Reading “The Umbrella Academy: Dallas” #1 is just another reminder to me of how good the initial “The Umbrella Academy” mini-series was. A perfect mixture of superheroics and off-the-wall strangeness, I’m just delighted with how much fun each new “The Umbrella Academy” issue is, with Gerard Way bringing a sharp level of wit and fun to each new issue.
From fighting gigantic monuments that come to life, to a fifty-against-one showdown in a racetrack parking lot, Way certainly knows how to write inventive action sequences. While at their heart they’re still big fights between superheroes and villains, the exact mechanics and end results are particularly inventive and fun. Way really tries to keep from just going the standard route, be it inventive powers on the part of those fighting, or unexpected tactics kicking the intensity up a notch. Then again, inventive is a good a word as any to describe “The Umbrella Academy” with characters like the Rumor (whose made-up stories become reality) or Kraken (whose power to hold his breath for infinity has nothing to do with how he handles being a superhero).
“The Umbrella Academy: Dallas” #1 picks up immediately where the first mini-series left off; the team is in shambles, some having lost their powers and others examining their newfound fame. It makes sure to set up the new status quo, and remind everyone what’s happened before. At the same time, it sets up the rest of the mini-series, with both the team’s interpersonal relationships (which are half of the driving force of “The Umbrella Academy”) as well as outside forces both lining up left and right against our heroes. Just don’t ask me what Dallas has to do with the mini-series; I’m as in the dark as you are.
Last but not least, Gabriel Ba’s art is lovely as always. From little kids in school uniforms fighting statues, to Rumor’s confrontation with White Violin, he’s able to nail everything needed in terms of visuals. Shots of Seance preening in front of a mirror or Rumor’s facial contortions as she realizes the mental state that White Violin is in, both speak so loudly that Way doesn’t need dialogue to explain exactly what’s going on here. Ba’s an amazingly talented artist and by the time the book gets to 00.05’s fight against the attacking hordes, you know that he’s the sort of person that can draw everything just spot-on perfect in Way’s script. “The Umbrella Academy: Dallas” #1 (which as the inside cover points out, is for all intents and purposes “The Umbrella Academy” #7) is another great reminder of just how much fun the first mini-series was, and how this new one promises to be more of the same.