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The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1 Paperback – July 22, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Umbrella Academy (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books; 1st edition (July 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593079788
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593079789
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The newest superhero kids on the block are just that—kids. At least they start out kids in the first Umbrella Academy collection, written by the lead singer of My Chemical Romance (Way) and superbly illustrated by Brazilian graphic artist Ba. When the diminutive orphans turned masked crime fighters first appear in the public arena, with their wealthy patron, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, keeping watch, their nemesis is a mobile, death-ray-zapping Eiffel Tower. Twenty years later, it takes Hargreeves’ death to bring the gang members, now grown and separated by their own idiosyncratic ambitions, back together to face a new enemy: estranged sister Vanya, the only one of them presumed to be powerless. Newly gifted with destructive powers by a race of robotic aliens, Vanya will stop at nothing to destroy the world unless her siblings stop her. Way and Ba provide all the ingredients of a superhero team to rival the X-Men and make its colorful adventures a hit. --Carl Hays

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 3, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A rocker writing comics? What's that about? And, yet, Gerard Way, of the rock band My Chemical Romance, comes up with a humdinger of a comic book in THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: APOCALYPSE SUITE, a wonderfully strange and inventive six-issued limited series published by Dark Horse Comics. It's an auspicious debut, really, and, now, count me as completely sold on Gerard Way, comic book scribe.

So what's this thing about? Well, some time ago, around the globe and in the same instance, at 9:38pm, forty-three gifted children were born to women who had before shown no signs of pregnancy. An extraterrestrial masquerading as a human adopted seven of these children and trained them to save the world. But theirs was a cold and callous father, so it's no surprise that the kids grew up as a dysfunctional family. However, the training took hold and the kids did become superheroes.

But the story really begins years after the team, called the Umbrella Academy, had disbanded as most of the siblings reunite for their father's funeral. I say most, because one had perished (we don't know how), while another is too bitter and disinclined to pop in. During this sad gathering, a world-threatening menace promptly surfaces, forcing these bickering capes to quit the bellyaching and work together...except that, of course, they don't quit the bellyaching.

For those looking for something different, something original and wonderfully off-beat, THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: APOCALYPSE SUITE will fit the bill. I don't know how much of Gerard Way's experiences and life style influenced him in his writing, but his stuff reads as from an askewed perspective. APOCALYPSE SUITE is inventive and surreal and keeps on surprising.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Sean Curley on August 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One could be forgiven for expecting that a comic miniseries by one of the members of the band "My Chemical Romance" would be a gratuitous vanity project. That is, however, not the case. While I do not rate is as highly as many others here do, Gerard Way has produced a genuine story, with nice art by indie favourite Gabriel Ba (also known for Matt Fraction's Image series "Casanova").

As the description says, an unexplained global phenomenon saw numerous children born to women who had not previously shown signs of pregnancy. Seven of these are adopted by an eccentric millionaire, Sir Reginald Hargreeves (secretly a space alien), and raised to fight evil. This is the classic superhero setup of the X-Men. Well, it is, and it isn't. Way subverts some of the basic idea, particularly regarding the Professor X figure, Hargreeves (aka The Monocle). Hargreeves is a cold and demanding person who is not interested in providing the children with a genuine father figure; he is merely their boss. He even refers to the children by numbers, rather than names (their names are supplied by the 'mother' he deigned to provide, an animated clothes dummy; the kids are split in how they treat her, with some accepting her, while the rebelious Diego sees her as just another layer of artifice in their upbringing). Hargreeves' parental neglect is the catalyst for the primary villain plot, revolving around #7, Vanya, who has no powers, and thus was just not "special" as Hargreeves tells her directly. However, she may indeed have some purpose for an eccentric villain out to bring about the end of the world.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Red Dwarf on March 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved the art in this book. It was definitely its greatest asset. The story was interesting and very fast. I hope in future books to get to know more about these complicated characters. The writing is quirky and fun. My only complaint would be that I felt like it got over too soon. Overall I recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David A. French on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this because I was impressed with the art. I did not get it because of Gerard Way. In fact, those who do are really missing the best part. Gerard as an art director, and tone setter does a good job. However, there is really not much writing to speak of. Characters lack any serious depth. However, that doesn't matter because it has a robot zombie taking vengeance on Paris using the Eiffel Tower as a rocket ship. So what more can you want? Amazing art work.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By McCool009 on September 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
Ultimately not a very satisfying or good story. It was spurred along by random cool gimmicks and ideas, but in the end I think that was all it was. The parts were greater than the whole. I won't be buying volume two unless Way comes up with an even cuter instrument of world destruction.

Ok, maybe that was a bit too harsh. It was a great start and had it's moments. I just think the story would have benefitted alot if he fabricated the plot a bit more seriously and thoroughly in certain parts. I'd upgrade my review four stars if it let me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark McLaughlin on January 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
While the writing in this series improves from chapter to chapter greatly, the artwork (with the exception of the cover pages) is sometimes horrific. Rushed panels with basic illustrations can't be hidden with lots of color and explosions. If Way had hired an artist or team of artists who actually paid attention to each panel then he may have been on to something.
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