The Umbrella Academy, Volume 1: The Apocalypse Suite

Genre: Sci-Fi
Release Date: October 17th, 2007
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Rating: 5/5 Stars

This seems to happen whenever I talk about graphic novels that have now been adapted. If you have not yet read this yet, don’t expect much in these pages to resemble the TV show. Things like the character names are sometimes the same, but overall the characters themselves – including their powers – are maybe slightly different.

Anyway! The series is really good if you haven’t watched it yet, and if you have read the graphic novel, fear not: the key points are included, and both beat with the same heart. The differences work for the adaption, so do check it out.

The graphic novel starts with the mysterious birth of forty-seven children, seven of whom are adopted by the millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves. The team disband, but reunite when their father dies, to discover they’re not quite done saving the world.

The Umbrella Academy is fun, dark, with beautiful art and an eerie The Black Parade aesthetic. You can sort of sense the threads tying this to MCR, see the way they both came from the same mind, but maybe that’s just my 16-year-old-self crying out to be released.

There’s a lot going on in this book, as the characters wait to see what the end of the world will look like. The art and the writing are a little bit quirky, and the interactions between the various characters are fun to read. There are some purely beautiful moments, and some dark, twisted ones.

The powers these characters have feel fresh and different, allowing them to be a different kind of hero. They are trying to do their best, but sometimes their best ends up being the exact wrong thing. It works really well, and definitely makes the book feel unique.

Again, if you pick this up, don’t go in expecting the TV show (and vice versa). But it’s still worth a read, and I’ll definitely be trying to get my hands on volume 2.

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