In Review: The Umbrella Academy

A rather late review of the Netflix series based on the comic book series.

Synopsis: A disbanded group of superheroes reunites after their adoptive father, who trained them to save the world, dies. … Seven are adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a billionaire industrialist, who creates The Umbrella Academy and prepares his “children” to save the world. But not everything went according to plan …

Review: Yes I know. This is somewhat of a late review given that the series premiered earlier in the year, but with one thing and another. I never got around to it until now. So better late than not at all…

The Story

Based on the Dark Horse comic book series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba. This Netflix series cherry picks from the first two volumes of the comic book series and brings forth a story of dysfunctional superheroes trying to prevent an apocalyptic event.

Just like the comic. The series begins with the backstory of how a philanthropic billionaire, Sir Reginald Hargreeves manages to adopt 7 of 43 children that are born in a single day when 43 women give birth to children without having been pregnant when that day began.

At the start of the series. All seven children who are now fully grown our brought back to the Umbrella Academy when Sir Reginald is found dead.

The first few episodes spend a fair bit of time introducing us to the various characters and their respective powers and personal trauma’s, but it isn’t until 5 is introduced to the plot as the one from the seven that went missing years ago. He had apparently time traveled to the future and seen the after-effects of the apocalypse and is now trying his utmost to stop it.

It takes a while for number 5 to get his siblings on side and matters are not helped by the fact that he is been hunted by an organization, which polices time. They have sent two assassins after him to try and take him out.

The Acting

There are some really strong performances throughout this series and also some great character arcs for fans to enjoy. I particularly enjoyed watching Vanya Hargreeves / Number Seven / The White Violin who is played brilliantly by Ellen Page. She starts off as a rather meek and misunderstood character, but by the close of the series. She becomes The White Violin, which makes things rather complicated for her other siblings.

Emmy Raver-Lampman puts in a nice performance as Allison Hargreeves / Number Three / The Rumor. She is perhaps the most manipulative of the characters in the show and has an interesting power, which is utilized in some fun ways. Allison is also the only other girl in the group, which means she gets some good scenes with Vanya. She also gets a really fun scene with Number 1 as they do a full-on dance routine.

Overall

I rather enjoyed this series but found it difficult to watch all in one go due to the dark nature of the various things happening in the show and the trauma, which all the characters seem to be dealing with.

So it isn’t really a show you can binge watch. It’s best to watch this over a few nights in order to fully digest and appreciate the various characters and their individual stories.

Overall. I think that if you are a fan of darker storytelling. Then you will probably like this series.

I’m not sure how close this is to the comic book series, but I do understand that it got mixed reviews when it was released back in February. That said I recently purchased the first volume of the comic book series and plan to read over the summer.

9.4
The Umbrella Academy
  • Story
    8.6
  • Acting
    9.5
  • CGI
    9.8
  • Incidental Music
    9.5

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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