Review: YOU LOOK LIKE DEATH: TALES FROM THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY #3
[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 #3: Klaus’s contact with the dead comes in handy when his former movie star friend needs help wowing a casting director. Beneath Hollywood, we catch up with Shivers, the vampire-chimp drug lord, in his vampire amusement park, where he continues his search for the Umbrella Brat who stole his stash, while Klaus’s aging paramour distracts him with booze . . . and relish.
We’re into the meat of this Séance spin off now. The tone of You Look Like Death is really one of its greatest strengths. With a story that includes vampire chimps there’s such a fine line a writer can walk. Way and Simon have perfectly captured the Klaus’s feeling and projected that across the entire book.
Culbard’s is one of the best artists for this tone. His artwork hits the nail squarely on the head. With a series as well known as the Umbrella Academy it can be jarring for readers to see artwork different from what they’ve grown accustomed to over the years. What makes this series so good is the way Culbard’s art gives Klaus a new coat of paint that in turn gives the series a new lease of life compared to the original series.
Speaking of that coat of paint, the colouring of the issue is a bit of a sleeper hit within the series. Beyond just the cartoonish artwork itself, the colouring is what gives the book its soul. Specifically in this issue there is a scene set in a vampire amusement park, which in itself is enough to warrant interest, but Culbard’s use of colours throughout the scene just makes a vampire amusement park so much more interesting to look at.
As the series advances it’s becoming clearer and clearer that this series will have a very specific appeal. Those who have read and enjoyed Umbrella Academy are sure to enjoy this, but will it win any new fans? Perhaps, but only if they would have liked UA too and just hadn’t read it. It’s such a silly story at face value that readers have to have a very open mind to get into it. Granted, if they do get into it, this is a good story. One of the best things about the series is the way Way and Simon inject moments of emotion into this silly story, but if the majority of the issue is too ridiculous for some readers then those emotional moments may not land.
You Look Like Death is living up to the expectations of being the first Umbrella Academy spin off. While I.N.J. Culbard is becoming the standout star of each issue, the entire creative team are creating something special with a tone that’s just what readers need as we inch nearer the end of this hellish year.