No Weddings and a Funeral


The Umbrella Academy #2

The Academy’s “father,” Professor Hargreeves, is dead, and they can’t even get the whole family together for a nice funeral. Spaceboy, the responsible leader with a gorilla’s body, tries to keep everyone in line; the Kraken, the rebellious outsider, starts trouble; the Rumor, the beautiful lie-teller, tries to make peace; the Seance, the morbid psychic, smirks at everything; the Horror, the tentacled hero, is dead; 00.05, the time-traveller, has mysteriously returned and is still just 10 years old; and Vanya, the estranged, unpowered violin-player, doesn’t even show up for the service.

There’s a colossal amount of drama, from the Terminauts attacking the city, to 00.05’s tales of a looming apocalypse, to the ominous Orchestra Verdammten, who want Vanya to help them destroy the world with her violin. And there’s the funeral, which is just completely buried in family dysfunction, as Spaceboy and Kraken fight each other, the family’s mother actually gets disrobed (she’s a robotic “visible woman” model who hates wearing limbs because they’re uncomfortable), and Pogo, the Academy’s chimpanzee administrator, tries to keep everything civil. And with the prophesied end of the world only days away, can the Academy bring themselves to work together?

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first issue, but it’s still pretty great. The dysfunctional relationships make the family feel very realistic, and the introduction of the diabolical Orchestra Verdammten is very dramatic and impressive. There are plenty of moments of brain-popping inventiveness, including 00.05’s time spent in the future, where he grows old trying to remember how to travel back to the present, only to be reminded by a statue that he made a math mistake in his chronal calculations twelve years ago.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is turning out to be an incredibly fun comic.

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