Monday, January 25, 2021

Review: Things Are Heating Up in ‘Tales from the Umbrella Academy: You Look Like Death’ Issue #4

Just in time for Christmas, Tales From the Umbrella Academy: You Look Like Death issue #4 has hit your local comic shops.

The story of Klaus Hargreeves from Gerard Way and Shaun Simon (The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys), You Look Like Death issue #4 features art by I.N.J. Culbard, lettering from Nate Piekos, and a cover by The Umbrella Academy‘s Gabriel Bá, along with two variant covers from I.N.J. Culbard and James Harren.

The Hollywood Gods reveal why the once-famous Vivian Clarke was blacklisted, and Klaus sees a side of Vivian that scares even him. Business is booming at the underground vampire amusement park — funhouse mirrors don’t really work for the undead, but the bobbing-for-apples-in-blood-station is a hit. The vampire chimp boss discovers that Klaus could serve him better alive than dead.

In issues #1-3, Klaus is seemingly holding his own — as well as Klaus can — and Hollywood has welcomed him with open arms. One limelight-seeking actress, Vivian Clarke, has taken a particular interest and may have bit off a bit more than she could chew getting involved with Klaus and his mediumship powers. Some secrets about her have been uncovered, ones she doesn’t even want Klaus to know about, including a mysterious photo of her with a child. Mr. Shivers — the vampire chimp drug-lord after Klaus for stealing his stash — has found a new successful business venture in underground amusement parks, but hasn’t forgotten the “Umbrella-brat” who stole oh-so-much from him. Klaus has been captured, and not by Mr. Shivers’ men, but by a group searching for the sudden appearance of the late Dante Chablis’ hat, which of course, would be our beloved Number 4.

There are spoilers for issue #4 of You Look Like Death beyond this point!

Things are ramping up as we tip into the back half of this series and all the pieces are falling into place. Somehow these characters manage to get deeper, giving more insight into who they were and who they are while simultaneously giving us the need for more.

Lyle’s story in The Void continues to plague us, where is he going? Up or down? He’s given us no reason to hate him, and many to pity him, but is it enough? Lyle and The Void are the only refuge of peace that Klaus can find in his life, it’s no wonder he’s willing to stoop to whatever substances to get him there, which leads us back to Ms. Vivian Clarke …

We get a little bit more information on Vivian, and who that child she tried to bury away was. The Gods of Hollywood are guilty of Séance-nabbing, but it turns out that’s actually a good thing as they tell him the truth about his current “friend” and supplier. Of course, the Gods and Vivian are no strangers to one another, and Klaus listens intently as they tell him her story, and offer him a job — one that includes his name in lights. Vivian does not take the news of Klaus’ meeting with the Gods well, and when Klaus says he’s leaving, she tries her hardest to not let that happen. But even with her spider-like inner demon coming out to play, she’s no match for Number 4, who has gotten a little reflective about his reasoning for latching onto this woman in the first place — she’s everything daddy isn’t.

One of the most exciting developments was the realization of Mr. Shivers’ that Klaus may be of use to him to contact his dead wife. The dive into this little tidbit of Shivers’ past brought a whole new level to this character that is sure to play a huge role in the finale. Chad, now an associate of the chimp, stumbles upon a now solo again Klaus and in the final pages, takes him to the vampire who has been searching far and wide for him.

This was another incredible issue of this so-far-perfect series. With the plot able to focus on only one of the seven Hargreeves siblings we get such a beautiful and introspective look at one of these complex players in the larger series. Taking the time to see where The Séance comes from, what made him into the man we see in The Umbrella Academy series, is a joy that only a focused series can cultivate. The way the multiple elements of this story slowly Tetris-slide into place through art and writing so impeccably is a testament to the story-telling ability of these creators.

You can purchase Tales from the Umbrella Academy: You Look Like Death issue #4 at your local comic shop (variant covers subject to availability), online, or digitally from Dark Horse Comics. Issue #5 will be available on January 20, 2021 and the sixth and final issue on February 24, 2021. A complete 6-issue volume of the entire series will also be available on March 17, 2021. All of the future issues of You Look Like Death, including the volume and all variant covers, are available for pre-order.

Kaity
Kaity
Kaity started with Harry Potter in second grade and it’s been a losing battle ever since, or maybe a winning one ... She lives in New England with a small herd of cats, two dogs, three chinchillas, and one daughter. Her main fandoms are Marvel, The Umbrella Academy, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings, with special emphasis on one vibranium shield-wielding Super Soldier. Contact: Directors@Nerdsandbeyond.com.

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