Umbrella Academy’s Hotel Obsidian (& All Oblivion Changes) Explained #Umbrella #Academys #Hotel #Obsidian #Oblivion #Explained Welcome to Lopoid
The Umbrella Academy introduces Hotel Obsidian. What’s the building’s purpose and how does the establishment change the comics’ Hotel Oblivion?
WARNING: Spoilers ahead for The Umbrella Academy season 3
What purpose does Hotel Obsidian serve in The Umbrella Academy, and how about its counterpart, the even weirder Hotel Oblivion? Viewers already knew to expect a key location by the name of Hotel Obsidian heading into The Umbrella Academy season 3. Those familiar with Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s comic books, however, immediately noted the similarity to Hotel Oblivion – the focus of the source material’s third volume. Questions immediately arose. Would Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy adapt “Hotel Oblivion?” What prompted the eerily subtle name change? Does Hotel Obsidian serve the same purpose as its printed namesake?
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The Umbrella Academy season 3 answers all of these questions and more, and although significant deviations from the comic books are made, the two mediums actually share more common aspects than trailer footage initially let on. Hotel Obsidian is introduced in The Umbrella Academy as a favorite haunt of Klaus Hargreeves. Number Four himself describes how Hotel Obsidian was once a prestigious hotel for the wealthy and powerful, but by 2019 has become little more than a party house for society’s outcasts – a “no questions asked” hideout for the esoteric, high and kitsch. Naturally, then, it’s the perfect place for a homeless Umbrella Academy in season 3’s unfamiliar Sparrow timeline.
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In the Way and Bá comic books, Hotel Oblivion is an off-world prison for supervillains, built by Sir Reginald Hargreeves in the guise of a hotel. Though Oblivion houses the universe’s most despicable criminals after they’re captured by the Umbrella Academy, its true purpose is to trap a fearsome inter-dimensional monster using the prisoners as bait. This isn’t quite how Hotel Obsidian works in The Umbrella Academy season 3, but the Netflix series draws major parallels nonetheless.
The Umbrella Academy’s Hotel Obsidian Explained
As revealed by a game-changing Umbrella Academy season 3 flashback, Sir Reginald Hargreeves was present on Earth in 1918, hunting an inter-dimensional door that he eventually finds hovering in midair above a crop field. Needing to access said door as part of his long-term plan for resurrecting Abigail Hargreeves, Reginald built Hotel Obsidian around the glowing gateway, confusing architects with his unique blueprints. Sir Reginald’s personal suite (the White Buffalo room) served as a direct tunnel from the regular world into another dimension known as Oblivion, but for many decades after its construction, Obsidian served as nothing more than a regular hotel where everyday folks could rent a room and enjoy the lobster buffet without fear of societal judgement. The White Buffalo suite and its secret door stood undisturbed all that time, as Reginald secretly prepared his adopted children for their ultimate mission into Oblivion.
Strangely, Oblivion takes the guise of a mirrored Hotel Obsidian. A mounted buffalo head in Obsidian becomes a mounted buffalo backside in Oblivion. The Umbrella Academy season 3’s finale later confirms Oblivion’s hotel-esque appearance is merely a facade, so we can perhaps assume this pocket dimension automatically recreates whatever lay on the other side. Pre-1918, Oblivion was probably just a field where the crops blew in the opposite direction. Perhaps dropping a small clue as to who actually built the universe, Hotel Oblivion adopts a more overt Japanese influence in its decor…
Behind the illusory hotel fittings, Oblivion’s true nature is that of a universal reset room, housing a machine that controls all time and space – Sir Reginald’s ultimate goal. This machine draws power from the very same particles that created the Hargreeves siblings’ abilities, and is guarded by formidable warriors made from cockroaches. The Umbrella Academy season 3 neglects to reveal who built this God machine, and while Reginald likely knows more than he’s letting on, needing his children to access the console proves he’s just a visitor in Oblivion – probably the very type those cockroach guardians were programmed to defend against.
Related: Netflix’s Umbrella Academy Season 4 Plan Is Bold, But Might Work
How Hotel Obsidian Is Different From The Comics’ Hotel Oblivion
Just like the comic books’ Hotel Oblivion, The Umbrella Academy season 3’s Hotel Obsidian was built at the behest of Sir Reginald Hargreeves. The old-fashioned, golden age design echoes Gabriel Bá’s aesthetic with surprising fidelity, and carries across visual motifs such as cockroaches and the white buffalo (even if those motifs lead down completely different rabbit holes). Whereas Sir Reginald’s Hotel Oblivion imprisoned supervillains, The Umbrella Academy’s Hotel Obsidian is a genuine establishment in the real world, but both versions harbor a secret purpose. Again, this twist draws a measure of comic inspiration, as the original Hotel Oblivion actually acted as a lure for a fearsome creature from another world, and Hotel Obsidian’s secret – although completely different – is equally trans-dimensional in nature.
Hotel Obsidian may be all spa baths and weddings, but season 3’s Hotel Oblivion falls closer to its counterpart in the Umbrella Academy comic books. Instead of deadly prisoners, the Oblivion dimension is populated by deadly guardians, and although Reginald didn’t create this strange realm like he did Hotel Oblivion in the comics, it’s just as trippy and difficult to exit.
Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy completely drops the supervillain prison idea from Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s comic volume. Hotel Obsidian is a pathway to another dimension, and Oblivion is a back entrance to the universe’s motherboard. Nevertheless, the authentic comic concept could be repurposed for season 4. The Umbrella Academy’s new timeline introduces Hargreeves Enterprises as a global dominant force, with Sir Reginald seemingly this reality’s master. The new Reginald doesn’t have an Umbrella or Sparrow Academy to fight crime… so maybe he has a dimensional prison instead.
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Craig first began contributing to Screen Rant in 2016, several years after graduating college, and has been ranting ever since, mostly to himself in a darkened room. Having previously written for various sports and music outlets, Craig’s interest soon turned to TV and film, where a steady upbringing of science fiction and comic books finally came into its own.
Craig has previously been published on sites such as Den of Geek, and after many coffee-drenched hours hunched over a laptop, part-time evening work eventually turned into a full-time career covering everything from the zombie apocalypse to the Starship Enterprise via the TARDIS.
Since joining the Screen Rant fold, Craig has been involved in breaking news stories and mildly controversial ranking lists, but now works predominantly as a features writer.
Jim Carrey is Craig’s top acting pick and favorite topics include superheroes, anime and the unrecognized genius of the High School Musical trilogy.
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