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The Terrifying Prison We Could See In Netflix's The Umbrella Academy

Contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy show and comics.

When the ostensible heroes cause as much murder, mayhem, and near-miss apocalypses as those of The Umbrella Academy have through the first two seasons of the show, it's safe to say you probably don't want to know what the supervillains are up to.

This is why, in the third volume of the comic series from which the show is adapted, writer Gerard Way reveals Umbrella Academy founder Sir Reginald Hargreeves had a plan to deal with the supervillainy his adopted progeny had managed to defeat: A one-way trip to a deep-space pocket dimension housing the Hotel Oblivion. The food is terrible. The rooms are filled with self-help literature in the hopes that the villains might find a way to reform. The windows look out over a deep-space desert hellscape from which there is no exit. It's part Phantom Zone, part Arkham Asylum, and part Hotel California

Way said he wanted to explore what it would mean to be stuck in a place like this, even if it was for trying to take over the world. "The concept of Hotel Oblivion deals a little bit with capital punishment," Way told of Den of Geek in 2019. "I think in terms of current events and the state of our world right now, in future Umbrella Academy volumes, we'll see a little more of that creep its way into the book. But right now I really wanted to explore capital punishment because we know what a super prison is."

What is the Hotel Oblivion?

You, as a person presumably born sometime before yesterday, will probably not be surprised to learn that putting all your villainous eggs in one purgatorial basket does not prove to be the wisest of all courses. The son of an incarcerated villain organizes a jailbreak, and the combined force of the villains descends back on the Earth, where it's up to the disillusioned members of the Umbrella Academy to stop them.

Somehow that might not even be the worst part. Team members Luther and Diego learn that the hotel wasn't merely dropped in any old pocket of deep space Sir Reginald had lying around, but placed deliberately as the linchpin in a cosmic trap designed to lure and capture an ancient, all-consuming evil before it could threaten destruction on a cosmic scale. When the villains escape, so does the monster, though to where it has fled has yet to be revealed in the comics.

When will The Umbrella Academy show get to the Hotel Oblivion?

If the series is going to pay an extended visit to the Hotel Oblivion, however, it looks as though it's going to be taking the long way there. The cliffhanger ending of season 2 introduced members of the Umbrella Academy to the Sparrow Academy, a new group of superpowered individuals reared by a Reginald Hargreeves who was able to see when the Umbrella Academy travelled back in time to early 1960s how dysfunctional and dangerous his original wards had become.

In the comics, the Sparrow Academy was introduced at the end of the Hotel Oblivion story, helping the Umbrella Academy defeat the combined forces of the freed villains. In the show, however, they appear at the end of the Dallas arc, which the series just wrapped up in season 2 and which adapted the second volume of the comics. Way announced in July 2020 that the fourth volume of comics would be called The Umbrella Academy: Sparrow Academy, which would appear to suggest that the show is jumping ahead.

But as long as there are villains with strange powers running through the world of The Umbrella Academy, there will be room for a concept like the Hotel Oblivion. The show will have plenty of opportunities to get there if its creative team decides that's where it needs to go. It's getting out that's the tricky part.