Based on the graphic novel created by Gerard Way (scriptwriter and ex-lead singer of the band My Chemical Romance) and illustrated by Gabriel Bá (brazilian cartoonist), The Umbrella Academy is one of those comic books that would never be TV adapted, but thankfully, Netflix thought otherwise.
The series follows the story of seven kids that were born at the same date in unusual ways (43 women all over the world got pregnant instantly) and were adopted by an eccentric millionaire who wanted them to be the ones who would save the world. The years passed by and after their father’s death, the siblings reunite for the funeral, but the news of an apocalypse happening in seven days make them work together to avoid it from happening.
The Umbrella Academy is a TV show about today’s society. The characters are build with real life problems and without that kind of perfect and unreal life, being a deranged family with super powerful, vulnerable and traumatized kids. In a realistic way, the show transforms the superhero plot into something original and humanized, which is not very common.
Image Source: IMDb
Mixing good humor and adventure, the show manages to create the story adding flashbacks that build up the entire narrative, but the unfolding of the story happens in a very slow way (seven days happen in 10 episodes). What helps to keep the audience’s focus is each character’s narrative, which can be comic sometimes, but it’s very well built in a humanizing way, showing that even superheroes can be like us.
The original script is seen as something bizarre and the adaptation for a live action was considered a risk, as the story could lose its essence. But Netflix gets some changes right, keeping it weird and using special effects only when it’s really needed. Moreover, the soundtrack is a bonus to the construction of the story’s aura.
The Umbrella Academy is an uncommon superhero show that is more likely to exist that what is usually seen on big screens. Even with a very predictable story, what makes it interesting is the humanization of the characters with a comic atmosphere. It’s a story that will keep you interested and make you laugh.