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

The Story: After returning from the dead in the last issue, the Seance teleports himself, Kraken, and Spaceboy back in time in an effort to prevent Number 5 from carrying out his mission and assassinating President Kennedy.  When the brothers arrive three years too early however, they are forced to bide their time…in Vietnam.

The Good: If you’ve been following this latest installment of the Umbrella Academy from the start, by now you’re more than familiar with the qualities that have made this such an entertaining title.  Every issue is packed with bizarre and creative ideas, like when Kraken and his squad are ambushed in the jungle by Vietnamese vampires while transporting the mummy of the country’s last great emperor.  You know that Ba’s art is some of the finest, most energized work out there, and is the perfect vehicle for bringing Way’s imagination to life.  And finally, you’ve undoubtedly develop a newfound admiration for Dave Stewart’s brilliant color design.  I can honestly say his work here has been top notch, and is easily one of the reasons I keep buying these comics.  I’ve never followed a colorist’s work before, but in his case I’d make an exception.

The Not So Good: Overall, I’d say Way’s writing on this storyline is not as strong as it was on the first one.  Sure, there are some great ideas present here, but they can only carry so far if there isn’t a strong plot present to strengthen them.  And speaking of the plot (which wasn’t even disclosed until halfway through the story), the idea of the Umbrella Academy trying to prevent Kennedy’s assassination, while not flat out boring, is definitely underwhelming.  I feel like Way is trying to convince me that this is something important that I should be deeply invested in, but I just can’t seem to care enough.

Conclusion: I’m buying this comic for the art, the color, and the little bits of weirdness that are thrown in for good measure, but the story thus far does little to excite or entertain the way I hoped it would, and I question if that will change by the last issue.

Grade:  C

Tony Rakittke

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