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Umbrella Academy, Vol.1: The Apocalypse Suite (The Umbrella Academy #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  14,056 ratings  ·  639 reviews
In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born to women who'd previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, "To save the world."

These seven children form the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with
Paperback, 184 pages
Published July 22nd 2008 by Dark Horse Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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mark monday
as the back cover states, this is a comic with an arch Victorian sensibility. steampunk superheroes, i love it! in an alternate world, "43 extraordinary children were born..." and seven of them were collected, to form a super-powered super-team. they have powers like time travel and mind control and super-strength and super-agility and the ability to spawn cthulhic tentacles. they are pretty awesome. my favorite is the devious, cold-blooded little killer Number Five, a 10-year old with a 50-year ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
This one's been in my tbr pile for a long time, and I finally got around to reading it.

I don't follow the music group My Chemical Romance, but I did see one of their videos, and I found it visually appealing. I can definitely see the artist in Gerald Way from that video sequence, and it carries over to this graphic novel.

The story takes the concept of superhuman abilities and the onus to protect humanity at one's personal cost and examines it closely. In this case, it focuses on seven children
Lamski Kikita
"Our souls are tainted...painted black by the very deeds that make us so wonderfully individual..."

Dark yet hopeful, sinister and yet has a hint of innocence, cruel yet witty, full of love and hate, music, family, neurosis, heros that hate, villains that love, aliens, robots, superheros, war, the eiffel tower, the end of the world, and a full orchestra. This isn't just a comic book, this is an accumilation of a lifetime of talent and pain. If i had not known that Gerard Way had written this gra
If you told me a year ago that a member of the hit band My Chemical Romance could pen a comic-book worthy of an Eisner nomination, I would have scoffed at the idea. But I relented when – after many a recommendation within comic literary circles – I picked up this first volume of the Umbrella Academy during my comic shop’s twice-yearly clearance sale. And what a smart purchase this was.

A musical prodigy in his own right, Gerard Way blew me away with his deft story-telling, not to mention his abil
Dan Schwent
Years ago, an unrevealed number of children were spontaneously born to women who weren't pregnant. Reginald Hargreeves, aka The Monocle, gathered all of them he could find, 47 of them, and formed the Umbrella Academy. Why? To save the world!

I picked this up because people said it's a lot like Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol. While I thought it was, it reminded me more of The Royal Tenenbaums. There are sequences were the academy members were youngsters but the series is mostly about them as adults
Sep 20, 2012 Zedsdead rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Zedsdead by: Scott
Shelves: graphic-novels
Great concepts, lousy execution.

The Umbrella Academy is a seemingly-random collection of plot points stapled haphazardly together in a garbled attempt at creating a story. The attempt fails. Rarely has so little been communicated in so many panels.

43 babies are suddenly born to random non-pregnant women. The seven survivors are adopted and raised by a wealthy inventor who is an alien. His alienness is immediately set aside and forgotten.

At age 10 the heroic children do battle with the admittedl
If you:

A) hate comic books

B) love comic book

C) feel indifferent about comic books

D) have never picked up a comic book in your life


This is one of the greatest comic books ever written, drawn, inked, etc. I hate to oversell it, but it's totally true. A group of kids, adopted by a scientist, time-traveling, killing for the good of mankind and having all of the dysfunctional problems kids have. In this installment, we jump back and forth between their childhoods and their
Maria Casacalenda (Big City Bookworm)
* You can find all of my full reviews at: Big City Bookworm. *

I have wanted to read this graphic novel duology for a while now and I finally had the chance to when one of my best friends mentioned she owned both volumes and was kind enough to lend them to me. I’m not going to lie, I was (and still am) a big My Chemical Romance fan and after finding out that Gerard Way was behind this series, I just knew I had to read it. Stay tuned for my review of volume two in the near future.

Many people ha
Where to begin? Umbrella Academy was spectacular. Absolutely magnificent. Gerard Way (the story writer) is supremely talented, whether in his musical works, art, or comic writing. I don't know that much about Gabriel Ba (illustrator), but I'll have to look up more of his stuff, because I love the artwork in the comic. Everything about it was fantastic.
I'm not a comic person (never have been) so it's a miracle that I tried and liked Umbrella Academy. The story line was complicated (in a good way)
Wow!!! I got this TPB since I had read good comments about this Umbrella Academy stuff but without knowing about what was about. Wow!!! I never had read something so creative, original and entertained that it wasn't written by Alan Moore and in my case, it's the best compliment that I can do to a comic book. Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba did a joint work so good, so exciting to read and watch that it's without a doubt one of the true new masterpieces of the modern age of comic books. Even I want t ...more
Mar 28, 2010 R. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
While reading this I thought, "The is The Royal Tenenbaums meets The Watchmen"; and apparently other reviewers of this graphic novel made the same connection.

So, that observation is, really, just my way of "bumping the thread" for those on my friends list for whom that concoction might be their confection: not meant to be an original OMG!! breakthrough in comic book criticism.

A group of superpowered orphans, raised by a dick of a father-leader, grow up, up and away into glamorous dysfunction (
Umbrella Academy starts off with a bang - hilarious, imaginative, and wicked smart. No unnecessary exposition - e.g. instead of a bunch of talking to explain why the Academy disbanded (like in most comics), there's a newspaper headline in a frame on a wall in a single panel. And to tell how Number One turned into what he did, there are three panels that use newspaper clippings and a from-behind-perspective shot that very quickly tell us what happened and why (skipping what others would drag out ...more
Dec 11, 2012 Kurt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kurt by: Matt
This is definitely a bizarre story, and at times I thought the weirdness would overwhelm me, but I'm happy that I pushed through and got to enjoy the story to its conclusion. Way, who is more famous for the band My Chemical Romance than as a comic book writer, clearly knows his way around a superhero comic, as his comedic timing is perfect, as are his decisions to foreshadow or obscure, or to knock the reader over the head with some ultra-gory violence with only a few clues as to whether it shou ...more
Sam Quixote
Umbrella Academy looks like another case of Saga - a comic everyone loves that I didn’t like at all. I honestly don’t know what people see in UA that makes it so beloved. It’s a mix of sci-fi and superhero comics starring a group of weird kids with powers that on paper reads a bit like a Grant Morrison comic - the Eiffel Tower goes “crazy”, one of the characters turns themselves into a living instrument - all of which I should love except Gerard Way has none of the artistry of Morrison.

The plot
It starts with an atomic flying elbow and ends with making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You can already tell it is going to be good, right? Forty-three extraordinary children were simultaneously born to women who had no signs of pregnancy. Most of the children were either abandoned or adopted. Reginald Hargreeves, an eccentric rich inventory, took in seven of the children. When asked why, he only replied, “To save the world.”

The seven children were known as the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Full review on Badelynge
Outside it is raining again. It's out there and I'm in here reading my comics again. This time it's Gerard Way's comic book debut with the remarkable first collection of The Umbrella Academy written when he was still on the road with My Chemical Romance deep in a world Black Parade tour. Well before he rose to fame as part of a successful rock band Gerard began writing and drawing comics. It would be easy to dismiss this book before reading it, thinking that the only rea
Around the world, 43 babies are spontaneously born — mostly from women who didn’t know they were pregnant. 7 survive and are adopted by Sir Reginald “Mr. Monocle” Hargreeves, a scientist/fencer/inventor who has revolutionized breakfast cereal and taught chimpanzees to talk.

Trained by Mr. Monocle, the children become The Umbrella Academy — a league of superheroes. Except for #7. There’s nothing special about #7.

The Umbrella Academy makes their first public appearance when the Eiffel Tower starts
Meghan Wilson
I'm trying to remember what lead me to read this book in the first place. It was a combination of a sick curiosity wondering what kind of comic book the lead singer of the band My Chemical Romance could possibly come up with and the cute black and white inked kid in knickers with dark circles under his eyes. The art is really nice, the characters are pretty inventive...I really wanted to love this book after looking through it. However there was something missing. Something I still cant put my f ...more
The Umbrella Academy is being marketed as similar to Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol. And it is. There's a strong vibe of casual weird, like Spaceboy's gorilla body. There's also a strong X-Men vibe, with the troubled young team. Except that their troubles mainly come from being adopted as infants and raised by the mysterious and wealthy Hargreaves, who was both emotionally distant and abusive by turns when they were children. There's a lot of backstory that's been skipped over (and presumably cove ...more
Bryce Wilson
Take one pinch Salinger, a heaping helping of Wes Anderson. Apply liberal dashes The X-men, Clockwork Orange, The Twilight Zone, and Mike Mignola. Add A semi insane ten year old with more killing power then Lee Marvin in his prime, the single most gratitous example of Living Violin Of Destruction on Chimp violence I have ever seen and The Zombie Corpse of Gustav Eiffel piloting his famous tower in an effort to destroy Paris.

And Viola.

I'm looking forward to more adventures at the academy. Loses
Alicia Reid
It begins, in the best way possible, with an atomic flying elbow…

I don’t normally review comic books; the part of me that is an artist spends more time being captivated by the artwork than taking notes like I do with novels. I also don’t read many comic books anymore. I was obsessed with them as a child, but lately…I don’t know. I borrow them from the library and they sit on my bookshelf, screaming, “What the fuck—we’re only going to take a couple of hours of your time, and you’re wasting it l
Nancy Martira
Apr 04, 2011 Nancy Martira rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Nancy by: Michael Climek
I read another Goodreads description of this book as "The Royal Tennenbaums meets Watchmen;" it's going to be hard to come up with a more accurate and scintillating comparison. This volume was chosen for me by my own personal comics sommelier, for which I am very grateful - I'm just tipping my toe into the universe of comics, and this title is pretty much perfectly suited for me. Who can resist masked-babies, super villains like Zombie Robot Gustav Eiffel, and a talking chimp named Dr. Pogo, try ...more
It seemed to me that Way had a lot going on in his head with the characters and plot of "The Umbrella Academy," but his ideas did not translate well to the page, or at all. The reader is left to infer a great deal about the characters and what happened to them between the opening pages of the novel when they are 10 years-old and the rest of the novel 20 years later. Because of this, I was not interested in the characters and,worse, was confused about their motivation throughout the whole book. T ...more
This was recommended to me by a friend at work, who said it was Ultimate X-Men meets A Clockwork Orange meets Watchmen. While it wasn't quite on the level of greatness that comparison had me prepared for, this was still pretty damn good.

Written by Gerard Way (you may know him better as the lead singer of the band My Chemical Romance), Umbrella Academy tells the story of seven youth, six of whom have superpowers, adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a rich and uppity New Yorker type who lives in a
Oct 23, 2011 Aubrey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Aubrey by:'s 50 must read graphic novels
It's no wonder this book won the Eisner Award for Best Limited Series. I must state that when I first started it I wasn't expecting to like it but when I ended it I was surprised. The characters were very reminiscent of Watchmen characters without being a copy; so I liked that! The art was incredible! For me, with a graphic novel, the art can be a real turning point. The art and the story, as shown in Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, must jive together and that they did. I was very impre ...more
as the old saying goes... "I may not know art, but I know what I like".
in this case... "I may not know exactly what I just read, but I liked it."
Characters with unusual powers... a Professor X sort of leader that just doesn't seem to give a rat's arse... a story that makes you go "what the f????"... and artwork that's so bizarre, it's actually good, er interesting?, er original? er different?... all of the above?. Mix in the Eiffel Tower and an end of the world scenario, and you just begin to ha
May 28, 2012 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People looking for fresh, new super heroes
Shelves: graphic-novels
I started reading this, got a bit lost by all the characters thrown at me -- and each of the seven main characters is referred to by a number, a code name, and a real name -- and stopped reading. I then opened the Umbrella Academy wiki, read the character descriptions, and started over. It made a lot more sense after the primer, and I really got into it. I'll definitely be checking out The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas.
As far as I can ascertain, there is only this first volume -- disappointing because what really intrigued me was the backstory: the mysterious births, the strange upbringing of the children by the inhumane, and possibly actually non-human, professor. Way sketches this story in but then jumps ahead decades to the point when many adventures have passed and the team is miserable, divided, and screwed up by psychological problems.
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Gerard Arthur Way is an American musician who has served as frontman, lead vocalist and co-founder of the band My Chemical Romance since its formation in 2001 until its breakup in 2013. He is the author of the Eisner Award-winning comic book series of "The Umbrella Academy." He released his second set of comics entitled "The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys" in 2013. As of January 2014, he anno ...more
More about Gerard Way...

Other Books in the Series

The Umbrella Academy (3 books)
  • The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas (The Umbrella Academy, #2)
  • The Umbrella Academy Vol. 3: Hotel Oblivion (The Umbrella Academy, #3)
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas (The Umbrella Academy, #2) The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys Whatever Gets You Through the Night (The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, #1) Ghost Stations (The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, #2) Blind (The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, #3)

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