WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #6, from Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá, Nick Filardi and Nate Piekos for Blambot, on sale now.
In The Umbrella Academy, we all know Sir Reginald Hargreeves won't ever be nominated for any father of the year awards. Prior to his death, he was cold, cruel and heartless, viewing his kids as weapons and nothing more. Being an alien, we did understand this lack of humanity somewhat, but still, he totally failed as a parent.
As a military tactician, though, he shaped them into soldiers the world would need someday, and this led to the siblings stopping Vanya (the White Violin) in Apocalypse Suite and correcting the timestream in the follow-up volume, Dallas. But in Hotel Oblivion, as much as we thought we knew Reginald's deepest, darkest secrets, a new one has been revealed that threatens to doom the very existence he wanted to preserve.
THE SHAME OF THE HOTEL
In Apocalypse Suite, Luther (Spaceboy) indicated Reginald wasn't about death sentences, instead opting to send enemies to a mysterious prison. Over the course of these six issues, we find out Reginald was actually housing them in a pocket dimension in deep space called the Hotel Oblivion. There, he hoped they'd find redemption, though he knew some would either kill each other or themselves, making it a win-win for him.
When the truth emerges, it appears Reginald really had no solution to the crime problem and didn't truly know what to do once these villains were captured. In fact, it seemed that he wanted the hotel kept secret, as he was ashamed his team would see he was fallible, without some endgame or big master plan. And as he's reminded us in the past, he hates signs of weakness, which is why he never exposes emotions or vulnerabilities to the Academy.
However, when the new villain on the block, Perseus, frees the inmates and drops them back to Earth, it becomes clear this hotel was nothing more than a stop-gap measure, a shortsighted initiative from a man who we expect brilliance from. The Academy ends up stretched thin against these villains, including their archnemesis, Dr. Terminal, wondering why Reginald would let his ego get in the way of keeping such a secret that could endanger the world.
THE SECRET OF OBLIVION
But, as we've come to expect with Reginald, his secrets usually have secrets of their own, and it just wouldn't be in his character if there weren't more skeletons in the closet. We quickly discover just what this hotel is when Luther and Diego (the Kraken) jet off into space with Dr. Zoo to explore a rift and enter Afterspace, a unique portion of the cosmos where time seems to stand still and the universe folds onto itself.
As they venture forth, they end up at the Hotel Oblivion, finally realizing that this was the rift their dad found. But without his interdimensional elevator known as the Televator, they couldn't get there, so they unwittingly took the long route via deep space. But what they find there is beyond disturbing, because it turns out Reginald did have a plan for the inmates, and it's a very twisted one to say the least.
The team discover this hotel isn't a prison. It's a trap known as the Abraxan that was meant to capture some sort of cosmic monster that seemingly wants to come through the Afterspace breach and head towards Earth. Reginald was using the villains at the hotel as bait to lure it there, ensnare it and possibly kill it.
Well, we know why Reginald kept mum on the situation, because, just like his kids, he viewed his enemies as fodder. And once more, he's proven there's absolutely no limit to his devious schemes when it comes to saving mankind.