Review: The Umbrella Academy: Dallas

Last year My Chemical Romance’s front man Gerard Way moved into the comics scene with the Umbrella Academy, and it surprised everyone by being good…REALLY good…like best book of the year good.  Now Way and his Eisner award-winning partner Gabriel Ba are back with Dallas, and it proves that they weren’t just one hit wonders.

Dallas is quite as strong an outing as the first book was but its damn close.  Way’s strong characterization and runaway imagination are on full display here, and Ba gets to show of exactly why he earned that Eisner.  

Really the only fault is that the story doesn’t quite hang together as well as it could, but that’s only natural given that this is the story of number five, a possibly immortal, time traveling assassin, stuck in a 10-year-old body.  Time travel plots often leads to a bit of chaos and Way does let it get away from him a bit, there’s one sub plot that never gets resolved, and never really ties in to the rest of the story.  But that only takes up 6 pages of the book and is easily overlooked considering you get to witness wonders like a 3-way battle between an ancient mummy, and man with the body of an obese gorilla, and a battalion of Viet Cong vampires in 1963.

But this book is more than just wacky over the top fun (although it’s that too).  Number 5’s life story is a deeply tragic one, that has left him as a complete wreck of a person.  And of course the rest of the cast isn’t much better off, certainly not by the story’s end.  Which just makes the wait for the start of volume 3 even harder.

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