Dani Shuping's Reviews > The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: The Apocalypse Suite

The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1 by Gerard Way
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Aug 23, 2011

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bookshelves: graphic-novel

In one moment forty-seven children were born by women who'd never known they were pregnant. Seven of these children were adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves...to save the world. These children each have unique and bizarre powers, ranging from the ability to communicate with the dead to traveling in time. Together they form the Umbrella Academy. The team eventually breaks apart, each going their own separate way, only to return together when Sir Hargreeves passes away...and the greater adventure unfolds. The team must once again fight together or the world will meet its end.

I really like the concept behind this comic, a family of superheroes, born suddenly, and each having their own different powers...including one who has the power to destroy the world. But...to me it falters a bit. There are elements introduced, but never really explained, such as is Dr. Hargreeves really an alien and did he cause the children to be born? What happened to the other children? Granted some of this could be answered later in the series, but it just felt...unsettled to me. And while I enjoyed the story, especially Vanya's character, I would have liked to see more about what they were like growing up, which seems like where the real story is to me.

The artwork has a nice vibe to it and really reminds me a lot of Doug TenNapel's style, both in terms of layout and the types of colors used. Each character has their own distinct shape and style, which really helps at identifying and keeping track of them. Other than that...I'm not really sure what to say about it. Oh right the covers are done by James Jean and wow...those are absolutely fantastically gorgeous (not the cover of the book, but the individual covers of the comics.)

I really want to read more of the work, but only because I want to see if they answer some of the questions and tell the stories that seem to begging to be told. If the next volumes don't have it...then I can't really say that I would keep reading.
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