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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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Review: The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite - Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá


It was only a matter of time before my exploration of graphic novels would lead me to a superhero story. Enter the Umbrella Academy, a team of dysfuctional superheroes with many interpersonal issues. The premise of these seven heroes, born exactly at the same moment—some to women who weren't even pregnant—who are taken in by a scientist hoping “to save the world” appealed to me. Plus I could tell right away that I liked the art.

Frankly, the art and the concept are the primary strengths of The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite. That and the dynamics of the family, which added a level of tension the actual nemesis could not. Otherwise, the story was a bit disjointed. Beautiful scenes and ideas are thrown together haphazardly. The result is a superhero story that is a joy to look at and is a quick read, but doesn't stick long with the reader.

I consider The Umbrella Academy a worthwhile venture into the realm of superhero graphic novels, but greater focus on story is going to have to be a priority for me to become a believer.