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The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1 Paperback – July 22, 2008
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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
About the Author
Louise Whitehead is a mother of three children and a born-again Christian. After experiencing a miraculous, divine healing, which is detailed in her book: Close to God, she was led to write the Under Christ's Umbrella series of Christian poetry. Other titles in the series include; Blessed Hope, Rewarding Faith, and Heavenly Peace. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Created and written by Gerard Way with art by Gabriel Ba, THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY is based on the idea that one day, thirty years ago, forty-three children were born at the same time, many of them to women who had no idea they were pregnant. All but seven of these mysterious children died. Those seven were adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, “world-renowned scientist and wealthy entrepreneur.” When asked why he chose to adopt the children, he answered, “To save the world, of course.”
Hargreeves trained the children and raised them to be super heroes as each was endowed with a special power of their own--all but one, number 7, Vanya, who appeared to be completely ordinary in every way. The children made their debut ten years later when the Eiffel Tower, under the control of zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel, attacked. The children ended the reign of terror and their legend was born.
Flash forward twenty years and the children haven’t spoken to each other in a while, each going off to live their own variation on “a life.”
They only reconvene at their old home for Hargreeves’s funeral. And the old rivalries return. Unfortunately, they must set aside their differences because now, after so long, is the thing they’ve waited for so long. The world is about to end and the children of the Umbrella Academy must save it.
This first volume, “Apocalypse Suite”, collects the original six-issue run of the series in one book and it’s definitely worth picking up if you like comics, humor, science fiction, fantasy, absurdity … basically, if you like anything at all, THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY is going to make you smile.
Way’s writing is like the work of someone who’s been writing comics all his life. His pacing, his use of dialogue and flashbacks and captions and suspense, it’s all there. While the book focuses primarily on only a few of the members, everyone is developed enough that you get a feel for who and what they are in the grand scheme, and Way even manages to use what’s NOT said in helping to establish enough background detail that we can fill in the blanks and create an entire backstory for them.
I can only imagine how entertaining the script alone must have been for artist Gabriel Ba, who also shines here.
His sense of drama and tension and panel layout all coalesce into this perfect thing that grabs your attention and sweeps you along, and before you know it, you’re looking at the last page wondering how the hell did I read that so fast? And why does it have to be over?
I wasn’t expecting much going into this book, to be honest. I know she mentioned it, but didn’t really elaborate and I only got it because I spoil her, but I’m glad she did because I really feel my general well of knowledge is improved by having experienced THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY.
My only wish is that more people got it. I know this book’s got tons of great reviews, but I’ve read a few negative ones that make me wonder if they read the same book I did, because this made perfect sense to me, it made me laugh, it made me feel, and it shocked and surprised me many times. For me, THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: Apocalypse Suite is 100% recommended.
Had a great time going into the world Gerard Way has created. Gabriel Ba translates so much meaning and drama into the corresponding visuals. The colors standout and it's a fun, dramatic comic read.
Great recommendation for fans of X-Men, Doom Patrol. This is a team that I am invested in from the first issue.
Great job for everyone involved.
Most recent customer reviews
So right away, I didn't like that we just dove into the story without understanding who...Read more