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Umbrella Academy vol 1: Apocalypse Suite

Umbrella Academy vol 1: Apocalypse Suite back

Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Huge success story from the lead singer of My Chemical Romance, by which I mean a) we've sold bundles b) it's brought in so many young and not quite so young women we've never seen before and c) some of them are now absolutely addicted to graphic novels. That's one of the finest things I can think of: meeting completely new people who are open-minded and inquisitive enough to stop, look around their new surroundings, and asks questions. Stand up, Louise Hart - thank you! You're the very opposite of free Vice Magazine dullards who too frightened to even glance at the shelves they pass by. As to the comic itself, Alex Sarll wrote:

Contrary to earlier worries, Gerard Way's comic UMBRELLA ACADEMY is available in Britain after all, which is handy because it's rather good. Also, far less emo than one might expect; it has the melancholic humour of Lemony Snicket or Edward Gorey, rather than the outright angst you might expect from the music of My Chemical Romance.

The art helps enormously: Gabriel Ba brings the same deranged inventiveness he had on Fraction's CASANOVA, without this time being hampered by a slightly too try-hard script. Way names Grant Morrison's DOOM PATROL as his favourite comic, and it shows; Morrison returns the favour by describing UMBRELLA ACADEMY as "an ultraviolet, psychedelic sherbet bomb of wit and ideas'" The second issue isn't quite so stuffed with marvellous lunacy as the first, but given that opened with a wrestler beating up an alien squid, carrying on at that pace might have got wearing; this way, the characters get a little space to breathe and develop. Plenty of name writers from outside comics falter, at least in their early efforts (look how long it took Joss Whedon to grasp comics pacing), but on the evidence so far, Way's a natural.

Dark Horse writes: "In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born by women who'd previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, "To save the world." These seven children form The Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. Their first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreeves unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again."

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