The Umbrella Academy TV present has at all times been a really unfastened adaptation, however the core premises of the first two seasons — stopping Viktor from ending the world and attempting to cease the JFK assassination — correlate on to these of the comics’ first two volumes. But in season 3 of the Netflix drama, showrunner Steve Blackman orchestrates one in all the largest deviations from the the Umbrella Academy comics but by giving us a totally new spin on the third quantity’s titular Hotel Oblivion.
[Ed. note: The following contains spoilers for both The Umbrella Academy show and comic books.]
What is Hotel Oblivion in the comics?
The comics’ Hotel Oblivion isn’t a lodge in any respect. It’s a jail for the most notorious villains that the Umbrella Academy has ever defeated. It’s a twisted place the place each sentence is a life sentence, a single cockroach serves as dinner, and prisoners are sometimes pushed mad. Since Hargreeves constructed Hotel Oblivion on a distant planet in a pocket dimension, it’s (almost) not possible for the inmates to flee.
The solely methods in and out of Oblivion are to fly by means of an unexplored portion of the universe known as afterspace or to make use of a televator, a teleportation gadget Hargreeves invented that’s frequent all through the world of the comics. However, in order to make it safely from the lodge to the televator, you need to keep away from the discover of the Scientific Man, a transparent riff on Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan, who watches over the jail from house. The Scientific Man seems to be one in all Oblivion’s inmates as effectively, however has seemingly garnered particular privileges in change for taking part in warden. And judging by the bones of huge creatures riddling the planet’s floor, if the Scientific Man catches you exterior the lodge, he’ll do much more than kindly ask you to return to your room.
The comics additionally rapidly drop in the undeniable fact that the lodge is not only a jail, however some form of cosmic entice for a tentacled eldritch creature. This reveal is not explored past what we simply summarized, so we genuinely don’t have any extra context to share on this matter aside from to say it’s rad.
What occurs in the Hotel Oblivion comics?
The major plot of Umbrella Academy quantity three kicks off with the escape of two prisoners: the Murder Magician, a clout-chasing hypnotist who as soon as sawed a doppelgänger of Allison in half, and Obscura, a jewel thief who has a photographic reminiscence and cameras embedded into his head.
The Murder Magician is determined to flee Hotel Oblivion, however not simply because he needs his personal freedom (though we’re positive that doesn’t harm). He’s decided to get his toddler little one far, far-off from its actually monstrous mom, Clarissa. Obscura, on the different hand, simply needs to get again to his lifetime of crime. The duo handle to make it to the televator solely to reach on the different facet at a secret lab operated by the Perseus Corporation. In the lab shootout that follows, Obscura is captured by Perseus workers, however an injured Murder Magician escapes with the child.
Allison manages to trace down the Murder Magician at his previous lair, however so does the rage-filled Clarissa. The Murder Magician then reveals to Allison that Clarissa isn’t a real monster, however has solely been cursed by a Magic 8 Ball. Rather than assault Clarissa, Allison tells her that she “heard a rumor” that the cursed toy doesn’t outline who she is. Clarissa is thus reworked again into her human type, permitting the dysfunctional household to restore their rift. In one other candy second, the Murder Magician apologizes to Allison for sawing a model of her in half. She graciously accepts his apology and takes the reformed villain to the hospital for life-saving therapy. That’s what we name emotional and bodily therapeutic!
Meanwhile, CEO John Perseus X forces the captured Obscura to indicate him the way to Oblivion, from which the eccentric businessman is set on releasing his father. In a flashback, we be taught that John Perseus IX was a moralist villain who tried to make use of the powers of a mechanical Medusa head to impose his management over the metropolis for the betterment of society. It appears as if ever since then, John Perseus X has been working towards a way to free his father.
When Perseus arrives at Hotel Oblivion, although, he discovers that his father has died by suicide. However, the Medusa head lives on and thirsts for revenge for being imprisoned. On his way again to his universe, a grieving Perseus is satisfied by Medusa to free the different imprisoned villains, who then present their gratitude by wreaking havoc on the metropolis. Perseus, displaying the opportunist perspective that doubtless aided his rise in the company world, grasps this golden alternative to observe in his father’s footsteps. Harnessing the energy of the Medusa head, Perseus launches his personal quest to change into the metropolis’s self-righteous “savior” (by no means thoughts the undeniable fact that he brought on this drawback to start with).
The Umbrella Academy descends on the scene to truly save the metropolis. They rapidly understand that of all the newly freed villains, the largest risk is their archnemesis Dr. Terminal. Defeated by the Academy after they had been solely kids, Dr. Terminal has a illness that he’s solely capable of stave off by means of a machine he created that converts the matter he consumes into life-saving power. After years of being locked up, Dr. Terminal turns his insatiable urge for food on the total metropolis, consuming all the things in sight.
Medusa is completely dwelling for all this chaos and destruction, however lastly seeing the magnitude of what he’s unleashed, Perseus realizes he doesn’t wish to be aligned along with her hatred and frees himself of the head. Luther then snatches it up and — for the first time in his life — comes up with plan. Knowing that the Medusa head has a nuclear reactor inside, Luther tosses it to Dr. Terminal, who consumes it and is presumably defeated. We say presumably as a result of earlier than we will see the aftermath of Dr. Terminal consuming a nuclear reactor, the Sparrow Academy make their comics debut after they be part of in the battle and lift all kinds of questions on who they’re and what’s happening.
So, the present model of Hotel Oblivion has nothing to do with the comics model?
Yes and no. The present’s Oblivion isn’t a jail, nor is it a entice for some form of eldritch horror. It is, nonetheless, nonetheless one in all Hargreeves’ pet initiatives. After discovering a portal to a different dimension in 1918, Hargreeves constructed a lodge round it, known as Hotel Obsidian. But the lodge is actually only a entrance for the interdimensional Hotel Oblivion, which is truly not a lodge in any respect. As Hargreeves reveals, Hotel Oblivion is an enormous failsafe machine that enables one to reset and rewrite actuality. This mirrors the comics’ Hotel Oblivion residing in a pocket dimension the place actuality is continuously renewing itself — although we don’t see any form of actuality renovation taking place in the comics.
There are echoes of the comics in smaller methods as effectively. The present’s Oblivion is nonetheless watched over by ruthless guardians — now 4 samurai quite than The Scientific Man. And as a substitute of the cockroaches being dinner, they’re the brains and our bodies powering these samurai, which is by some means much more stomach-churning. The ending of season 3, which reveals this model of Hargreeves is a titan of enterprise, additionally calls to thoughts the company ties of Hotel Oblivion’s Perseus storylines. It’s doable this ending may even be establishing Perseus — or Perseus-inspired plots — to be launched in season 4.
While this is all good and enjoyable, although, the present’s Oblivion isn’t the one factor we hoped it will be: a jail crammed with supervillains who then are let loose. That’s all we needed, actually. Just an finish of season melee the place the Umbrellas and Sparrows must face down a legion of eccentric villains in the streets. It’s an action-packed, larger-than-life storyline that begs to be placed on display and set to one in all the present’s infamous needle drops. And but we had been sadly denied this spectacle.
Despite this, we’ll by no means quit hope on getting our supervillain showdown. With a brand new timeline every season comes new alternatives for a pocket dimension jail break. Or at the least that’s what we’re going to inform ourselves.