Developed for Netflix by Steve Blackman and Jeremy Slater and an adaptation of the Dark Horse Comics comic book series of the same name, created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy aired in February 2019. The series follows oddball billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) whose death brings together his adopted children – Number One/Luther (Tom Hopper), Number Two/Diego (David Castaneda), Number Three/Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Number Four/Klaus (Robert Sheehan), Number Five (Aidan Gallagher), and Number Seven/Vanya (Ellen Page) – who are collectively known in their childhood as The Umbrella Academy, for the first time in years.
I’m always excited for a new set of superheroes to make their way into the ever-growing crowd of mask-wearing cape crusaders, especially when they promise a new take on the genre. It’s not often that they deliver on doing something different when it feels like we’ve seen everything, but The Umbrella Academy certainly does.
Feeling much closer to the Watchmen series in that these superheroes are a bunch of misfits who haven’t had the best starts in life, who are still messed up and making mistakes, who often act selfishly rather than for the good of others, the series is a lot darker in tone and is more about a family being brought back together than a save the world epidemic. Although, they do have to come together to save the world, in a way.
It may not be particularly rich in plot, but it’s an easy series to watch with a lot of emotion behind the well-developed characters. The characters are all likeable, ensuring that viewers care enough about whether they survive their apparent fate or not and the relationships that are being explored, and there’s a lot of fun to be had along the way.
It’s incredibly entertaining and, being based on a comic book co-created by My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way, obviously there is a great soundtrack to go with it. With a largely unknown cast, too, the performances are all really enjoyable. Robert Sheehan and Aidan Gallagher, especially, are really exciting to watch.