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Umbrella Academy: Dallas #5

Posted: Friday, March 27, 2009
By: Erik Norris

Gerard Way
Gabriel Ba, Dave Stewart (c)
Dark Horse Comics
It's always a good Wednesday when an issue of Umbrella Academy releases. And while issue #5 of Dallas is the weakest installment of this mini-series thus far, it's still better than 95% of the comics coming out.

One word to sum up this issue's greatest flaw is "lingering." While I enjoyed the extended scene of Kraken, Space Boy, and Sťance fighting in the Vietnam War, due to a miscalculated time jump, it probably ate up more pages than it deserved. I'm all for Vietnamese vampires, giant killer mummies, and Kraken looking like Snake Pliskin, but sixteen of 22 pages were dedicated to this opening fight sequence. Even I, who has an obsessive love for this series, finds something a bit wrong with that, seeing as the story is only six issues and not an ongoing comic.

But while dedicating three quarters of a comic to one action sequence would seem like blasphemy, a real story and pace killer, Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba make the most of it by continuing to use their imagination and inject some zaniness into the situation as well as establish some good character growth between members of the Academy, namely Kraken and Space Boy. We finally get a nice one-on-one between the two who have constantly bickered throughout this series, while atop the corpse of a giant mummy.

And that's why Umbrella Academy is such a treat to read every month. You really never know which way Way and Ba are going to pull their audience. Everything about Umbrella Academy is surreal, bizarre, and outlandish. And I freakin' love every panel of it. It's the little touches that make this series worth reading, that make me laugh out loud, or smirk because of the sheer creativity seeping out of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's skull. Whether it's the spider-hole vampires, Sťance's baby chest-sling, Number 5's outlined plan for Red Team, Mr. Pennycrumb's diet, or the subtle wink and nudge to Sťance's sexual orientation, it's all incredible. So while Dallas #5 might fall short of the consistently obnoxious greatness this series has seen to date, it's still wildly entertaining and a definite must buy.



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