Do you like ham and cheese? I hope you do. I love ham and cheese. The hammier and cheezier, the better. The Umbrella Academy has both, in equal measure, and it’s a tasty feast… if that’s your sort of thing. Let’s check out the first collection, We dive into The Apocalypse Suite.
Let me explain, because I might be losing you already. The comic has a murderous Eiffel Tower, a character with a monocle called (you guessed it) The Monocle, and a Murder Bot set to “Careless Brutality”. And that’s why this comic is brilliant.
The Umbrella Academy manages to poke fun at superhero comics, while being a part of the family. It never feels like a rip-off of X-Men, even though it’s a hilarious fun-house mirror-image of super-mutant hero teams. That humour is the hammy, cheesy goodness. You’re either going to love it or hate it.
The story’s pace and the depth of the characters were other high points for me. Because most of the story happens after the main characters have passed their prime, the story just wouldn’t have worked if they’d not been well developed. Essentially, you’re getting a story that feels like it exists in a much bigger one, and that the characters have plenty of history left to explore.
More Great Stuff
Gabriel Ba’s art is perfect for The Umbrella Academy because it works with the hammy cheesiness at the soul of this comic. Ba’s art is also grim when it needs to be, sombre when needed, and never confusing. Ba tells a better visual story than many artists who’ve worked for Marvel or DC.
The Not so Great
It’s a bit of a weird thing about the comic, but you don’t learn each hero’s power until the mini-comics at the end of this six-comic anthology. Their powers are in the main comic, but Gerard’s subtlety might mean you miss it. Is that a good thing? Does it really matter? Probably not. Maybe that’s there to tell you what kind of story this really is? You decide.
Overall, a great read if you like clever shlock or you’re a fan of the comic book medium. Four out of five Cheeky Cthulhus!
Hey there, I’m Rodney!
I’m a writer and editor of tabletop RPGs and a painter of Orks. Welcome to Rising Phoenix Games!
Dwarves Rule! By the Power of Greyskull! Jesus Saves! Turtle Power! Bionics On! Waaagh Ork! For the Golgari, for the Swarm! ThunderCats Ho! Skate the Apocalypse!