The Umbrella Academy 1: Apocalypse Suite

umbrella academy volume 1 the apocalypse suite cover review
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Nice art, decent storytelling

Feels too derivative of Rising Stars

Comic Info

Comic Name: The Umbrella Academy

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Writer: Gerard Way

Artist: Gabriel Bá

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2008

umbrella academy #1 cover james jean art

The Umbrella Academy #1

Reprints The Umbrella Academy #1-6 (September 2007-February 2008).  A group of children are born at the same instance to mothers where not expecting.  Collected by Reginald Hargreeves, a group of the children are educated at the Umbrella Academy by Hargreeves and raised as heroes…without the love or a sense of family.  Now, Hargreeves has died and the Umbrella Academy has regrouped for his funeral.  The old arguments are resurfacing and the “brothers and sisters” are discovering that the return of the Umbrella Academy could mean doom for Earth.  Vanya never felt she was a member of the Academy like the others, but she is about to discover she could be more powerful than any of her “siblings” combined!

Written by Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy Volume 1:  Apocalypse Suite is a Dark Horse Comics superhero limited series.  The story features art by Gabriel Bá.  The series was released to positive reviews and sales and was adapted by Netflix as a TV series in 2019.

I skipped The Umbrella Academy.  I read Rising Stars and the series felt very similar in story.  With the release of the Netflix series, I decided to go back and read the comic book.  While it still feels kind of derivative of Rising Stars, I do enjoy The Umbrella Academy’s style and writing more.

umbrella academy #4 cover james jean art

The Umbrella Academy #4

The story is a pretty typical set-up and not revolutionary in that sense.  Since it is a story about a “family”, there is the backstory and where the family stands now.  The comic fleshes out the characters, the family rifts, and the family relations while telling the story of a global or universal threat.  What feels too similar to Rising Stars is that Rising Stars focused on a group of children in a town conceived on the same day that all were born with powers…the set-up is almost interchangeable.

The art for the comic is quite good.  Gabriel Bá’s art is very reminiscent and most likely influenced by Mike Mignola’s art which is also fun.  Both Bá and Mignola have an oddly simple style that is actually quite detailed and though it is cartoonish, it doesn’t feel like something by Humberto Ramos which is overly cartoonish.  The style works for the story and helps tell the story instead of hinders its telling.  The only problem with The Umbrella Academy is that flashback sequences has a lot of characters that look alike.

Comic got extra attention because it was written by My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way.  While I do like My Chemical Romance, I often bias myself toward celebrities that jump into comic book writing.  That isn’t fair, and I try not to do it, but it does happen.  I wish I had read The Umbrella Academy closer to when it was released because now I am the one “jumping on the bandwagon”…so I guess Way has his own little revenge on comic book readers who were bias.  The Umbrella Academy 1:  Apocalypse Suite is followed The Umbrella Academy 2:  Dallas.

Related Links:

The Umbrella Academy 2:  Dallas

The Umbrella Academy—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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