Tales from the Umbrella Academy: You Look Like Death has so far marked a break from other series in the Umbrella Academy franchise, as its character-driven plot largely differs from writer Gerard Way’s tendency to focus on grander events. After its Netflix spin-off series proved to be once again successful in its second season, it makes sense that Dark Horse would want more content that explored the characters audiences fell in love with. Issue #4 of the You Look Like Death series, written by Way and co-writer Shaun Simon, demonstrates the potential of this idea, as it provides an in-depth and thoroughly interesting look into Klaus Hargreeves’ character in a way that would not be possible in a team book.
This installment of the series gives readers the most focus on Klaus since issue #1. As I said in my last review, the previous issue had Hargreeves somewhat overshadowed by the supporting cast. This time around, the character’s voice shines through. As he discovers more about the mysterious Void, Klaus realises more about himself in turn. You Look Like Death #4 is able to explore the tragedy of Klaus whilst also giving him agency as a character. The time this series has taken to get to know the rest of its characters also pays off in this issue. The contrast between the reserved and counseling Lyle on the one hand, and the erratic and manipulative Vivian on the other, does well to bring out different sides of Klaus’ personality upon interaction.
Way, Simon and artist I.N.J Culbard work incredibly well together in this issue. Culbard’s panels convey the stable serenity of the Void, and bring out the chaos of the world outside. Indeed, the carnival pages are particularly impressive, with their neon hues and iridescent colors. The writing is greatly built upon by Culbard’s art. At times, the scenes in You Look Like Death #4 change at breakneck speed, giving the reader little time to keep up. By embracing the pace of this issue, Culbard is able to complete and add to Way’s and Simon’s text. You Look Like Death would absolutely not be as good as it is without this incredible artist.
You Look Like Death #4 provides a welcome exploration into one of The Umbrella Academy’s most interesting characters. Klaus’ voice shines through in this issue, as his growth becomes mapped out on the pages. With sensational art and compelling cast dynamics, this issue is a high point of the series so far.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!