The Umbrella Academy and What Makes it Special

Netflix’s long line of original series has a new addition: The Umbrella Academy.

By Jaclyn Rodriguez, Social Media Editor

In a world where superheroes are featured in some of the most popular movies and TV shows, is it even possible to make another original superhero TV show? The answer is yes, and Steve Blackman can tell you how.

Steve Blackman is the show-runner of the new Netflix original The Umbrella Academy. The Umbrella Academy is based off a series of comics by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba. It was recently picked up by Netflix to make the comics into an original series written by Jeremy Slater. But don’t worry die hard comic book fans! The original writers Way and Ba had plenty of input in the show and were even present at the table reads.

In an interview done by Collider, Way stated, “I remember being at the table read in Toronto, and that was the first time that it really clicked for me. I wasn’t on set yet. It was the day before going on set, and they all did the read of the script together, and I was like, ‘This is crazy!'”

In the midst of superheroes and the impeding apocalypse, and the heart of The Umbrella Academy is the family dynamic.

On a seemingly normal day in 1989, 43 women gave birth despite not being pregnant earlier that day. Billionaire and philanthropist, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, adopts 7 of these children who possess remarkable abilities. The Umbrella Academy is comprised of these children whose purpose is to “save the world.” There is Number One, AKA Luther, who has the power of super strength. Number Two, AKA Diego, has the ability to curve any item he throws — usually knifes. Number Three, AKA Allison, has power of manipulation. Number Four, AKA Klaus, possesses the ability to see and speak to the dead. He keeps the ghosts at bay through drugs and alcohol. Number Six, AKA Ben, died mysteriously, and Number Seven, AKA Vanya, is not trained along with the rest of The Academy because she is ordinary.

The TV show takes places years later, when the children are grown up and come back home after their adoptive father’s death. The show kicks into action with the return of Number Five, who was long missing after using his ability to jump through space and time by traveling to the future and getting stuck, banding together ‘The Academy’ to stop the impending apocalypse.

In the midst of superheroes and the impeding apocalypse, and the heart of The Umbrella Academy is the family dynamic. Family drama is never easy, and when you’re a part of a family of superheroes it can be even more difficult. The show perfectly captures the sibling rivalry, neglect, as well as living with superpowers and the threat of the looming apocalypse. The visuals in The Umbrella Academy are also very well done, specifically Pogo, the talking monkey who works for Sir Hargreeves. Pogo is a completely CGI character, but moves and speaks as any human would. The issue with some works of CGI is that the characters look somewhat fake or like a character in a video game, but The Umbrella Academy does such a great job with Pogo that it’s easy to forget he’s not a real.

With a new show in production, many executives would choose well-known actors to lead their show. However, The Umbrella Academy chooses to showcases breakthrough actors, and although some people may see this as a negative, in my opinion it is for the best. The characters are unique and by choosing unique actors to portray them it makes them stand out more. Of course, there are also many people out there who don’t enjoy superheroes or magic, and The Umbrella Academy may not be for them.

The Umbrella Academy is a superhero show, a family drama, and a dystopian world all in one. It brings a new and fresh view on an overdone media.