“The Umbrella Academy” Is the Superhero Show We Didn’t Know We Needed
By Brittany Zendejas
A few decades ago, women all over the world gave birth at the same time, despite not being pregnant moments before, to babies with extraordinary gifts. Sir Reginald Hargreeves an eccentric, narcissistic billionaire played by Colm Feore, adopted seven of those children and raised them to be superheros. The rest is history, or so we think. Fast forward to the death of their adopted father Hargreeves and the seven dysfunctional siblings, all now adults, are all brought back together to save the world from an impending apocalypse in seven days after going their separate ways in their teen years!
It is this complicated and fantastical backdrop that propels “The Umbrella Academy” forward, along with a great soundtrack and incredible acting. Netflix dropped its newest comic book adaptation of the series “The Umbrella Academy” by Gerard Way, yes that Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance,and Gabriel Bá on Feb. 15. It echoes the wittiness of A Series of Unfortunate Events with the dark action of Watchmen. The siblings are fortunate to have a guide during their troubling times; the elderly butler monkey named Pogo voiced by Dickon Tarly, assisted by the siblings’ robot mother played by Jordan Claire Robbins. At one point Mary J. Blige and Cameron Britton, who play the deadly assassins Cha-Cha and Hazel, eat too much of an edible and burn down a building. This series is unconventional in the best possible way.
The adaptation takes a straightforward approach, sticking closely to elements in the comic book. Of course, given the extremity that their powers present in the comics was cause for some changes to be made in the show. Vanya, referred to as Number 7, is played by Ellen Page and , becomes the White Violin through a metamorphosis in the show, compared to her transformation through machinery in the comics. In the end, the build up to her powerful character works in favor of television because it ends up being the catalyst for the siblings to reunite. Although some changes had to be made, the essence that was first created by the beloved comics can be found in each episode.
The siblings are of course the heart of the show, each given their moment to shine, but there are some stories left untold, leaving audiences in suspense and wanting more. Luther, Number 1, has been sent to the moon for unknown reasons. Diego, Number 2, is a knife striking vigilante who has many run-ins with the cops. Allison, Number 3, is a famous celebrity who refuses to use her powers. Klaus, Number 4, is a drug addict who can communicate with the dead. Number 5 disappeared as a kid and Number 6 died in the past. The acting is phenomenal, especially by Robert Sheehan, who plays Number 4, proves to be a crowd favorite among viewers. Each character tackles real life questions about superpowers and what we would actually do if they existed.
The grand reveals, tantalizing cliffhangers, and fine tuned soundtrack are all factors in this show’s allure. The comedy that Aidan Gallagher, who plays Number 5, and Sheehan bring to the table are another great reason to keep watching, not to mention the darker moments that offset those laughs. The inner turmoil between the siblings, especially between Vanya and Allison, are the reason most of the siblings issues’ are exasperated within the span of 10 episodes. Overall, the quirkiness of the show works well. We get the dark and gritty action packed scenes, along with the tender moments that keep viewers engaged. Throw in two assassins from the future, the impending apocalypse and daddy issues, and “The Umbrella Academy” becomes a superhero show worth binge watching.