You Look Like Death (Tales from The Umbrella
Academy):Comic Book Review
You Look Like Death
You Look Like Death is the latest instalment from Dark Horse to add a little more to our Umbrella Academy adventures. Throughout You Look Like Death, we follow Klaus (as you would expect from a title like that) on a substance-induced side-quest.
You Don’t Know a Thing About My Sins
Gerard Way has been open about the fact that he has a particular connection to Klaus’s character. Way also said recently that he had long wanted to explore the ten missing years of Klaus’s life, right before the events of Apocalypse Suite, the first time we met The Umbrella Academy. Here, we venture beyond the veil and see just how much trouble one Séance can cause…or prevent.
So Long and Goodnight
You Look Like Death sees Way re-unite with long-time collaborator Shaun Simon. Clearly, the two work well together. Whilst we can see that the story is an Umbrella Academy spin-off, it’s also still a fun story in its own right. It is, however, something of a comforting feeling to sit back down with characters that you already know and love; especially when it feels like they’re reminiscing with you. It feels like a catch-up with old friends, but with more necromancy and drugs (probably, I mean I don’t know your friends so…)
You Look Like Death
Klaus, of course, remains inimitably Klaus throughout, which was a concern of mine heading into this, I won’t lie. With the wild success of the Netflix adaptation (check our reviews our for Season 1 and Season 2, as well as our comic comparison while you’re here) I was concerned that we might lose some of our OG Comic Klaus in the shuffle. Thankfully, though, leopards don’t change their spots – even with Netflix fame. You Look Like Death is undoubtedly Klaus’s time to shine, though it must be said, I was happy to catch a few glimpses of my other favourite faces.
The Ghost of You
The art direction for You Look Like Death is a neon-dream, full of sin and spectres. You don’t need to be a cultural expert to see that INK Culbard et al were heavily inspired by the underbelly of LA to create finely drawn and brightly coloured world.
Clean and phantasmagorical, each panel creates an atmosphere that lets us know exactly where we are and exactly how we need feel about that. From honeyed and sunny yellows to spectral greens and bubblegum pinks; You Look Like Death is a colour theorists playground.
Lettering, too, doesn’t let up for a second. Neon signs, bold captions, and sharp dialogue doesn’t just show you Klaus’s downward spiral, it drags you right along with him.
To The End
A fun and outlandish caper, You Look Like Death is a great distraction from the world. On top of that, it doesn’t take itself too seriously – even with the heavy stuff. The Umbrella Academy has long had an interesting approach to dealing with Klaus’s drug addiction. It’s an approach, in fact, that you can tell is borne of personal experience. At once light-hearted and jovial, the sincerity isn’t amiss. With Volume 4 of The Umbrella Academy en route to us, You Look Like Death is a pretty good way to pass the time until it arrives.
Who knows if the other Hargreeves siblings will get their own tales told…I for one sure hope they do.
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