Sunday, 13 December 2009

Umbrella Academy: Dallas #1 review



Hi everybody! I'm taking a break from Transformers for a while since where I come from the second issue of the ongoing doesn't come out until 16 December! So as an interim measure, I'm reviewing the awesome superhero series from Dark Horse, The Umbrella Academy. I know you're gonna like this one...

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: DALLAS #1
Written by GERARD WAY
Art by GABRIEL BA
Colors by DAVE STEWART
Covers by JIM LEE

SYNOPSIS: the issue opens with a flashback. The Monocle (founder of the Umbrella Academy) and US President Kennedydiscuss a problem only the Academy can solve. Meanwhile, the Lincoln Memorial attacks The Umbrella Academy but is stopped when the rumor says she heard Lincoln was assassinated, thereby manifesting a statue of John Wilkes Booth. The statue then kills Lincoln with a Derringer. The Monocle applauds their efforts. Number 6 (The Horror, now deceased) complains that they don't get ice cream any more. Rumor tells him to grow up. We then jump forward to present day. Vanya has no memory of her involvement in Ocrchestra Verdammten, Seance has become famous, Luther watches TV and eats cookies, Allison has lost her voice and hates Vanya, and Kraken investigates. Number 5 goes to the dog races and loses. On the way out he is attacked by a large number of dudeds called the Temps Aeternalis. He quickly and bloodily kills them. One of the Temps calls for someone called Hazel and Cha-Cha to come. Number 5 is horrified at this, saying, "We're already dead."

THE ART: I really like Gabriel Ba. His stylized artwork really fits the story. His expert use of line and shadow convey the story perfectly. Though his panel shots and layout are nothing out of the ordinary, he seems to have a great idea fof slowly paying off the action. There's always a character just out of view that we can't quite see until the last minute, which is great for this plot. We don't know what happened to the characters since Apocalyse Suite, so he does a great job of making it interesting. Dark Horse's colorist extraordianaire Dave Stewart does a stunning job on coloring this baby up, bringing out the best in Gabriel's lines. Somewhat disturbing is his uncanny knack for coloring the bloody conflict of Number 5 against the Temps Aeternalis. He makes the copious amounts of blood stand out like a chocolate bar in a swimming pol, which is awesome and disgusting at the same time. But then again, Stewart is the colorist for Hellboy, Witchfinder, and BPRD, so I guess I shouldn't really be surprised. Great job overall, I have no complaints whatsoever. I love this.

THE STORY: Gerard Way has done a superb job writing this issue. I read the Apocalyse Suite TPB (last Umbrella series) a couple months ago and loved it instantly. And it's the same here. He has come up with some of the most crazy and yet very realistic events that advance the story while asking questions and intriguing the reader. The Lincoln Memorial Statue coming to life and being defeated by a similar statue of John Wilkes Booth ("Sic semper tyrannis!") is awesomely nutty, while the reappearance of the Temps Aeternalis is interesting; Number 5 got attacked by them in the last arc and they obviously have had dealings of some sort in the past. Exactly what did Number 5 do in the sixty five years or so he was trapped in the future? And I just love Spaceboy sitting at home getting fat. He was the best in the team, because he was the front line of protection against Earth attack. Now that the danger is over he has nothing to do in life and so watches TV while eating cookies. Sad, though. Is this what the great Spaceboy does with his life now? Not exactly the reaction I thought he'd take, but a good one nonetheless.So Gerard writes extremely well and is the king of a slow pay-off. The overall results are:

ART RATING: 8.5 out of 10
STORY RATING: 9 out of 10
OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10

FAVE QUOTE: Monocle: --Your lie manifesting into an equally graven image of John Wilkes Booth, armed with a Derringer, no less [...] How were you certain that was going to work[...]?
Rumor (No.3): I wasn't. [Oh snap!]

VERDICT: A well-scripted and innovatively executed issue. Gabriel and Dave were by far the best guys in the creative team for this one. But great work all round, and stunning inside flap synopsis. Next month: the arrival of Hazel and Cha-Cha! But who are Hazel and Cha-Cha? Rated 9.5 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 1:47 pm, SUNDAY 13 December

4 comments:

  1. good review. This comic seems quite cool!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is. Check it out! The TPB is out now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. refreshing comic, much like a fru-ju

    ReplyDelete
  4. check out: http://www.hottoys.com.hk/

    ReplyDelete

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