By Gerard Way (writer), Gabriel Ba (artist), Dave Stewart (colorist)

The Story: Who and where is Number Five?  These are the questions everyone wants answered, from Hazel and Cha-Cha, two psychotic assassins with a penchant for baked goods, to Kraken, Rumor, and Seance, who would all rather look for the answers on their own than work together as a family.  Unfortunately, following the massacre at the dog track from the previous issue, Number Five is in no mood to talk, and has gone into hiding to indulge in some truly unusual relaxation.

The Good: The Umbrella Academy is so delightfully absurd it’s hard not to like.  I mean, come on, if you can’t take a look at the cover to this issue and not grin, not wonder what the heck is going on inside its pages, then I feel sorry for you, my friend.  Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba are entertainers and storytellers, skillfully moving from horror to comedy to cop drama in the same issue.  Of course, it helps having the talents of a colorist like Dave Stewart in your corner.  I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed with the use of color in a comic as I am when I see his work in Umbrella Academy, and I’m grateful he’s on board.

The Not So Good: We’re now two issues into this storyline and I’m still not sure what it’s actually about.  This issue had a lot of great moments, but nothing holding them together — no plot that I could see.  One third of this story is now over and if the plot doesn’t come out soon then there is a serious problem here that needs to be addressed.  I expect the next issue to rise to the challenge and get to the point.

Conclusion: Despite a vague, elusive plot, The Umbrella Academy continues to entertain due in large part to the artistic talents of Gabriel Ba and Dave Stewart.  However, Gerard Way has proven he is a faithful student of Grant Morrison’s madness and we are made all the better for it as readers.

Grade:  B-

-Tony Rakittke