Enroll in The Umbrella Academy: An Introduction and Review

 

Netflix has created many original shows and movies for their streaming service, but its latest and possibly one of its biggest hits is The Umbrella Academy. After its premiere on February 15th, the ten episode–long series become incredibly popular, garnering a lot of buzz on social media. While some fans may only be familiar with this TV adaption, The Umbrella Academy actually began its reign over a decade ago.

Written by Gerard Way, better known for his band, My Chemical Romance, and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, the first issue of the first volume of The Umbrella Academy was released in the fall of 2007. The first volume, The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, consists of six issues and follows the lives of Sir Reginald Hargreeves, his seven adopted children, and their ape butler as the family reunites to save the world from ending. The following year, in the fall of 2008, The Umbrella Academy: Dallas, was released. It is also comprised of six issues, and continues to detail the family’s adventures, focusing specifically on one son (who has no name other than Number 5) and his powers. Ten years later, the third volume of the comics, The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion, is currently in the in the works. The anticipated release date for the entire volume is late August 2019.

To the excitement of both die-hard fans and new additions to the fandom, the official Umbrella Academy instagram posted for the first time in July of 2018. The first posts from the account gave a sneak peak of the cast, with each member peering over an umbrella so that only the upper halves of their faces were visible. It was not until October of 2018 that the official casting debuted on Instagram, with the actors tagged in their respective characters’ posts. None of the cast members are new to the acting world, with filmography ranging from Game of Thrones to X-Men, in addition to the casting of one of the stars of Broadway’s Hamilton.

The great track records that the cast brought to the show were not tarnished with their performances in the series. Each actor deeply and accurately portrays the emotional turmoil and extreme stress that each character struggles with. As if the concept and plot were not enough to keep your attention, the acting draws you in even further, keeping you connected, interested, and sympathetic. The plot is easy to follow, so you don’t waste time questioning or rewatching (although you’ll probably end up rewatching it anyway, because it’s just that good). The story is also compelling and intriguing, with each twist keeping you on your toes. But beware, because although the show is very much an action series full of fast-paced fight scenes and focused on a family of superheroes, it is also incredibly sad and sobering at many points. The Umbrella Academy is a Marvel movie crossed with your favorite teen drama. Additionally, the show accomplishes the incredibly rare and impressive feat of maintaining the most important aspects of the comics while also introducing new storylines and plot points. Everyone has heard someone in their life say, “The book was so much better!”, but in the case of The Umbrella Academy, both are wonderful in their own ways. Both the comics and the show are amazing on their own, while the show also manages to be cohesive with a perfect mix of original story and new twists.

As if the list of reasons why you should watch the show wasn’t already long enough, it gets better. About a week before the show debuted, the official soundtrack of songs included in and inspired by the show was released on Spotify. Containing a mix of old school doo-wop, classic rock, and modern alternative, it is quite possibly the most perfect soundtrack ever curated. The wide variety of genres represented by the playlist makes for a great listen even if you never watch the show. That being said, each song on the soundtrack either beautifully captures the emotion being conveyed in the scene or hilariously contradicts it to maintain a light-hearted, humorous tone. The best example of the latter is the continual use of upbeat, feel-good songs during incredibly violent and action-packed fight scenes and shootouts, including “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen and “Istanbul” by They Might Be Giants. Also included on the playlist and worth a mention are the covers that Gerard Way released of “Happy Together” and “Hazy Shade of Winter.” A better soundtrack could not have been selected to complement the show.

Whether you’ve been a fan since the beginning or have never heard of the comics before, the Netflix adaptation of The Umbrella Academy is sure to impress. With a star-studded cast, stellar soundtrack, and compelling concept, you’ll want to get ahead on watching before it becomes a pop culture sensation. You can find The Umbrella Academy streaming now on Netflix.

 

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