Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Umbrella Academy

Hip, cool and magnificently original, The Umbrella Academy is the same gift in live action as it was as the first six issue comic book miniseries that introduced us to the most dysfunctional family in the history of superheroes. And make no mistake, they are all heroes, in their own twisted way and have barely kept sane in the process.

Created by Gerard Way and Gabrielle Ba, the story begins after the death of the eccentric billionaire Hargreaves who adopted 7 unusual children many years previous. Each was born on the first of October, 1989 to mothers who where not pregnant the morning they gave birth.

The children were raised to fight crime with their abilities. All of them but Vanya (Ellen Page), the one without any powers according to her father. The one despised by her father who made sure she never forgotten how ordinary she was. In fact she wrote a book about it and exposed all the family secrets - something most of her brothers and sisters have never forgiven her for. She also plays the violin. That becomes crucial as the story progresses.

Through their initial reaction upon coming together when they learn of the death of their 'father', the family has many an unresolved issue that immediately informs us of the relationship they have with each other. It's very smart writing and in the end it's what makes The Umbrella Academy special - the relationships.

Plus there is a talking monkey in a suit named Pogo. A wise old monkey who served as Hargreaves monkey Major Domo and loves the children very much.

I enjoyed very much the cast and how each was their father's children. Each has an edge and emotional pain that all comes up after the death of the only parent they ever knew. They have a 'Mother' too but I will let you learn about her on your own.

Next we learn that Number Five has been missing for nearly 17 years. One day the kid who could teleport was gone and never seen again. Of course he would re-appear on the day that that family has gathered to spread their Father's ashes after being in the future for 54 years. Of course he is still in the body of a 13 year old because he never ages.

There is a Number Six who would turn into a murderous tentacled creature.
He died.
The way each one dances to Tiffany's I Think We're Along Now is delightful and unforced and does more to set a mood and a sensibility than anything I could have thought of. So far I am loving this story as one would love a superhero fairy tale, albeit a dark one with plenty of blood and violence. I will only watch one a day because I have a feeling I will not want these ten episodes to ever end.



DrGoat said...

I'm on episode 5. Good stuff so far.

Chase March said...

I absolutely love Tiffany so it was so cool to see that scene. One episode in, but it is good so far. I'm sure it'll be a great ride.