Book Reviews

(Comic) Book Review: The Umbrella Academy – Hotel Oblivion

Hotel Oblivion is the long-awaited third volume of the Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba. I normally review books, and not comics here, but after reading it I felt this comic book deserved a review.

I’ve been waiting for Hotel Oblivion nearly just as long as I’ve been waiting for the TV show adaption. The second volume of the comics, Dallas, came out in 2009, and I started reading them in around 2011 or 2012 so it’s been a long time!

the umbrella academy comic by gerard way and gabriel ba title page

What I Thought Of Hotel Oblivion

After finishing this, I can completely see why Gerard took his time with the 3rd Umbrella Academy run.

Hotel Oblivion feels like it’s really where the story begins; Apocalypse Suite and Dallas were introducing us to the characters and story, and this is where it takes off.

After Dallas the Umbrella Academy go back to their own lives, but as always, they come back together.

Unbeknownst to the kids, their adoptive father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, had built a hotel-like prison for all the villains the kids had defeated over the years. Years after his passing, their past is coming back to haunt them as his full-proof solution wasn’t so full-proof after all.

This series felt like it came full circle as characters and villains from the previous two volumes made a come-back, but it also felt like a new beginning.

As always, The Umbrella Academy is almost more of a family story than a superhero story as we see the adoptive siblings come back together, and even Diego and Luther teaming up, for once. It also paid more attention to Vanya who hadn’t much of a role in Dallas, so it was nice to see her again. Their dysfunctional as ever, but there’s also something endearing about them. I think everyone grew and developed a lot in Hotel Oblivion and felt more mature.

The ending was so powerful, but also a cliff hanger, so I hope the next run doesn’t take another decade!

What This Means For The Show

title page for the umbrella academy hotel oblivion comic "evil."

Season 1 of the Netflix show incorporated parts of both Apocalypse Suite and Dallas. After reading this I’d imagine they’ll take some inspiration from Hotel Oblivion, but I doubt it will be an exact replica given how season 1 ended. If anything, season 2 might have to depart from the comics entirely because it ended so different anything in the comics.

The show is definitely more loosely based on the comics than an accurate adaption. The core elements of Apocalypse Suite and some features of Dallas were in season 1, but overall, it was a big departure from the comics.

You expect changes from book to movie adaptions, and I’d suspect there have to be bigger changes when I comic gets a show because there’s a lot less content to work with.

Have you read The Umbrella Academy Hotel Oblivion? Are you looking forward to season two?

umbrella academy hotel oblivion cover

5 thoughts on “(Comic) Book Review: The Umbrella Academy – Hotel Oblivion

  1. I loved Umbrella Academy as a comic, but found it hard to get into on Netflix. But my partner and I managed to get through it in a weekend once I got by the initial first episode, and we ended up loving it!

  2. I have seen the show pop up on Netflix, didn’t know it was a comic series before that. Guess I am going to be watching the show on Netflix and read the comics soon. It sounds very interesting and something I would enjoy (and maybe my husband as well).

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