The Umbrella Academy initially takes place in an alternate timeline where John F. Kennedy was never assassinated, and is primarily set in 1977 (the year of writer Way's birth), which is treated as the present. The titular team are described as a "dysfunctional family of superheroes". In the mid-20th century, at the instant of the finishing blow in a cosmic boxing match, 43 superpowered infants are inexplicably born to random, unconnected women who showed no signs of pregnancy (it is hinted by a character implied to be God that they are collectively a modern-day incarnation of the Messiah). Sir Reginald Hargreeves a.k.a. The Monocle, an extraterrestrial disguised as a famous entrepreneur, adopts the surviving seven children, and prepares them to save the world from an unspecified threat as the Umbrella Academy. In Apocalypse Suite, the team disbanded and failed to stay in contact with each other until they were reunited upon the news of Hargreeves' death, and subsequently reformed the team after one of their own number became a super villain.