Netflix’s newest superhero venture makes a diversion from it’s usual Marvel and DC adaptations, taking its source material from a Dark Horse comic instead. The Umbrella Academy follows the lives of seven “super” people who happened to born at the same time all over the world. A wealthy man decides to adopt these children somehow knowing they would be special.
The show benefits from having such a good cast
The shock birth scenes were a good way to get you intrigued in the uniqueness of such an event and really grip you right at the beginning of the show. What makes the show stand out is its subversion from superhero tropes. Whilst it refers to the children in flashbacks being part of the conventional superhero team with their masks and their uniforms, as they have grown into adults they have developed into anti-hero personalities.
Only one of them fits in to a conventional hero label, Tom Hopper’s Number One (Luther Hargreeves). Number One has super strength, forced to live on the moon for four years to build up his strength even more, he is the only one who respects his father’s cold determination.
The show benefits from having such a good cast. Ellen Page as Number Seven and Robert Sheehan as Number Four really stand out. Sheehan’s portrayal as a flamboyant drug addict with the ability to talk to the dead is incredibly entertaining. His depiction of the uncaring yet down to earth eccentric addict is one to watch.
There were, however, some issues with the first episode. The genetically engineered talking ape who sees over their father’s estate, whilst he is an engaging character and voiced well, the CGI leaves a lot be desired. This is understandable in a TV show format, however it really takes you out of the immersion of the show as the other character’s interactions with him seem really empty and false.
The shows also suffers slightly from its off the wall absurdity in some of the scenes, whilst this can add character, such as one of their superpowers being the ability to turn into a Cthulhu-esque monster and cause devastation, some of the scenes do seem random and unneeded. For example in the first episode, there is a scene in which they all start dancing by themselves, wackily to an old 80s anthem for seemingly no reason. Whilst I could be argued it is charming, it just seems needlessly placed.
Ultimately, The Umbrella Academy is worth a watch and I’ll certainly see it through to its end for this season, just be aware, it can be quite strange.