Thursday, July 27, 2017

[Comic Book Review] The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá

Forty Seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born to women who had previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children to "save the world" but doesn't explain what they're supposed to save the world from. These seven children form the Umbrella Academy, a group of misfit superheroes with bizarre powers.


 Honestly, right off the bat this is a bit of a mess. The concept is a really cool one, but the execution is a bit of a disaster. The story is choppy and doesn't flow or connect at all. The events in the volume doesn't seem to fit. It feels like we jumped into the second volume instead of the first or that we are missing something.

The characters are hard to comment on, because I don't feel like we got enough of them to know them. I normally do not mind if a comic doesn't give you a blatant introduction to each character, as long as everything flows and we get to know the characters naturally. The Umbrella Academy doesn't flow naturally so I feel like some introduction to the seven children would have really helped us understand them and their motives. They have all this baggage between each other but there is so little information on why.  I honestly couldn't tell you which character has which powers, or what their names are, which unfortunately, caused me not to care about what happened to them, which takes away any tension or suspense during the more intense panels.

There are two reasons why my rating for this volume is at 2 stars instead of one. One reason being the art work, which I really loved. It's what kept me flipping the pages. I don't have any past experience with Gabriel Bá's artwork but I am definitely interested in more of his work now. There are two pages in particular that I reacted strongly to as I flipped the page. The second reason I am giving this two stars, is because I do think there's something good in the story. I think it needs a lot of work, more information, flesh out some things more, and for the individual issues to connect more clearly. But the idea is a cool one. Gerard Way is obviously a good story teller, from his music, so I am just hoping that maybe it gets better in later volumes.

Overall, I am not sure if I recommend this first volume. Maybe I will read the second, and I'll like it and that'll change, but for now it seems like such a let down. I don't doubt that there are people who are into this comic, so if you're interested I say give it a try. I originally was interested because the writer, Gerard Way, is the front man to a band I absolutely love My Chemical Romance. I liked that even after the band has ended, I could get a new form of storytelling from him. I recently requested it from the library because I had heard it was going to be made into a Netflix series. I am actually really excited for this, because like I said before, the premise is good, the execution is a mess. I am hoping that the show will take away most of my issues with the comic and pull out the good parts. I also hope the artist is being implemented in the show, or at least someone who has the same sort of style because it's awesome.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I felt the same way about the content. For the artwork, I liked the title dividers, but the rest was not for me. Do you think you'll try book two? I can't decide if I want to or not...

    1. A part of me wants to, because maybe the first book isn't great but the second one picks up? That happens sometimes in series. I'm definitely considering it. I loved the art work and dividers too! And the concept is something I like enough that I don't want to give up on Umbrella Academy so soon.