A New Age of Superheroes: “The Umbrella Academy”



Promotional picture for “The Umbrella Academy.”

Alden Wiygul, Staff Writer

Netflix has been riding the wave of superheroes’ popularity by making every superhero show imaginable. Some of them have been very successful while others were quickly forgotten . A successful Netflix installment is new series, “The Umbrella Academy,”based off of comic books written by My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way. This quirky show is filled with unique superpowers, time-travelling assassins, a robot mom, and a monkey butler. All of this adds into what has made it take off amid the surplus of superhero shows that Netflix offers.

The Umbrella Academy allegedly started by a rich billionaire who adopted 7 children who were mysteriously born on the same day.  Throughout their childhood, these children train to harness their power and eventually become celebrities among citizens. After the death and disappearance of two of the children, however, the siblings break apart to pursue their own lives. Interestingly, however of the five remaining siblings, Vanya is deemed “ordinary” and without powers.

The first thing that stands out about “The Umbrella Academy” is the characters. Each one has an extensive backstory that provides a deeper understanding into their states of mind throughout the events of the episodes. Their superpowers are less predictable than the classic superhero shows from DC or Marvel. Of the members and siblings of the Academy, Diego has the power to curve anything he throws. While this may seem somewhat odd and useless, his power comes in handy as he throws knives. Klaus has the ability to summon the dead, and Luther is abnormally large and strong. While this eccentric use of bizarre powers is what makes these characters beyond interesting, their relationships and superhero sibling adds a tender touch to their characterizations and interactions.

Other than the characters, one of the best things about the show is the soundtrack, which is filled with catchy, and sometimes ironic, songs that make the scenes livelier. They provide a feeling within the show that makes all the bizarre characters and events seem even more otherworldly. In a shooting scene, an upbeat pop song blasts in the background, and the tempo jumps as each shot is fired.

Despite its well-made appearance, interesting characters, and fascinating stories, the plot, while respectable, is terribly predictable. All the shocking revelations and events meant to make the plot more complex are easy to spot. The last few episodes leading up to the climax are the weaker points in the series because a lot of the backstory, jokes and music are sacrificed in order to draw out the serious events in the main plot.

“The Umbrella Academy” is a good series overall, but it is hindered by the predictability that comes with being one of many superhero productions and that is hard to shake. I would recommend watching it just for the experience of a good–but not amazing or groundbreaking–show. If nothing else, listen to the playlist on Spotify or watch some of the key scenes on YouTube. Also, watch the series just for Mr. Pogo, the talking monkey butler and the best part of the series.