Wednesday January 14, 2009 1:00 am
Review- The Umbrella Academy
Wacky, weird, and wonderful, The Umbrella Academy was the surprise hit of last year. Created and written by My Chemical Romance vocalist Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite is the story of a group of children spontaneously born at the moment “Tusslin Tom” Gurney knocked out the space squid from Rigel X-9 with an atomic flying elbow. (I told you it was weird). Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves, who along with his talking chimp Pogo, adopts seven of the children, who he trains as superheroes at the Umbrella Academy.
I’m not a fan of My Chemical Romance (I’m more of a classic/hard rock kind of guy), so I thought nothing of this title when it first debuted on Free Comic Book Day. But, when people like Grant Morrison are saying it’s one of the best books out there, my curiosity gets piqued, so I decided to check out the first trade paperback. What I found was a mix of the plot of Rising Stars, the familial dynamic of the Fantastic Four, and the weirdness of Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol all dressed with a dark, expressionistic, art style.
The story’s main thrust is Hargreeves has died and the team has reunited for the funeral. It is not a happy one, as the team must deal with not only an old villain’s last plot, the family issues that tore them apart in the first place, the Orchestra Verdammten, who have composed a piece to destroy the world, and the revelation that their estranged non-powered sister Vanya is really the most powerful of them all. Add battles with the Eiffel Tower, a journey to the future, and a talking monkey professor, and you have one fun and unique book. I don’t know what else to say other then you won’t see anything like this from Marvel and DC.
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