Tripwire’s contributing editor Tim Cundle takes a look at Dark Horse’s The Umbrella Academy Volume Two: Dallas (Library Edition) out the end of November…
The Umbrella Academy Volume Two: Dallas (Library Edition)
Writer: Gerard Way
Artist: Gabriel Ba
Colourist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Nate Piekos (Dark Horse)
When The Umbrella Academy first materialised a decade or so ago, becoming a cause célèbre in the process, I ignored it because it was written by Gerard Way. It wasn’t that I had anything against Way as an author as he wasn’t a known entity in that department. My reason for shunning The Umbrella Academy was due to his lack of credibility in terms of punk. As leader of the lightweight My Chemical Romance, I assumed he had no artistic merit due to his appropriation and misuse of punk tropes.
It turned out that I was mistaken. Watching the first season of the show on Netflix and then spending an afternoon ploughing through volume one of The Umbrella Academy made me realise how worthwhile and innovative the series was.
What became immediately apparent when I read through Dallas is that the debut season of the Netflix show incorporated certain elements from the first and second story arcs of the comic. Cha-Cha and Hazel, the agents sent to bring Number Five back to the shadowy organisation that kept time in check were one of the show’s best features. They don’t actually appear until Dallas’ middle act when the truth about Five is finally revealed in a far more twisted, involving and gruesome fashion than it ever was on screen.
Dallas, as is eminently obvious, revolves around the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Following the climactic events of Apocalypse Suite, Umbrella Academy’s involvement is in making sure that said murder doesn’t and does happen thanks to the tangled web that is Five’s life, which has ensnared them all. Smart and genuinely bizarre, Dallas is the sort of book that one would like to see far more of, while its haunting and beautiful art very much draws inspiration from Mike Mignola. As the series progresses, the promise of more trippy and weirder story elements is palpable, with Way and Ba’s storytelling developing beyond expectation. Welcome to the Academy… Tim Cundle
The Umbrella Academy Volume Two: Dallas (Library Edition) is published by Dark Horse Comics and will be available on November 26th. Pre-order it here