December 5, 2023

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Comic Review: Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite

Five kid heroes reunite to stop the end of the world...maybe.

Umbrella Academy is a superhero series from Dark Horse Comics that is currently being made into a Netflix series.  But hey, let’s look at the first book, a story called Apocalypse Suite.

For reasons unknown, 43 children were born one night across the globe to women who had no idea they were pregnant.  World famous millionaire scientist Sir Reginald “the Monocle” Hargreeves adopted seven of them with the intention of training the children to save the world.  Six of these kids have superpowers.  The youngest, a girl named Vanya (though Hargreeves only addresses the kids by numbers) seems to have no superpowers, and her adoptive father seems to have no time for her.

Fast forward another 18 years, and the surviving kids are adults.  Hargreeves dies, and his children reunite.  Who are they?  Superstrong Spaceboy, his head attached to an ape’s body; the Rumor, a wannabe homemaker who can make anything she suggests come true or believable; the Kraken, a super government agent; Seance, a drug-addled psychic; and No. 5, a time traveler in a child’s body.  A sixth, we are told in passing, died under unstated circumstances.  As for Vanya, she learned the violin and has some encounters of her own.

As it is, No. 5 returned from the future with a warning that the world will end in three days if the former kids of the Umbrella Academy can’t stop it.

My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way wrote this one with art by Gabriel BA.  It’s not bad, but it reminded me very much of the Black Hammer series.  This one is quirkier, but the reimagined weirdness of the superhero world seemed familiar.  This one wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure if I care enough about these characters to continue with it. It’s fun, but didn’t grab me, hence the grade:  eight and a half talking ape scientists out of ten.