The Umbrella Academy got strong roots. If you are tired of the regular super heroes and need a splash of Batman atmosphere mixed with a Deadpool cocktail of violence. Top it off with colored ice cubes of Rorschach philosophy. This is that drink. Oh make sure you drink it with a little umbrella on the side.
This is the year of epic comic book tv shows and movies! The Umbrella Academy, an adaptation of a Dark Horse Comics series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá. Now let me warn you from now that this review will spoil some key points. You have been warned!
So there were 43 women who became mysteriously pregnant, going full-term and into labour within a few hours. Seven of the resultant babies are adopted, apparently on a hunch, by an Eccentric Reclusive Billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves. The hunch pays off when all but one of them grew up to have superpowers. The children which was numbered instead of named were number One (Luther) who is super strong. Two (Diego) is really great with knives. Three (Allison) who can manipulate you by just saying “I heard a rumor”. Four (Klaus) who can communicate with the dead. Five (no name) can teleport, and last did so to an unknown destination 15 years ago. Six (Ben) who could turn himself into a man-eating tentacled monster but is now dead. And Seven (Vanya) is the anomaly: no special powers at all. Oh their mother is an android and butler is a talking chimpanzee.
As the seven grew up they were ruthlessly organised by Daddy into an invincible team of crime-fighters, but now they are adults doing their own thing and are only brought back to the family home/academy when daddy supposedly dies.
The Umbrella Academy is quirky, and light, although there are real stakes and consequences that play out over the course of the season. The key thing to know is that everyone have secrets.
For example Number 5 is being hunted down by a mysterious pair of assassins named Hazel (Cameron Britton) and Cha-Cha (Mary J. Blige), who give off strong Fargo villain vibes.
The show is never dark or dour. It is a perfect blend between DC dark and Marvel comedy. Especially when the charmingly sarcastic Klaus is around (Sheehan gives a really sweet and vulnerable performance here, and one that is full of comedic personality), and the series expertly makes us invested in how these relationships develop or breakdown after so many years apart.
This is a series that is worth the time to binge. Get under the umbrella. Avoid the rain of bad critics. This series has heart and depth. Each character delivers a moving back story that ties everything at the end. Never have I been pulled into a world like this before. I can’t wait for the second season.