Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy is an adaptation of My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s Eisner-winning comic series of the same name and episode 1 opens in pretty much the same way the source material does – with the death of Sir Reginald Hargreeves(played by Colm Feore).
Now Sir Reginald capitalised on a global phenomenon that took place on October 1st 1989, when 43 women gave virgin births to children. Of the 43, Sir Reginald purchased and adopted 7. These children became the first (and only?) class of The Umbrella Academy where they became a superhero team. It is revealed that the Academy disbanded a long time ago, with each kid going their own way following the death of #6, Ben Hargreeves, and the disappearance of #5, The Boy. We rejoin the five remaining members of The Umbrella Academy, who are now 30-something, as they reconnect at their father’s funeral.
As it looks like they will all go their separate ways once more, #5 appears, and reveals an ominous future, hinting that The Umbrella Academy only have a few days to save the world.
The Umbrella Academy introduces us to a world we are very familiar with yet is unique enough to make it stand out from similar themed shows and movies. The vast cast are only going to shine more as we delve into each character and we have a long story to unpick and unravel in a structure similar to that of The Haunting of Hill House which is in no way a bad thing.
Verdict: 7/10 I think the greatest strength of The Umbrella Academy may also be its greatest weakness – its flawed characters. Some will enjoy their exploration whilst others will not enjoy putting time into characters they may deem unpleasant. Either way the show remains honest to itself and will only improve the further down the rabbit hole we go. Anyway, who doesn’t love a multi-character set piece to the sound of Tiffany?