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The Umbrella Academy Volume 2: Dallas
Author: Gerard Way
Art by Gabriel Bá
Dark Horse Books, $17.99, 192pp
Published: September 2009

The Umbrella Academy is a team of superheroes who, being raised together as siblings by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, are probably the most dysfunctional family to save the world.

The team is despondent following the near apocalypse created by one of their own and the death of their beloved mentor Pogo. So it's a great time for another catastrophic event to rouse the team into action. Trouble is, each member of the team is distracted by some very real problems of their own. The White Violin is bedridden due to an unfortunate blow to the head. Rumor has lost her voice—the source of her power. Spaceboy has eaten himself into a near-catatonic state, while Number Five dives into some shady dealings at the dog track and The Kraken starts looking at his littlest brother as the key to unraveling a mysterious series of massacres... all leading to a blood-drenched face-off with maniacal assassins, and a plot to kill JFK!

The story is very fast-paced in some places and has spots that are very erratic, where we jump through time without giving the reader a chance to catch up right away. Once you get there, though, fasten your seat belt, because you're off again.

The group time travel to a lot of different locales and try to alter history by making sure it happens as it should. I know that sounds a bit confusing, but it is what it is.

As a fan of the Netflix show, I took an interest in seeing where it came from by reading the original graphic novels. I saw similarities between the show and the books but the story is told with a different tone. I found that I liked individual character growth more on the show, but learned more about the back stories and powers of these characters from the books.

The story is well-told in each medium, but if you're expecting them to totally mesh up, you may be disappointed with one or the other. If you take them as two different informational views of the same story arc, then you will enjoy the ride.

The artwork is well done and very vibrant, adding to the enjoyment of the book. I liked that Number Five's back story is fleshed out considerably in this volume, and it explains a lot of why he's the way that he is.

I am looking forward to reading book #3.

Interesting facts about the author:

Gerard Way is a singer, songwriter and comic book writer who is best known as the lead singer of the band My Chemical Romance. He found fame and acclaim recording and touring with that band from 2001 to 2013. In addition to his music, Way is the Eisner Award-winning writer of The Umbrella Academy and The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. ~~ Dee Astell

For more titles by Gerard Way click here

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