemed more like a prologue to this second volume, than the first chapter of the story.  After reading this issue, it really is the opening salvo to the senses that kicks off this arc.  Two issues in and I couldn’t tell you what is going on, except to speculate that perhaps during his time jumps JFK’s brain somehow wound up in Number Five’s head.  I like the mystery, but borders on the insane.  I’m hoping the third issue fills in some holes and moves the plot along.  That being said, The Umbrella Academy: Dallas #2 earns 3.5 out of 5 Stars.



The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. cory
    December 30, 2008 at 7:24 pm — Reply

    If we knew EXACTLY where everything was going in this series then it would be pretty predictable and thus boring.

    The fact that we have no f-ing idea where the story will end up is a very good thing especially in these days of MASSIVE COMIC BOOK EVENTS where the talentless Bendis and Quesada lead their “readers” to EXACTLY the Same Spot where we started a year or two ago.

  2. December 30, 2008 at 8:30 pm — Reply

    I love these cliff hangers. The fact that we’re anticipatingevery issue to see where the series will go is, in my eyes, a very good thing as it keeps us interested.

    Still, Gerard Way has to be careful as there is a thin line between keeping the audience in suspense and keeping the audience so confused they don’t even understand the story.

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