The Hotel Obsidian reveal in The Umbrella Academy’s season 3 trailer marks a big change to the original comics – and not just because of the name.
The Umbrella Academy welcomes you to Hotel Obsidian, where there’s plenty of room… for twisting the original comics. Since The Umbrella Academy seasons 1 & 2 were both (very) broadly based on the corresponding comic book volumes by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, many assumed season 3 would follow suit by drawing from third volume, “Hotel Oblivion.” Those suspicions intensified when The Umbrella Academy season 3’s episode titles were released, and “Oblivion” stood out as one of the more blatant (and exciting) comic connections.
Those Hotel Oblivion theories took an unexpected detour when a string of posters dropped ahead of the Umbrella Academy season 3 trailer release. Each poster depicts a Hargreeves sibling carrying a suitcase, and attached to those cases are travel stickers for “Hotel Obsidian.” The similarity between Obsidian and Oblivion seemed much too close to be coincidental, and the reworked moniker immediately hinted toward major changes for The Umbrella Academy‘s Hotel Oblivion comic arc. Said changes are now all but confirmed thanks to Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy season 3 trailer, which teases comic changes beyond just the rebranded name.
An exterior shot shows Hotel Obsidian in all its retro glory for the very first time, the glowing neon sign confirming “Oblivion” has indeed been replaced for live-action purposes. However, the reveal also points toward wider changes to Way and Bá’s comic story. In the source material, Hotel Oblivion is a prison built by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, containing all the supervillain enemies his Umbrella Academy defeated. Though the location isn’t specified, Hotel Oblivion is situated somewhere in space – a distant planet of cacti and barren desert. The Umbrella Academy season 3’s Hotel Obsidian is plopped directly onto a regular city street, busy with cars, pedestrians and other buildings. Hotel Obsidian also looks more outwardly hotel-like, with the valet area and neon sign sure to attract regular customers rather than just evil supervillains. Since The Umbrella Academy‘s live-action version isn’t located in the middle of nowhere, we can perhaps infer Hotel Obsidian is not Reginald’s supervillain prison, but rather a regular hotel.
Throwing its weight behind this theory is Five’s fluffy robe. During his dinner conversation with Luther, Klaus and Diego (the one about what to do if they encounter their alternate selves), Five is wearing a robe emblazoned with Hotel Obsidian’s logo. It does seem rather unlikely that a supervillain prison would offer spa services.
Hotel Obsidian may not be the same super-prison as Hotel Oblivion from The Umbrella Academy‘s comic books, but several clues point toward the building hiding a secret significance. Atop Hotel Obsidian is a poster branding Sparrow Academy propaganda. Similar signs are dotted elsewhere in The Umbrella Academy season 3’s trailer, and might prove Hotel Obsidian is owned by Sir Reginald. Although the comics’ Hotel Oblivion does harbor supervillains, Reginald mainly designed it to trap an inter-dimensional monster. Maybe that element of the source material remains intact in the TV version, and whatever Hotel Obsidian brings forth, only the Umbrellas and the Sparrows together can stop it.
One must also question why Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy TV series would include such an obvious reference to the comics only to slightly alter the hotel’s name. Perhaps that’s because “Hotel Obsidian” is a regular hotel in the Sparrow timeline, but “Hotel Oblivion” is the prison from the comics and exists in the Umbrella timeline. That’d certainly explain the slightly altered name, but incorporate comic elements that The Umbrella Academy‘s season 3 trailer suggests aren’t there.
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