‘Umbrella Academy’ stays true to its origins


Rana Soylu

Art by Rana Soylu

Katlyn Schwarz, Staff Reporter

First a controversial graphic novel published by Dark Horse Comics, the adapted “Umbrella Academy” hit the screens of Netflix users. Released Feb. 15, Netflix collaborated with graphic novel writer and former lead singer of My Chemical Romance Gerard Way to bring these classic characters to life.

The premise of the TV show  starts the first day of October in the year 1989. It was then that 43 women had given birth all around the world. However, these women were not pregnant when the day had began. Of those 43 children, seven were adopted by brilliant billionaire Reginald Hargreeves. These seven children were believed to have special abilities, and boy did they ever.

In the first scene of the first episode, we are greeted by a woman, portrayed by actress Ellen Page, seemingly on a stage playing a medley from “Phantom of the Opera” on a violin. While at the time, this didn’t seem important, but the scenes all come together.

A quick cut and a 29-year jump later, we’re introduced to a man on the moon. This man, played by Tom Hopper, is referred to as “Number One,” or Luther Hargreeves, as his siblings call him. Luther, ranked No. 1, is seemingly the most useful of the seven children. Of course, the rankings were something that I wasn’t much a fan of, but that was no change from the comic, and important to Reginald Hargreeves’ character and the overall story development of the gifted children.

Then there’s Number Two, Diego Hargreeves. Then Number Three, Alison Hargreeves. Number Four, Klaus Hargreeves. Number Five, that’s just his name. Number Seven, Vanya Hargreeves. Although in the first couple scenes you’re not introduced to Number Six, we find out that Ben Hargreeves is deceased.

With five children remaining and Number Five’s whereabouts currently unknown, the members are brought back together after the sudden death of their father, Reginald. Suddenly, Number Five appears during a thunderstorm, popping through a boom tube from the future.

Together again, the six remaining members of the Umbrella Academy, as Reginald had dubbed them, must work together to stop the end of the world in a week’s time.

The plot altogether bears some similarities to Marvel’s X-Men. There are certain aspects of the show and comics that make it completely different, however.

Although the X-Men themselves have their own individual personalities that make them a team, the Umbrella Academy is literally a family. They come together over the loss of their father and have to work together to save the world.

I do admit, the show’s events seemed to jump around too quickly. But overall, the show was beautifully written and casted.

Having read the comics, it’s easy to say that the show certainly did them justice.