REVIEW: YOU LOOK LIKE DEATH: TALES FROM THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Gerard Way, Shaun Simon
Artist & Colourist: I.N.J. Culbard
Letters: Nate Piekos
Reviewed by: Alex McDonald
You Look Like Death #2: When Klaus channels the ghost of a renowned actor at a Hollywood party, his retired paramour realizes he might be exactly what she needs to regain the limelight–and gives him a taste of real magic. Meanwhile, the vampire-chimp drug-lord takes a red-eye to Hollywood to search for the Umbrella-brat who stole his stash . . .
With the introduction completed, Way and Simon are ready to let readers sink their teeth into this story. With Klaus in Hollywood he’s beginning to mirror the story of the tragic artist all too well, although with more supernatural elements than is typical. The Hollywood has-beens are taking advantage of him and in this issue getting him hooked on some serious drugs. Readers of the Umbrella Academy know what becomes of Klaus’s addiction.
It’s heart-breaking to watch as Klaus is led astray by those that want to use his powers for their own gain. He’s the actor or the musician with something to give the world while Vivian Clarke is the seedy producer primed to ruin his life. For a comic about a superhero runaway that can channel the dead it’s surprisingly poignant. Well it would be if the names, Gerard Way and Shaun Simon weren’t labelled on the front. It’s no surprise this book is so engaging.
The issue is paced well with flashbacks cutting into the main story at just the right time to pull readers’ heartstrings. The balance of Klaus’s story with that of Shivers the monkey vampire is also well done with readers likely left wanting more of each by the end of the issue.
Culbard’s art continues to look gorgeous. It perfectly captures the age and tone of Klaus’s life at this time. The green aura of the ghosts is another little thing that adds to make the whole that much more. The reader gets to feel Klaus’s possibly naïve and juvenile view of the world through Culbard’s artwork.
There’s not a lot for readers to turn their noses at this month. With miniseries there’s always a general feeling that each issue is building for the trade release more than the month to month issue. It’s too early to tell if that’s the case here. At present enough occurs in each issue to satisfy the reader.
You Look Like Death is living up to the hype of being Umbrella Academy’s first spin off title. Empathy for Klaus continues to strengthen as the series goes on and there is more than enough here to hook readers just like Klaus himself is getting hooked on something much worse.