I don't read a lot of graphic novels. In fact, I can count on one hand the number that I've read. What I have read however has been outstanding in bot...moreI don't read a lot of graphic novels. In fact, I can count on one hand the number that I've read. What I have read however has been outstanding in both story and art (i.e. Watchmen). Artistically, The Umbrella Academy is very good and its story is engaging, if a bit lacking in development.
The illustrator, Gabriel Bá, does an outstanding job with the visualization of the characters and the world that they inhabit. Each character's appearance suits their individually outrageous personalities without being too cartoon-like. This is mostly due to the fact that the histories of those in the core group are visible on their faces. The settings, too, are believable in their originality. His action scenes come together to create an almost palpable sense of excitement, despite the fact that one is just looking at this all on bound paper.
Gerard Way's story itself is also intriguing. It's very over-the-top and riddled with a perfect amount of humor. The premise of a group of extraordinary children taken and raised to defend the side of good is fascinating. What hero-worship and adoration the kids received from most of the public, they lacked from their own adoptive father and mentor, Hargreeves. Thus the cause of much of the novel's conflict and. While this makes for fascinating a backstory and provides a wealth of material that could be used to flesh out the characters, Way neglects to fully utilize it. Its evident that there is a lot more story there, but the length of the Apocalypse Suite is entirely too short to do it justice. I understand that there is another installment, The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas, so (hopefully) there is more in the way of character development and answers.
Ultimately, it's a fun, quick read and I wouldn't mind seeing where The Umbrella Academy goes from here.(less)