One Mad Dog

[Umbrella Academy Vol.2 : Dallas) – (Gerard Way, Gabriel Ba)
April 11, 2011, 8:21 pm
Filed under: 8 Stars, Gabriel Ba, Gerard Way, Umbrella Academy

“Dallas” collects the second 6 issue mini series written by Gerard Way (from the band My Chemical Romance) and illustrated by Gabriel Ba. I really enjoyed the first book and thought it would be a pretty hard act to follow but I am pleased to report that this book builds upon it in every way. After the climatic conclusion of the first TPB we find our disfunctional superheros trying to sift through the wreckage only to find out that number 5’s sordid past is catching up with him and the Umbrella Academy are called to battle once again. “Dallas” is a cleverly scripted story centered around number 5’s role as a time travelling super assassin and the Umbrella academies attempts to prevent a certain famous assassination in Dallas and perhaps save the world.

“Dallas” develops the volatile interelationships between the siblings and is action packed with all manner of unusual foes. The story is engaging from start to finish and numbers 5’s backstory is particularily inventive. Things started to get a little complicated in the last two chapters but it all falls into place by the end.

Gabriel Ba’s artwork and over the top comic violence are real eye candy and they complement the increasingly strange story rather well. I still find it funny how many apes appear in the stories but they don’t seem out of place (Homage to Tom Strong perhaps?).  If you enjoyed the first book you should enjoy this one as well, especially as this one has some nice bonus material too. [ISBN-13: 978-1595823458]. 8/10

[The Umbrella Academy V.1: Apocalypse Suite] – (Gerard Way, Gabriel Ba)
April 4, 2011, 2:14 pm
Filed under: 8 Stars, Gabriel Ba, Gerard Way, Umbrella Academy

The APOCALYPSE SUITE collects the 6 issue mini series written by  Gerard Way (from the band My Chemical Romance) and illustrated by Gabriel Ba. It is a very different kind of superhero book featuring 7 dysfunctional children and their adopted alien father in a setting that has a bit of a steam punk feel to it. The main story centers around the death of their father “Sir Reginald Hargreeves” and the reformation of their group, the Umbrella Academy,  to save the world from an unspecified future cataclysmn.

It was the art that drew me to the Umbrella Academy. The drawings and coloring have a richness to them that capture a strange Victorian SCi-FI style world in a way that is extremely pleasing to the eye. The story is good too, with some very strange and quirky characters and an engaging main plot. The interpersonal relationships between the Umbrella Academy are volatile to say the least and this results in some intriuging and often very violent interractions.

Apocalypse suite has elements from several genres (Tom Strong and The League of extraordinary Gentlemen spring to mind) but it somehow manages to have a unique and fresh feel. [ISBN-13: 978-1593079789.] 8/10